Monday Sampler: Mendez Genesis by Edward Hancock II

 

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In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Monday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Mendez Genesis, a suspense thriller from Edward Hancock II.

As one reviewer said: East Texas is shaken. Crime is rampant. People are dying. All signs point to one suspect. But no one can believe he is guilty. Edward Hancock has delivered one of the most terrifying stories I have read I a long time. Why? Because it could be true. The characters are that believable. You aren’t reading Mendez Genesis. You’re part of it. Edward Hancock flat knows how to write.

The Story

SPLINTERED SOULS: Tina Miles is a young girl starting a new chapter in her life. When she encounters Devin Snow, everything changes. Deep down, she believes there is more to Devin than meets the eye.

Meanwhile, Det. Lisa Warner is convinced there is more to Tina’s story. People are dying. No one has answers. What mysterious force binds these Splintered Souls BREATH OF GOD: After a horrible accident leaves him partially paralyzed, it takes the enigmatic power of heaven to bring Lieutenant Alex Mendez back from the dead, unlocking a secret as old as time that may have been hidden inside his four-year-old daughter.

To make matters worse, Detective Lisa Mendez, Alex’s wife, confronts her own demons, all the while chasing the most unlikely of suspects in connection with multiple homicides. Is it possible a seventeen-year-old boy with Spina Bifida is singlehandedly responsible for the worst crime spree to ever hit the small east Texas community?

Lisa Mendez believes it is possible, though a thousand questions remain. As with Alex, the answers to Lisa’s questions lay buried deep within the innocent soul of her daughter. While Alex searches himself for strength to battle physical and emotional uncertainties, Lisa must search inside herself, taking charge of courage and faith she never dreamed existed.

The Sampler

Edward Hancock II
Edward Hancock II

Nervous energy was his autopilot, but it had served him well for some time now. Dave remembered Gene nagging him for months, after his discharge from the Navy, to start up a law practice. For whatever reason, Dave just never got around to it, although promising his brother to do so. Despite rumors to the contrary, promises, in the mind of the Collins boys, were not made to be broken and this was, to Dave’s best recollection, the only promise he’d ever broken to his dearly departed brother. Now, for what it was worth, he’d promised Gene to get to the bottom of everything. He would keep that promise, even if it meant spending the entire fortune of the Collins family. If Dave had his way, no promise would ever go unbroken again. Nervous energy, or the desire to unbreak a promise. Whatever it took to keep going.

“You left me your money,” he whispered, holding the Longview News-Journal’s obituary in his hand. “Why didn’t you think to leave me your brain?”

The telephone startled Dave out of his wistful longing. He checked his digital desk clock and realized it was well after two in the morning. Who on earth would be calling him at this hour?

“Dave Collins,” he announced.

“Mr. Collins,” began the raspy voice on the other end, “How badly do you want to know what happened to your brother?” The voice sounded young, like a kid playing some kind of prank. Still, there was an uncanny chill crawling up Dave’s spine as he heard the suggestion of his brother’s true fate being revealed to him.

“Who is this?” Dave asked, trying to mask his sudden nervousness.

“What’s it worth to you?” the voice asked again.

“Name your price.”

“Your life,” the voice hissed.

The room grew cold around him. Dave’s breathing became labored. What little breath he could manage fogged over in the frigid air. His chest tightened. Heart attack, his mind screamed, but the words would not form in his throat. The computer screen blinked on, though the power strip itself was off.

Death must come!

When the words printed out on the screen, Dave’s blood turned to ice.

Death must come! Death must come! Death must come!

Dave’s heart pounded in his chest. Around him, the bookshelves began to shake and the books themselves seemed to be rattle-walking out of place. One by one they inexplicably fell to the floor. Dave wanted to alert his personal assistant, but tears were welling up in his eyes, blinding him. Pain fogged his mind and he couldn’t think of the extension to Foster’s bedroom.

Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come! Death must come!

The letters printed larger and larger on the screen until each word seemed to fill the screen in a running marquee of demonic luminescence. Blurred by tears, his eyes managed to grab hold of the words printing out on the screen. As the computer screen continued to fill with these maddening words, Dave’s head started swimming and his vision clouded over, blinking in and out of blindness. The keyboard and computer monitor sparked, sending small shards of plastic and glass through the puffs of smoke emanating from the melting pile of useless circuits.

Hit by shards of exploding computer parts, Dave could hardly tell the blood drops dripping down his forehead from the tears, sweat and spit mixing on his face.

The room spun before him and he could feel himself blacking out. He tried to stand but fell hard toward the floor, unable to steady himself. He could hear maniacal laughter on the other end of the phone, even as a whirring sound vibrated through the receiver. He checked the caller I.D. on the receiver, but his vision was too clouded over to make anything out. He blinked away pain and tears, trying desperately to read the digital caller I.D. display. The phone itself seemed to be growing warm to the touch. His fingers felt as if they were holding onto a potato while it was in the microwave being warmed on the highest setting. Still trying to blink away tears, fighting just to keep from blacking out, Dave finally found the caller I.D. readout and read “Anonymous Caller.”

The laughter grew louder, the receiver grew unbearably hot. The phone itself seemed to be cooking on his desk. Sizzles, buzzes and, there was no other word for it, ripping inside the phone’s wires and circuits. Blacking out.

Death must come!

Blacking OUT!

Death must come!

GENE! HELP ME!

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