The Bedwetter by Lee Allen Howard

The Bedwetter: Journal of a Budding Psychopath by Lee Allen Howard is a new horror/psychological thriller. It was released on May 1, 2019 and is available for sale on Amazon.
“Original, audacious and raw. A truly dark treat for fans of the serial killer genre.” – Best Thrillers
“Lee Allen Howard’s The Bedwetter is an inventive psychological horror novel with a voice that’s as stylish as it is dark.” —Dustin LaValley, author of The Deceived
“A brutal, dark, compulsive read… stark, powerful, and satisfying.” —Online Book Club
“Highly disturbing and electric, this book will have its readers only setting it down so they can come up for air during its darkest moments.” The US Review

Synopsis:
Armed with electric hair trimmers and a military fighting knife, Russell accepts his dark commission.
Russell Pisarek is twenty-six years old and still wets the bed. He grew up different from other young men because his vicious mother punished him for wetting by shaving his head. When he confided this to his girlfriend Tina, she betrayed him, advertising his problem to all their high school classmates, who turned on him mercilessly. He took out his frustration by skinning neighborhood cats.
Now Russell fantasizes about finding just the right woman—so he can shave her bald. He struggles to overcome his dark tendencies, but when his sister discovers he’s wetting again, she kicks him out of her house.
During this time of stress, the mythical Piss Fairy appears in his dreams, and Russell is driven to satisfy his twisted desires with his innocent coworker Uma, who also needs a new roommate.
When his plans go awry, the Piss Fairy commissions him for a much darker task that graduates him from shaving to scalping—and worse.

Excerpt:
I turn on my TV and fire up the PS4, then go downstairs and throw some pizza rolls in the toaster oven because Becky didn’t make dinner tonight. She usually does. She’s no gourmet chef, but she’s a decent cook, and I don’t mind eating her food. (^:
I holler up the stairs, “Becky?”
She don’t answer. Maybe she’s pooping, LOLz. Bathroom door ain’t closed, though, when I look up the stairs.
I crack open a beer. When the toaster oven dings, I scoop those bad babies onto a plate, grab a paper towel, and then carry them upstairs to my room. Worst thing about pizza rolls and Hot Pockets is, if you cook them till they’re done, they’re hot as frig­ging lava.
Becky comes out of her room and passes mine on her way to the bathroom. She closes and locks the door. I start Call of Duty, and it’s still loading when she comes back out of the bathroom and knocks on my door. It ain’t closed, so she pushes it open.
She’s got her arms crossed over her tits like she does when she’s uptight about something.
“What’s up?” I say.
“I found your tee-shirt between the washer and dryer, so I washed it and brought it up this morning.”
“Cool, thanks.”
She’s all fidgety and won’t look me in the eye, so something’s up.
Eating pizza rolls on a piss-stinking mattress ain’t the most appetizing experience. But I eat them anyway.
I say, “What’s Aiden doing? Ain’t seen him yet.”
“He’s playing with his cars you got him,” she says. “When I brought your shirt in, I couldn’t help but see your bed was stripped. And why.”
“Yeah. So?”
So? It makes me… concerned.” She tosses her head, not to get her hair out of her face—it’s tied back as usual—but because she’s gearing up to make some point or say something unpopu­lar.
“Hey, I couldn’t help it. I didn’t wake up. I washed my sheets. What are you so concerned about?”
Her lips get tight when I raise my voice. I don’t much care. It’s not like I pissed HER bed.
I toss the controller on the wet spot, then mute the TV. “Well?”
“Look, Russell, you know what it led to last time.”
“Yeah, and I was living at home then. You remember what that was like for me. I ain’t wet since I moved in with you.”
“Not that I know of.” She gets that snooty high and mighty look.
I want to shove the remote up her goddamn nose. “That was years ago, Becky. I’ve changed. I’m better now.”
“How do I know that? All I know is what you did.”
“But I didn’t do it to you, did I? I never done nothin to you.” I hurl the remote into the closet. It hits the back wall, and the bat­teries pop out.
“Calm down, Russell,” she says, pressing the air with her hands like she does when I get worked up. “You’re right, I’m sorry.” She always says that too, but it’s just to talk me down because I make her nervous. But why shouldn’t I be pissed? How come I can never express myself when I’m mad?
“I gotta get my sheets.” I push past her, out the door, and go downstairs. In the kitchen I unlock the basement door and stomp down the rickety steps. The cellar smells musty. Like I said, it’s an old townhouse, with stone walls and a concrete floor all cracked. Damn cold on my sockfeet. My sheets and bed pad and blanket are wadded up on top of the dryer. Becky does that if I forget to empty it when my stuff is done. I scoop them up and then head back upstairs.
Becky’s still standing there, hugging herself. “Here. I’ll help you.”
I turn around and get in her face. “I don’t need your help, Becky. I can do it myself. I been doing it since I was seven years old, remember?”
“All right. I’m sorry. I just… never mind.”
She walks out the door but comes right back in.
“No, I’m not going to let this go,” she says, fists on her hips. “This isn’t just about wetting the bed. It’s about that, that… dis­gusting rug you made. Cat skins. God, Russell, that’s so sick. I had no idea you still had it. Thank goodness Aiden didn’t see it.”
“And what if he did?” I say. “You think I would have told him what it was made out of? Jesus, Becky, gimme some credit.”
“I don’t care. I don’t want that thing in my house. Get rid of it.”
“I live here as well as you do. It’s not like you own the place. I pay rent too.”
She huffs. “Sometimes.”
“Oh, fuck off, why don’t you? I’m workin. I been workin. Just because I don’t got a good job like you don’t mean I ain’t pitchin in.”
“Look. I think it’s time you moved out on your own, Russell.”
I blink at her, shaking my head. “What?”
“You heard me. Aiden’s four years old. He needs his own room. He can’t sleep in my room forever, especially with Mike spending nights here.”
“It ain’t my fault you can’t screw with Aiden in the room.”
“Russell!” she hisses.
What!”
“Keep your voice down,” she says, shoving the door closed. “It’s not about me and Mike. Aiden’s getting too big for his tod­dler bed. You know that. He’s growing like a weed, and even a twin bed won’t fit in that room. Where’s he supposed to sleep?”
I lay a folded hand towel on the wet spot, make the bed on top of it, and then stretch out on it. She stands there, waiting for me to say something. She pisses me off. Ignoring her is the best I can do.
“Don’t go quiet on me, Russell. I’m trying to have a conversa­tion about something important. Do you understand why I think it’s best that you move out?”
I snatch up the controller and press start. The game begins, but I can’t hear it because I muted the TV, and I can’t unmute it because I flung the remote in the closet.
Becky steps closer. “If you got something to say, then say it. Stewing about it won’t do any good. You know what it leads to.”
“Who are you, my fuckin mother?”
She grabs her head with both hands, spins toward the door, then turns back, curling her fingers into claws and showing her teeth.
“You’re a dick, Russell. You either move your pissy mattress to the basement or out of the house, take your pick!” She rushes out, and I can tell she wants to slam my door, but she don’t.
I do. And yell, “I hope your car’s fixed, because I’m driving mine tomorrow. Bitch.”
I put the remote back together, then pick up the controller, but my hands are shaking, and I don’t feel like playing no more. Don’t feel like finishing my pizza rolls. What I really need is a smoke.
I fish in my jacket pocket for my Camels only to find my last cigarette is broke in two.
FUCK! FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!
I crush the pack and throw it on the floor. I dress, grab my coat and gentleman’s hat, then descend the stairs by threes and fly out the door into snow like freaking cottonballs.

 


About the Author:
Lee Allen Howard’s dark fiction spans the genres of horror, dark fantasy, supernatural crime, and psychological thrillers. His publications include The Sixth Seed, Severed Relations, Desperate Spirits, Night Monsters, Death Perception, The Adamson Family, Perpetual Nightmares, and The Bedwetter.
Howard earned his BA in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. He edits fiction and non-fiction, and has served as a book publishing consultant. He blogs about his fiction and fiction writing at http://leeallenhoward.com. Readers can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.
Howard is also the founder and editor at Dark Cloud Press, which has published the horror and dark crime anthologies Thou Shalt Not… and Tales of Blood and Squalor. He resides in western New York state with a lot of books.

Frank Cavallo’s Latest Novel ‘Rites of Azathoth’

Rites of Azathoth
Frank Cavallo announced today the release of his latest novel Rites of Azathoth published by Bedlam Press (An Imprint of Necro Publications).
Necro specializes in hardcore horror fiction and aims to bring the best in modern horror to the masses, publishing the best names in modern horror like Edward Lee, Charlee Jacob, Jeffrey Thomas, Gerard Houarner, Patrick Lestewka, Wrath James White, Mehitobel Wilson and dozens of others.
“Rites of Azathoth is an occult-thriller rooted in the H.P. Lovecraft tradition, or what is sometimes called the Cthulhu Mythos. It is a book that will appeal to general horror audiences, especially any fans of Lovecraft himself, as well as fans of Clive Barker, Peter Straub and Jack Ketchum,” says Cavallo.

Synopsis:
F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.
To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.
The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth. 

Excerpt:

 

Cleveland Police Department
Third District
2001 Payne Avenue
October 30, 1974
2:13 am
Transcript of Voluntary Oral Statement

 

Interrogation conducted by: Detective Edward D. Sadowski
Badge No.: 366
Suspect Name: Luther Charles Vayne
DOB: 10/16/1944
Ht: 5’11”
Wt.: 185
Eyes: None
Distinguishing Marks: numerous tattoos and brandings, scars on face and hands

 

OFFICER:      You have expressed your desire to waive the presence of counsel and to make a full confession. Is that correct?
VAYNE:           It is.
OFFICER:      This is regarding the murder of Anna Dressler and Eric Dressler?
VAYNE:           Yes.
OFFICER:      What is it you want me to know?
VAYNE:           As I mentioned to your desk officer, I killed them both tonight.
OFFICER:      What exactly did you do? Can you tell me that?
VAYNE:           I have done only what I was sent here to do.
OFFICER:      Sent? From where? By whom?
VAYNE:           The shadows that speak to me are of no concern. All that matters for you is that I killed the woman and her child. That is enough, is it not? I have no wish to hide anything anymore.
OFFICER:      Anymore? You’ve done this before?
VAYNE:         Yes, many times over the last year.
OFFICER:      You’ve been killing women and children for a year?
VAYNE:           Patience, detective. As I told you, I have no wish to hide anything. The facts of this and every one of my deeds are yours to examine now.
OFFICER:      You know who this boy and his mother were, don’t you? Mrs. Dressler was an heiress. She had quite a large fortune. That’s no accident is it? You targeted this kid, and his mother, didn’t you?
VAYNE:           I know who they were, and more importantly, who they were not. I know many things about them that you do not. Believe me detective, money was not involved, in this or any other of my recent acts. These were no mere children. At least until tonight, and for that I am very sorry.
OFFICER:      Sorry? Ok, that’s a start. Why don’t you tell me what you did here?
VAYNE:           I would have thought the act spoke for itself. If you’d like a narrative however, I am prepared to oblige. Simply stated, I cut the woman’s head from her neck. I drove an iron rod through her body, then through the body of her child. Just before I cut out his heart. [Pause] Would you like to hear about the others as well, detective? Or shall we take a break? You look like you might need some water.
OFFICER:      How many others are there?
VAYNE:         The boy and his mother tonight were the thirteenth.
OFFICER:      You’re prepared to confess to thirteen murders? Thirteen double murders?
VAYNE:           I am. That is why I came here tonight, to confess to everything, to every killing I have committed. At your convenience, of course. This will have to be the end of it. For now. 

 


Author Frank CavalloAbout the Author:
Frank Cavallo is a horror and dark fantasy writer. His previous works include Eye of the Storm, The Lucifer Messiah, The Hand of Osiris, and the Gotrek & Felix novella Into the Valley of Death.
Frank was born and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in Communications in 1994 and he earned a JD from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 2001. His life-long fascination with the darker side of human nature has led him to devote most of the past 15 years to a career as a criminal defense attorney, at the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, in Cleveland, Ohio. There he has come face-to-face with some of the truest horror in this world. Murder, rape, burglary, drugs. That’s his bread and butter.
Readers can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
To learn more, go to FrankCavallo.com

Riveting Memoir Reveals Real-Life Horror Story of Author’s Childhood

the blood on my handsFebruary 19, 2016 (Sydney, Australia) – Author Shannon O’Leary announced today that her memoir, The Blood on My Hands, is now available for purchase.
O’Leary states, “The title of the book reflects what happened to me. It is twofold; a metaphor for what I went through as a victim and also in one murder I literally had blood on my hands.”
Set in 1960s and ‘70s Australia, The Blood on My Hands is the dramatic tale of Shannon O’Leary’s childhood years. O’Leary grew up under the shadow of horrific domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, and serial murder. Her story is one of courageous resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors.
The responses of those whom O’Leary and her immediate family reach out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. Relatives are afraid to bring disgrace to the family’s good name, nuns condemn the child’s objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevent the police from interfering unless someone is killed.
The Blood on My Hands is a heartbreaking—yet riveting—narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding, and the strength and courage it takes, not just to survive and escape, but to flourish and thrive.
“The Blood on My Hands is a powerful, dark memoir… O’Leary tells how she and her family suffered at the hands of an abusive father with a multiple personality disorder. O’Leary actually witnessed her father murder people and animals. No one, not even the authorities, would help O’Leary and her family. This is O’Leary’s story about how they eventually got away from her father, but never truly escaped him or his heinous acts… parts of the book are so graphic that you do not want to believe that these things actually happened. Parts like these made it hard for me to put the book down. I knew what was about to happen, but I could not force myself to look away… This is a story that is going to remain in my mind for a long time.” – Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers’ Favorite
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Shannon O’Leary, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.
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The Blood on My Hands by Shannon O’Leary

the blood on my hands
The child of a serial killer, Shannon O’Leary revisits her traumatic past in her memoir, The Blood on My Hands.
Set in 1960s and ‘70s Australia, The Blood on My Hands is the dramatic tale of Shannon’s childhood years, growing up under the shadow of horrific domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, and serial murder. Her story is one of courageous resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors.
The responses of those whom Shannon and her immediate family reached out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. No one, not even the authorities, would help them. Relatives were afraid to bring disgrace to the family’s good name, nuns condemned the child’s objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevented the police from interfering unless someone was killed.
The Blood on My Hands is a heartbreaking—yet riveting—narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding. The strength it took for Shannon to not just survive and escape from her father, but to flourish, heal, and triumph over the trauma she endured as a child is both powerful and moving.
“I used pseudonyms in the book order to protect my family. He was never charged despite the police knowing about his activity. The police investigations were case files and are not available to the public. People outside Australia would not be aware that many of the missing person files in NSW in the 1960s and 70s disappeared under one of the governments of the time (there are only about 6 files for the 1960s),” says O’Leary.

 

Praise:
“The confusion, uncertainty, and sickening foreboding ring true and offer vital insights into the experience of abuse, including the fact that victims had few options, especially in the 1960s.” Kirkus Reviews
The work is crisp and painfully honest, moving from scene to scene both artfully and factually. Both the mundane and the impossible are treated with equal care, masterfully knitting together the various pieces of O’Leary’s tormented past.”Red City Review
“The Blood on My Hands is a powerful, dark memoir… This is a story that is going to remain in my mind for a long time.” – 4 Stars, Readers’ Favorite
“Once I picked this up I could not put it down, I needed to see how they got away from the monster who called himself their father, who called himself a husband.”Sarah on Goodreads
 “I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite the subject matter and hope it manages to help at least one child know that it gets better, life gets better.” – 5 Stars, Sarah Purdy

 

Excerpt:
Prologue
I have felt the cold steel of a gun in my mouth and against my temple.
I have tasted warm blood on my lips and witnessed horrific scenes of mutilation, where nameless people took their last breaths. In my life, I have experienced poverty, met people who had plenty, and lived through fire, floods, and drought. I have befriended the intellectually challenged and physically impaired and have known the mentally ill and misfits who were geniuses. I also assumed anonymity with my mother and brothers without people realizing we had disappeared.
In my youth I was exposed to many facets of raw emotion.
I’ve seen a living heart, beating and pulsating for its last time; seen broken fingers tossed in the wind; and watched a severed head dance. Tormented by recurring memories, I have chosen to write this book and put these ghosts to rest.
I first contemplated suicide at the age of four.
I devised my death plan down to the very last detail but never had the courage to see it through to completion. Instead, my mother’s face would keep interceding, begging me to stay alive. Faced with the fact that I could not inflict my death upon her, I’d pray for miraculous intervention. During hysterical bouts of entreaty, I would beg Jesus to strike us dead at exactly the same moment so that neither of us would feel the pain of enforced separation or the prolonged agony of death.
As a child, I dreamed of better things to come and lived in spiritualistic hope that one day my world would change. I thought my trauma was normal and didn’t know what other families experienced. I thought fear, sad- ness, and horror were just the by-products of a barely tolerable childhood. My self-esteem was nonexistent, and after a while I sought approval through the creative arts. I loved to sing, and as my voice was strong, I sang to cover my feelings of inadequacy and desolation. To me, music represented true happiness, a make-believe world where I could cling to melodious sounds instead of the tortured screaming of my nightmares.
As an adult, I have felt exhilaration when audiences clapped and called my name. At the same time, I have felt myself torn in two, experiencing the immobilizing fear of personal exposure when not protected by the proscenium arch of a stage. When I present myself without camouflage or without a scripted character to protect me, my gut wrenches itself into a catatonic knot, an all-enveloping state of fear. If I feel I am being examined on a personal level, my arms and legs become frozen, and I feel my soul moving toward automatic pilot. I smile and behave in the correct manner, but I’m mentally blank and devoid of all feeling.
I know what it’s like to be branded, to be labeled, and to work within the confines of a title. As a child I was called brilliant, genius, a child prodigy, and a precocious little troublemaker. I was also called an actress, liar, and evil. My teachers admitted they didn’t understand me and often left me to myself. As an adult, I experienced national fame as a children’s TV personality. I have brought joy to thousands of children by teaching them the elements of performance.
It brings me great fulfillment to see children experiencing happiness. It puts my own life in perspective.
I cannot find the words to describe my childhood. Words such as “passionately naive,” “emotionally lacerated,” and “holistically experiential” all pale in significance, in the shadow of living itself. My childhood was so creatively textured that it carried into adulthood without allowing me to become consumed by the insanity playing havoc around me. I am sane and strong, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have felt and seen extreme emotion. I have smelled my own flesh burning. I know what it feels like to have baby snakes wriggle across my body, to smell decay, and to see an eyeball popped between someone’s fingers. Alone, I have spent what seemed like hours in a blackened hole, a makeshift grave with a steel curtain, waiting for death.
Through all this, I stayed courageous and strong.
I treasure the power of love and the absurdity of shock, and I deal with these emotions on a day-to-day basis.
This is the story of my childhood.

 

About the Author:
Shannon O’Leary is a prolific writer and performer. She is the author of several books of poetry and children’s stories, and she has won many awards for song-writing.
Shannon has acted and directed on the stage and on Australian national TV, and she runs her own production company.
She has numerous graduate and post-graduate degrees in education, music, and science. She is a teacher and academic, has five children with her deceased former husband, and lives with her longtime partner in Sydney, Australia.
Her memoir The Blood on My Hands was published in February 2016 and is available for sale on on Amazon and Createspace.
Readers can connect with Shannon on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview with Shannon O’Leary, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.

 

Memphis Hoodoo Murders by Kathryn Rogers

Memphis Hoodoo MurdersMemphis Hoodoo Murders, by Kathryn Rogers, is an occult horror mystery thriller novel. It was published by Sartoris Literary Group on August 15, 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon.

 

Synopsis:
Addie Jackson has witnessed people trying to kill her family her entire life, and now her grandparents’ attackers are hunting her. The Memphis police are never able to catch these crooks since the cops have been bewitched to stay away. Her grandparents, Pop and Grandma, habitually lie to Addie, but she is attentive enough to overhear the secrets they keep from her. In her predictive dreams, Addie regularly sees future events, which disturb her, but to her dismay, she has never been able to stop them from coming true. She often dreams of a dark character, who she is later shocked to discover is the Man, a devil from hoodoo legend.
Addie is disturbed to discover she is being stalked by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen. To make matters worse, the more secrets Addie uncovers, the more danger she finds. Addie presses Grandma for answers about the power behind the ring and pocket watch she often toys with, but Grandma remains tight-lipped. Knowing their deaths are imminent, Grandma makes a deal with the hoodoo devil to take care of Addie, and Addie is later horrified to discover that her beloved family has been murdered. John, a family friend, steps in to help Addie, and she soon realizes he knows more about her family’s tainted past than she ever has. Addie begins receiving cryptic letters from her deceased grandmother, which reveal a shocking family history revolving around slavery, time travel, and magic.
If Addie can survive jail, her cousin’s abduction, threats from a menacing gang, corrupt law enforcement, and hoodooed attacks, maybe she can finally dream of a future where she will be safe and free.

 

Praise for Memphis Hoodoo Murders:
“Dripping with grisly spells, wry humor and a distinctly southern brand of magical realism, you’ll be quickly mesmerized by this magnetic paranormal thriller. A home run for author Kathryn Rogers.” – Reviewed by Best Thrillers
“Addie Jackson is not your average college student. For starters, she lives with her slightly odd grandparents in a not-so-nice part of Memphis, Tennessee. Most of her life revolves around taking care of her grandparents and trying to keep a low profile in her neighborhood instead of going on dates, talking about new music, and having fun. When her grandparents’ behavior becomes even more bizarre, there are break-ins at the church the family attends, and she begins to have dreams that come true, Addie becomes even more aware of the strange life she is living. She begins to believe that her grandparents have been hiding something from her for her entire life, something big, something that could put everyone’s lives in danger. Something that could mean that Hoodoo magic is real. Kathryn Rogers’ novel, Memphis Hoodoo Murders, immediately catches the reader with an exciting title and a surprising first chapter.” – Reviewed by Red City Review

 

Excerpt:
Chapter 1
If I told you that people had been trying to kill my family and me my entire life, you would probably just think I was being paranoid, but it’s not paranoia if it’s real.
Sometimes healthy people run for exercise, and oftentimes energetic individuals run for fun. In my neck of the woods, you run just to stay alive. Today I only hoped that the gang members didn’t murder me so I could make it home in one piece. My legs were pumping so hard I thought they might fall off.
Grandma and Pop would tell you I’m petite and pretty when really I’m short and perfectly ordinary. I don’t look anything like them except that we are all small in stature, though I’m so little I look like a shrimp by comparison. I have straight, brown hair with no bangs, smooth skin, and sharp, green eyes. I’ve never dressed fancy as I’ve never had much to begin with. Besides, in my neck of the woods, when you get something shiny, folks try to take it or talk about you for having it, so the more you blend in, the better off you’re bound to be.
“Hey, short stuff! You with the ponytail! I told you to get over here!”
It was my favorite neighborhood thug heckling me.
Just don’t trip. Whatever you do, don’t trip, Addie.
The limb from the fallen tree did not hear my inner monologue, because my foot caught on the log and slung me onto the sidewalk.
“I told you there was no point in running from us,” he said coldly. “We always get what we want.”
I winced in pain and grabbed my right knee, which was running red. I felt like a bleeding fish in the middle of a shark tank.
Show no fear. Don’t cry.
I forced myself to stand and face my antagonists. Their clothes and tattoos were clearly reflective of the Memphis gang, the Skullbangerz—not that I would be privy to any admission from them about this.
“Ouch! Looks like you got a boo-boo,” said a slim, jumpy guy, eyeing me from the stems up. “Want me to kiss on you to make it all better?”
“No, thanks—you’re really not my type,” I said, thankful I had enough spirit to sound snarky.
“Oohh, she’s a feisty one. I like that in a lady,” he toyed dangerously with me.
“Enough with your mouth. You’re wasting my time.” The tall, muscular gang leader cut him off as he stepped towards me. “Yeah, you got to be her,” he remarked as he studied my face.
“Got to be whom?” I asked sullenly.
“June Jackson’s granddaughter,” Jaydon Swisher announced.
I was surprised that he knew who I was. Everyone around here knew him. Just thinking about his cruel reputation made me shudder.
“How do you know her?” I asked to try to pump information out of him.
“So, you is Mrs. Jackson’s girl?” he quizzed me clearly not wanting to give anything away.
“What’s it to you?”
“You ain’t in the position to be asking questions of me. You give me what I want, and I might let you go in one piece…might. You act uncooperative, and I’ll butcher you up while you’re still alive. Then I’ll mail individual pieces of you wrapped up as Christmas presents to your Grandma. Do you understand what I’m telling you right now?”
He was close enough for me to feel his hot breath on my neck.
I knew most people made idle threats. However, I could tell from the way the other gang members kept their distance from him, Jaydon was telling the Gospel truth.
The waterfall of blood continued to rain down my leg. Every fiber in my being told me to get as far away from them as possible. Unfortunately though, as history had indicated, I was too clumsy to outrun them. So, I stalled for time and willed myself to exhibit grace under fire.
The leader of the pack misinterpreted my silence for newfound cooperation and continued to press me, “So, where is it?”
“Where’s what?”

 

Kathryn RogersAbout the Author:
Kathryn Rogers is a Memphis native with an affinity for local BBQ and blues rock-n-roll. As a licensed therapist, she holds her Masters in Counseling and Psychology, and as a licensed educator, she holds her Bachelors in Education. Her experience providing counseling services to the community prepared her to expound upon the psychological issues her characters wrestle with in her stories. She currently lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her husband, playful preschooler, and rambunctious Labrador Retrievers.
Readers can connect with Kathryn on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.