Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 Novel Series #4: Hunter

I'm trying to catch up on these and be more active, really. Life gets distracting and tiring plus I like to just sit and write when I go home. Writing is a different kind of thinking than what goes into these blog posts and I'd rather think like a writer.

Anyway, this was book 4 of the year which was started and finished in March. It's also book 6 of the Mystery Series.

Hunter carries on the story of the same main characters found in the prior books of the series: Face Snatcher, Hanger, Dryer, Witches, and Car Jacking. The details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller fiction

Word Count: 71,825

Prompt: I think it had something to do with an alternate method for the killer in Face Snatcher keeping the faces. Someone mentioned beheading them and mounting them like animals and well, yeah.

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Michael Brown, and our killer.

Minor Characters of Note: Patterson, Chief of Police, who still doesn't have a first name. Sable Abella, Knight, and Steel. Knight and Steel also don't have first names for some reason. I've no idea why.

Summation: Homosexual couples found in mattresses in local dumps with no heads and shot through the heart. Yep.

High Points: Abella

Low Points: Lucy and her girlfriend Anne

The World: Ours.

Memorable Lines:

The smell of rotting refuse was strong in the mid-morning sun. James squinted against the sun and took a light breath as he, Mia, Lucy, and Abella were led deeper into the dump. The call had come half an hour ago and Patterson assigned them to what would be the new case.
One of the workers at the Bin There, Dump That dump had become suspicious of a mattress. It looked lumpy, weird things were leaking out of it, and it smelled worse than other things. James had no idea how the man could tell how horrible the mattress in question smelled being surrounded by garbage but he didn't question it, not yet.
James winced as he had to step over something brown and unidentifiable. They took a turn around a mound of garbage and there it was. The mattress in question had been dragged down from a pile and cut open. Inside the man had found a human arm. That was when the man called his boss and the boss had come down then called the station.
The operator at the station passed the call to Patterson who immediately called James. Now here they were on a cool September 10th, walking through a dump to see what was left of the human body in a mattress.

"This was a shot gun blast, single shot, precise so the unsub is a hunter of some description. As for the removal of the head, that was done after he drained the body of blood via this cut through the throat. Again: another hunter's tactic. The head was removed cleanly, no sawing or hesitation. I'm going to guess that he's mounting the heads after doing some kind of modified taxidermy on them." Lucy explained.

"Why do people always take heads as trophies?" James asked.
"To establish dominance over the victim, you know, prove their power and prowess in battle." McGregor said.

She smirked when he looked up at her and nodded. The half-amused, half-exasperated look on his face told her that he knew it all ready. It had been a rhetorical question. McGregor had a thing for answering those.

"So we've got a homophobic hunter killing homosexuals because someone he loves came out and he thinks homosexuality is for lesser beings?" (Yes, yes you do.)

"I said "no," what part of that don't you understand? The 'n' or the 'o'?"

"It doesn't matter how much martial arts you know when you're faced with a 12 gauge shotgun bullet."

"We talked about how many hard-asses who swear in Japanese are allowed to be on this team." Mia said.
"I'll take my punishment later. We've got to meet the Sato's soon." James told her.

"That's a heart-attack waiting to happen." James commented.
"Yeah but it's so good. And hey, I'd rather die happy than resort to eating non-greasy health food." Brown said.

"That is one big mother fucking mug."
James looked up to see Mia with still damp hair and a look of jealousy on her face. She was staring at his mug.
"Thanks. It holds a pot of coffee." James told her.
"You're going to be so wired later." Mia said.

"Kuso." Mia muttered.
"Faku." Lucy murmured.
"Mierda." Abella added after a beat.
James wanted to laugh when Mia and Lucy looked at Abella so quickly that he was sure they might have whiplash.
"Did you just swear in Spanish?" Mia asked.
"Yes? Everyone else was swearing in their mother-tongue, so, yes." Abella said.
James leaned back and watched with a grin on his face. He was almost glad it was close to 6PM. Suddenly Lucy started chuckling and Mia joined in. Abella looked relieved then stared at James.
"You didn't." Abella said.
"I'm not allowed to be the other hard-ass that curses in Japanese. That's apparently reserved for Lucy. And I'm too muddle-blooded to have a "mother-tongue" besides English." James said.
"I never actually asked your ethnic background. Is it bad that I feel bad?" Mia asked.
"Nope. My mother's side is from Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. As far as I know my father's side was Polish, Russian, and Norwegian." James told her.
"All blond and blue-eyed. That's really kind of creepy." Lucy said.

"It's all CSI's fault. That damned show raised a generation to think this job is glamorous when you're normally ankle deep in some kind of shit and start thinking that if you don't smell death in a week it's been a bad week, job wise. Most of them drop out in first year when they see pictures of actual wounds. If they make it to graduation, they drop out of mentoring because god-forbid they deal with a real dead person. Urg. I hope Anderson gets them (new students) both."

"That would be me. Hacker-God, Dragon-God, knower of all things tech." Brown said.

"Homosexuals, why did he have to go after people like me? Why couldn't it be someone normal like you? Why is it always the weird, fucked up ones that society hates? Why can't people like me be happy for once. Just fucking once. I've had enough of life beating the shit out of me. It's fucking bullshit."

"Abella, hey. Oh great, you broke my assistant. You're going to have to buy me a new one." Lucy said.

"Um, there's a whip in here." Abella said.
"Neither owned a horse." McGregor mentioned.
McGregor turned to see that Abella had dropped the whip and was blushing furiously. Abella took a breath and McGregor shook her head.
"How can you stare at a maggot and not get grossed out but freak out at the mention of kinky sex?" McGregor asked.
"I'm so glad you didn't say kinky fuckery. And maggots, well, they're not gross. I don't know. It's not the thought of sex it's just, weird? No, that's not the right word. I'm not, well, that experienced and stuff, so yeah." Abella explained.
"Kinky fuckery?" McGregor asked. (I love how that's all she gets out of the explanation.)

"God never reveals his secrets. It'd blow up the universe."

James waited until Mia stood beside him. They shared a glance and knew this would be the most dangerous chase of their entire careers.
"I only have six bullets." James said.
"You fucking idiot." Mia told him.

"You can dress him up and clean him up all you want but I don't think we can ever integrate him into normal society." Lucy said (about Brown).

Saturday, May 3, 2014

2014 Novel Series #3: Car Jacking

I'm way behind on these and I'm sorry. I've been going through a lot of crap (which has become normal) and most of the time the only thing I can do after work is write or work on my "painting in Photoshop" skills.

Anyway, this was book 3 of the year started in February and finished in February. This was also the second (and last) month I decided to try and keep my two book a month goal. More on that here. Finally, this is book five of a 13 book series.

Like it's counter-parts (Face Snatcher, Hanger, Dryer, and Witches) Car Jacking looks into the lives of the same main characters solving another weird-ass crime. Here we go:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller fiction

Word Count: 76,295

Prompt: You know what? I can't even remember for this one. I think it was a Criminal Minds episode.

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Michael Brown, and our killer.

Minor Characters of Note: Patterson, Chief of Police, who still doesn't have a first name. Sable Abella, Knight, and Steel.

Summation: Two guys who have nearly identical lives go missing with their cars over a period of six months.

High Points: Mia, James, Lucy, and Michael all get promotions in this one: new offices, new stuff, and yeah.

Low Points: Knight and Steel decide to take off. Heck if I know why.

The World: Ours.

Memorable Lines:

“They almost match completely. My facial recognition software will tell us just how close in a few minutes.” Michael said.
“Okay, so what does it mean?” Mia asked.
“The unsub hates someone who looks like these two. He might be practicing on people who look similar to the person he hates before killing the person he hates.” James said.
“So why the hate?” Michael returned.
“Well, it could be jealously.” Lucy replied.
“Jealousy and rage are most common when a person practices. They don’t want to screw up the actual kill.” James added.
“And he’s practicing because he’s afraid of screwing up? So the person is important to him somehow, right?” Mia enquired.
James grinned and nodded. He caught Lucy smiling but Michael simply shook his head as he began gathering information on the two men.

“On it like Sonic.” Michael said.
James was glad that both Mia and Lucy looked as confused as him. When Michael didn’t get a chuckle like he had been expecting he looked at them.
“Sonic, you know, the Hedgehog?” Michael asked.
By the look on Michael’s face they were missing something important. James could not remember any hedgehogs named Sonic or why they would be important.
“Oh my fucking god, no way you guys have never heard of Sonic.” Michael said.
Instantly one of the screens opened to a web browser and James watched as Michael typed in Sonic the Hedgehog. Images of a bipedal blue, non hedgehog looking thing came up on the screen.
“Yeah, no, that doesn’t help.” Mia said.
“Are you kidding? He was made in ’91 to rival Mario and back then you had to run him through levels collecting coins and curling up to attack. He’s known for running at supersonic speeds, cuz you know sonic. He’s like the most well known game character besides Mario.” Michael said.
James looked to Mia and Lucy who still looked confused. Michael was staring at them in awe. James knew the former hacker wasn’t about to like his next question.
“Who’s Mario?”
Michael stopped typing and gave him a look. He looked to Mia and Lucy but they offered nothing.
“Holy fuck. I gotta give you three a crash course on gaming. Seriously. Anyway, I’m on the cars like a hedgehog that can run at supersonic speeds.” Michael said.

The knock on his door didn’t sound like one Boss, Bossette or Chief B would use. Boss knocked a bit lighter, Bossette pounded the door, and Chief B always sounded unsure. This one was two hard, quick raps near the doorknob. It wasn’t even Pats-man’s knock.
“Who dares disturb the Dragon?” Brown called out.
“Uh, delivery for Michael Brown?”
The voice was deep, a guy obviously, and sounded really unsure if he was supposed to knocking. Brown half turned in his chair and frowned. He had been in a good groove.
“Fine, enter the lair and leave your soul at the door.” Brown answered.

“So we’re all doomed to be alone the rest of our lives?” Lucy asked.
“I’ve got my cats. I’m good.” Mia said.
“If you die in your apartment and they get hungry they’ll eat you.” Lucy told her.
“Awesome. At least I’ll be feeding them on time for once.” Mia said.

“I’m fine, really. Besides I’ve got computer parts everywhere and I wouldn’t want you guys moving something or whatever.” Brown said.
Computer parts everywhere were an understatement. It looked like eighty PCS exploded in his office. Brown frowned at the mess and wondered where all the parts had come from. Then he remembered his own personal stash of parts and rubbed his forehead. He really needed to clean up and ditch things to a scrap yard. Or start building shit for fun. Maybe Boss and Bossette would want new computers with their new office.

“Right. Well, I’m going to do the luminol test then rip apart the seats.” Lucy said.
“You sound really excited about doing that.” Mia told her.
“Yep. After I take pictures of bloodstains, I get to rip apart seats with a knife. Do you know how fun it is to do that?” Lucy questioned.
James looked at both women and didn’t know what to think.
“Sarcasm?” James asked.
Lucy smirked. Despite the horrible week she was having she was surviving somehow. James knew that something in her life had made her into a survivor. She bounced back from a fall instead of shattering.
“Nope. Seriously, you should try it sometime. It’s relaxing.” Lucy said.
“As relaxing as breaking into a glove box with a hammer?” Mia asked.
“Hell yes.” Lucy said.

They all turned to her when they heard something crack.
“Sorry. I think I broke a rib.” Lucy called out.
“His or yours?” Mia asked.
“His. Jeez, wouldn’t it suck if it was mine?” Lucy questioned.
“She’s got a morbid sense of humor.” Samson muttered.
“Eh, you get used to it.” Mia told him.

“You mean like foot prints or tire tracks? No, nothing suspicious except the smell. That should have made me turn back but I thought it was normal. Ah, not to sound rude but, is it normal for your third detective to be poking the body with a stick?” Dave returned.
James turned to see that Lucy was crouched on the edge of the bank and was in fact poking at the body with a stick. He realized the stick was actually a ruler. She was measure how deep in the water the body was to check water levels. That made him feel better.
“Actually, that’s our Forensic Specialist Lucy McGregor and I believe she’s measuring water depth. At least I hope she is.” James said.
“She’s not weird enough to poke dead guys with sticks.” Mia added.

“Daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings.” McGregor offered.
“I’m going to start calling you Chief G.” Michael said.
“What? Why?” McGregor asked.
That didn’t make any sense.
“G for Google.” Michael said.

“May I ask why you went into Forensics instead of surgery?” Henry questioned.
“Your main function is to save lives. Mine is to find out why a life ended and how. If I screw up in surgery, some make-up, stuffing, and a few extra sutures can fix the mistake. If you screw up, well,” Lucy answered.

"What a month." Mia said.
"Tell me about it. I'm just glad the station is paying for my glasses and your car." James said.
"I wish I could've seen that hit. It's not every day you see someone's eye pop out off screen." Lucy remarked.

“You can thank me with food, plushies, virgins, your souls or tech.” Brown said.
“I rather like my soul and don’t know any virgins so, yeah.” Lucy returned.
“I don’t know any, okay, that would sound weird coming from me.” James started.