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Let me preface this rant by saying that I feel a little–hell a lot--like Gandalf speaking to Frodo at the beginning of Lord of the Rings: “I’m not trying to hurt you; I’m trying to help you.”  So keep that in mind as I get on my writing high horse. Now I probably am going to piss people off. Probably people I’m friends with. Probably a lot of you reading this as well.

Yet once again I find myself perplexed and more than a little frustrated with people who label themselves “writers” yet appear to have no idea what comprises being a professional writer. I’ve read blogs, posts and even “classes” by and from people (hang on to your underwear Stephen King, I’m not going to list them by name) who claim that if you write a word on a piece of paper or your document in MS Word that makes you a writer. Pardon me but no it does not. I’ve seen and rolled my eyes at posts, comments, whatever that have no idea of even the definition of a professional writer.

Here it is: when people pay you. When they sign a contract with you to sell and/or represent your work (read: writing) and feel you writing is good enough to plunk down their (this includes publishers, editors, agents and readers) hard-earned dollars for it.

Now, I’m not going to pound you over the head about learning your craft or grammar or other writing lessons. I’ve done enough of that in my blogs, guest posts, etc.

I’m going to talk about the concept of “preparation” and/or “inspiration” to write. Or the lack thereof. Don’t get excited this isn’t what you may think. At first, as always, I assumed I was the one in the wrong when I heard of other people having “rituals” even to the point that I tried to create some of my own. I tried to pick out my own “special” coffee cup or mug for writing; I tried to listen to the sound of nature before I wrote. Hell, I tried drinking tea for Cripe’s sake! I hate tea. I’ve always hated tea. It has a terrible aftertaste to me. Each of those rituals lasted about two and a half nano-seconds. I got depressed. I pictured myself as some type of weirdo (well, I am that but just not in writing) who varied widely from the norm of writers.

Then I started seeing posts constantly in writing groups, guest posts, even people’s bios about having rituals in order to be able to write. As if that is a necessary ingredient to creativity. I thought about my own process of writing. I never needed a ritual to write. I sat down and freaking wrote.

This then is the delineation between professional and non-professional writers at least in my opinion. What the hell is my opinion worth? Well, let’s see. I was a professional newspaper reporter, I was a radio news director and announcer, and now I am a multi-published author. I was PAID for them ALL. Someone found me competent enough in writing to hire and pay me to do the job(s) professionally. Publishers have found my novels worthy of their time and effort to present them for sale to the public.

Why? Because a professional writer generally doesn’t have time to wait on rituals, preparation, or inspiration to strike. As a reporter, I could not sit at my desk and wait for “the words” to come. I didn’t have time. I had deadlines. I had to be competent enough to whip together a complicated news story in sometimes only minutes. That competence doesn’t come from self-indulgence. It comes from necessity and serious professional attitude.

Let me at this point reiterate my preface: I am not trying to degrade you; I am trying to make you professional. I am trying to make you be taken seriously by other professionals and by yourself as well. It’s great to sit about burning candles and incense, doing yoga poses, and opening your mind to whatever creative forces you think exist outside it, but I’ve seen supposed aspiring authors (just like I’ve seen supposed aspiring actors and musicians) fritter away precious time and creativity by waiting on The Muse. (Oh, I believe in Muses–the ones in my brain.) That’s my definition of self-indulgence. Half of my definition anyway. I’m sure many of you are highly insulted by my words. Good. Prove I’m wrong by starting, writing and finishing your novel and make it so damned good you get acclaim for it. If that means blowing out your candles, making a 65,000 word count in four months, and chucking your “writing” mug of tea into the sink permanently so be it. What gets me so crazy about this? Your brain, in addition to being the sexiest organ in your body, is the fount of all creativity. No incense burned (yes, I’ve burned it and my faves are Wisteria and good old classic Sandalwood) can infuse your mind with creative expression, even if you wait a thousand years watching smoke waft from those embers. Yoga can “free” you possibly but the only connection I find necessary between body and mind are the images and words transmitted from my brain down through my typing fingers. What then does infuse creativity? Nothing. Your brain emits creativity and your body translates it and transmits it via writing, painting, music composition and performance.

For me, all else is indulgence and the dangerous blaming of these rituals and their effectiveness or lack of for your unfinished or rejected or lazily written work. Then rituals become excuses. Excuses destroy success however you define it: selling ten millions books, getting critical acclaim, or simply getting that nagging story out of you and published.

Professionals don’t wait for inspiration, neither do most masters of any craft. They get it done because they are professional. They don’t waste time, energy or creativity. I’m not calling myself a master by any means. I am not. I’m calling myself professional in attitude, performance, goal-achievement. If you want to be taken seriously as an author (or in fact any profession) you first must behave as if you take your work and yourself seriously.

If this sounds harsh and insulting to you remember I am trying to make you better. I’ve written numerous posts and instruction on writing itself. This is about attitude. Yours and mine. You want to be a writer? Then write.

Hello my little Futurists! 2014 has been one of the busiest in recent memory! With the release of my new novel, The Brede Chronicles,  my blog posts & upcoming courses on SavvyAuthors, and being (behind) Break-Ups Editor on ReadWave.com, I’ve barely been able to gasp a breath to stop by this blog and post anything! But I didn’t want you to think I’m ignoring you so I’m posting this letting you know I”m still around and still planning to post more in a month or two! I thank you all for following my Future Imperfect blog and I hope to have some interesting and helpful writing posts and links up asap! If you’d like to check out The Brede Chronicles  & its reviews on Amazon, here’s the link (it’s available in e-book and print now) :  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L8FM978

In any case, I haven’t forgotten you or my blog and I will return!

The Brede Chronicles

Meet Guest Author P.I. Barrington.

The Brede Chronicles

Half-human Alekzander Brede is a law unto himself…or so he thinks. Elektra Tate, the street orphan who loves him has other ideas. When she betrays him for no apparent reason, he vows to punish her one way or another. Taking the one thing she treasures most—their son—begins a cat and mouse relationship spanning two planets and costing possibly his life. Elektra will stop at nothing to save her son but can she overcome Brede’s twisted idea of vengeance?

 

In my Gypsy heritage, we have superstitions. One of them is that whatever you spend doing on the first day of a new year, you’ll be doing it every day for the rest of that year! I have to admit it seemed like that was going to happen since I cleaned the house feverishly on New Year’s Day 2014 and did it all the way through February! However I did spend 2013 writing a new novel that obsessed me and finally last month submitted it to a new publishing house. I signed the contract for The Brede Chronicles on my birthday and haven’t stopped working on the book & its production since. 

So in all the rush and busyness I completely forgot to tell everyone about it!

So I will post again when I have cover art and maybe a review or two. In the meantime I can tell you The Brede Chronicles is a sort of darkish, sci-fi adventure/romancy type book! The story is set in 2107 New Cairo Egypt Earth and various other planets and it follows the relationship between half-human Alekzander Brede and Elektra Tate the street orphan who loves him. It takes a few dark turns.

Many thanks for those of you who follow this blog and have over the past few years! When I have things in hand, perhaps there will be a giveaway…and a book launch! Belated Happy New Year 2014! Things are off to a great start for me and I hope a wonderful start for you too!

Thank you to all who have followed, read, commented on this blog over the last year! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your interest especially in the flood of blogs on writing out there!! Hopefully in 2014 I’ll be able to post more and interact more and more quickly to your responses!! Again I thank you and wish you the very very best for the new year 2014!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

At the beginning of the 1980’s people began a twisted fascination with dystopian society, fueled by depressing yet accurate films such as The Day After and Testament about the after effects of nuclear war. We were still in the Cold War at the time and I think we needed to believe that somehow we (me, you) would be the “special” ones who survived (as if any could)–the total destruction of humanity; too enormous to contemplate. As a child of the 1960’s “duck and cover” generation where nuclear annihilation survival was taught regularly in public schools, the horror of that reality terrified me and still does. 

Cover of "The Day After"

Cover of The Day After

In the 1980’s I was a young adult and TDA and Testament were the epitome of that terror. There was little way to survive something so incomprehensible so we came up with the idea of a dystopian, surviving society in a gritty dark culture. Our fascination (as adults and parents back then) with that dystopia I believe has influenced our adults now as evidenced by our films and novels World War Z etc. The difference is, now we write novels and make films about it–in abundance. We no longer fear the dark, surviving cruel society of post-nuclear destruction; we prefer it.  Perhaps subconsciously we reject the easy, instant technology of today (not that we’d ever give up our SmartPhones) for the survivalist mentality; guns, knives, swords, crossbows, and the occasional machete are our methods of dispensing instant justice without media pundits arguing endlessly and pointlessly over the political correctness of it.   There was only one problem: we’d survived annihilation; it would be stupid to attack and kill each other now. Again, we came up with a solution: Zombies!! They’re already dead, all we have to do is make it permanent! Best of all, there’s no guilt! Finishing off those zombies is something to be proud of; collecting their body parts as jewelry something impressive. It appears we’ve come full circle: our cultural ancestors performed similar trophy collection, headhunting and drinking wine from enemies’ skulls though with zombies those skulls probably wouldn’t hold up very well as cups.  The only difference is the rotted, bombed out, skeletal frames of city buildings or the newly untamed wilderness that serve as the backdrop.

Hell I have nothing against zombies or the killing of them. I mean come on, the 1964 film The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price was the ultimate and the model for our zombiefication: a virus made all of humanity, mindless blood drinking vampire/zombies (hey was that combination ahead of its time or what?) and only Price had the immunity to reverse the process and save mankind. (SPOILER ALERT: Guess what? He didn’t. They killed him before he could transfuse his blood into theirs.) Move over Will, this was the original.  My only real concern is zombie romance. These dead guys and girls stink. Come on, rotting flesh smells good? I don’t think so. But to each his or her own…

Cover of "The Last Man on Earth"

Cover of The Last Man on Earth

Why am I telling you all of this? Well someone on a group asked why we write in the genre’ we write. I started to post my standard, snarky response of “I write to entertain people” but then began thinking about it. Why do I mainly write sci-fi or at least futuristic novels? Why not Westerns? Well, okay I do write westerns, one WIP in progress. But mostly I stick with sci-fi. Half of it is probably because as a child I was raise on Star Trek, Lost In Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Space 1999. Some schloky, some excellent but all HOPEFUL. These were our dreams: a future in space without limitations, prejudice, greed, or warfare/violence (except as needed of course). Humanity could survive and even grow in more ways than we could ever imagine or expect. At least that’s what we hoped.

I’ve always been a writer, like it or not. It chased me down not unlike those aforementioned zombies. I’ve read pretty much all genre’ from literary to romance and anything in between so choosing a genre’ didn’t really matter.  I read them all, I could write them all too. I just never took any of it seriously. Until now.

When I started writing seriously, I resumed with sci-fi/futuristic.  I couldn’t bear to put those awful, nuclear annihilation fears down and make them real again. For me, I came to the point where I could still see something hopeful in our future; colonization of space, commonplace alien interaction, human problems still trying to be dealt with sanely or not.  Yet a future, somehow some way. People say my work is ‘dark’ and I do too but humanity survives and expands in my work and in my settings. Now I can’t bear to see it any other way.

Belated Happy Easter my friends! Today please join me in welcoming guest blogger Jesse V Coffey! Why is an author of historical fiction on Future Imperfect? Because I believe that the future comes from the past and that past and future are two sides of the same coin called the present.  With that in mind I am thrilled to host Jesse for today’s blog and I know you will love her!

Jesse V Coffey, author of The Savior

Jesse V Coffey, author of The Savior

Dismissing a Stereotype

 

I love writing historical fiction. I get a chance to live in other times with other people. Don’t get me wrong; I love the time I live in. But to be able to walk with the likes of Henry the VIII or Thomas á Becket or Catherine the Great is a thrill. But there’s always the problem of how to make historical people real to those of us in modern day. To introduce the elements of humanity, to see the many layers of a person – good and bad – which takes them from a fairly simplistic character to a person who could be sitting next to you on the sofa.

When it came time to write The Savior, I chose a Messiah as one of the main characters – not so much as the main character but certainly the reason the action was happening. And that proved to be a challenge for me. There are so many portrayals out there of Jesus. So many actors have portrayed someone of such great importance to so many – always with a quiet dignity, a regal bearing. How was I going to portray him? Follow that same path? Or find a different one? I decided very quickly that I was going to have to make this my own, to dismiss the stereotype of Jesus the Christ, if I wanted to make this my story and not just parrot what others had done before.

I did a lot of reading about who Jesus might have been really, beyond the way the Bible portrays him. Which involved quite a bit of learning about the “typical” Judean at the time, too. Did you know that there are a lot of Biblical programs on cable? And each program had a different take as well, always looking at what could have been. The History Channels – one and two – and the Biography Channel became my best friends. I DVRed a lot of programs and watched them several times.

I also had my own Catechism to draw on. I took my Instruction from the coolest nun ever, Sister Barbara. I don’t know if the Pope would have sanctioned a lot of what she taught me, but I do know she gave me a lot to think about. She encouraged me to open my mind and not accept the traditional just because. But she also taught me a lot of fascinating legends within the Catholic Church and I used them to form the basis of the plot.

So, rather than play the same old, same old when it came to the Christ, I decided to explore the humanity of the character. I picked up the action just after the brouhaha in the temple, the day that a twelve-year-old Yeshua gave the Sanhedrin one heck of an education. I borrowed from the legends that Sister B taught me, but also from a lot of the Apocryphal texts. The Yeshua of my story was raised as an Essene – a radical group that was very zealous in their beliefs, taking traditional Judaism to an extreme. They believed in a literal sense of the Messiah coming to kick the crap out of the Romans, taking over as a very real King with a palace and a kingdom here on earth.

The legends of the Catholic archives talk about the grand tour that Jesus took, the missing years between that day in the temple and the day he started his ministry. How he traveled from Israel with his uncle – Joseph of Arimethea – to see the lands of Gaul and the UK, then traveling down to Tibet. And how he learns of other beliefs, is influenced by them. The character becomes very real as he transforms from this bratty, arrogant kid to the Messiah that we have known and been taught of within the Christian religion. There are obvious changes in the “mission” he has taken on, something that fits in with the Bible’s take on it all – when he says he’s come to teach a new covenant. To sort of shake up the status quo a little with a gospel of love and peaceThe Savior

In a literary sense, to show that change, I had to start with the exact opposite. In writing, I took very few liberties outside of the stories and the alternate gospels. But I did add that humanity to him, add that sense of the historical. Which added an interesting dimension, I think, and makes him very real to us.

 

Kentucky author Jesse V Coffey has managed to parlay what some would call a “vivid and active imagination” into a writing career with five books to her credit and more to come. Writing is her passion, reading is her favorite comfort “food”.

Ms. Coffey is currently a member of ASCAP, the Erotic Authors Association, and the KY Independent Writers network. She writes three columns for the news website, Examiner.com/Lexington, as the Literary Examiner and Writing Examiner, as well as the National Indie Romance Novel Examiner. She also writes as J. W. Coffey and Siobhan MacKenzie.

Her current release is The Savior, sold exclusively through Amazon’s KDP Select. Coming later in 2013 — Wilde Mountain Time, a romantic thriller set in New Hampshire’s White Mountain area.

 

Links to find Ms. Coffey:

Homepage
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Amazon

 

 

 

I can’t help it. There are certain male actors I love and always have and most likely always will. I like to call them the “good” bad guys. Not because they’re good at being bad, though they are, but because they’re so filled with attractive angst and most importantly gentility. Oh come on. Nearly every paranormal romance (especially Gothic) has the genteel hero be he demon, devil, angel, or vampire. He’s the gorgeous one dressed to the teeth (pun intended) in livery.

 

Why the sudden musings on good bad guys? Vincent. As in Price not Beauty & the Beast in any of its television incarnations. I don’t even remember what I posted on FB that got me thinking about him and about all those good bad guys.

 

I think if I had to sum up Vincent Price in a sentence it would read this: “He was such an evil gentleman.”  And he was. Vincent, regardless the role cheesy or cherished, carried himself with the air of a tortured nobleman: a good guy turned bad sometimes through no fault of his own (sound familiar romance readers?) He had that voice, distinguishable anywhere; not quite British but not quite American or “continental” either. And that laugh. At once evil and refined, mad and sexily bad. He never showed up onscreen in jeans or a cowboy hat (though I think one of his films might have danced along that vein) and the only horses he rode were those of the gentility as well: those used for “the hunt” or for nobility travel.

 

No, Vincent was always dressed formally usually in historical settings and apropos costuming. It didn’t matter if he was the scheming vizier to the king or queen or the crazed curator of The House of Wax or even the goofy lonely archaeologist in the cave during The Brady Bunch’s vacation in Hawaii, even in Margaritaville garb (Hawaiian print shirt, khaki shorts and flip flops), Mr. Price could give you shivers and make you love him for it.

 

I think it’s that gentility that makes me love Clark Gable as Rhett Butler; he’s a thorough scamp but a nattily dressed one and I get chills from him too! 

 

Perhaps it’s just me. Perhaps not. Perhaps you are intrigued by well-dressed men as well, be they good, bad or indifferent toward you (the worst kind). 

 

I think the Vincent Price/Rhett Butler syndrome is one that helped nourish the paranormal romance parameters–I see so much similarity between them and the immortal heroes of today.

 

Or it could just be as simple as this:

 

 

Top coat, top hat,


I don’t worry coz my wallet’s fat.
Black shades, white gloves,
Lookin’ sharp and lookin’ for love.
They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
Coz’ every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.

 

~~ Sharp Dressed Man~~

Music and Lyrics by ZZ TOP

 

Since it’s already the third month of the new year I won’t say happy new year other than I hope it’s been happy so far. For me one huge thrill in 2013 has been that Crucifying Angel, Book One: Future Imperfect is now available in PRINT (Waa-ah-ah HOO! Thank you Desert Breeze Publishing!) at Amazon.com:

 http://www.amazon.com/Future-Imperfect-Book-One-Crucifying/dp/1612529410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361913303&sr=8-1&keywords=Crucifying+Angel+Barrington

On to the actual post.  Once again I find my work placed under yet another genre’ category, Women’s Fiction, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On one hand it exposes me to other readers/audiences who might never check out my books because they don’t know about them. On the other hand, it gets a little confusing and even frustrating at times when I submit it for reviews or even just a social media posting. I’ve actually checked out the definition of Women’s Fiction and while my novels always always deal with relationships this genre seems an odd fit. Romance in my books usually takes the back seat mainly because I get so involved in the plot and the action and I’m not by strict definition a romance author. My romance elements nearly always have edgier slightly gritty and sometimes even dark relationships in the sense of depth. There’s very little romantic fantasy and the conflicts that unite or present obstacles are deep and steeped in guilt of some sort.

Then there’s futuristic. Crucifying Angel, mentioned above, kicks of the Future Imperfect, a semi-dystopian, near-future (my term) crime thriller is a prime example of the conflicts of the two main characters dragging around huge personal baggage that affects most of their relationship. The story is set in 2032 Las Vegas and is a real crime thriller with souped-up technology. But there isn’t any extensive true science there other than things I’ve created and some authors insist that sci-fi requires real science.

Hmm. I don’t write chick lit. I barely write romance. I play fast and loose with the sci in sci-fi. So what do I call my genre? After nearly four years of trying to figure it out myself and driving editors, reviewers, and readers at book fairs, librarians, social media etc., insane I think my own definition would be Commercial Fiction, sub-genre everything. (I’ve even got a romantic western in the bin believe it or not!))  Hopefully what I write has the potential to read a broad audience and not just female either. I strive to write something that men will find entertaining as well. I strive.

Commercial Fiction has been looked down upon, widened to the scope of all genre inclusion from Chick Lit to Fantasy and Vampirism and loved wholeheartedly by people like me and in a way it is all-inclusive.  Every genre can have broad appeal and that broad appeal is my definition of both my work and Commercial Fiction.

That is my definition of what I do.  I try to entertain and touch my readers emotionally somehow and as many of them as possible. But then again, I am not a publisher or editor, those angels who descend to sprinkle miracle dust all over to make the books shine bright like a diamond (Hi Rihanna!) in the sky whatever the genre’.

I’m wondering if anyone else has this odd problem or if I’m the only one.  If you are so inclined let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

                                                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~

“Don’t make me get a warrant,” he told Ernesto Calderon as they both stood in the surveillance bay.  Alfonso was gone for the day and Calderon drew the swing shift. “I really don’t think you want Garcia dragged away from his wife at this late hour.  All you have to do is make me a copy of the footage I looked at the other day.”

Ernesto looked askance at Gavin, as if the detective wore a set of horns.  He moved along the inside of the monitor station backing away and running a hand along the underside of the console.

“I advise against that.”  Gavin reached into his holster.  “I can put you down before your fingers touch the button.  Make me the copy.”

“What format?”  Ernesto played for time.

“All of them.  And please put a rush on it.”  He smiled and pointed his tricked out Glock at the man.  “I have a deadline to meet.  One I cannot miss.”

Ernesto did as he was told and Gavin knew Calderon would hit the panic button as soon as Gavin walked out the door.  He prevented that by walking around and shooting the wiring to shreds.

“Thank you, Ernesto,” Gavin told him as he took the chip, stick, and a cylinder from him. “You have my permission to blame everything on me.  I should think you’d make a point of that to Garcia. Again, thanks.”  He backed out the door in case Ernesto possessed any weapons and all the way to the elevators.  His bio-identification still held and he smashed a finger against the express button that shot him to the casino floor.

He broke into a run out the front doors and leaped into the patrol car as the on-duty security force exploded out the front doors of the casino.  The unit’s tires slammed down onto the pavement under Gavin’s foot and fishtailed as it flew off the premises and down the highway.  He got a last glimpse of them taking aim and popping off a few rounds before they scattered like ants without a pheromone trail.

 

*****

 

Alejandro Jesus Garcia slammed down the phone in his penthouse bedroom

“I am not happy,” he announced to the group of guards who stood just inside the penthouse suite’s front doors.  Garcia untied the silk belt at the waist of his robe and tugged on a shirt.  “Bring Calderon to my office.  I’ll deal with him there. Sergeant, stay with me.  We will discuss how to handle this… breach of security on the way down.”  

Garcia buttoned the collar of a newly pressed shirt and then buttoned the cuffs.  He picked up his gun in its holster and slung it over his shoulder, finally pulling a jacket over it all.  The clock on the wall read 10:30 p.m. but no one looked at it.  The time was of no concern to anyone in these matters — matters that they must now take into their own hands and resolve.  Garcia arrived at his office at exactly 10:39 p.m. and looked into the pale face of Ernesto Raul Calderon without pity.  They had extracted the details of Gavin’s visit and his possession of the footage of the Amazon’s casino floor and rooms from Calderon and now Garcia made his decision.

“Take him out,” he told the mini-troop of soldiers.  “Have him write a note of suicide and then shoot him.  Make it look like he pulled the trigger himself. Get him away from my sight.”

Calderon barely squeaked out a faint protest as they lifted him off the floor and carried him by the armpits out of the office.  The terrified expression never left his face.

“Now.”  Garcia turned to the rest of his staff.  “We will deal with this Anglo detective and his girlfriend.  I want my top officers on this by the break of day.  There will be no more tolerance of this game.”

He lifted the receiver of the phone.  “Not only will I not tolerate this interference, He will not tolerate it either.  As it is, we will have to have a face-to-face meeting tonight.  Yes, Elena? Have the car brought round to the front. Yes, immediately,” Garcia snapped as he dropped the phone receiver back down and looked into the faces of his contingent of guards.  Not one of them looked at ease.

“Come! We go.”  He picked up his jacket again, flung it over a shoulder and shoved his arm into the sleeve.  He adjusted the holster as he shoved in the other arm.  Then he led the mini-squadron toward the elevator and down through the casino out into the waiting limousine.

 

*****

 

“What do you want with me so late?”

Garcia bowed low.

“Please forgive the intrusion, Jefe.  There has been a… breach of security at the Amazon.”

“That is for you to deal with, Alejandro.  It is your job.”

“Yes, Jefe, and I have already taken care of the employee.”

“So?”

Garcia hesitated, knowing that even a momentary hesitation could cost him his very life.  He bowed even lower.

“So, it is not a minor breach, Jefe.  Someone has gotten hold of a security tape — a very important section of footage.  He has it in his possession.”

“He?” the deep and frightening voice asked, curious.

“Yes.  It is a police officer, Jefe. He is a homicide detective and—”

“The new detective?  A man from Britain?”

Garcia paused in confusion.  How had the boss, the Jefe, learned of this particular man? Alejandro Garcia rocked back and forth a moment, contemplating the possible consequences of his lapse in absolute control over the dominion of The Amazon.

“Yes, Jefe. A Briton.”  Garcia’s voice was a whisper.

“He has already come to my attention, Alejandro.”  The Jefe’s voice contained no trace of anger.  Garcia held his breath. “I have already put contingency plans into place to… deal with him. He will soon be out of the way — completely, permanently.  As will his woman partner.”

Garcia let out a tiny breath of relief.

“However, Alejandro, I cannot let this moment of weakness on your part go unpunished.”  The voice was now terrifying in its total lack of emotion.  “You may choose your punishment: the death of your wife or the death of your daughter.  Which will it be?”

“Jefe—”

“Which will it be Alejandro?”

“Jefe, I—I cannot—”

“Then you have already chosen, Alejandro.  Take him to his family.  His… ex-family.”  A faint trace of a satisfied smile could be heard in the Jefe’s voice.

Alejandro Garcia screamed in his own mind.  He did not know whether it could be heard or not and it no longer mattered.  Nothing mattered but the grey matter of his wife’s and daughter’s brains spattered across the living room walls of his penthouse suite.  He never stopped screaming.  Not until he took his last breath on Earth many, many years later.

Book One in the Future Imperfect crime thriller trilogy now in paperback from Amazon.com

Book One in the Future Imperfect crime thriller trilogy now in paperback from Amazon.com

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