Friday, January 31, 2014

Classic Rock or Crooner Music? Excerpt of Silent Graves

Excerpt: Chapter 2, Silent Graves

Woodbridge, Virginia
September, Tuesday morning

A couple months had passed, but I was still getting used to sleeping alone. Most mornings I would roll on my left side, open my eyes, and expect Deb to be lying there. Every time I did this, it met with the same result. I was alone.

The mornings were hard to take. At night my mind was usually preoccupied with the day's events, a current case, or the complicated relationship that existed between Paige and me. We had just closed a case a few days ago, and it was easier to let go of that than the continuing innuendos that remained, as fissures, beneath the surface of our relationship. I loved her, in a way, but not on the level she required. She acted as if everything was fine, but I knew—I sensed—it wasn't.

I rolled over and faced the clock. Five a.m.

I returned to my back and stared at the ceiling. It was hard adapting to the early mornings, but these days I usually beat the alarm. Even on days off, my body would wake me.

ACDC's Thunderstruck came on, and, at the same time, my cell vibrated on the nightstand. I rolled over again and sat up. It wasn't like I would be getting more sleep anyhow.

"Rise and shine, Kid."

I rubbed a hand across my brow. Even though I had earned being called by name from Supervisory Special Agent Jack Harper, periodically old habits would resurface and, with it, the nicknames. "What's up?"

"What's up? Am I some friend now? I'm your boss."

"I'll save professional for office hours." I said the sardonic statement with a grin I'm sure he didn't miss. In this career, there was no such thing as set hours.

"Come in straight to the meeting room today. We've got a new case." 

"Sure."

"What's that noise in the background? Have you been partying all night?"

I hit the button and turned it off. "It's ACDC, classic rock."

"Well, it's not music. Music is—"

"I know—The Rat Pack, Natalie Cole, Michael BublĂ©."

"Don't knock it, Kid, and there's nothing wrong with Michael."

Yeah, I suppose, if you're good with the crooner music in the first place.

"See you soon," I said.

"Don't be late."

I rolled my eyes, wishing the expression weren't lost on the walls of my bedroom, yet thankful he couldn't witness it, or I might be searching for a new job.

I rose from the bed and flicked on the stereo, turning up Nickelback's Burn it to the Ground until the glass in this old house rattled. I loved this song, and loud was the way I preferred it.

I had an hour to make it to the office. I wrapped my hands and wrists with tape, and then started beating on the heavy bag I had installed in the bedroom. Deb never would have let it happen, but I didn't have her to worry about anymore. 

With each impact, I let it go—the stress, the anger, the frustration, the lack of control. The physical movement drained the negative and infused me with the positive. 

Adrenaline pumped through me, and I embraced it, as I roundhouse kicked the bag. It swung on its chains. I reset the bag and had at it again. 

The song changed to the next on the playlist—Poison's Nothing But a Good Time. 

Damn. Now this was music.

I uppercut and jabbed at the bag mercilessly, going at it as if sucking its life force.

Thirty minutes later, sweating profusely, I headed for the shower. There was no better way to start the day. In a matter of minutes, I'd be facing the next monster to cross paths with the FBI.

~~~
Silent Graves officially releases February 12, 2014. For more information, you can also visit its page on my site here.