First of all, if you do not have a Kindle, do not fear! You do have a Kindle-enabled device. You are using it right now.
If you have a Windows or Mac PC, an Android, Blackberry, or iOS phone, you can download the free Kindle app for your device of choice – or for all of them. Then you can get the books that way. Also, as a bonus for Amazon Prime members, you get free books every month simply for being in Prime. Don’t miss out on that opportunity!
As I said in yesterday’s post, I have completed uploading the revised edition of “The Shifting Sands” complete with new cover and the first ever print edition of the book. To celebrate this, the Kindle edition of “The Shifting Sands” will be available free on Amazon for the next two days, starting at midnight tonight.
After that, starting Monday, the Kindle edition of “Firedancer” will be free, and then “Snake Charmer”.
The gate to Bunker Hollow was closed and locked when he pulled in. No evidence of other searchers. He parked by the gate, grabbed his Maglight, and walked around. The road was an overgrown tunnel of trees and brush surrounding old gravel ground into the red clay. The moon was new and shed no light. It was utterly black without the flashlight. The only natural light came from flickers of stars through the leaves and needles as they danced restlessly in the light spring breeze. A chill ran down his spine.
The path was long, straight, and showed signs of heavy foot and vehicle traffic in recent days. He shone the flashlight directly ahead and it disappeared into the waning dark. The only sound was his breathing, loud in the still night, and scratching of leaves in the wind.
Mal’s fourth day in his grandparent’s house began with the phone ringing. Mal was confused at the sound – he couldn’t recall the last time he owned a phone that actually rang like a bell. By the time he untangled himself from the sheets and stumbled into the living room, the ringing stopped. He stared down at the old corded phone and wondered who tried calling him. Very few people knew this number. His lawyer and Elise were the only two he could think of. He wanted to speak with neither.
After a shower and breakfast, Mal had nothing to do. He finished unpacking before he went to sleep the night before. Out of habit, he turned on his laptop and sat down. Only after booting up completely did he realize he had no internet connection. Without cellphone reception, there was no way for him to connect wireless, and he didn’t know if the local phone company offered internet.
The following morning dawned early for Mal. He was always an early riser, except for the five years he spent on mids – the graveyard shift of the police force. Those were the first five years of Alice’s life. He spent most of it asleep or in a patrol car. No wonder he had trouble developing a relationship with her. By the time she was a teen, he had made detective and was working more normal hours – if constant overtime, weekend, and late nights at the station reviewing evidence or interrogating drug addicts could be considered normal. Mal was forced to concede Alice made far more effort in attempting to connect with her father than he did with her. He was always busy, always working, always rationalizing it with “maybe later.”
A few blocks down – nearly the length of the entire town – Mal spotted the tavern with several cars and trucks outside. A few neon beer signs flickered by the door. There was no sign proclaiming a name. It was the lone tavern in the town. No need to get fancy.
The interior of the squat, brown structure was utilitarian. A single pool table dominated the northwest corner, with a few small tables around it. A bar ran the length of the east wall – tended by one overweight woman. Mal guessed she was at least ten years older than him – close to fifty. Of course, the cigarette hanging out of her mouth might have added a few years to her face.
Didn’t Washington ban smoking in bars and restaurants? Yes, now that he thought about it, they did. At least five years ago. He let a wry smile dance across his face. Must take a little longer for news to reach Copperside.
The bottle of scotch between his legs was half-full. He smiled. What would Doctor Reynolds say to that? Maybe he wasn’t as cynical or depressed as she claimed. Maybe he was getting better. Maybe he was…
Maybe he was losing his train of thought. Maybe he was drunk. He looked to the television. He couldn’t focus on it. An infomercial, he thought. Something about cooking, either way. He brought the bottle up to his lips and swallowed. It didn’t have a taste or burn. Just the sensation of liquid flowing down his throat.