For the last year or so I’ve been focused mainly on the Cast Down series I’m working on. It’s a paranormal series; ghosts and demons and hauntings and such. I love horror movies. Love scary stories, always have. But it’s not the only thing I’ve written.
My other child is a detective series. There are currently four installments available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle); The Orchids Killer, Fallen Angel, The Foreshadowing and Turn a Blind Eye. I love TV series like Law and Order, NYPD Blue, LA Law, CSI, NCIS… and I wanted to give readers something similar in format to those shows. The books follow a tightly knit group of detectives through several different cases; a killer going after high priced escorts, a deep undercover operation in the home of a drug lord that goes horribly wrong, a serial killer who’s weapon of choice is cyanide coated condoms and a blind profiler who comes on board to help catch him. I blindfolded myself for a weekend while I was writing it so that I could better get into that character’s head. The research I did on serial killers was extensive and utterly fascinating. I learned so much about the twisted working of the killers’ minds and hope that my characters carried that through to the readers. Pretty serious topics, right? Right! But that doesn’t mean there can’t be romance. And it doesn’t even mean there can’t be some comedic moments, either. So, I wanted to share a small glimpse into the newest one of the series I’m working on. The working title is By Raphael Bound and it revolves around a fanatical religious cult.
Chapter 7 – Flight of the Hamster
FLIGHT OF THE HAMSTER
The former Mrs. Thompson knew she had reached the end of her rope as she opened the door to the pet shop. The twins split up, running down the aisles as the salesgirl approached the harried looking mother.
“Can I help you?” the girl asked, stopping to admire the young child in Nicole’s arms.
“Yeah, where do you keep your rodents?” she sighed tiredly.
“What kind of rodents are you looking for?” the teenage clerk asked with an uncertain smile.
“Hamsters,” the tired customer replied, with just a touch of distaste. She’d despised any kind of rodent for years, since an incident during her days in the mercenary trade.
The clerk smiled. “In the back, I think your kids have already found them.”
“Of course they have,” she muttered under her breath, heading off towards the back of the shop.
Cait and Paul had indeed found the little fuzzballs. And had already fallen completely in love with one of the squirming, filthy little beasts.
“Okay, guys,” their mother reminded them, “don’t forget, you have to clean its cage every day, and feed it and give it water–“
“We will!!!” Cait smiled up at her and her heart melted. Her eldest child hadn’t smiled at her in months.
“Okay, then point out the one you want to the saleslady and we’ll take it home.”
There was a round of cheers from the twins that made Nicole feel like maybe there was some purpose to life after all. The kids had been so depressed the last few weeks. Getting them their first pet was a last-ditch effort to cheer them up and it was working. It was working on her as well. She realized that a hamster was a poor substitute for the father they were really missing… then again, the hamster didn’t lie, cheat and argue. The hamster was looking better and better.
Better and better until the $6.95 rat wound up costing several times its original purchase price in accessories. A HabiTrail set, a wheel for it to run on, food, cage litter…. However, the look of excitement on her children’s faces was priceless. Who says money can’t buy happiness?
One week later….
Kevin knocked again. The Mustang was in the driveway, Nicole had to be home. He was one minute away from using his spare key, when the door swung open. His ex-partner greeted him with an embarrassed smile. She was dressed in black, holding Bethany in one arm, who was also dressed in black. In her other hand she held a cardboard shoebox which looked as though it had been colored black… in crayon.
“C’mon in, Kevin, you’re just in time.”
“In time for what?” he asked curiously. He received no answer as she turned and headed back through the house, signaling him to follow.
Nicole lead her former partner out to the backyard, where he found Paul and Cait, dressed in black, standing by a small, freshly dug hole under a large tree. Kevin pulled up short with a groan, realizing what he’d just walked in to.
Nicole handed the box to a teary-eyed Cait, who stooped to place it in the hole.
“Go ahead, Caitlyn, we’re listening,” Nicole told the little girl in her most sympathetic voice.
Cait looked at her audience with serious eyes before opening her mouth. “Here lies Burpy the hamster,” she choked out passed her tears. “Nobody tol’ me he couldn’t fly.” This last she delivered with a slightly angry look at her mother before continuing, “Rest in peace.”
Rest in pieces is more like it. Nicole cringed inwardly at the thought.
The funeral concluded and Cait led the mourners back into the house for hot chocolate.
“Fly?” Kevin whispered to his friend as she walked in behind the kids.
“Hey… how was I supposed to know she really wanted a parakeet?”
Kevin bit back on the laughter he felt bubbling up inside him. “Dare I ask?”
Nicole shook her head sadly. “Poor little Burpy took his maiden flight out the second story window. Musta been quite a rush.”