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Published author and book nerd, I write and review romance novels.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

A fantastic book, not to be missed.

It is called "The penis chronicles and other random observations." Yes, you read it right. 'The penis chronicles.' This book contains, indeed, all you need to know about the penis, although not anatomically speaking. Its insecurities, its needs, the way we, women respond to it, and so on. In a debut book that will, without any doubt, glue you to the pages, Australian author Cheryl Van Hoorn will tell you all about the legendary male organ that commands men's lives and fascinates those of women.
 
Here is how it all begins:
THE DIVINITY OF THE PENIS
Penis, penis, penis, penis! There, I’ve said it. I am placing the penis on notice, right here, right now, front and centre. I am declaring that there is a Divinity of the penis.
The seeds of this rather inopportune sentiment were planted while I was growing up on the heels of my mother’s well-worn shoes as she walked my sister and myself from one end of Hurstville to another. Throughout these walks mum would tell stories. She had a gift for words (something she passed to me) and her constant chatter did not require a reply. She talked to us of Kings and Queens in the past, of the politics of the day and what the woman on the corner was doing now to piss her off. But mostly she spoke to us about the penis.
We were cautioned here; it was a dangerous thing and not something that could be taken lightly. It was both a weapon and a tool and it scared the bejesus out of my mother as well as myself. I believed the words that came from her mouth.
Mind you I believed her when she told me that I would get pregnant if I drank out a green straw.
This belief regarding the penis placed me in an oddly myopic position as I grew up. It coloured the way in which I observed the adult world I was about to enter. A world where men lived with their penis and wanted THE SEX.
 Growing up in a house with a mother and a sister and rarely seeing the patriarch of the house gave me no point of comparison. Of course I had a normal interest in this implement, a curiosity that was sated by the fact that I chose one of the few legitimate professions where I was able to view the penis frequently. I became a Nurse.
The not so humble penis is the centre of a man’s being. The orientation of life. For them anyway. Women are really sure it is not.
This is not something that woman talk about this in so many words however it is present in the side slip of gentle conversation; engaged in the tales told by mothers in the schoolyard while waiting for offspring and those mothers with friends who have sons. From this it is not difficult to see that males have a singular point of worship: their penis.
This was demonstrated to me in hard terms early one morning.
*****
I have no doubt that by now you are curious to see what follows. For those eager to keep going, the book is available for sale in both hard copy and in E-book format. Click HERE for the purchase link.
 
About Cheryl:
 
Cheryl was born and bred in Australia and grew up against the 70’s and 80’s learning her lessons in life at her mother’s heels along with a disenfranchised youth.
Cheryl entered the University of Sydney to complete a diploma of applied sciences, Nursing. Upon graduation she commenced work on a kidney ward leading to some of the most gratifying work in her life and delivering to her a husband and two sons.
Cheryl is now the owner/editor of Tweaking MADD and is currently completing a Bachelor of Communication with a double major in Film Studies and Creative Writing while being owned by three fractured cats and two dogs.
*****
ENJOY THIS FABULOUS BOOK!
 
 
 
 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Friday the 13th, the night of full moon

If you ever wondered, here is what happens on Friday the 13th, the night of full moon. Not to mention that on that particular night, there was a total lunar eclipse too.

PROLOGUE

Friday, October 13th, 2000

NSA, PR12 facility, somewhere near Clearwater River, Idaho

 

The moon was flat and pale, forever scarred by the old, ugly rabbit that kept gawking down at the earthly lethargy with its dull, eerie stare. He did it every time the moon’s face was round and at its fullest. And it sure happened this time.

Brian Splice peeled his gaze from the sky and cursed bitterly. He should have started his first day on the job Monday, nice and clean, if it wasn’t for a bunch of superstitious imbeciles who had called in sick, all because of the full moon. And because it was Friday the 13th. A total lunar eclipse night too. He walked out of the booth with lazy steps and rubbed his hands together, at times blowing in between his fingers to bring some warmth to the hollow of his palms. It was unusually cold for mid-October.

The silver curtains of moonlight stretched past the wired fence to the edge of the woods. Then darkness conquered light, opening an endless, hungry mouth as dark as the blackest soul. He shivered. God only knew what happened at night beyond the border of the forest. No, not God. That looked nothing like His territory.

Jesus. What am I thinking? Brian mused with irritation. All this ‘full moon, Friday the 13th’ business was messing with his head, that’s what it was. There was nothing wrong with the forest, or with starting a new job today. He had made damn sure he’d be transferred to the most boring, uneventful place a soldier could go; guarding a top secret NSA facility where nothing ever happened. The buildings were nestled right in the middle of an unbreakable stronghold, about a mile away from the forest, and separated by another three rows of barbed-wired barricades from the outer fence. Unreachable.

The moonlight grew fainter and the Earth’s shadow began to bite at the moon’s round face. A hungry rat nibbling at a stale slice of cheese.

Brian looked up again. It’s happening.

How creepy to see the moon’s trail become so narrow and dim. But even so, it stayed visible and red. As if bleeding inwardly with its own strangely colored blood. A curse following an erratic pattern of its own. Another few minutes and it will be gone.

Yes, it will be gone, he reassured himself.

The strident howling of the sirens made him flinch. He took a few unsteady steps toward the wired barricades and tripped on a rock. The lights turned on all at once and the buildings came to life in the distance, lighting up like a carousel at a carnival. Definitely not a drill. Cold terror swept through him from head to toe. He slid the belt of his rifle off his shoulder and turned the weapon forward hastily, clasping it hard with both hands until his knuckles turned white.

I’m safe. I’m safe. It’s all happening in the buildings, he chanted silently as he whirled on his heels, completing a full circle. Nothing in sight. I’m safe. I’m safe. It’s all happening in the buildings.

A scratching noise behind the booth made him jump.

“Who’s there?” he croaked, his finger shaking on the trigger. Take a deep breath, Brian. Deep breath. You’re a soldier, not a sissy.

Too bad it had been his father’s idea to send him to the army for the sake of his own political image. The overly polished senator risked to lose some of his shine if his son failed his patriotic duty or was demoted for unsatisfactory service.

“Who’s there?” Brian repeated a little more forcefully.

A little silhouette slipped out of the dark and inched its way toward him in silence.

Panic rose to Brian’s temples in pulsing storms. He extended his arms, clenching his weapon and engaged the trigger.

“Hold it right there,” he yelled. “Hold it or I will shoot you. Hands up.”

Two small hands rose in the air unhurriedly and stayed there, not far above a head covered by a fleece of tousled hair. Very light brown or very dark blond, Brian couldn’t quite decide.

The moonlight was slowly coming back. The soldier stretched his neck and squinted, trying to make out the features of the young boy standing in front of him, only a couple of yards away, staring with mild curiosity. Definitely not fear.

A child. Jesus Christ. Brian looked bewildered.

He grabbed his radio from his belt and pressed a button. “This is Private Splice, calling from Gate 14. I have a suspect in custody. Awaiting orders. Over.”

The radio came back to life in an instant. “Splice. This is Captain Huntley. Listen carefully to me. Do not shoot the suspect. I repeat. Do not shoot the suspect under any circumstances. And make sure you don’t touch him. Stay away from him. This is very important. Stay away from the suspect. Do you copy, Splice?”

“Affirmative, sir,” Brian shouted his compliance.

“We’ll be there in a couple of minutes. Over and out,” Captain Huntley announced. Then the radio went dead.

Silence lingered for a moment, only interrupted every now and then by the soft tapping of Brian’s nail as it trembled on the side of the trigger. His gaze scrutinized the boy’s face. It was calm and unreadable.

“What’s your name?” the boy asked, slowly dropping his hands.

A new wave of panic shook Brian from head to toe. “Hands up,” he yelled.

“Nah.” The boy crinkled his nose. “I’m tired. Besides, I’m not gonna wait for them.” He took a few small steps backward.

“Hands up or I’m going to…” Brian started shaking his rifle menacingly.

“You’re going to do what?” The boy raised his palms in the air questioningly. “Hit me in the head? Bash me? Knock me out? Cuz’ you sure can’t shoot me, I heard the guy.”

He began a leisurely walk around Brian, keeping a safe distance, his eyes scanning the soldier up and down with amused interest.

“Okay,” he said suddenly. “I’m going. See you later.”

He turned around and took off with lively steps.

Brian stared at him open-mouthed. “Hey. Hold it right there. Don’t move,” he exclaimed once he came back to his senses.

The boy ignored him and kept going, as if Brian were just a rotten stump.

Rage and disbelief mixed in Brian’s mind, only to make room for his sense of duty. Any second now the captain would arrive; he had to stop that child.

“Hey, kiddo, I told you not to move.”

He caught up with the boy in a few brisk steps, stuck the tip of his rifle right behind his ear and engaged the trigger once more.

“Just stop, for God’s sake,” he huffed.

“Are you going to shoot me?” the boy asked without turning his head.

Jesus! How long before the team would arrive? One mile to drive from the buildings over bare land was not much, but there were the three wired barricades to go through, each with their own sophisticated locking systems, even more complicated now at times of red alert.

“I’m not going to shoot you, but don’t make me hurt you, kid, because I will if I have to,” Brian warned him through clenched teeth.

The boy shot a side glance at him and suddenly turned around, starting back toward the gate.

“What are you doing?” Brian asked disconcerted.

“Going out,” the boy said. “I just realized the exit is back there.”

Raw fury began to throb through Brian’s temples. He wasn’t going to play games with this kid anymore.

“That’s it,” he said and landed a heavy hand on the boy’s shoulder. “You stop right now or…” His gaze met that of the kid’s for a moment. He stared into eyes that looked like liquid silver in the moonlight. Mercury silver.

“Okay,” the boy said. “I stopped. What’s your name?”

“Brian…”

The boy nodded slowly. “Good. I need your help, Brian. Are you going to help me?” He kept staring in the soldier’s eyes, watching as they glazed over.

“Yes, sure,” Brian answered. ‘What can I do for you?”

“For starters, you could open that gate for me.” The boy pointed toward the fence. “You can also let go of me now, okay?”

“Oh, of course.” Brian nodded.

He dropped his hand off the kid’s shoulder and walked back to the booth. A moment later there was a heavy magnetic click.

“Here we are.” He poked his head out. “Just pull the handle, and you’re all set to go.”

Two cars were fast approaching from the nearest barricade. The beams of their headlights wobbled up and down as their wheels bumped over the bare land.

“Thanks.” The boy winked at him. “Gotta go.”

He pushed the gate open just enough to slide his slim body out.

“Do you need something to warm you up? It’s cold out there,” Brian called after him.

The boy hesitated for a moment. “Yeah, that would be good, thanks.” He waited in silence for Brian to bring him his tunic, keeping a wary eye on the approaching cars.

“Take care of yourself, kiddo.” Brian waved, smiling foolishly.

He was already talking to the darkness. The forest had claimed its prize. The kid wasn’t there anymore.

“Splice.” The captain’s voice boomed from behind, making him flinch. “Where’s the boy?”

The Private turned around in surprise, taking in the massive man who jumped out of the first car before it stopped.

“He just left, sir,” he answered.

Captain Huntley came to an abrupt halt in front of him and stared open-mouthed.

“What did you just say?” he almost whispered.

“He just left, sir,” Brian repeated, looking at his superior a little disconcerted.

“Did you open the gate for him, Splice?” Captain Huntley asked.

He suddenly grabbed Brian’s chin and turned his face toward the moonlight to look into his eyes. Bright and clear.

“Yes, sir, I did. He asked me to,” Brian squeezed the words out of the captain’s grip.

“Which way did he go?” Huntley continued his interrogation, his gaze still drilling into Brian’s.

The soldier jerked his head toward the woods. “The forest, sir.”

“God dammit,” Huntley spat. He let go of the Private’s chin and stormed away. “Carter. Carrasco. Send all teams to search every inch of the woods with sniffer dogs. Get helicopters. Reinforcements. This is a code red situation. Search the river downstream. And don’t come back until you find MB1, do you hear me?” he rapid-fired the order.

“Yes, sir,” the men chorused their compliance.

He turned his back on them and squeezed out a tortured sigh just as his cell phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and looked at the number displayed on the screen.

“Good evening, sir,” he replied with a resigned tone. “We have a situation here.”

“What’s the situation, Huntley?” A sour voice sounded at the other end of the line.

He paused for a moment to swallow hard before answering. “We have an escapee, sir. Our mindbender.”

“Jesus Christ. How did that happen?”

Captain Huntley ran a hand over his day’s worth of stubble. “I don’t know the details just yet, sir, an investigation is underway as we speak. All I can tell you is that he touched a guard from the outer fence, and the guard let him out after that.”

“Are you telling me it took you that long to find out he had escaped the building, Huntley?” The voice broke out angrily.

“No, sir, we arrived at the scene in two minutes tops after the guard told us he had MB1 in custody,” Huntley replied.

“But the scientists said the boy needed at least ten minutes to link. Are you now telling me he linked in less than two minutes?”

“So it seems, sir.” In fact, it must have taken a lot less than two minutes, Huntley thought.

“Is there a chance that the full moon may have heightened his senses?” The voice pressed.

Huntley looked up for a moment. There it was, pale, scarred and eerie. “That I wouldn’t know, sir. I’m a captain, not a scientist. But I can reassure you that we are doing all we can to get him back. He won’t get very far, he’s only fourteen.”

The voice exploded in his ear like a firecracker. “He’s only fourteen and he was able to break out of a high security facility. What sort of guards do you have if your mindbender can link with them in less than two minutes? Don’t you put them through a psychological test before you station them?”

Huntley stuttered. “Y-yes, we do, sir. But maybe you’re right. Maybe his senses are heightened by the full moon.”

“Can he read minds too?”

“I think he can, sir, but I doubt he can do it from a distance, if that’s what you mean,” Huntley said. “I don’t think he’ll be able to figure out our strategy. And he’ll most probably try to go downstream. Upstream would be suicide. We’ll get him, don’t you worry.”

“You better, Huntley, or I’ll have your skin.”

And with that he hung up.

“No you won’t, dammit.” Huntley clenched his cell phone in his hand with rage.

The darkness of the forest was for once conquered by light. Dozens of flashlights were sparkling in its blanket like dazzling diamonds. Powerful helicopter beams shot down from the sky, dancing their way through the untouched wilderness. Deflowering it.

“Do you think he’ll be all right, sir?” Brian Splice’s voice made Huntley turn around.

Huntley stared at him as if he were insane.

“The boy, I mean,” Brian persisted. “It’s cold out there. But I gave him my tunic. Not much of a loss for me. I hope it’s warm enough for him.”

Huntley kept quiet for a moment then nodded slowly. “You know what, Splice? You’re right; your tunic is not much of a loss. It’s just that you gave away your insignia with it, you idiot.” And he walked away without another word.

'Mindbender' by Lillian Summers can be purchased on Amazon in Kindle format HERE


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Love, actually

We begin by loving the sound of our mother’s voice while we are in her womb. Next, we grow to love her face, and that of our father. Siblings, childhood friends, extended family - they all get a slice of our love as we grow up. A love that comes and goes, replaced by new feelings driven by new interests.
 
We do have, however, a lifelong romance: the love of oneself. For many, that is, indisputably, the strongest emotional element they will ever experience. A fewer (yet significant) number of people will, at some point in time, feel the magic of loving their life partner. When that happens, everything they know about romance from books, family or other people’s experiences becomes pale compared to what they feel right then and there. Words become caresses; kisses stop speech when words become superfluous; cuddles are heart-stoppers; love-making is the ultimate fusion. Then comes the real trial, that of facing life together. That goes far beyond physical closeness; it entails commitment, harmony and companionship, understanding and acceptance. More often than not, love doesn’t withstand these tests. It succeeds at some, but it’s sufficient to fail at just one, and it will crumble. Many try to piece it back together, but few understand that if one or more elements are missing, there was no love in the first place. A compulsive desire to own a personal fairy tale doesn’t represent the foundation for love.
True love is an exclusive bond of trust and fidelity. It gives the ability to be lover and best friend equally. It holds the connotation of being a soul mate bond. But most importantly, it withstands the challenge of time.
For those who experience joy and happiness, time is too short, as it is too long for those who grieve and suffer. For those who wait, it is too slow, as it is too swift for those who fear. But for those who truly love, time is blessed eternity.
I look forward to spending my eternity at your side, my love.
 
Lillian Summers
Author of contemporary romance novel 'Follow the white pebbles' and paranormal romance novel 'Mindbender'
 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The pursuit of happiness

It is often said that happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length. Most of us live with the perception that happiness is a temporary state, here today, elusive again tomorrow. I often wondered if, by sticking to this belief, we are actually shaping our future into one of doubt and denial.

Happiness does have a beginning, but its end is entirely dependent on our willingness, or the lack thereof, to preserve it. It is, indeed, a state that we can manipulate ourselves, for it is not conditioned upon our circumstances, but it is the result of good conscience, good health, occupation and the freedom that we grant ourselves. The latter is a state that is highly contingent upon our willingness to fight. More often than not, we choose to be imprisoned in a cage of dependency, compromise and limitations. We unhappily nurture dysfunctional relationships, we hold onto unsatisfying jobs and questionable habits. We constantly dwell on the past and are driven by the anxious dependence upon the future.
But if we open our eyes, we will see that everything, even darkness and silence, has its wonders. We do have the power to extract happiness from common things.  Happiness is an inside job. Its secret is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.
To me, happiness doesn’t translate into riches or possessions. It lies in the knowledge and satisfaction that all the bitterness and trauma of my past were a necessary devil that shaped me into what I am today; that I am a formidably strong woman, because I managed to survive.
It lies in waking up every morning next to my husband, to look into his eyes and see unmeasurable love, to return it to him just as much. To check my email and find a love letter from him. To read in it that to him, I am the most beautiful woman on earth. To revel in the simple miracle that I have a lifetime ahead of me with him by my side. To be able to tell him ‘I love you’ at any given time and place.
During the past 45 years I went to hell and back many times. It took me that long to learn that happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. It is the experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.
Lillian Summers
Author of contemporary romance novel 'Follow the white pebbles' and paranormal romance 'Mindbender'
 

 

 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Got married!

I don't usually write personal posts on my author page, but I want to share a lifetime event with all my readers. Today I married the most amazing man on earth. I am the happiest woman ever.
I love you, Mike. More than anything. You are my husband, best friend, lover, and forever soul mate. 



 

Friday, 28 February 2014

'Mindbender' the compilation has been released

'Mindbender' the compilation is finally out. You can find it on Amazon worldwide (available for purchase in your currency). For my United States friends and fans, here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Mindbender-Lillian-Summers-ebook/dp/B00IPN0TI2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393615741&sr=8-1&keywords=mindbender+Lillian+Summers
 
 

Monday, 24 February 2014

'Mindbender' - the compilation

'Mindbender' the compilation will be released on Amazon on February 28th. It comprises all three books, and has a brand new, gorgeous cover. Here it is:
 
 
 
For those who don't know what 'Mindbender' is about, here's a blurb:
 
They call him MB1. The mindbender. Jason Asbury has the ability to turn people into his puppets with the power of his mind. He is NSA’s most treasured asset, until he escapes a top secret facility at age fourteen. Twelve years later, he has achieved everything a man could want, except for lasting love. But Jason’s past comes to haunt him, as a mystery man employs serial burglar Ally Brown to steal his personal diaries. The theft was an easy job for Ally, or it should have been. She now finds herself caught between the man she stole from and the one who hired her. But which one turns out to be the most dangerous to her?
 
And an excerpt as well. Enjoy :)

PROLOGUE

Friday, October 13th, 2000
NSA, PR12 facility, somewhere near Clearwater River, Idaho
The moon was flat and pale, forever scarred by the old, ugly rabbit that kept gawking down at the earthly lethargy with its dull, eerie stare. He did it every time the moon’s face was round and at its fullest. And it sure happened this time.
Brian Splice peeled his gaze from the sky and cursed bitterly. He should have started his first day on the job Monday, nice and clean, if it wasn’t for a bunch of superstitious imbeciles who had called in sick, all because of the full moon. And because it was Friday the 13th. A total lunar eclipse night too. He walked out of the booth with lazy steps and rubbed his hands together, at times blowing in between his fingers to bring some warmth to the hollow of his palms. It was unusually cold for mid-October.
The silver curtains of moonlight stretched past the wired fence to the edge of the woods. Then darkness conquered light, opening an endless, hungry mouth as dark as the blackest soul. He shivered. God only knew what happened at night beyond the border of the forest. No, not God. That looked nothing like His territory.
Jesus. What am I thinking? Brian mused with irritation. All this ‘full moon, Friday the 13th’ business was messing with his head, that’s what it was. There was nothing wrong with the forest, or with starting a new job today. He had made damn sure he’d be transferred to the most boring, uneventful place a soldier could go; guarding a top secret NSA facility where nothing ever happened. The buildings were nestled right in the middle of an unbreakable stronghold, about a mile away from the forest, and separated by another three rows of barbed-wired barricades from the outer fence. Unreachable.
The moonlight grew fainter and the Earth’s shadow began to bite at the moon’s round face. A hungry rat nibbling at a stale slice of cheese.
Brian looked up again. It’s happening.
How creepy to see the moon’s trail become so narrow and dim. But even so, it stayed visible and red. As if bleeding inwardly with its own strangely colored blood. A curse following an erratic pattern of its own. Another few minutes and it will be gone.
Yes, it will be gone, he reassured himself.
The strident howling of the sirens made him flinch. He took a few unsteady steps toward the wired barricades and tripped on a rock. The lights turned on all at once and the buildings came to life in the distance, lighting up like a carousel at a carnival. Definitely not a drill. Cold terror swept through him from head to toe. He slid the belt of his rifle off his shoulder and turned the weapon forward hastily, clasping it hard with both hands until his knuckles turned white.
I’m safe. I’m safe. It’s all happening in the buildings, he chanted silently as he whirled on his heels, completing a full circle. Nothing in sight. I’m safe. I’m safe. It’s all happening in the buildings.
A scratching noise behind the booth made him jump.
“Who’s there?” he croaked, his finger shaking on the trigger. Take a deep breath, Brian. Deep breath. You’re a soldier, not a sissy.
Too bad it had been his father’s idea to send him to the army for the sake of his own political image. The overly polished senator risked to lose some of his shine if his son failed his patriotic duty or was demoted for unsatisfactory service.
“Who’s there?” Brian repeated a little more forcefully.
A little silhouette slipped out of the dark and inched its way toward him in silence.
Panic rose to Brian’s temples in pulsing storms. He extended his arms, clenching his weapon and engaged the trigger.
“Hold it right there,” he yelled. “Hold it or I will shoot you. Hands up.”
Two small hands rose in the air unhurriedly and stayed there, not far above a head covered by a fleece of tousled hair. Very light brown or very dark blond, Brian couldn’t quite decide.
The moonlight was slowly coming back. The soldier stretched his neck and squinted, trying to make out the features of the young boy standing in front of him, only a couple of yards away, staring with mild curiosity. Definitely not fear.
A child. Jesus Christ. Brian looked bewildered.
He grabbed his radio from his belt and pressed a button. “This is Private Splice, calling from Gate 14. I have a suspect in custody. Awaiting orders. Over.”
The radio came back to life in an instant. “Splice. This is Captain Huntley. Listen carefully to me. Do not shoot the suspect. I repeat. Do not shoot the suspect under any circumstances. And make sure you don’t touch him. Stay away from him. This is very important. Stay away from the suspect. Do you copy, Splice?”
“Affirmative, sir,” Brian shouted his compliance.
“We’ll be there in a couple of minutes. Over and out,” Captain Huntley announced. Then the radio went dead.
Silence lingered for a moment, only interrupted every now and then by the soft tapping of Brian’s nail as it trembled on the side of the trigger. His gaze scrutinized the boy’s face. It was calm and unreadable.
“What’s your name?” the boy asked, slowly dropping his hands.
A new wave of panic shook Brian from head to toe. “Hands up,” he yelled.
“Nah.” The boy crinkled his nose. “I’m tired. Besides, I’m not gonna wait for them.” He took a few small steps backward.
“Hands up or I’m going to…” Brian started shaking his rifle menacingly.
“You’re going to do what?” The boy raised his palms in the air questioningly. “Hit me in the head? Bash me? Knock me out? Cuz’ you sure can’t shoot me, I heard the guy.”
He began a leisurely walk around Brian, keeping a safe distance, his eyes scanning the soldier up and down with amused interest.
“Okay,” he said suddenly. “I’m going. See you later.”
He turned around and took off with lively steps.
Brian stared at him open-mouthed. “Hey. Hold it right there. Don’t move,” he exclaimed once he came back to his senses.
The boy ignored him and kept going, as if Brian were just a rotten stump.
Rage and disbelief mixed in Brian’s mind, only to make room for his sense of duty. Any second now the captain would arrive; he had to stop that child.
“Hey, kiddo, I told you not to move.”
He caught up with the boy in a few brisk steps, stuck the tip of his rifle right behind his ear and engaged the trigger once more.
“Just stop, for God’s sake,” he huffed.
“Are you going to shoot me?” the boy asked without turning his head.
Jesus! How long before the team would arrive? One mile to drive from the buildings over bare land was not much, but there were the three wired barricades to go through, each with their own sophisticated locking systems, even more complicated now at times of red alert.
“I’m not going to shoot you, but don’t make me hurt you, kid, because I will if I have to,” Brian warned him through clenched teeth.
The boy shot a side glance at him and suddenly turned around, starting back toward the gate.
“What are you doing?” Brian asked disconcerted.
“Going out,” the boy said. “I just realized the exit is back there.”
Raw fury began to throb through Brian’s temples. He wasn’t going to play games with this kid anymore.
“That’s it,” he said and landed a heavy hand on the boy’s shoulder. “You stop right now or…” His gaze met that of the kid’s for a moment. He stared into eyes that looked like liquid silver in the moonlight. Mercury silver.
“Okay,” the boy said. “I stopped. What’s your name?”
“Brian…”
The boy nodded slowly. “Good. I need your help, Brian. Are you going to help me?” He kept staring in the soldier’s eyes, watching as they glazed over.
“Yes, sure,” Brian answered. ‘What can I do for you?”
“For starters, you could open that gate for me.” The boy pointed toward the fence. “You can also let go of me now, okay?”
“Oh, of course.” Brian nodded.
He dropped his hand off the kid’s shoulder and walked back to the booth. A moment later there was a heavy magnetic click.
“Here we are.” He poked his head out. “Just pull the handle, and you’re all set to go.”
Two cars were fast approaching from the nearest barricade. The beams of their headlights wobbled up and down as their wheels bumped over the bare land.
“Thanks.” The boy winked at him. “Gotta go.”
He pushed the gate open just enough to slide his slim body out.
“Do you need something to warm you up? It’s cold out there,” Brian called after him.
The boy hesitated for a moment. “Yeah, that would be good, thanks.” He waited in silence for Brian to bring him his tunic, keeping a wary eye on the approaching cars.
“Take care of yourself, kiddo.” Brian waved, smiling foolishly.
He was already talking to the darkness. The forest had claimed its prize. The kid wasn’t there anymore.
“Splice.” The captain’s voice boomed from behind, making him flinch. “Where’s the boy?”
The Private turned around in surprise, taking in the massive man who jumped out of the first car before it stopped.
“He just left, sir,” he answered.
Captain Huntley came to an abrupt halt in front of him and stared open-mouthed.
“What did you just say?” he almost whispered.
“He just left, sir,” Brian repeated, looking at his superior a little disconcerted.
“Did you open the gate for him, Splice?” Captain Huntley asked.
He suddenly grabbed Brian’s chin and turned his face toward the moonlight to look into his eyes. Bright and clear.
“Yes, sir, I did. He asked me to,” Brian squeezed the words out of the captain’s grip.
“Which way did he go?” Huntley continued his interrogation, his gaze still drilling into Brian’s.
The soldier jerked his head toward the woods. “The forest, sir.”
“God dammit,” Huntley spat. He let go of the Private’s chin and stormed away. “Carter. Carrasco. Send all teams to search every inch of the woods with sniffer dogs. Get helicopters. Reinforcements. This is a code red situation. Search the river downstream. And don’t come back until you find MB1, do you hear me?” he rapid-fired the order.
“Yes, sir,” the men chorused their compliance.
He turned his back on them and squeezed out a tortured sigh just as his cell phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and looked at the number displayed on the screen.
“Good evening, sir,” he replied with a resigned tone. “We have a situation here.”
“What’s the situation, Huntley?” A sour voice sounded at the other end of the line.
He paused for a moment to swallow hard before answering. “We have an escapee, sir. Our mindbender.”
“Jesus Christ. How did that happen?”
Captain Huntley ran a hand over his day’s worth of stubble. “I don’t know the details just yet, sir, an investigation is underway as we speak. All I can tell you is that he touched a guard from the outer fence, and the guard let him out after that.”
“Are you telling me it took you that long to find out he had escaped the building, Huntley?” The voice broke out angrily.
“No, sir, we arrived at the scene in two minutes tops after the guard told us he had MB1 in custody,” Huntley replied.
“But the scientists said the boy needed at least ten minutes to link. Are you now telling me he linked in less than two minutes?”
“So it seems, sir.” In fact, it must have taken a lot less than two minutes, Huntley thought.
“Is there a chance that the full moon may have heightened his senses?” The voice pressed.
Huntley looked up for a moment. There it was, pale, scarred and eerie. “That I wouldn’t know, sir. I’m a captain, not a scientist. But I can reassure you that we are doing all we can to get him back. He won’t get very far, he’s only fourteen.”
The voice exploded in his ear like a firecracker. “He’s only fourteen and he was able to break out of a high security facility. What sort of guards do you have if your mindbender can link with them in less than two minutes? Don’t you put them through a psychological test before you station them?”
Huntley stuttered. “Y-yes, we do, sir. But maybe you’re right. Maybe his senses are heightened by the full moon.”
“Can he read minds too?”
“I think he can, sir, but I doubt he can do it from a distance, if that’s what you mean,” Huntley said. “I don’t think he’ll be able to figure out our strategy. And he’ll most probably try to go downstream. Upstream would be suicide. We’ll get him, don’t you worry.”
“You better, Huntley, or I’ll have your skin.”
And with that he hung up.
“No you won’t, dammit.” Huntley clenched his cell phone in his hand with rage.
The darkness of the forest was for once conquered by light. Dozens of flashlights were sparkling in its blanket like dazzling diamonds. Powerful helicopter beams shot down from the sky, dancing their way through the untouched wilderness. Deflowering it.
“Do you think he’ll be all right, sir?” Brian Splice’s voice made Huntley turn around.
Huntley stared at him as if he were insane.
“The boy, I mean,” Brian persisted. “It’s cold out there. But I gave him my tunic. Not much of a loss for me. I hope it’s warm enough for him.”
Huntley kept quiet for a moment then nodded slowly. “You know what, Splice? You’re right; your tunic is not much of a loss. It’s just that you gave away your insignia with it, you idiot.” And he walked away without another word.