Hello all. Just wanted to check in and let you know I’ve finally gotten started writing on the 5th installment in the Troy Bodean Adventure Series. A few things have derailed my efforts (like another book in a completely different genre,) but I’m on track and really enjoying it.
I hope to have this book finished, edited, and ready to go by mid march. If you’re on my mailing list (more on that after the excerpt) I’ll let you know when it goes live.
Here’s a little taste of what is to come (warning – there is a little language in this, but I edited it to protect the innocent):
Practice Your Chops
Barry Olsen Barron licked the razor sharp blade of his Dadao. He had worked the blade for months after he’d ordered it to ensure that the sword would slice through anything without hesitation. Sure he needed it for work, but it was so much more than that…it was his weapon in the game. It was his warrior’s sword.
Hours and hours that he used to spend in the real world were now spent inside the virtual world of Oriceran – a computer generated virtual world of magic, elves, trolls, orcs, and most importantly, damsels in distress. And why not? That world was so much more desirable than the hellhole he had outside the game.
His mother had been gone for just over five years. A meth overdose took her out of her misery. Before that, she’d been an escort for Lucky Larry’s Ladies of Leisure call girl service. Them sure was fun times, Barry thought sarcastically. He’d gotten used to turning away the beefy, hairy guys banging on their trailer door at all hours of the morning hoping to see his mother on her day off. Sometimes they showed up with flowers, sometimes they showed up with alcohol or drugs, but she never let them in until they showed up with crisp, straight-from-the-ATM Benjamins. After that, she’d occasionally partake of the alcohol and drugs. Barry thought it must’ve taken away some of the guilt of letting these men have their way with her.
His father was long gone from their happy home, having left the second he found out about her extracurricular activities. Barry thought this was odd because that was exactly how his father had met her. But his dad had chosen to stay close by, Barry was never sure why. Sometimes he wondered if his dad had stayed to keep an eye on them…to spy on them. He never saw his dad even though the man only lived a couple of streets over in the Red Drum Trailer Park.
Anyway, none of that sh*t mattered when he logged onto Oriceran and became Tryon the Tyrannical – an Orc from the underground Kemana…or city…of Fairhaven. At first, he’d been happy to trot around the virtual playground chopping the heads off dragons and trolls and goblins and such, but that had gotten dull fast. And, since this was an open world land, there were other gamers hunting around and picking fights and such. Fighting real player characters was much more fun than the generic computer generated ones. Their moves were more unpredictable and they died in much more dramatic fashion. Tryon was one of the strongest characters in Oriceran and had claimed the skullcaps of many an unfortunate game character in his travels.
Soon, Barry discovered it was more fun to seek out the damsel characters and play with them. And after he was tired of them, he would draw his sword and chop off their heads. This too began to lose its excitement after a while. He would often sit around and wait until someone wandered close by and see if he could lop their heads off with one swing. He got very good at it.
It was a Friday afternoon when he got off work and found a message blinking in his game email center. The sender’s address was blocked, so he couldn’t tell who it had come from. It was a two-word email and he felt his excitement grow when he read it.
He read the words over and over and wondered if the sender meant in the game…or real life. His pulse raced as he studied the words and he became obsessed with meeting this anonymous player. He wrote and re-wrote his reply so many times he lost count. He tried to sound cool and eventually decided that he couldn’t pull that off and went for the direct approach.
He expected the reply to come quickly and be some city or town inside the game…but it wasn’t.
That was the first time Tryon the Tyrannical had killed anyone outside the game. It was a feeling Barry had never had before…something between a cocaine buzz and intense sexual energy. It was intoxicating. He began using the game as a way to meet his victims and quickly found that gamers were loners, losers, and geeky idiots. They almost all agreed to meet him in the real world within minutes of meeting him. And they all lost their heads soon after. The bodies of his first few victims went out of town in dumpsters he’d found behind local businesses all over town. Most of them were from places that were several hours’ drive away from Nags Head, so no one was looking for them and their bodies were never discovered.
But that had changed when they found the head of that one girl…what was her name…Sophia? Sophie? Hell, he couldn’t remember. Since then, some alarm company had started offering free security cameras facing the dumpsters – if the business would sign up for monthly monitoring at a very reasonable cost.
Barry went back to chopping off heads inside the safety of the world of Oriceran. Virtual bodies didn’t need to be disposed of…and the cops didn’t care if you killed an Orc. Then came the itch. He guessed that most serial killers got it, but he didn’t know that for sure. The thrill…the high…he’d gotten from slamming his razor sharp Dadao blade through the flesh and bone of someone’s neck started itching him. He needed something. No he needed someone. Someone to hack a head off of and dump in the ocean…or a dumpster…shit, no, that was out. It didn’t matter; he had to feed his demons.
And then, he’d watched them prance into Fish Heads all freakin’ drunk and dancin’. Kim was half naked and Dana was tanked. He liked Fish Heads because it was a dive bar and they never carded him. He was pretty sure they knew he was only sixteen, but the douchebags behind the bar didn’t seem to care as long as his tips were good.
It wasn’t a flashy, tourist place with umbrellas and shit in red and yellow fruity drinks. It was a place he could sip a beer and throw back the occasional whiskey without taking too much crap from anybody about smellin’ like fish. The girls were both so drunk they didn’t notice him sitting back at the corner of the bar. They wouldn’t notice him anyway; they were so snotty to him at work…like he was beneath them or something. Bitches.
They plopped down whooping and hollering about some guy buying them drinks. His arms started itching and he realized they were his next damsels in distress. He pictured his extra sharp blade slicing through their skinny necks. Okay, Dana’s neck was skinny, Kim not so much. He could almost hear their severed heads plopping down on the floor, rolling around in the warm arterial spray.
Barry threw back another Jack Daniels and was about to sidle up next to them, when the dude walked up and sat down between them.
“F*ckin’ sh*t!” He swore out loud and slammed his shot glass down.
“Hey, bro,” the bartender smacked his hands on the bar, “easy on the glassware. What the hell, man?”
Barry was jolted away from staring at the two girls and the guy throwing back Corona after Corona with them.
“Ah, man, I’m sorry. Just ready for another.”
The bartender looked him up and down before finally turning the empty shot glass over and pouring him another shot of Jack.
At first, Barry was disappointed and resigned to living another day without satisfying the itch. But as he watched the three of them party late into the night, he began to see a scenario unfold that might be perfect to quench his warrior’s thirst for blood.
Yes, I Am A Pirate
Troy Clint Bodean woke to the gentle sloshing of waves patting the side of his new sailboat. A fortuitous finding of a stash of cash that had come from a couple of bad guys funded his recent purchase of the 1998 Island Packet 40 foot cutter. She was gorgeous and big! Hell, he had more room here than he’d had back on the houseboat in Key West.
He stretched out his arms to both sides and couldn’t touch either wall. Sun streamed through the oval windows and the rocking of the waves almost put him back to sleep. He had brought his new boat up to Nags Head preferring to skip right on past South Carolina – too many bad memories there – and had found a fun little fresh fish and seafood restaurant to work in. Just a smidge better’n a dive with a hokey fiberglass shark on the roof, the place did a ton of business.
Troy caught fish for them by night and worked as a line cook by day for those customers who – as the menu put it – “didn’t want to do the cookin’.” He knew how to do both those things, and he did them well. As a bonus, the seafood that was about to go out of date was handed over to the employees to do with as they wanted. More often than not, Troy had more to eat than he could handle.
He sat upright quick remembering that he’d had a shrimp boil with Kimberly and Dana, a couple of the waitresses from last night. He didn’t remember them coming back to his boat, but neither of them was in bed with him, so that was a good sign. He sat up and stretched out the cricks in his neck and his head swam – definitely too many Coronas last night. But the girls were cute, the food was fantastic, and the music was tropical… a fun time was had by all.
Pulling on his khaki shorts, he grabbed his hat and threw it on his head. His new Ray Ban Wayfarers – the Costas had fallen into the water a few months back – perched on his face nicely and made his grin turn more from McConaughey into Cruise… at least that’s what the girls had told him.
He tapped his knuckles lightly on the other stateroom door. Nobody answered. Probably still hung over as hell. He decided to leave them be for a bit, maybe catch a few fish and throw back a mimosa or two… or maybe a bloody Mary. As if on cue, his head began to pound. The fridge revealed that his orange juice was out of date and empty to boot. The champagne bottle clinked around on the floor – just as empty. There were two beers sitting sideways in the fridge so he grabbed one and popped the top off.
“It’ll have to do,” he muttered to himself and took a long gulp.
When he began to feel slightly more human, he decided to head up on deck and see what the lobster cages had caught. Hauling them in by hand, he was pleased that they felt heavy. A good score would put a little money back in the bank for fuel and bait.
Hand over hand he pulled the cage up and was happy to see several big guys clicking around the wire mesh. And that’s when everything stopped… or more precisely began to run in slow motion. At the center of the cage, with a lobster climbing on it, was a head… a human head. It had been chewed on for sure, but it looked like it hadn’t been there long. Dragging the cage on board, he got a better look at it and saw that there were – to his horror – two heads in the cage.
The first was Dana’s… the second was Kimberly’s – the servers from the restaurant. Troy dropped the cage and bounded down the stairs to the stateroom. For reasons he didn’t understand, he knocked. He pounded. Nothing. He stepped back and put his foot up. Slamming it into the door, the jamb splintered and it sprung open. Inside the room were two beds covered in huge pools of blood.
“Dangit.” Troy muttered. “Here we go again.”
Okay, gang. There it is. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m trying to get Troy back to his roots with a good old fashioned crime to get tangled up in with lots of sun, sand, humor, and suspense. If you’d like to be kept informed of the launch date and maybe even a special promotion or two, please be sure to join my mailing list / reader group – CLICK HERE to join.
Thank you, kind reader,