Monday, July 29, 2019
Sunday, July 28, 2019
There is a deep sigh, as if he’s heard me. Then, his voice says:
There is nothing more enjoyable than working side by side with you, Ash, as we have been doing in my garage. If you were here—or at least, if I knew you’d be coming back—that’s what I’d do all day long.
Yes, I know exactly what he means. We would get so immersed in the Virtual Reality world he’s created, that getting out of it would be not only difficult but close to unthinkable.
But now—in your absence—I’m thinking of going in an entirely different direction. What it is, I don’t yet know.
A large military ops corporation wants to purchase the Virtual Reality model we have been developing in recent months. At this point, I’m inclined to accept their offer and then, turn over a new leaf.
Yes, I whisper. You are about to embark on a new journey, and so am I. Here’s to new beginnings. I hope we’ll find a new destination. And when we arrive, I hope we’ll find each other.
Just an outstanding grasp of the human mind when all is dark around you due to power failures and a coma. To be perfectly honest, it gave me the chills while reading...
~Serenity, TOP 50 REVIEWER
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Meanwhile in the video, Susan clears her throat.
“I have little time and a whole lot to share with you,” she says. “First and foremost, this is between us. You may suspect that I’m jealous of you. And maybe part of me is, the part that has been in love with him, ever since we met, ten years ago, in Varanasi, India. But now, this love is dying. So, it is with regret that I must reach out to you—whoever you are—and beg you to beware of who he is.”
Susan lays a limp hand over her heart. “In part, my regret is for myself, because without question, I will be at least overdosed, if not dead, if this video has found its way, as I hope, into your hands. I can’t help but grieve for myself, knowing I’m about to lose it, lose my life.”
“But even more than that,” she says, “my regret is for you, my successor, my supposed enemy, my never-to-see friend. Yes, my regret is for you, because by listening to me, you’re putting yourself squarely in my place, which is to say, in harm’s way.”
“Perhaps you have the urge to shut me off, or at least to ignore what I’m about to say. But listen you must, because even if you don’t believe it, you’re already much too close to danger.”
Susan gathers herself up with a little jolt. Clearly, she is startled by the ding-dong of a doorbell somewhere in the background. “Oh no, I have no more time,” she whispers. “Consider yourself warned.”
Her fingers, coming in to grip the cellphone, obscure part of the view, but in the space between them I catch sight of her footfalls, going somewhat unsteadily out of the den and along the corridor. She must be heading towards the entrance.
Here, at last, is the threshold. Sunlight starts slanting over it as the door sways open. It is then that Susan draws a quick breath and just before handing the cellphone over into someone’s hand, just before the eye of its camera is swallowed into darkness, she utters her last sentence.
“Neil is my undoing. Make sure he isn’t yours.”
★ Love Suspense? Prepare to be thrilled ★
Friday, July 19, 2019
Karisma sighs. “Shortly after that ended, out we went. The sky was still inky black. Even so, Susan put on her sunglasses. Perhaps she wanted to hide her puffy eyes.”
“The guide ushered Martha, Susan, and me into a wooden boat, and we floated off down the Ganges to the shores of the oldest of India’s cities. We were told that the public ritual we were about to witness runs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, consuming hundreds of bodies a day in plain sight.”
By her slumped outline, Karishma has relaxed into her seat. In the dim light, I can barely decipher her expression. Her voice, soft and melodious, has a barely noticeable Indian accent as she conjures these visions from her homeland.
“The sight of the fires, rippling in the air and in reflection, was spectacular from afar. We started feeling the clang, the metronome clang of distant bells. The closer we came, the louder it vibrated inside our bodies. We reached the bottom of the cremation ghat, where a wave of furnace-like heat swallowed us. Around us were funeral pyres—burning, hissing, spitting embers into the air—just downstream from where people were bathing.”
Around us, the darkness seems to deepen. It is void of distractions, so what she describes comes to life more vividly than it would, had I seen it with my own eyes.
“Within moments of our arrival,” she says, “sweat poured down our faces. We struggled to breathe and could barely see through the blasting hot air. Here was one body, shrouded in white cloth and immersed in leaping flames. Over there was another, draped in flowers and surrounded by relatives and friends. They offered prayers to help the departed on her final passage. And on the deck opposite us, workers took a tea break as another body was prepared for cremation.”
“The guide greeted the workers and asked if we had any questions for them. By now, we were somewhat in shock. Maybe the Indian sun, rising to a blaze, got to us. I asked if getting so close to death was stressful to them. They said no. Martha asked how hard it was to work in these furnace-like conditions. They just shrugged. Meanwhile, Susan looked searchingly all around the burning deck, as if she had lost something. Finally, she asked, ‘Did you know a Dr. Patel?’”
Months after recovering from coma, Ash discovers that the man who performed her brain surgery has a questionable medical experience and a dark past. Should she expose him, at the risk of becoming vulnerable to his revenge?
Thursday, July 18, 2019
He crushes a bunch of pills into a small heap of powder, transfers it to a glass, and pours some wine into it, all in plain view, as if wanting to show me the method of my own demise.
I can’t afford to give him what he seems to want: the pleasure of seeing how scared I am.
He swirls the wine about, then raises it to my nose, so I may smell its aroma. “I’m happy to hear you’re not expecting a baby.” He tone is loaded with sarcasm. “I wouldn’t want it to suffer any ill-effects, once you have your little drink.”
I brace myself into being stubborn. “You can’t force me.”
“You know I can.” He coughs up a sharp laugh. “And then, there would be no more need to have this prescription renewed.”
What I want—even more than a chance to save myself—is to give the doctor a taste of his own medicine.
In a heartbeat, my hands turn clammy. “I don’t know what I did to deserve this.”
He growls, “Sure you do! You’ve been asking too many questions about me, about my trip to India years ago, and about the woman I married there. No one gets to do all that and live to tell the tale.”
I hesitate to ask, “Not even your wife?”
“Especially not her.”
“What about me?” I ask, already knowing the answer. “Am I going to survive the night?”
“Trust me, it is with a heavy heart that I must kill you.” He comes closer, strokes my chin. “Such a beauty.” For a second, his eyes seem sad, almost. “Such a waste.”
★ Love Suspense? Prepare to be thrilled ★
Saturday, July 13, 2019
He stopped at the nearest grocery store to buy fresh strawberries. Their smell was arousing. It stopped him from thinking about Bull, Mr. Armstrong, and the cops. In place of these thoughts, he recalled the time he and his sweetheart had prepared dinner, just a few days ago. Their kiss had lasted no more than a minute, a lingering touch of his lips to hers, before he had eased away.
How Ash knew he would be coming home for breakfast he had no idea. He didn’t know it himself, until crossing the threshold. But there she was, setting two plates on the kitchen table.
The mouthwatering smell of strawberries started permeating the entire place. Ash came over, swaying her hips ever so slightly, and gave him a luscious smile before brushing her lips over his.
“If I didn’t know any better,” he said, half-jokingly, “I’d think you’re trying to seduce me.”
Her voice was ever so velvety. “Who’s trying?”
“Oh, sweetie, I’m so hungry.”
“So am I.”
On the cutting board, bread slices had just been cut out by a heart-shaped cookie cutter. He dipped them into the shallow bowl, where she had whisked together eggs, milk, and a bit of almond extract. Ash melted some butter in the large skillet, and when it started to bubble, she toasted the dipped bread hearts in it until they turned golden brown.
Meanwhile, he combined confectioners’ sugar and the remaining butter and extract, to create his own concoction: almond butter, which she spread over each slice of the French toast. He caught her hand, playfully, and licked off the buttery tips of her fingers, one by one.
With a side of plump strawberries, their breakfast smelled absolutely scrumptious. He was just about to sit down, when Ash said, “You know, when I was growing up, my mom told me never to eat in bed, or there would be trouble.”
“So did mine,” said Michael.
They looked at each other and could not help but bursting in a little giggle, like children being caught thinking of a forbidden act, which made it doubly as delicious to dare doing it.
Haunted by discovering the body of a beautiful dancer, Michael sets out to create a virtual reality simulation of her murder. Can he bring the mystery to life? Can he solve its clues in time, before the killer turns on the woman he loves, Ash?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Thursday, July 4, 2019
I miss my son, in a way I have never missed him before, knowing that he is not, and never will be, the man I expected him to become. The kiss I never got from him must be rejected, it must be held back by distance, which I must increase, because if I ever face him again, one of us will die.
I have expected his forces to arrive already, but they are not here yet. Now that we have mules to carry us, our escape is somewhat faster. Still I continue to worry that it is not fast enough. And so, on and on we go, under the cover of darkness, with barely any sleep.
At midnight we arrive at the Jordan river. We walk along its bank, and hours later catch a first glimpse of something magical: a haze rises there, over the Sea of Galilee, lifting away the edge of gloom. The glassy surface turns the landscape of the opposite shore upside down, and makes the glimmering of stars twinkle in the water.
In the distance, boats of fishermen seem to float over the deep blue. This is a tranquil, dreamy sight, one that invites us to a much needed rest. It lulls me into a sense of security, which I suspect is false.
Volume I: Rise to Power
Here is the story of David as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.
Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
The most torrid tale of passion ever told: David's forbidden love for Bathsheba, and his attempt to cover up the scandal. Will he muster the strength needed to protect her and save their son from danger?
Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
David loves his sons. The last thing he expects is that they will topple him from the throne. Who among them will remain by his side? Who will be not only loyal, but also eager to continue his legacy?
"The miracle of Uvi Poznansky's writing is her uncanny ability to return to old stories and make them brilliantly fresh."
- Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer