Proud to announce the next Lance Priest/Preacher novel will be released in December. The title for this episode is: The Perfect Instinct: Trieste 48.
Lance is on an “off the books” mission in Trieste, Italy. Expect the usual, which is of course, the unusual. No one is who they seem. Everyone is playing an angle. Preacher is there for one thing and one thing only.
This episode is somewhat similar to en el Medio. It is a shorter story and packed into a few days.
Here is the book’s cover:
She’d waited years this time. But lately, it called to her as she walked past the bulletin board. She wondered what Sarah would look like now, after so long.
She hadn’t touched it in years. The Polaroid photo pinned to the cork showed its age, the fading at the picture’s edge. The once white of the print’s frame now yellowing.
Slightly off center in the photo of a woman. The image showed the woman sporting a half smile. She appeared to be in her early 40s. Pretty. Strong cheekbones. Shoulder length brown hair tickled with slivers of grey. Sarah, her sister.
She stepped closer to the board hung in her home study. She leaned in close. She met the half smile with one of her own.
After a stretch of moments lost in a distant past, she gathered the strength to lift her hand and touch the print. She hadn’t in a decade. She caressed the right edge of the square photo. She then raised her other hand to grasp the pushpin holding the fading image to the board. She was careful to only puncture the print one time years ago and place the pin back through the single hole.
She pulled the pin and gripped the corner of the photo. Her smile faded, like the image of her sister in hand.
Her lips pursed and a tear eased its way from the corner of her eye.
She’d waited long enough; more than 10 years this time. Too long.
She lowered the Polaroid to her side and gently shook it as she’d done nearly five decades earlier. She closed her eyes, breathed deep, cleansing breaths. Exhaling for what felt like the first time in ages.
After a full minute lost in thought and time and memory, she opened her eyes. Tears rolled down both cheeks.
She slowly raised the photo and gazed at a fresh Polaroid. It could have been taken moments earlier. As she waited for the brownish grey of the solid block to change, she went back, to that day. It never faded. Never would.
As the image came into view, her face changed from frown to half to full smile. And then she laughed.
Her sister, like herself was now an older woman with grey hair giving way to white. She was beautiful, half-smile and all.
She immediately pinned the photo back to the bulletin board and turned away, running out of the room, down and hall and outside to the back yard.
From the yard she could see the creek still flowing. The same creek that took her sister that same day the Polaroid was taken. When she and her twin sister were nine.
iPhone Notes Story
ORD – TUL 04.14.16
A trip is not a fall. A measly little moment lacking of acutely honed and constant focus does not mean an end. Time was always working against him. It worked to peel away the glossy sheen of decency. Always.
He was out, free. That world of violence and painful loss and ever more violence was gone, over.
It was an instant. A flash within a moment. No warning.
React. Act. Continue action through resolution.
In truth, it was the squint of an eye. A spark. Recognition. The man saw him, saw through the years.
No time. No choice. He’d pounced, left behind years of civility. The man was barely past recognition before his life was ended, extinguished. Left behind.
But a trip, a momentary stumble to what was is not a fall. A street light lit the grey of his head, shoulders, back and then nothing. It was just a moment.
iPhone Notes Story
ORD – TUL 04.13.16
‘Twas hate that brought him here.
Something else, something not clear inside his crystal sharp mind kept him from completing his mission. Complete darkness enveloped him, allowing him to explore this interloper within.
Nothing, no one could stop him thus far. Merciless were his actions along this path paved with violent tithings
But here, at his ultimate and final destination, with a definitive end literally within reach, he hesitated. Why?
The power severed. The windows blackened. The pets and children removed silently. He sat back in the kitchen chair he’d brought to the bedroom.
Here before him lay the root cause of a decade of hate and reciprocation. This was an end, a righteous end. This night the culmination of an epoch. He’d done the impossible in surviving and gone fathoms, lifetimes beyond possibility to arrive here tonight.
Huh, that was strange. Felt somewhat like remorse, angst. It brought a smile.
He squeezed his hands fitted tightly within leather gloves. He squeezed them again. The noise was like a sudden thunderstorm racing through a black night.
The seat and seed of his hate awoke just long enough to die. His life ebbed between leather gloves and was gone.
Hatred is never satisfying; merely a means to a deserved end.
iPhone Notes Story
ATL – DFW 03.26.16
The end comes for all.
For the lucky ones, it sneaks into a darkened bedroom and gathers up the remaining days and years and pulls them away like a thinning blanket, dragging them under the door into the darkness of what was once forever.
For those less graced, it comes in the night, in the form of a shadowy devil bent on crushing, smashing, obliterating those remaining days.
iPhone Notes Story 03.25.16
These violent times. They incite such blood, such boil.
The Caribbean does not end.
A wave lapping gently, effortlessly upon the pristine shore is not an end. The ankle caressed by such timeless magic knows this. The ear serenaded by this peerless symphony knows it will never hear the same again.
The Caribbean does not end when one finally, reluctantly turns away from breathtaking view.
It does not end when calm soothing warmth is left behind. It stays. It remains. It forever travels with those infinitely graced within an untouched and permanent moment.