Anthology, Thriller, Alternate History
Release Date: 1/16/18
What is a single life worth? In our modern world, where wars are on the cusp of igniting at a moment’s notice, new diseases ravage entire populations, and hidden atrocities erase the lives of thousands, what can the death of a single person mean?
It can mean the tenuous line between peace and destruction.
Kurt Ramis knows this, as he watches the aftermath of an assassination on his television set. His years in the CIA have prepared him for such a dreadful day.
“Rasul” knows this, as he follows his young guide down the streets of New York City, with a gift for his adopted country.
The soldiers and sentries of Camelot’s Corridor, deep under the sands of Texas know this, as they prepare the secret bunker for the President’s arrival.
Mike Keogh knows this, as he remembers fallen friends, betrayals, and mention of a secretive monster named the Tangerine Demon.
Jessie Rosen will know it soon enough, as she descends the steps to Kubrá, to meet her deliverer. Her new family descends those steps as well, calling for their Lord to hear their prayers.
Phil Barr begrudgingly knows this, as he cowers in his palatial Hollywood Hills mansion, murderers and thugs auditioning on live TV, sirens ringing in his ears. This wasn’t how his charmed life was supposed to turn out.
And DaRWIn knows this best of all, as it predicted the assassination, and the calamitous after-effects some time ago.
On a certain day, on a certain street in the Middle East, the taking of a single life will mean everything, and it will shake the foundation of humanity. It will be the pulling of a loose strand in mankind’s tapestry, undoing the progress of a thousand years, ripping apart at the seams countless lives, countless societies.
Intertwining lives and stories, some saved and some ended, some Going, some Gone…
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In order to allow for new growth, the old must often be felled, burned away to the ashes. This is as true of forests as it is the constructs of men.
And as a single thunderous current can engulf an ancient forest in flame, a solitary strike of violence can erase the oldest of men’s foundations.
On this day, such a strike of violence unfolded almost perfectly.
It began with a group of vehicles methodically making its way from the outskirts of the capital, through the dust-covered streets, and emerging into the open space of the ancient city square. This motorcade moved in precise unison, seeming like a scarab beetle crossing a desert hardpan.
The lead pair of motorcycles, traveling side-by-side, came to a stop just past the main entrance to the embassy. Following closely behind was an out-of-place black limousine, somewhat dusted over, yet shining brilliantly in the midday sun, which was itself followed by a pair of aging military transport trucks. The head and abdomen of this insectile formation were bristling with weapons; the ‘cycles had RPGs mounted across the handlebars for easy access to the driver, and rear-facing second riders, conspicuously armed with AK-47s; the trucks, each carrying a dozen armed men in their canvas-covered beds.
After a moment’s pause, the doors to the elongated thorax opened almost simultaneously. Several brutish men, whose demeanor and air could only be those of guardians, emerged into the hot Arabian day. Seconds later a small man of indistinct features was helped out of the rear of the limousine. He then began a slow but purposeful walk up the stairs toward the entrance.
The motorcade had already begun moving away, into the crowded street, when the first flashbang went off to the right of the embassy’s entrance. This non-lethal grenade, usually used in close quarters to confuse an opponent and render them momentarily vulnerable, nonetheless produced the desired effect out in the open. The trained guardians were instantly put on the defensive, and surrounded the Prime Minister. They began moving him away from the embassy and toward street in an attempt to regroup with the motorcade.
The motorcade itself had already made its way halfway down the block when it too reacted to the explosion. The driver of the Minister’s limousine stopped and attempted to reverse course, but the sudden onslaught of frightened citizens enveloped the vehicle, rendering it temporarily immobile. The men and women attempting to flee the explosion likewise impeded the men in the back of the truck and the motorcycle drivers.
One of those fleeing men, dressed in a flowing but crudely made thawb, made his way behind an abandoned food cart, and calmly observed the security detail’s next move from this hidden vantage point.
About the Author:
Abraham spent his formative years in rural Colorado, where he was born in 1979. He has also lived in Northern Nevada, Virginia, and Northwest Arkansas. These disparate environments and local cultures have had a great impact on Abraham’s view of America and his writing styles. Though educated as a computer programmer, Abraham hopes to be a full-time writer in the near future.
Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey? I was a voracious reader as a kid, mostly because of my step-father’s influence, and I think that because English is my second language, reading helped me to learn structure and vocabulary early on. That said, although I always dreamt of someday being a writer, I didn’t seriously consider publishing anything publicly until a few years ago. I had a few ideas for some short stories, and after publishing a couple of them on their own, the bigger idea of publishing an anthology of short stories got me going on my present path.
How many books do you currently have published? Aside from two short stories that I published in 2013, this upcoming anthology, “Going Gone”, is my first big work to be published.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? “Going Gone” is definitely my favorite because of the diversity of story-telling involved and the way the stories intertwine around a central theme.
Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release? I have two novels in mind as future projects, though the success of this anthology will determine how quickly they get written and published. I’m currently working full-time as a computer programmer, and the anthology I wrote on my spare time, on and off, for about three years. If I can manage to write full-time I should be able to knock at least one of the novels out in about a year’s time.
What do you enjoy most about writing? The creative process. Specifically inventing a character or situation that didn’t previously exist, and then finding a way for your characters to progress beyond that situation.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? I don’t think I’ve written for a substantial enough time to get writer’s block. I only say that because the ideas for everything I’ve written so far have come to me fairly easily, it’s just the actual writing (and the time to do it) that have been the most difficult part.
Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? Yes, probably every significant character in my anthology have turned out different than I originally intended them to. There is one protagonist that I began writing as a man, then realized that that was wrong, and that she needed to be a woman. Coincidently, hers is one of my favorite stories in the anthology.
Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? I’d have to say my favorite is Jessie Rosen (alluded to above), the investigative journalist in my short story “Jessie and the LARGOnauts” because she finds herself in a dangerous situation and her strength and inner resolve really shows throughout the narrative. My least favorite, but funnest to write, is Symon Stephenson. He’s a rock star, and a walking ego, and doesn’t really care about anyone but himself, and it was fun to have him interact with people who couldn’t stand him but needed to work with him.
What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers? I’ve learned to not give up, to keep writing even when you don’t feel like it. Some days you’re tired and your brain is fried, but it’s a privilege to be able to write your thoughts down so that you can go back and mold them into something better later. You can’t take that for granted, and I learned that I love the editing process because it allows me the freedom to overwrite ideas that I thought were done and (hopefully) make them more complete through the edit.
If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? “The Man” which is a short story I wrote a few years ago. It’s free, for one, and it encapsulates, I think, my writing style and technique. If it intrigues you, buy my anthology, why not? If not, at least it didn’t cost you anything!
Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, “The Road”, “No Country for Old Men”, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” These are the books that impacted me most, and made me want to become a writer.
If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? It’s still a work in progress!
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? Yes, I hope you enjoy my work and don’t be afraid to leave me a review or recommend my book to friend! Thanks a million!