Character Guest Blog
The God of “I” by Lance Underphal
Lance Underphal –
When I first awoke, splayed in my ratty recliner, three-day stubble and stained briefs my only cover, I found myself on the downhill side of middle age with most of a quietly desperate life well behind me.
How did I miss it?
Where did it go?
Out of the Ruins –
Too painful to recall, I didn’t want to know—too far gone to care. Memories were all I had left—memories of my failings, a tattered paper bag stained with rancid regrets. My business bankrupt, money gone, my wife Sonja, dead and buried, my health deteriorating, just another day. At least I was nearing the end, or so I thought.
Into the Ether –
When Sonja first whispered, “I’m here for you,” I thought, at last, the promise of peace death brings. Wrong again. A new beginning, and not altogether pleasant. As she spoke, I knew it was her. Yet how could that be? She was dead. And if I wasn’t, then I had obviously gone insane. Maybe, but maybe not. What was she showing me?
A Blessing or a Curse –
How a long lost hobby turned into a scrabble for a few extra bucks as a freelance photographer, I’m still unsure. Bottom line I needed the money. Too old and sick for a real job.
It didn’t get strange until an investigative reporter for the Valley Free Press by the name of Lacey Friends took me under her wing, dragging me along to shoot the scene of a new homicide. Stranger still, when Sonja warned me.
I should have listened. Passing out at a crime scene is a messy business. What shows up on my camera later is worse, not of this world—not of any world I want anything to do with. Now I’m trapped, the lid is off Pandora’s box and I’m stuck with damning insight into a murderer’s methods and motives. Should’ve never got out of my recliner, should’ve ignored the first whispers of my dead wife, should’ve done a lot of things, yet here I am.
Back to work.
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Michael Allan Scott and a clickable link back to this page.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Grey Daze (A Lance Underphal Mystery)
Author: Michael Allan Scott
Author: Michael Allan Scott
GREY DAZE descends. A fresh murder spins out of control, twisting into new realms of paranormal mystery.
Not for the faint of heart, the third in the Lance Underphal Mystery series, is an interplay of corrupt characters immersed in today’s world. Paranormal twists and fast action in movie-like scenes set the story’s mystery/thriller elements apart from the typical whodunit/serial-killer thriller.
Guided by his dead wife, a reluctant psychic finds himself on a wild ride through a criminal underworld, slamming face first into corrupt police, gunrunning bikers, and a drug addicted killer–not to mention confrontations with the dead.
Layers of plots within plots twist this new thriller into a startling climax.
For More Information
- Grey Daze (A Lance Underphal Mystery)is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Watch book trailer for Book 1: Dark Side of Sunset Pointe.
- Watch book trailer for Book 2: Flight of the Tarantula Hawk.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Please Note: this book “R” rated and is intended for adult readers.
Nerves jangling like downed power lines on a storm-soaked street, she turns off the cracked pavement into the rain-slick drive. As she chews her bottom lip, the new Ford Edge glides under the ancient leafless elm at the curb, its gnarled trunk overgrown with ivy fluttering in a gusty wind. Her mind races, fearful of all the things that could go wrong, trying to anticipate every move, grasping at the big score and how it will all be worth it.
Tires roll up the narrow drive, gently thumping on fractured concrete. They’ve never gone this far before. And that asshole Denny crapped out at the last minute, forcing her to take care of business. As she parks on the side of the dumpy little house, a sneer twists her full lips. She’s not sure why this time would be any different, he always makes her do the dirty work—always there to grab the lion’s share of the score. Him and Moon. Worthless assholes.
The wipers stop as she shuts off the ignition. She stares through the drizzle streaking the windshield, screwing up her courage, telling herself there’s no way she’ll get caught, the plan is perfect. They’ve been working at it for months, getting everything set up. Now it’s time. Only one thing left to do and they’ll be home free. If only she could get her hands to stop shaking.
Elbowing the door, she squirms thick hips out of the seat, the new-car smell fading as she climbs out into the cold. She scurries across the drive and up the crumbling concrete steps, thumbing the remote to lock the Edge with a flash and a chirp. Twisting the key, she opens the weather-beaten back door, stepping in out of the swirling rain and into Hell for the last time.
Dark and close, it hits her like a blast of sewer gas, though she should be used to it by now. Dim in the grey light, the foul reek of decay and excrement is stifling, crinkling her nose. She fumbles with her keys, finally managing to twist the backdoor key off her key ring as she heads for the kitchen sink. Grabbing a dishrag, she wipes down the key. Careful to hold it with the dishrag, she drops it into the disposer. She digs a pair of latex gloves out of her purse, working them on over sweaty fingers, then hits the switch. The disposer jumps, coughing and clattering as she adds water, mangling the key. She knows, one way or another, she’ll never be back.
She cringes as all the disgusting things she’s had to do twist up in her head. Dirty little thoughts that won’t leave her alone, like the vicious sting from one of her grandfather’s beatings. She’d show that old asshole, if only he could see her now. Stupid little man. But first she has to get through this.
She turns off the disposer and stumps into the dingy little living room as roaches scuttle for cover. Crossing to the old sofa, she sits gingerly as the ancient vinyl crackles beneath her broad rump. She contemplates the next few minutes, fanning the flames, feeding the beast. The puto has it coming. Fixing his meals, cleaning up his messes, listening to his constant babbling, going on about how smart he is and how she needs to listen, insinuating she’s stupid. Treating her like his slave. The things she did—unspeakable. Her stomach clenches as flickerings fire her mind. Bathing his vile flesh by hand, hairy and wrinkled—disgusting. The horrid stench of excrement on desiccated haunches. The pasty feel of his flaccid penis, even through the gloves . . . watching him writhe as he came, oozing sticky yellowed sperm. She shudders as shivers run down her spine. She’ll show him how stupid she is. She smiles wickedly as her eyes narrow. He still has no idea. Never saw it coming. And now, it’s too late. Muy estupido.
Fury firing her blood, she pushes off the couch and tromps out of the room, the ancient crusted carpet crunching under her biker boots. Clumping through the short hall and into the back bedroom, she slows, walking quietly as if she’d wake him. What am I doin’? She shakes her head. He’s not waking up any time soon, she made sure of that—he fainted dead away when she tripled his heart meds. It’s been nearly twenty-four hours. Blood levels should be back to near normal, well within limits for any toxicology reports.
Her broad nose crinkles with disgust, her lips curling into a snarl at the mere sight of him. She’s always hated old men. And with good reason—look at him. Lying there under that ratty old bedspread, too cheap to buy a decent blanket. All that money rat-holed away, rotting like his ancient carcass. His limbs like sticks, tacked onto a distended belly. His eyes pinched shut at the bottoms of deep hollows. His sunken mouth a ragged hole, white spittle crusting thin cracked lips. His head a shrunken skull, wrapped in papery skin stretched tight, dotted with patches of wispy white hair. If it wasn’t for his phlegmy breaths, he could already pass for a corpse.
She crosses quickly to the bed, gritting her teeth, holding her breath. Jerking the stained pillow out from under his head, she flips it up into both hands, leans over and presses down hard, mashing it on his face. A slight tremor runs through his withered limbs. Cadaverous claws scrabble at her hands, her wrists, her arms. She gasps, horrified, turning her head, pressing down harder. A muffled wail seeps out from behind the pillow—inhuman. She moans as tears leak from her squinted eyes. She can’t take anymore. And just when she starts to lift, he goes limp, his heaving chest stills. She feels what little life he had left rush past her—a final huff of foul breath and he’s dead.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Born and raised at the edge of the high desert in Kingman, Arizona, Michael Allan Scott resides in Scottsdale with his wife, Cynthia and their rescue Doberman, Roxie. In addition to writing mysteries and speculative fiction, his interests include music, photography, art, scuba diving and auto racing.
Michael’s latest book is the mystery/thriller/suspense/supernatural/paranormal novel, Grey Daze (A Lance Underphal Mystery).
For More Information
- Visit Michael Allan Scott’s website.
- Connect with Michael on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Michael at Goodreads.
- Visit Michael’s blog.
- More books by Michael Allan Scott.
- Watch interview on NBC Daytime.
- Contact Michael.
Please feel free to drop me line if you have questions or want to share.
The mystery books Dark Side of Sunset Pointe, Flight of the Tarantula Hawk, and Grey Daze are available on Amazon. Cut-Throat Syndrome, the newest Lance Underphal Mystery is in progress and will be released later this year.
You may also check out the book trailers for Dark Side of Sunset Pointe and Flight of the Tarantula Hawk.
For more on the mystery writer, Michael Allan Scott, and the Lance Underphal mystery series, go to michaelallanscott.com
If you’re interested in my reading tastes, please join Michael Allan Scott on Goodreads for my reading lists and book reviews.