Search Chapter 3 – Tuesday, 2 October 73

Search is loosely based on a real incident. The incident remains, the story is greatly different.

Enjoy. And remember, it’s still a work in progress. These chapters are rough drafts. I’ve completed twenty chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.

Read Search Chapter 2


 

Search Chapter 3 – Tuesday, 2 October 73

Todd shook out the double-bed sheet and reached up into the oak’s lower branches. Behind him the Kennebec River’s lower rapids splashed. He wrapped the sheet’s end over the limb and clothespinned it so the sheet fell open like a film projector screen. He stepped back, making sure it was secure, then turned and trampled a path through fallen leaves and brush to the river, making sure the bed sheet could be clearly seen.

He shook a spray can and sprayed a barely noticeable “2” on the sheet. Leaves rustled at ground level and he lowered the can.

“What’d you do with the boys, Andersen?”

“Sergeant Dyksta, how good of you to come. What boys?”

“Don’t bullshit me, you sick fuck. The Thompson boys. What’d you do with them?”

“Not a thing. Has something happened to them?”

“You drive the Hershey highway with Dave LaVerne, don’t you?”

“Why whatever do what you mean, Sergeant Dykstra?”

Dykstra’s hand went to his nightstick.

“Oh, Sergeant Dykstra. I had no idea you were into brutality. Doesn’t surprise me, though. I’ve seen your wife. Or wait. No, that would be bestiality, wouldn’t it?”

Dykstra pulled his nightstick. “I’m gonna – ”

“Not get paid? Whatever you do to me, make sure you don’t hurt my hands. It’d be horrible if I couldn’t hand you your take every week, don’t you think? How could you afford that pretty little lady up in Bangor you visit twice a week?”

Dykstra’s grip weakened. The nightstick slid back into its belt ring. “How do you know about that?”

“I know about that because I, unlike you, make it a point to know everything I can about the people I do business with.”

“What are you doing with those sheets?”

“Making highway markers. Wouldn’t you like to help?”

Dykstra turned and walked up the path from the river to the picnic area.

“Don’t go to far, Sergeant. You can help me put the rest of these up along both sides of the river.”

Dykstra paused, his back to Andersen, and clenched his fists.

“Beat me if you must, but do it with a smile, that way I know we’re both getting pleasure out of it.”


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Search Chapter 2 – Sunday, 30 September 73

Search is loosely based on a real incident. The incident remains, the story is greatly different.

Enjoy. And remember, it’s still a work in progress. These chapters rough drafts. I’ve completed seventeen chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.

Read Search Chapter 1


 

Search Chapter 2 – Sunday, 30 September 73

Raised in northern Maine trailer-trash poverty, petite, dark complexioned, wide-eyed Pam Rigaux met tall, strapping, nordic blond Bill Thompson in an UMO freshman English class and visited his family once to make sure his claims were true. She quickly got herself pregnant because she realized he, a good Christian boy, would do the right thing. Marrying into the upper-middle class, she quit school and insisted on a small home on French Island, just ten minutes away from classes if he hurried, so she could raise their daughter, Stephanie, while he completed his degree, which he did in double-quick time, three years.

Now in Gardiner, Pam Thompson spread herself onto her living room settee as if spreading her robes when ascending her throne. Pam made it a point to fill whatever space she could find; she appropriated church committees, civic groups, PTA, tennis, and golf clubs she joined whether she was chair or not, and did it graciously, with a smile, assuming entitlements she did not possess and keeping track of who was with her and who wasn’t in a tiny black book she kept in her petite, tightly held purse. A pair of long knitting needles waved like some monstrous insect’s antennae in her hands. Balls of yarn jostled around her.

Bill pulled a hardwood kitchen chair into the living room and set it by the big picture window overlooking their two-hundred foot long front yard, the two lane driveway beside it, the white picket fence demarcating the Thompsons from the rest of the world, and the country road beyond.

A bit too tall for the chair, he slid forward no matter how he sat. He got a throw-pillow from the couch and used it as a chair pad to keep himself seated. It didn’t work. He gave up and stood by the window, arms folded, leaning into it every time a car came down the road.

He checked his watch, checked the shadow of their house and backyard elms stretch across their lawn as the sun set behind their house, checked the grandfather clock standing opposite their broadwall fireplace, watched its pendulum slowly sway back.

And forth. Tick. Tick. Tick.

“We should call the police.”

Pam focused on the knitting in her hands. A slight French accent emerged when she tensed. “No, they’re fine.” She snapped the needles and the balls of yarn bounced around her.

“I’m calling the police.”

“No. They stayed late. They got good fishing. Wait.”

Bill went into the kitchen and picked up the phone.

“You made me drop a stitch. I have to rip the entire thing out now.”

Bill shook his head and dialed the Gardiner Police.

“My boys are fine.”


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The Shadow’s Project Limited’s Terry Melia Interviews Joseph Carrabis

Gifted author Terry Melia interviewed me recently as part of The Shadow’s Project Limited‘s author interview series.

All cards on the table, Terry’s Tales from the Greenhills is an amazing novel and how Terry and I got in touch. We knew each other via Twitter, I enjoyed our interactions, and decided to give his book a go.

Strongly recommended.

Terry contacted me a while back about being interviewed. As my The Augmented Man was re-released by Sixth Element Publishing, I said “oh…well…if i have to…PLEASE DEAR GOD YES OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE!”

You can watch the video below or on YouTube.

Enjoy.

Search Chapter 1 – Friday, 28 September 73

I posted my umpteenth take on a first chapter of Search on 12 November 2018. I liked the idea but not what was going on in that take so (once again) set the novel aside.

Then I wrote a few short stories and completed The Shaman. One chapter in The Shaman dealt with the subject of Search. A fan and faithful reader (thanks, Joe!) told me I had to write Search next.

Who am I to argue?

As before, so now. Search is loosely based on a real incident. The incident remains, the story is greatly different. I now understand why I couldn’t write it for the past forty years; I didn’t know what it was about.

Learning as I go, now.

Enjoy. And remember, it’s still a work in progress. These chapters are rough drafts. I’ve completed seventeen chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.


 

Search Chapter 1 – Friday, 28 September 73

John Chance’s hair rose on his arms as if chased by the wind. The air around him shimmered.

He smiled. Is that you, Grandpa?

He closed his eyes and let the slope of the hill between Ramsey College’s Finance and Admin buildings guide his rake. His grandfather called raking “combing Grandmother’s hair.” The feel of the wooden handle, the tines pulling crinkling leaves, the smell of freshly mowed grass. He always smelled clove aftershave when he remembered his grandfather. “Gio, pettiniamo i capelli della nonna.” Gio, we comb Grandmother’s hair.

His grandfather always called him Gio, an abbreviation of his given name, Giovanni Fortuna. John Chance. Gio. He smiled as he pulled on the rake. Crazy old man. Always had these amazing stories. How things grew. How things were. Pay attention, Gio. Ascolta! Listen.

Gio turned his head. The wind carried a hint of salt water from the ocean a few miles away. Closer, trucks and cars traveled north and south on Rt. 128, most of them supplying Manchester-By-the-Sea, Magnolia, Gloucester and Rockport. Some, the refirgeration units, backhauled today’s catch from Gloucester, Essex, and Ipswich.

Bluejays, wrens, and starlings gathered in the branches over his head. He isolated each’s song, heard each separate from the others. Chickadees and crows hopped along the rake’s path and pecked the freshly turned grass for seeds and grubs. Crows nodded at him, waiting for his rake to turn more grass over. Chickadees took flight, their wings phht-a-phht-a-phhting to a branch only to return a moment later, realizing it was safe.

He let the early Fall coolness fill him. He held his breath a moment, feeling his body’s exchange air into blood, blood releasing air. He exhaled and the stiffness of the day’s labors flowed from him. He didn’t carry a watch. The sun told him the time. Mid-afternoon warm.

His fellow students moved between classes. Footsteps clacked and clicked on walkways. Voices called hellos, shared notes, whispered gossip.

Gio returned to his raking, to the trickling sweat under his flannel shirt, to the steamy scent of his body laboring under the sun, to the motions of his muscles and tendons under his skin, to the feel of the handle, to the roughness of his calluses.

To the screams of children, to the scent of clove.


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Search – Friday, 28 September 73

A triple murder in 1973 Maine starts a search for evil that ends with a discovery of one’s destiny

 
I mentioned being asked to write some kind of murder mystery/detective/profiler and that I’d been doing just that. The work-in-progress, Search, is fact-based. Here’s the first chapter. Let me know what you think.


Grandfather Wolfe sat in the upper right corner of the auditorium listening to his nephew, Isaac Many Deer, talking to the cenhepé about things they could never understand. He’d come in late and planned on sleeping anyway so he didn’t take off his black AIM jacket or cowboy hat except to wave it at Isaac as he sat down.

He stretched out, legs crossed in front of him, the rough feel of freshly washed Wranglers scratching a little, his fingers gently intertwined and his hands resting across his stomach, his thumbs tapping his red on gray flannel shirt, wondering why college auditorium seats were so unaccommodating to old bones.

He didn’t hear the preacher’s question and half heard Isaac’s answer, “What kind of test did you have in mind?”

Wolfe smiled. That’s it, nephew. Piss them off early and often.

It seemed the preacher mumbled while Isaac spoke plainly, clearly. Perhaps he was more familiar with his nephew’s voice.

Wolfe’s nose twitched. Isaac looked over. “I’m familiar with the Old Testament’s test of a true prophet, yes.”

His nose twitched again.

Wolfe nodded at his nephew. His thumbs drummed a Nowiy’o Pe, a war song, on his shirt. The hairs bristled on the back of his neck. Isaac returned his nod; he felt it, too.

Somebody in the auditorium was hunting.


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