David L Wallace
Genre: Paranormal, Crime, Thriller
Date of Publication: 13 Apr 2018
ISBN: Paperback 978-0-9972257-2-3
ISBN eBook 978-0-9972257-3-0
Word Count: 75,000
In the vein of Seven and The Devilâs Advocate, itâs the book that launches the series: a tech billionaire, foretold in biblical events; a cop, ordered to sacrifice his soul to save his sonâ¦
Art Somers is a detective in close-knit Murrells Inlet, S.C., a small-town, coastal community with deeply held spiritual and supernatural belief systems. A serial killer has shattered his peaceful existence by abducting multiple victims within his county. Young thugs, backwater drug dealers and the occasional murderer are the most Artâs had to deal with, but now he must apprehend a predator who FBI profilers canât find.
He discovers he has a tie by blood to the case and uncovers evidence that calls into question his long held spiritual and supernatural beliefs. Abraham, the father of faith, had to choose to either sacrifice his son or disobey a direct order from God. Art must now make a choice - sacrifice his soul to save his son.
âA riveting and intriguing read.â - Clarion Review
âA gripping detective story.â - Kirkus Reviews
âOriginal and engaging.â - Publisherâs Weekly
From his crouched position in the woods of rural Georgetown County, South Carolina, and under the echo of his heavy breathing in the night air, he watched his favorite familyâs movements inside their small brown home.
After much thought about the impression his outfit would make, heâd decided it was festive enough for the occasion. The complete ensemble consisted of a red and black head mask, aligned perfectly to the holes for his eyes, nose, and mouth and a form-fitting, black bodysuit with white wings painted on the back.
For years, heâd contemplated a befitting name for himself and finally settled on Star of David killer. He liked the way the alias reverberated in his head. It revealed a lot. It concealed everything. It hinted at his purpose and yet â it withheld the true essence of his aspirations, keeping them covered in a shroud of secrecy. He hoped an insightful reporter would have an epiphany and bestow that nickname on him. It was far more interesting than the one his parents had given him at birth. He breathed deep and exhaled slowly, taking in the ambience of the moment. He flexed his muscles. It was time to initiate the events that would lead everyone to recognize him by his self-appointed moniker.
He clenched and released his toes on each of his hospital footieâcovered feet. Through the sheer curtains of the dimly lit dwelling, he watched the boy pick up the used plates from the table, which signaled the parents and their twelve-year-old son had finished their dinner. He knew them well. Heâd cased their dwelling for years, observing every nuance of their behavior. He sat flushed as he watched them for the last time, shivering from time to time from the thrill of the thought of what he was about to do.
The music of the bullfrogs kept him company, along with the thought that all heâd longed for, all that he was meant to be, was about to be on full display on the world stage in a matter of hours. Like Heinz ketchup, heâd been waiting in anticipation for a long time for this moment.
He glanced at the scavengers in the clear sky above him, each casting its shadow across the moon as it circled. They were his favorite creaturesâthe redheaded, black-feathered, and partially white-winged turkey vultures of the Carolina skies. His outfit mimicked theirs. The birds squawked in the sky, seeming to know his plan for that evening. Theyâd followed his vehicle from his home until heâd parked, and now they circled directly above him. He could feel their hunger and impatience.
The boy walked outside his home and scraped the remains of their dinner plates into a slop bucket on the back porch. He picked up the hogâs food and headed out to the pigpen, which was located near the backend of their yard.
The Star of David killer watched the boy make his evening trek on pigeon-toed feet that turned inward with each step. Ever since the infant pigs were born, the boy fed the adult male hog an extra feeding at night to prevent him from dining on his offspring. Thatâs right, the daddy hog ate his own children. What a disgusting breed of animal.
The overhead undertakers began to shriek and shrill as the boy moved across his lawn, their voices echoing in the night.
The boy jumped at their sound and looked to the skies. He stared into the woods directly below them.
The Star of David killer remained as still as a stone as the kidâs gaze seemed to linger on him for a moment. The last thing he needed was for the boy to detect his presence and yell out for his daddy. The papa of the family had an itchy twelve-gauge finger that he didnât want to deal with that evening.
Seemingly satisfied, the boy stopped searching the woods and continued his walk.
The Star of David Killer glanced overhead at the vultures, angry with them for almost giving away his position. For their carelessness, they wouldnât be feeding on his handiwork that evening, and if they didnât atone for their misstep, they wouldnât partake in any of the festivities on his planned itinerary.
This was the first nightâthe evening of his coming-out party and the kickoff of his personal pilgrimage. It was the acknowledgment that the presence within him, who had compelled him to plan and now execute the initial steps of his mission, had chosen the right vehicle for the job.
He felt something biting him on his lower legs. Glancing down, he saw by the light of the rear porch that ants were advancing up his calves. He remained silent and didnât move, not wanting to sound the alarm that he was out there in the dark. A small green garden snake slithered out of the brush toward him. He stepped on it and crushed its head.
The grunting male hog reveled in the slop the boy had dumped into his pen. The female hog stood to the side with her five remaining piglets cowering under her.
The killer frowned at the stench of the hogs. It wasnât the last smell he wanted on his mind before he began his body of work. To get past it, he closed his eyes and thought of the fragrances inside the boyâs family home, smells that he knew all too well. Heâd
spent many nights there while they slept, enjoying their scents, with his favorites being the individual smell of each of their worn clothing. The laundry room was a treasure trove of delights. Each of the family members left their own unique and enjoyable stains in their underwear. Heâd gotten to know the other families in just as much detail, meticulously taking in their routines and schedules, getting to know every nuance of each of them.
He removed his blade from his waistband and watched Rueben, his first victim, as he rinsed out the slop bucket with a water hose attached to the rear of his home. He squeezed the black-handled blade. The paring knife felt perfect in his hand, after having gone through an exhaustive testing process to find the right cutting instrumentâone with just the right shape and size for optimal carving control against a moving body. Heâd practiced his skills with it for many hours, initially on cantaloupes, cucumbers, and other fruits and vegetables, until heâd graduated to successful tests on small gerbils, kittens, and puppies heâd purchased at various pet stores.
Finally, the lights went out in the shack. It was time. As usual, Ruebenâs parents were more than likely already fast asleep. Rueben, on the other hand, should be wide-awake in his darkened room, surfing Internet porn sites by the light of his laptop. The little fella loved to look at online pussy, but he wouldnât live long enough to enjoy any.
As the final step of his preparation process, he extracted a bottle of removable glue from the front waistband of his outfit and placed another coat over his hands. It was an additional layer to guard against him leaving fingerprints behind, but he knew he didnât need to worry on that score. Over the past year, heâd used razor blades every month to remove the top layer of skin on each of his fingertips, making them as smooth as a babyâs ass.
He had no fingerprints.
He couldâve easily used gloves, but he wanted to touch them, to feel his prey with his bare hands. He blew on the glue until it dried. Satisfied, he stood, stretched his legs, and approached Ruebenâs home on silent feet.
He hadnât troubled himself to brush the ants from his lower torso. The stinging sensation of their bites would serve as a reminder that before that evening, he was once human.
About the Author:
Before publishing his debut novel in 2016, he served over 27 years as an information technology professional working initially for the US Navy, and then the Department of the Navy and various fortune companies. Heâs a UCLA writing program alumnus who writes mystery thrillers and children stories. He has three wonderful kids who he enjoys immensely. Writing is his passion and his goal with each story is to capture the imagination in the opening pages and keep it engaged to the storyâs riveting conclusion.