Monthly Archives: December 2020
To save his ship and crew, Captain Temms Rogers uses an untested alien device which hurls the Doubtful and its occupants away from a massive space battle. Rogers awakens to find his ship crippled and his crew decimated. They are lost in an unknown region of space, but they are but not alone. With old enemies lying in wait, Rogers must turn to a powerful local group called the Consortium in order to effect repairs to his ship and to find needed supplies. Then a strange autistic boy is found hiding in the ship’s cargo bay. Could the boy help save the Doubtful and its crew? — WATCH SERIES VIDEO
Benzi and his father lived alone those last couple years; his father only worked occasionally. No one wanted to hire a drunk, and of course the perception that the world was out to get him only made Pake Quinn drink more, steeping himself in self-loathing, a much more bitter brew than the stout he preferred.
That last night, Benzi’s father had started on him in the kitchen, bullying the boy for concealing his meager earnings. Didn’t matter if the boy had done anything – if he wasn’t guilty this time, he’d slipped notice some other time, that was pa’s theory. The older man slammed him into the cookstove, raining punches onto him as the boy cowered, trying to protect his head.
“Ungrateful pup!” Pake shoved him through the back door onto the wooden porch that overhung the river. Desperate, Benzi grabbed the railing, the chill air slicing through him, feet sliding on two inches of ice, frozen spray passing boats had blown up off the water.
“C’mere boy, I’ll teach you to hold your credits back from your ole man!” The elder Quinn stumbled and slid on the ice, grabbing the boy away from the rail. He slammed the wiry youth into the door frame, then lost his footing, dragging them both to the floor. “Think you’re better than your ole man because you got work and he don’t? Well I’ll show you.” As the boy clung to the splintering door frame, Pake struggled to get to his feet, slipping, each slip bringing him closer to darkness past the porch edge where the water rushed cold below.
Benzi watched, darkly fascinated, as his father writhed across the ice from the door to the edge in a clumsy dance of sorts. He felt a lump rise on the back of his neck. Blood trickled where he’d bit his lip. Mist rose off the stinking water beyond the edge of the porch. The air, cold and damp, penetrated his bones. His father’s mumbled curses hung on the air as he finally reached his hand toward Benzi, demanding help.
Instinctively his hand stretched out to his father, but he couldn’t make himself move across the ice to touch the extended fingers. He tried. Knew it was the “right” thing to do. But he couldn’t, even when the old man slipped, grabbed at a rickety chair and disappeared off the edge.
He’s not gone. He’s not gone! Keep your eyes closed and it won’t be true… I didn’t mean for him to fall… just wanted him to stop…
The sound of random gunfire down at the docks minutes later woke the trembling boy from his inner monologue. He crawled across the treacherous span and saw the water had carried Pake Quinn away. Stunned, his hand slipped along the edge of the ice, cold reality setting in.
His mind spinning with possibilities, he crawled back inside, looking at the house that must be his now. Still numb with shock, he reached in the cooler for one of his father’s ales. Cracking it open, he prepared to take a drink, and then set it on the table. No.
He backed up, the smell nauseating him.I don’t want his life. I don’t ever want his life.
He closed that door in his mind. The more he thought about it, he not only didn’t want his Da’s life, he didn’t want his house or his things. No ties. He was free. He stuffed a backpack with enough clothes and money to get him by till he could find work, and left home for good.
Paperback at Amazon • Paperback at Barnes & Noble • Paperback at Lulu • Hardback at Barnes & Noble • Hardback at Lulu • eBook at Amazon Kindle • eBook at Apple • eBook at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Kobo • eBooks at Smashwords