Wow…2011! What a difference a year makes! I am alive and blessed to be surrounded by wonderful, warm, loving people in my life. This year proves to be even better. In February, the second book in my Menacing Trilogy, “Medieval Menace” will be coming out in e-book format. For my readers, I am giving you a sneak peek at what’s to come by posting the Preface and Chapter One right here for you to read in advance. Enjoy!
Starleen needed a distraction. The last book she read helped take her away from her troubles, but once she finished it, the troubles came back with a vengeance. Today was her fourth session with therapist, Doctor Geoffrey Harmon, PhD. She liked him, but found him rather annoying at times. He was insistent that she write in her journal and take those horrible meds he prescribed.
Killer, her toy Chihuahua was jumping all over her, as she was getting ready to leave.
“Get down, boy; I have to go. Don’t worry, I’ll be back and we can go on a walk together,” she said, convinced he understood every word.
She opened the door just a crack—so Killer wouldn’t get out—squeezed through and quickly made her way to the bus stop.
It was early autumn and the leaves were just beginning to turn their fall hue. Red, gold, orange, yellow and brown sparsely adorned the trees threatening more change only days away.
Twenty-five minutes later, she walked into Doctor Harmon’s office.
“Good morning, Starleen. How are you today?”
“Care to elaborate?”
“How can I help if you don’t tell me what’s on your mind?”
“You’re the doctor, you figure it out. Isn’t that why you went to some fancy school? You know, to earn that thing you have hanging on the wall?”
“It’s called a diploma,” he said matter-of-factly.
“I know that!”
“I worked hard for that thing. It’s your proof that I’m qualified to help you. Now why don’t you tell me what’s on your mind today?”
“Why? Do you really care?”
“I wouldn’t have agreed to take you on as a patient if I didn’t care.”
“How do I know you’re not just looking for a guaranteed paycheck from my insurance company?”
“You got me there,” he said chuckling. “I’ll tell you what; why don’t you give me a chance and see what we can accomplish together?”
“Fine,” she bellowed. “I was dating a man, Spencer; he had sex with me. I fell in love with him. Then I had to dump him when I caught him with another woman. When I go on my walks, I can’t remember where I’ve been and it’s starting to piss me off just a little,” she said holding her forefinger and thumb about one half inch apart to demonstrate. “Happy now?”
“That you told me something yes, but that you were obviously hurt…no.”
“What do you know,” she said turning her face to the window, “the doctor has a heart. I didn’t think any man had a heart, except my father.”
Trying to get her attention back toward him, he said, “Not every man is heartless you know.”
“Can’t prove it by me.”
“Starleen, you’re wasting my time and yours if you don’t open up a little. Tell me something about yourself, maybe then you’ll be comfortable enough to start getting to the root of your real problems.”
“The root of my real problems? I’ll tell you the root of my real problems. Spencer Knowles…and you! He deserves to be taught a lesson, a very painful lesson. His cronies deserve one too, always making nasty remarks and yelling at me when we’d go into the shop together.”
Starleen was a beauty. She stood five foot, ten inches tall, had long, brown hair, big, round, deep green eyes and a very trim little body. She wasn’t at all overweight. In fact, she was rather muscular for a woman. She liked lifting weights and training at the local gym. Her body had become quite sculpted over the past couple of years. The weight training had become a very positive outlet for her frustrations. It helped her concentrate on something that was just for her and kept her mind off of Spencer—if only for a short time.
“Is that it? I thought I was one of your problems,” he asked.
“I just need you to get off my back,” she barked.
“Okay, I can see we’re not going to get anywhere today. Why don’t you go home and come back to see me in a week.”
“Starleen, come back with a better attitude or you will need to find another therapist. I don’t have the time to waste on someone who isn’t willing to work.”
“You’re good at your job right?” she asked sarcastically.
“Actually, I’m quite good, but if you don’t want to talk to me, why continue to come and just sit here? I learned a lot in college, but mind reading wasn’t one of them. I can give your scheduled appointment to another patient who really needs and wants my help. This is our fourth session and I know virtually nothing about you or why you started coming here. I can’t help if you don’t talk to me.”
Knowing he was right, she said, “I’ll be back next week.”
“Ready to work?”
“Yes, Doctor Harmon, ready to work.”
“Don’t forget to take your medication.”
“To hell with the medication,” she said opening the door the leave.
“And write in that journal too,” he said, more as an order than a suggestion as she shut the door behind her.
Walking down a narrow alley was never a smart thing to do, especially in this neighborhood, but Justin didn’t care. He was six foot one and tough enough to take care of himself no matter the circumstance.
With his car in sight, he stopped to light a cigarette. That single move turned out to be a serious mistake. Without warning, someone jumped him from behind, throwing a strong arm around his throat to strangle him. Justin dropped the cigarette, managed to break free and turned to face his attacker. Standing before him was a masked assailant, slightly smaller than he in stature, but incredibly determined. His attacker again lunged for Justin and grabbing his throat, knocked him to the ground.
Justin fought as hard as he could, but his attacker was relentless and eventually Justin passed out from the lack of oxygen. The assailant pulled him by the ankles to his car. Searching every pocket, the figure found Justin’s keys and put him in the trunk. Sliding in behind the wheel, the attacker took a few deep breaths to regain composure before calmly driving away.
Twenty minutes later, Justin’s car pulled up to an old abandoned warehouse that was once the local automotive dealership, O’Malley’s, now at a new location. Opening the trunk, the assailant dragged Justin’s still unconscious body to the giant door. The menace struggled for just a moment to get it open, but once inside, pulled Justin all the way to the back of the warehouse. It was dark with the exception of one, dim light hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room.
An hour later, Justin began to stir. Sitting up, he wanted to rub his throat to ease the aching he felt. It took him only a few seconds to realize he was not only handcuffed, but shackled to a chain-link belt that was secured around his waist. It was much like how he saw prisoners bound on the news. He belt had a short chain extension that was fastened to the wall as well, giving him limited ability to move away from it. He could see a darkened figure across the room. A searing rage engulfed him at seeing the person he believed did this to him.
“What the hell is going on?” he bellowed trying to break free of the chains.
“All will become clear when I’m ready to explain. Unfortunately for you, that time is not here yet.”
“You’re ready now, you freak!”
“I don’t think you have any choice, do you?”
Struggling to clear his mind and vision, Justin wasn’t able to identify any distinction in the voice. He correctly surmised that the assailant was using a voice-altering device in an attempt to mask his voice pattern.
“You’re a coward,” spat Justin.
“You needed to knock me out and chain me up to be in control. That’s being a coward.”
“Perhaps by your definition; I prefer to think of it as…keeping things in order.”
“Why don’t you just tell me what this is all about so I can do what you want and be done with it,” Justin said feigning calmness.
“As I said, all will be revealed when I’m ready and not one moment sooner.”
Justin felt his anger and fear begin to stir once more.
Trying in futility to break free, he screamed, “Let me go!”
Ignoring Justin’s words, his captor asked, “You work with Spencer Knowles, don’t you?”
“I don’t speak freak, you’ll have to explain. What does this have to do with Spencer?”
Approaching with a syringe, the figure said, “Just making small talk, Justin. Now be a good boy and go to sleep.”
Shoving a hypodermic needle into Justin’s, the assailant injected the large dose of Valium he purchased on the street.
Waiting for the drug to work, the figure continued, “There’s no use trying to escape, you are now mine to do with as I please; sweet dreams.”
“Don’t leave me here, please!” he begged, trying to remain awake.
His captor only laughed quickly leaving Justin behind with the slamming of the heavy, warehouse door.