Crime Thirller – Suspense/Mystery
Date Published: June 2013
Publisher: Champagne Books
An open and shut case of vandalism leaves more questions than answers for PI Nick Sibelius, as he untangles a knot of egomania, desire and greed. When entrepreneur Dan Hoyt makes a deal with virtual gaming icon, Izzy Zydeco, to partner in a desalination project Hoyt begins to count his money. Unknown to Hoyt, his partner has bigger and more insidious plans, which involves betraying a major drug cartel and, in a twisted business strategy to build a customer base for desalinated water, contaminating the Austin water supply for the next century. Working with a covert Homeland Security agent and past love, MaryLou and his new partner, Theresa, Nick must thwart Izzy and ultimately choose between justice and saving Theresa’s life. Water is up for grabs in Texas and Nick discovers that H2O is a dirty business.
Charity’s universe demanded blood for the pain she endured.
She sat in her black Nissan Leaf, silent but for the sound of the impatient tapping of her fingers on the steering wheel. Her eyes fixed on a red roof tiled Spanish revival number in the cul-de-sac of Island Palms Cove, a street lined with multi-million dollar mansions along a custom built peninsula on Lake Austin. Ignoring the opulence, she watched a fire red Ferrari 430, license plate number HNJ 793.
Her hopped up, speed addicted, hacker of a cousin Larry had provided, as usual, the required critical information. She’d handed him her standard envelop with his “medication” and a license plate number. Several hours later, he emailed an encrypted file with all of the particulars, including a code for the security gate. Charity would make Daniel Hoyt pay for his disrespect of cyclists.
She pondered the idea of sticking a gun in Hoyt’s, mouth. She’d pull the trigger, watching his brain matter splatter across the mirrored surface of his fucking Italian super car. Imagining how sun-baked blood and brain would absolutely eat right through the clear coat, destroying his mirror finish, gave her a visceral pleasure. Balance. Don’t worry about the future, girl, focus on the goal.
Sitting in her carbon zero car, she downed a non-fat latte, one power bar and an electrolyte packed coconut water. Her hip ached and the need to take a piss rose with some urgency. For a moment she considered packing it in for the day, knowing she could come back tomorrow. Tapping an iPod strapped to her arm, a high energy male voice filled her ear buds.
Are you haunted by demons? Do you find your plans faltering? Do you let your fear of failure stop you from achieving your goals?”
Charity spoke out loud to her demons – the lazy, fat, loser demons who always haunted her whenever she “hit the wall” during a race or a workout.
“Come on, Charity! Push it! Push through it, goddamn it! Let’s go. Let’s go!”
The podcast continued. “How do you approach life? ‘Fire, ready, aim’? To live with intention, to live consciously in the world, you must rearrange your world from ‘fire, ready, aim’ to ‘ready, aim, fire!’”
Charity stepped out of the car into a warm, humid summer morning. She scanned the area, then pulled down her black tech fabric riding shorts. Squatting, she kept her legs far enough apart to avoid the splashing stream of urine. While peeing felt good, the indignity of the moment set off her ongoing anger at God. Men had pricks they could just hang out at will to pee.
If God was a woman, then women, whenever the mood or necessity warranted, would be able to yank a man’s prick right off, like the tail of a chameleon, who scurries away nub-butted while you hold the still twitching member in your hand.
The energetic male voice pulled her back to the task at hand, “What is ‘Ready’? You are ready when mind, body and spirit, when your whole being is a coiled spring for action. Can you feel your creative, life spirit tension about to explode?”
Charity repeated her mantra. “Yes, I am Ready. I am a coiled spring. I am a creative explosion.”
Finishing, she pulled her shorts up over her long and freckled muscular legs, watching her quads flex as she smoothed the leg band. As had been the pattern for the last three days, Hoyt had not left his house before 6:30 am. She checked her pink GPS enabled training watch. 5:05 am. Plenty of time.
“Readiness is not sufficient. To be powerful you must AIM. A for Attitude, the attitude of a winner. I for Intention, intending with heart, mind and soul the reality you will create. And M for Manifestation, making your power real in the world.”
“I am ready. I am a winner. I will manifest my power to create life exactly how I want it. Let’s go, Charity.”
Pulling the trunk release, she reached for her Iron Divas black and pink workout bag with a white skeleton riding a pink road bike, the skeletal rider’s long flaming hair trailing behind, teeth gritted ferociously. She took in a breath and slightly bent her knees, feeling the strain of her triceps flexing under the load of the bag. Her focus on Hoyt had taken her off the daily workout regimen. Just one more reason she hated this sonofabitch. Opening the bag, she pulled out a one liter opaque plastic bottle filled with a batch of highly concentrated fox urine she had purchased at Hill Country Outfitters the day before.
“I am a winner. I will prevail.”
Moving quickly, she jogged the two blocks to an expansive home with terra cotta roof tiles and her target red sports car in the driveway. She crept to the driver’s side of the Ferrari, checking the door. No alarm. Even though she had a “smash and go” plan if needed, it pissed her off the egotistical jerk assumed no one would dare mess with his ride. She worked fast. Placing a gel pack on the driver’s side door to dampen the sound, she punched a quarter inch hole through the carbon fiber door with a titanium drill bit. Charity pulled a battery powered pump with two drooping hoses from her bag. One hose connected to the urine filled bottle. She slipped the other hose, fitted with a tiny spray nozzle, into the hole, then flipped the switch. The pump hummed. A sulfurous stench filled the morning air, as urine flowed through clear plastic tubing, disappearing into Hoyt’s sports car’s door. A fine mist sprayed out the nozzle onto the interior and custom red and black racing seats. Her pump strained, having emptied the container. She pulled the hose out, causing some liquid to dribble down the door, splashing onto the drive. Charity took a breath in through her nose, the stench like diarrhea and burnt hair causing her to gag, acidic vomit coming up in her mouth.
Be strong. Be confident. Be courageous.
Closing her eyes she regained her focus, put the equipment back into her bag and twisted a bullet shaped tampon into the hole, its pale blue string dangling in the air.
She ran back, tossing her gear in the trunk, then drove to the Laguna Gloria Museum parking lot to put on her cycling shoes, helmet, gloves and riding glasses. 5:55 am. She lifted her pink carbon road bike off the roof rack, checked tire pressure and brakes, then clipped in, heading back to Hoyt’s house. Her legs burned as she conquered the gradual slope of Mount Bonnell Road. She was strong, powerful, in control. Hoyt had begun his crucible of becoming her fifth target. But as she shifted through the gears, Charity reminded herself while Target #5 would be fun, she had come to Austin with a singular purpose: to kill her brother’s murderer.
Yes, the Universe demands a balance of blood for pain.
About the Author
Richard Hacker’s novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne Books was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category. He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.
After living many years in Austin, Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle. While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown fond of the Pacific Northwest. His writing partner, a springer spaniel named Jazz, helps with proofreading and ball fetching.
DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, will be released June, 2013. He is currently working on the third book in the series, CHAIN REACTION, as well as a young adult fantasy entitled INKER WARS: THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANN.
Visit him online at http://www.richardhacker.com
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1. Who was pitching in Nick’s dream? ____
A. Sandy Koufax
2. What mythological creature terrifies Charity? ____
3. Jonah Martin plays one of Izzy Zydeco’s virtual games. What is it? ____
A. Mujahid Deathmatch 1.2
Kill Bird Death Knell
Argo Blaster Kill Zone 3
Pro Tennis Courtside
4. What is Dan Hoyt building on the Texas coast? ___
A. Spa Resort
B. Margarita Machine Factory
Suntan lotion boutique
5. Nick has a run-in with what drug cartel? ____
A. Tres cerditos
Los Tejanos Diablos
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