I know I’ve been absent from my blog for a long time, but I’ve been extending my break from writing my stories to focus on the gaming side of things as well as get through exams and the last stretch of campus. More than that I wanted to spend a significant time reworking many elements of the story and expanding it from where it was before. With the holidays kicking in I’ve returned to writing my next book in full swing, and today I want to share an extract of the book as a teaser.
This teaser is taken out of the early stages of the book, around Chapter 4, and it’s where the story begins to really pick up. If you’d like a recap on what The Black Glass Killer is all about, you can visit my previous blog post which introduces the premise and themes. Otherwise, proceed onward for the teaser.
You can download the teaser in a PDF file through the link next to the header below, or read it on here.
I hope you enjoy it!
*Note: All of this is little more than first draft material, and will most likely be updated as writing goes on. There could be little errors or things like character names that may be changed later on.
The Black Glass Killer Teaser (click here to download a PDF)
After the third ring I finally rose from my seat and answered the door. I gave Leah a hug and inquired about her husband Brian for no reason, to which she responded with the obvious – he was looking after the kids. I greeted my parents next. Leah appeared worried but I could tell my parents had not said anything yet. I almost sighed out loud. I never knew my mother to be melodramatic, so if I had to put money on it I’d say it was something pretty serious. Perhaps a problem of health?
I ushered my family inside and Aria came out to greet them. They put on their best smiles for her, and once she mentioned dinner I knew that the cat would only be out of the bag once the food was gone. And so I switched off and observed time pass as I made conversation and played out my role with a practiced patience. My parents were old at the end of the day, and as such weren’t very interesting. My sister Leah was bubbly, but she’d resigned herself to motherhood and being a housewife and so she wasn’t the best source of stimulating conversation either. Time passed slowly. I allowed my parents to get fussed about my relationship with Aria going forward and then conversation died out as the food was served and we ate. Finally it was all done.
“So mom, what’s the important thing you need to discuss?” I said.
My parents shared looks, and then my mum began to tear up.
“You’re sick,” I said to my mother.
There was a grim silence around the table.
“Damon. Leah,” my dad intervened, “Your mother is fine.”
“What is it, dad?” Leah asked.
My father rubbed his face and breathed out deeply, “I’m not good at this. I’m just going to say it. Look, kids. I went for a check up a while back and the doctors told me they needed to run some tests. After a long and drawn out series of procedures, they gave me some bad news. Told me I have a brain tumour. It’s inoperable. I have a couple of months. I could make it through the remainder of the year, but that would be with a big stroke of good fortune.”
The news set in. Aria held her hand to her mouth, and I could see her eyes already beginning to water. Leah looked completely shocked. Within moments she was weeping and asking my dad all kinds of questions about treatment. My mother remained silent. Aria looked at me with so much of sympathy, and joined my sister in trying to comfort my parents. I just sat there. I had heard the words. I’d understood them. I saw the sadness that it brought on my family. And I could not relate. The revelation came to me as nothing more than a fact I had to digest. I suddenly felt surreal, and detached from my family. I saw them all in grief. I was an outsider to it. I felt no different than I had felt in the minutes prior to my father’s words. The room felt like the saddest place on earth in that moment as even my father became overwhelmed with emotion. Yet I still felt nothing. My father had a tumour. It was inoperable. He’d die in a couple of months. A series of facts. Nothing more. I was equipped to deal with it. I accepted the facts. I watched the despair take hold of my family.
I felt uncomfortable among the sadness. I did not know what to do. I needed to get away. It was not so much that I did not care as it was that I did not feel sorrow – or much of anything. It was as though my father had simply said he was buying a new car. I watched Aria and Leah with something bordering on fascination. It wasn’t envy. It was more curiousity. What was it like to feel that much? To be afflicted by the pain of others? To care so much so effortlessly? Was I the one with the advantage, being in complete control of my emotional output, or was I the one condemned, forced to feel nothing but a vast emptiness while others felt joy and sorrow? Aria looked at me again. Perhaps she figured that my emotions had been shocked. But it was nothing more than a paralysing discomfort in the face of all the pain that I was not a part of.
I rose from my chair and walked away. I heard Aria call to me. Perhaps they’d think that I was dealing with it in my own way. But I had already processed it. There was nothing to deal with. I looked for something to do. I picked up my remote and turned the TV on, unsure why I did it. I chucked the remote at my couch and stood there with my hands in my pockets. Flashing red and blue lights on my TV screen caught my attention. The sounds of grief from my family faded into the distance as I saw something on the news channel. I stepped closer towards the TV screen.
I read the headline on the bottom of the screen. I did not believe it. In this city? It was bizarre. It was unthinkable. It almost seemed like a terrible prank. I read it thrice over as I tried to confirm the words as truth. It was insane. I grabbed my remote again from the couch and turned the volume up, consumed by interest and momentarily forgetting what was going on with my family. I turned the volume up. And I read the headline once again, just to confirm that I was not seeing things.
“Couple found butchered in their home, murderer turns himself in.”
I had not fathomed something like it. Murder never happened around this city. It really didn’t. There was barely any crime to begin with. I sat myself down on my couch as I took in the information that the news report presented. How could I have missed it? It had happened yesterday. My mind had been too preoccupied. From brief snippets I got that there was more to the story than simply two lovers being violently killed in their home. They were parents, and the murderer had apparently taken their six year old daughter and hidden her for reasons no one knew. And he had then inexplicably returned to the couple’s home, called the police and allowed himself to be arrested as he waited on a sofa in front of their mutilated bodies. Curious. Why would anyone do that? Was it personal? Was he sane? Before I knew what to think, I found myself smiling. How intriguing.
Aria had left the kitchen to find me. Her voice sounded worried as she looked at me watching the TV screen. Perhaps she was upset with me and didn’t want to show it, or maybe she was genuinely troubled by my reaction. What my family needed I could not give. It just felt so tiring to think about all the time we’d have to spend treading on eggshells and treating every day like it was the last. While my family grieved in my kitchen, I could only find myself intrigued by the murderer on TV. That held my attention. Aria walked over and took my hand. I looked at her and smiled.
I heard the screech of tires out on the street. Car doors opened and shut. I turned my head to my door then as I heard footsteps rapidly approaching. And then the bell rang. I frowned. Who could possibly be visiting me now? Maybe it was Zane? I made no move to answer my door. But the bell sounded out three more times, revealing the urgency and impatience of whoever was ringing it. I let go of Aria’s hand and trudged over to the door and unlocked it. I pulled it open.
I found myself staring at two men. I immediately could tell that they were police. They wore fine black suits, and their posture and the way they held themselves was far too revealing. It was confirmed when I saw the badge and gun as one of the men’s blazer moved.
“Are you Damon Carter?” the lead officer said.
I studied him. He had an edgy look about him. He was perfectly composed, yet I could pick up subtle aggression in his voice and mannerisms. I could tell that he was not the sort of man who was tolerant, and had little patience. It would have been unwise to provoke him.
“Yes,” I replied.
The badge came up then.
“I’m Detective Rick Grayson, and this is Detective James Mills. We’re going to need you to come with us.”
I frowned, “May I ask why?”
His partner, Mills, spoke up, “Sir, have you been watching the news?”
My heart started to thump. Not with fear or caution, but with excitement.
“Yes. Why is that relevant?”
They exchanged glances. Rick reached into his blazer pocket and pulled out a photograph. He held it up for me to see.
“Do you know this man?” he asked with an unmistakable impatience.
I looked. The man in the picture had short black hair, a hideous scar on his chin and bruises on his skin. His eyes were a golden colour. But I could not tell anything beyond his physical appearance. I did not know the man. Nothing came to mind. Aria came to my side then.
“Can’t this wait, officers? We’re in the middle of a family issue,” Aria said.
“I’m sorry. It can’t wait,” Rick said.
“No I don’t know him. Should I?” I inquired, eager to find out more.
“He knows you,” Rick said.
“The murderer on TV? Why would he?” I asked.
“That was what we were hoping you could explain to us, Mr Carter,” Mills said.
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“Damon, your father needs you,” Aria whispered.
“I know. I’m sorry. Leah is there. And you. Give me a moment with these men. Something tells me they won’t want to come back in the morning.”
“No, we won’t,” Rick said.
Aria lingered for a moment before returning to my family. I was unsure what had went through her mind. But I knew we’d talk about it at a later stage. I turned back to Rick and Mills.
Rick smiled, “He said his name was Sebastian.”
I narrowed my eyes. Obviously it wasn’t my brother. But it was personal. I realised that the killer was proving that he knew me. It was how he’d make sure I came along.
“Mean anything to you?” Rick pressed.
I could tell that he knew it did. He was trying to get under my skin. Mills looked harmless. But there was something about Rick that was unnerving. I returned my thoughts to the matter at hand. I realised with a strange feeling that I felt more comfortable with the cops than I did with my family and their grief. It was all very interesting, but I of course could not understand the full picture. I hurriedly put together what facts I could deduce, and once I was satisfied with what I knew I nodded. I could learn nothing further from these men. I would have to go.
“Take me to see him.”
Rick and his partner exchanged incredulous looks.
“What?” I asked.
Mills narrowed his eyes, “Most people don’t come running at the call of a murderer, Damon Carter.”
“Most people are dull.”
They stared at me. I sighed.
“Surprise is such a wasted emotion – it doesn’t change facts.”
“Facts?” Mills said, as if doubtful of what I could possibly know.
I did not want to waste anymore time. I wanted to see what it was about.
“I presume that if this killer has requested me personally, then he will not talk to you. There is a missing girl and she is your priority right now. You’re at the mercy of the murderer’s demands. You don’t have the luxury of choice. If you don’t give him what he wants, the girl dies. Now because the killer apparently knows who I am, it’s personal and obviously there must be some kind of connection. I do not know what it is yet. So we can stand around being surprised or we can proceed and discover what exactly this is about. I’m sure you’re eager to know as well.”
Mills gawked as though I was absurd, but Rick nodded with a smile.
“Suits me just fine, Mr Carter. Patience isn’t my strongest suit. Let’s go see what the wolf wants with the common lamb.”
Strange analogy. Rick sounded as interested as I was. I made a mental note to be wary of him. I followed them out of my door and locked it behind me. And for the first time in I didn’t know how long, the restlessness began to fade.