Past Dates

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Tucson Festival of Books
Tucson, Arizona

March 11-12

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Dead and Dead For Real

Christmas present teaser from Dead & Dead For Real

“Is anyone there?” asked Ricardo. In the sensory deprivation chamber, the sound suppression system damped out his voice. He spoke, but his ears heard nothing. “Why you not answer me?”

Nick watched the monitors as respiration rate and heart rate rose. Brainwave function increased. He turned the mic off. “He’s starting to panic. We’ll let him,” he said to Kiki. Blood pressure and heart rate spiked.

Ricardo screamed questions into a black vacuum. Nick backed the adrenalin off and increased the anti-anxiety. If Ricardo had been free of the drug-induced paralysis, he would be thrashing wildly. As if he had no body, his mind floated in black nothing. After several minutes, his brainwaves showed he was calming. Nick turned on the mic.

“Ricardo de Silva,” he said. “I am the Lord, your God.”

Spikes of panic again rose, but not as high as before. The words Nick spoke were conducted to a bone microphone, bypassing Ricardo’s ears.

“You stand before me in judgment. Confess your life to me so your sins may be forgiven and you are ready for the next life.”

Inside the chamber, Ricardo’s moan went unheard by his ears. His eyes flicked from side to side, seeking light, but seeing only blackness. “I am dead?” he asked of the darkness.

“You are with me. You have left your Earthly world behind. Tell me of the killings you did.” The voice echoed against Ricardo’s skull.

“If you’re God, you know what happened.”

“I must hear you tell it. In the telling, I seek remorse for your sins. Without that, there can be no forgiveness.”

“Two months ago we killed those ranchers near Red Rock. There was an old man and old lady. That old man, he was tough. He lasted for hours. The old lady had a heart attack or something. We hardly touched her. The young guy, he tried to protect the kid. He tackled me, so I made him watch when we killed the kid, then we killed him, slow. We cut the heads from all of them and left them in the freezer. They had some good steaks there, so we stayed for a couple of days.”