Monday, September 30, 2013

Read Chapter 1 of The Devil's Assassin



Halloween is almost here and The Devil's Assassin, a creepy horror/thriller is always available for your Kindle e-reader for these chilly autumn nights · amazon.com/dp/B00CBP3DH4

Kindle books can be read on PC, iPad, iPhone, and smart phones too with Kindle software and Apps.

Read Chapter 1 of The Devil's Assassin now.

In a dark, fog laden forest in Ontario, Canada sits a dimly lit cabin. Hundreds of crickets and as many tree frogs create a cacophony of noise in what should be an otherwise bucolic location. A couple of owls, one nearer and one more distant add their more baritone notes to a post-meridian symphony. A bat flies in irregular patterns around the perimeter of the cleared area where the house sits, dashing silently in and out of view. Fireflies wink on and off.

The sound from a television in the cabin wafts weakly out into the noisy night and after a time disappears. A light in the house goes out followed by another. The house is plunged into darkness and silence as the nighttime symphony continues. A slim crescent moon rises over the cabin while the fog ebbs and flows around the cabin.

Something has been lurking in the woods outside the cabin for a couple of hours, watching the moon's rise and the billowing fogs ebb and flow and now this lurker moves toward the darkened house. The fog billows as the lurker moves through it. It moves slowly and steadily toward a window which is slightly opened.

Finally, it reaches the window and begins to try to push it up. It doesn't move easily, but the lurker takes his time, working slowly and confidently. A couple of times the window squeaks and the lurker stops pushing to be sure it hasn't woken the house's sleeper. After about ten minutes of work on the window it is open enough for the lurker to climb through.

Once inside, and without hesitating, the lurker moves toward the bedroom. It is as if this prowler has prowled this cabin's interior before this night.

In her bedroom, a forty-seven year-old woman lies sleeping in bed, covered with a quilt. She is alone in the dark room and in a deep, restful sleep. A click disturbs the silence in the room, but the woman continues her slumber. The door knob, which is what made the click, begins to turn slowly, almost as slowly as the minute-hand of a clock. The prowler has a great deal of patience and caution, knowing too well the price of carelessness. In this bedroom, in this cabin, in these woods, the lurker has all the time in the world.

Finally, the door begins to open. Again, to avoid door creaks and squeaks, the lurker allows the door to open very slowly. He can smell his victim long before the door is open wide enough to see her. When the door is open enough to admit him into the room, the lurker moves softly over the wood floor until he stands near the side of the bed. As he regards the sleeping woman, noting the position of the quilt draping her body, a white needle suddenly jumps into view, stiletto-like, in front of the lurker. He considers the woman for a moment more and then drives the needle into the sleeping woman's chest. She shudders. The lurker draws the needle out as quickly as it was driven in and turns to leave the room.

Before moving out of the room the killer pauses to lick the needle, cleaning it of the blood which now stained it. He then walks out of the room, closes the door behind him and finds his way to the victim's kitchen. There he opens the refrigerator door and places all the fruits and vegetables he can find into a plastic shopping bag he finds on the kitchen table. The killer then stands up, leaves the kitchen and heads toward and through the window that he had entered the cabin through, closing it quickly behind him. He takes a bite out of an apple he had taken from the woman's refrigerator as he disappears into the forest.
***
It is a bright, sunny morning as a young woman leaves the front door of a farmhouse. The farmhouse is adjacent to a field of wheat. A couple of crows caw noisily to each other while a song bird sings. The young woman waves her hand at the door as she leaves. "Tsai jien," Miss Sung says brightly, which means goodbye in Chinese. She continues walking toward her car, gets in and then drives it away as she does every morning on her way to work in a nearby factory.

After a few hours have passed at the same Chinese farmhouse, the birds are quiet and few other sounds break the peaceful day beyond the passing of an occasional diesel truck on the nearby road. Inside the house, a radio softly plays Chinese music as an old woman sits sleeping in an easy chair with knitting in her lap.

The doorknob begins to turn slowly. It is minutes before the door opens enough to let someone in the house. A small form steps through the door and advances directly toward the easy chair in the living room. The intruder stands in front of the woman's chair watching her breathe and snore softly. He tilts his head to regard her face, matching the angle of her head. In the midst of this almost soft moment, a long white needle suddenly appears in the intruder's hand and is immediately thrust into the sleeping woman's chest. She shudders and dies instantly.

The killer pulls his bloody needle out of his victim, leaving no visible wound on the old woman. As he turns, he licks the needle clean of the blood of his victim. He then finds the kitchen where he fishes around in the refrigerator, taking as many fruits and vegetables as he can find in a bag he finds there. After he has his unusual booty, he leaves by the front door.
***
A campfire burns under a dark, star-studded sky on the plains of Argentina. There is popular Argentine music playing and two grizzled gauchos sit near the fire on camp stools listening to a boom box. Cattle can also be heard, horses are tied up nearby, and tents are pitched. Coleman lamps throw a little light on the campsite in addition to the fire's light.

Another gaucho is in a nearby copse of trees relieving himself. He hears a stick crack in the darkness to his left. He looks in that direction and sees something coming toward him. "Quien es?" he asks.

His answer comes in the form of his brief surprise and fear as, in the moment before he dies, he sees his attacker driving a white needle into his chest before he can utter a sound. With his pants still undone, the gaucho crumples to the ground. The killer licks his needle clean and escapes unnoticed through the grass and into the Argentine night.

At the campfire, the other two gauchos are smoking and listening to the music. Hearing or sensing something, one of the men stands up and calls out, "Roberto!?"

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