Blogs by Mark De Binder
Prologue of Serial Connections--A Thriller
4/15/2008 10:20:54 AM
Serial Connections (Back Cover) By Author Mark De Binder
Chase Benton, Shaman and Psychic Detective, becomes the focus of a Dark Entity from his past that will stop at nothing to destroy Chase and his private foundation, “Serial Connections”. Along with Detective Seville Waters, Chase and team confront three of the FBI's "most wanted" Serial Killers; the Maryland Devil, Seattle Samurai, and Lumber Jack. As they race to stop the gruesome murders and wholesale slaughter, their efforts are thwarted by the Dark Entity and the FBI Profiling Group. Chase is forced to tap into his spirit world, and “CLAIR”, the foundations cunning AI System, to out maneuver his opponents: Against All Odds! From New Hampshire and Maryland, to Washington and Maine, the forces battle one another in a griping, non-stop page turner. Serial Connections masterfully engages readers in an exploration of the other worlds like no other Thriller.
Prologue By Author Mark De Binder
New England 1988
“You idiot Henry, the kid could already be dead,” Chase shouted, lunging at the FBI agent. “How in the hell did you let this happen?”
Four other agents grabbed Chase Benton, and held him back before he could make contact with Henry White. Henry was the agent in charge of the ‘Hacker’, serial killer case. Henry jumped back at the assault, startled by the reaction of the private investigator, and moved behind his reinforcements.
“Benton, this could have happened to anybody,” said Henry, his face turning beet red. “It’s not our fault!”
Trying to break away from his captors while reaching for Henry, Chase yelled, “If that kid dies, I’ll make sure each and every one of you is locked up for incompetence!”
“Benton, I think you better leave now,” said one of the restraining agents, inches from his face.
“I’ll do better than that, bozo,” Chase spat, pushing away from the men. “I’m going to catch the Hacker, and bring William Longworth back before he gets killed like the rest of them.”
Chase shook the men off, turned his back on the crowd of suits, and quickly walked away. “We were so damn close!” he howled at himself. The last four weeks were a blur, working night and day in the FBI office in Boston, and Chase could feel the wave of fatigue and oppression coming over him. A light drizzle started to come down, and the air in Portland, Maine, was damp and cold. “It won’t be much longer until the snow comes,” he pondered, as the crisp moist air hit his nostrils. The facts, thoughts, and events of the last four weeks poured through his mind making him crazy as he crossed the large industrial parking lot to his car. Just an hour ago he thought the mission was going to be over. He couldn’t understand how the FBI fumbled this one, nor did he really care at this point. His VIP client had been very clear to him: “Chase, I don’t care who’s in charge of this case, I want you to use every method and means at your disposal to find my son.”
That was four weeks ago, and based on his profile of the Hacker, Jonathan Longworth’s son, William, could already be dead or best case, had five to seven days to live. There was no time left. Chase felt a chill down the back of his neck as he sped down I-95 South toward New Hampshire. Suddenly, thoughts and pictures started flashing in his mind. He knew this feeling well. Noticing a rest area ahead, he pulled over to think—meditate was more like it. Chase closed his eyes and relaxed his mind and body until he lost himself to that world deep inside. The place where he could see and feel things most people could not. This was not a new skill; ever since he was a little child he had visions and thoughts of things he could not understand. His parents had dismissed it as a very vivid imagination. It wasn’t until he was 12 years old, that his true abilities became apparent to others;
In 1970, on a hot summer morning, he had walked into the house, and found his mother sitting at the kitchen table crying. “Mom, what’s wrong?” he asked, placing his hands on her shoulders.
“Your Aunt June just called,” she explained. “Your cousin Josh has been missing since yesterday morning. They have looked everywhere but can’t find him. Your father just left the office to drive out there to join the search party.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Chase responded, “Don’t cry Mom, Josh is okay. He’s stuck right now, and calling out for help—they’ll find him.”
“Now’s not the time for this, Chase!” his mother chided, slowly lifting her head. “I know you mean well, but there’s no possible way you could know.” Chase shrugged and walked back outside to re-engage the day.
That night after Chase had gone to bed, his father called Sarah. “Honey, we have searched over two square miles, and nothing, nothing at all!, I’m afraid that if he’s still outdoors, he may not make it through another night.”
Sarah, remembering her brief encounter with Chase that morning, took a chance. “John, she began tentatively, “Chase had one of those moments this morning, and told me that Josh is okay, but stuck somewhere. I dismissed him right away. I don’t know… it’s just, sometimes, I think his moments might be real…”
“Oh God, not again Sarah,” John moaned. “We’ve been through this so many times! The boy just has a wild imagination. We’re about to head back out. I’ll call as soon as we know anything. I love you.”
Sarah was up most of the night, worrying about Josh, and praying to God they would find him soon. She had just finished fixing Chase’s breakfast when he came downstairs. Grateful it was not Chase who was missing, Sarah went to him, and gave him a big hug.
“Good morning Mom,” said Chase, as he stared at his plate and began swirling his scrambled eggs around.
“Not hungry today?” she asked.
“Josh is tired, cold, and hungry,” Chase replied. “I just can’t eat right now.”
Sarah paused at the sink and looked hard at her son—he appeared tired, solemn, and withdrawn.
“Chase,” she said, “Do you know where Josh is?”
“Not exactly Mom. He’s stuck in a dark place, and no one can hear him calling. There’s water around him, lots of rocks, and he’s very cold and scared. He feels real bad because he’s not supposed to be there, and is afraid of getting into lots of trouble.”
Sarah placed her fingers to her temples and pressed hard. “What in the hell is going on?” she thought to herself.
Springing into action, she commanded, “Go to your room, get dressed, and go to the bathroom, we’re leaving right now.”
She gathered her purse, and car keys, and they began the two-hour drive to her sister-in-law’s house.
The ride was very quiet. John had called that morning and said there was no news. The search party was becoming less optimistic by the minute. “What if,” Sarah kept asking herself? Things had become hopeless, and she could not get Chase’s thoughts out of her head.
When Sarah and Chase arrived, police cars, ambulances, and 20 to 30 civilian vehicles clogged the small road. Sarah’s sister-in-law, June, was on the front porch, surrounded by friends and family. Her eyes had dark circles, and were swollen with tears.
Sarah ran to the porch and took June into her arms. “Oh June, I’m so sorry,” she said, as she squeezed her firmly.
“Sarah, I’m so glad you’re here,” June gasped. “Tim, John, and the rest of the men are at their wits end. They have looked everywhere. The dogs ran out of trail over near the small quarry, and they thought he might have fallen in, somehow.”
June began sobbing uncontrollably and Sarah held her tight, afraid that she might collapse.
“They have three boats and divers in the water now, and have just finished dragging the entire pond,” June uttered, her body quivering. “Nothing, nothing at all…”
Chase took a seat on the front steps. “Tell them to keep looking,” he said, barely audible. “He’s there, and he’s cold, wet, and scared.”
Pulling away from Sarah, June looked at her young nephew as he sat there all alone.
“Chase, what did you just say?”
“He’s there, Aunt June, you just can’t see him. He’s very afraid, and very cold.”
June hurried down the stairs, and looked Chase in the eyes.
“What do you mean Chase? Talk to me!” she demanded.
Chase turned, silently questioning his mother. She gave him a loving nod of permission. Chase turned back and spoke to his aunt.
“Aunt June, Josh is okay, but not for long. I don’t know exactly where he is, but he’s in the dark, with water all around him, and he’s frightened because no one can hear him.”
“My God,” June whispered. She was well of aware of Chase’s ‘moments’ as they called them, having lent a mother’s ear and advice to Sarah, many times. Suddenly, a look of astonishment, mixed with sheer terror, came across her face.
“We have to get to that quarry now!” June exclaimed, grabbing Chase by the hand. She stopped suddenly looking for the police dispatcher serving as the communications hub.
“Betsy, quick, Come here!” June called excitedly. “Call Captain Turner, and tell him not to take the boats out of the quarry yet. Tell him I’ll be there in ten minutes to explain.”
Betsy pulled out her walkie-talkie, as Sarah, June, and Chase disappeared down the trail into the woods.
When they got to the quarry, Tim, John, Captain Turner and a few others were looking out over the 50-foot cliff into the water below. A small zodiac was just leaving the beach with a pilot and diver. They had already been packing up, when, the Captain had hailed them on the radio, and told them to head back out. The group turned around when the two mothers and small boy came running through the clearing.
“Sarah!” John exclaimed to his wife. “What are you doing here? What’s this all about?”
June interrupted and explained to everyone what Chase had said. The Captain’s expression changed from hope, to disappointment, as he listened to the news.
“June, I know you’re feeling desperate,” the Captain began, “but every minute we waste…” He cut himself short as Chase walked over to the edge of the cliff, looked around the quarry, then pointed to a place on the north wall.
“Josh is there,” Chase said, quietly. All the adults stared in utter disbelief.
A sudden chill went down the Captain’s spine as he noticed that the water level was a good fifteen feet lower than it should be.
“Well, I’ll be damned!” he said, more to himself than to the others. “The water is lower than usual because of the dry spring we had.” The others soon came to the same realization
“Charlie! Send the boat over there,” June demanded of the Captain, “and have that diver take a look-- now!”
The Captain picked up his walkie-talkie and ordered the boat over to the north face. Chase kept pointing, while the boat moved slowly along the bottom of the steep granite wall. Suddenly, dropping his arm, Chase whispered, “There!”
The Captain ordered the boat to stop, and, the diver into the water to look around. After a moment, the diver surfaced and spoke to the boat pilot, then, taking out a rope, tied it off to one of the cloth rails on the Zodiac, then disappeared again.
The radio crackled as the boat’s pilot reported to the Captain. “Charlie, there’s a small opening or cave, about three feet below the surface,” he began. “He’s going in to check it out.”
The Captain ordered the other two boats, and medic, to head to the area. As they arrived, the diver was just coming back up. He took off his mask, and waved furiously to the crowd on top of the cliff. The silence was broken as they all watched the diver raise his right hand and issue the “Thumbs Up.”
The crowd responded with cheers and gasps of astonishment. Sarah and June embraced, tears of joy flooding down their cheeks. Suddenly, all eyes were on Chase, sitting on the ground, all alone, a smile spreading across his face from ear to ear…
A few days later, back at home, Chase was watching his neighbors’ horses frolic around in the field. Mr. Marks, the horses’ owner, appeared from nowhere, and sat down on his side of the fence.
“Good morning, Chase,” he said smiling.
“Hi, Mr. Marks,” Chase responded, looking up at the older man. Mr. Marks was only 27 years old, but to Chase he was ancient.
After a brief silence, Mr. Marks commented, “Chase, you did a wonderful thing the other day helping the police find Josh.”
“How did you know about Josh?” Chase asked, making a funny face. As far as Chase knew, his parents never really talked to Mr. Marks, or his wife, Ashley, because they were a bit odd and kept to themselves.
“The real question,” said Mr. Marks, looking intently at the boy, “is how you knew about Josh.”
“I don’t know,” shrugged Chase. “Things just kept popping into my head. Did they pop into your head, too?”
“Well, let’s just say we were working together on this one, Chase.”
Mr. Marks stood, and walked back to his house. Chase didn’t understand what the man had just said, but somehow it felt right. What Chase didn’t realize then, was that over the years to come, Wesley Marks was to become one of the most loved and cherished people in his life.
The sound of heavy rain brought Chase back to reality. He quickly went into a semi-trance, and thought about ‘Hacker’. As his mind began to focus, pictures began blinking into his subconscious mind. At first, he could see a rather large log cabin, situated deep in a heavily forested area. The logs were medium brown, and seemed worn, as if they had little or no maintenance. The main cabin was two stories tall, with one-story wings off to each side, a farmer’s porch, stretched across the front. On either side of the door, Chase could see large picture windows. Off to the left, he noticed a large propane tank and scattered junk; old, rusting, car parts, corrugated roofing, and other stuff he could not recognize. An old water well was on the right with a rusty hand pump, a worn path indicating that the pump might still be used. The cleared sections of the yard were overgrown with weeds and small fir trees. There was no grass or shrubs to speak of.
As Chase focused, he could see the back of the house, its gently sloping land leading to a well-beaten trail heading into the woods. All of a sudden, a new image flashed in his mind. A man in his late 20’s, was curled into a ball in an upstairs room. He was tied up from behind, with the lashings connecting his hands and feet. “He must be alive,” Chase thought, “or why the restraint?” The picture changed to that of a face; one he knew well. They had obtained a picture of the man, through his employer, just hours before. At this moment, the ‘Hacker’, was wearing a light blue t-shirt and jeans and was pacing through the cabin, deep in thought. In the same breath, Chase saw another image. This time the ‘Hacker’ was wearing hunting fatigues and a hat, and was pushing a man out the back of the cabin into the yard.
After Chase had figured out the profile, and identified the man, the FBI immediately sent four teams to talk to relatives and acquaintances. His real name was Edward Feeney, born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts, as a foster child. He dropped out of college at the age of 20, and had no known relationships with females, or others, for that matter. A loner, he had not been in contact with anyone in his foster family for over six years. According to his foster mother, while Edward was in his second year of college, something caused him to turn away, withdraw, and become almost hostile. About nine months later, he simply disappeared. They didn’t try very hard to find him, because he had been difficult at best. They tolerated him because they had made a commitment to themselves, and, God, to raise and take care of the boy no matter what.
The last picture that came into Chase’s mind was that of a smaller building, not built of logs, but rather more contemporary materials. It was a single story shack, with small windows, and one door. Chase could not see any roads or trails around the building, which was odd, as he could not place the location. He felt a chill on his neck and an oppressive wave of fear wash over his body. He hoped to God that the image of the VIP’s son being pushed out the door of the cabin was in the future… and not the past.
Chase knew the log cabin’s location from tax receipts they had found in Edward’s primary house on the South Shore. Just hours before, a team from the local police had pronounced the cabin empty—with no sign of activity, but Chase knew they were there, somewhere. He backed out of the parking space and continued down Route 95 south. Once he crossed into New Hampshire, he turned on Route 101 west for the hour long ride.
When he arrived at the small town of Wilton, New Hampshire, he began looking for the small dirt access road that would lead him to the cabin. The road he was on looked more like a coastal back road. The shoulders were sand, with sparse overgrowth, just beginning to wither from the late autumn frosts. After two miles of searching, he noticed a rural marker on the left. “This is it!” he thought, and peeled off the pavement, heading down the long and darkened dirt road. According to the map, the cabin would be almost 1½ miles into the woods. When Chase had driven just over a mile, he pulled his car over into the brush to look around. The woods were thick, freshly fallen leaves providing a soft carpet on the forest floor.
“The leaves are nice and damp,” he noticed. “They’ll provide a certain amount of stealth when approaching the cabin.” Chase knew that if the leaves were dry and crisp, it would be impossible to get close to the cabin unnoticed. He planned his strategy carefully—if he went barging in, he was sure to be spotted. Edward now knew they were on to him, and would be watching closely. Chase sensed that Edward had been nearby when the local police had gone by earlier in the day.
Springing to action, Chase popped the trunk and pulled out a large plastic container filled with hunting gear. He was hoping the Hacker would mistake him for a deer hunter and not be concerned about him. He took off his leather jacket, shoulder holster, and shoes, and then slipped on his camo pants. He clipped a belt holster, with his Glock nine-millimeter handgun, behind his back, pulled on his camo top, and laced his boots. Lifting his compound bow from its case, Chase put six broad head tipped arrows, into the side-mounted quiver, and began his hunt.
It took about twenty minutes for Chase to get within 100 yards of the cabin. He stopped and waited quietly, listening both for the sounds of the forest, and, for those of humans. The woods sounded pretty normal. Squirrels and chipmunks were scurrying around and the birds were singing—none of the creatures were making sounds of alarm. Chase began to concentrate. He could not see or feel the Hacker, so he casually walked out of the woods into the clearing.
Walking deliberately to the water pump, as if he needed to quench his thirst, Chase checked the place out. He noticed an old wooden ladder lying against the side of the cabin. Laying his bow carefully on the ground, he picked up the ladder, and began to climb to the roof of the single story wing.
On the roof, and peering into a window, Chase convinced himself that all was clear. He carefully slid the window open and stepped into a bedroom. He stood quietly for a few moments, listening to his new surroundings—nothing. To his right was a neatly made bunk bed, and a dresser made of solid oak. The door was slightly ajar. Chase stepped through the door, and looked out over a railing into the living area below.
A horseshoe shaped walkway, connected to a staircase, provided access to the upstairs bedrooms. His mind flashed with deja vu as he entered the bedroom on the other side. Closing his eyes, he could see the image of the VIP, William, lying on the floor. Chase sensed the hostage had been here earlier in the day, but had been gone for some time now. All at once, he was hit by a wave of terror and pain, fear shooting through him, as if it was his own. Images of people began to flash through his mind—men, women, teenagers, old, young, married and single. He fell to his knees as dozens of faces flashed before his eyes, along with visions of their torture, pain, and death.
Disoriented, Chase stood up. “I hope to God I’m not too late!” he thought, poking around the room. Finding nothing, he headed slowly down the stairs to the large living area. It was furnished with several red couches, a couple of reclining chairs, and an 8-point buck mounted over the fireplace. To his left, he could see the kitchen wing and the wood stove that served as the cabin’s only source of heat.
As Chase turned to explore the other side, he felt something crash into his head, blinding him, and sending him to the floor. His Glock was knocked from his hand, and the last thing he saw, was Edward Feeney swinging a large cut log toward his head.
Chase’s head was throbbing as he regained consciousness; he realized he was in the room upstairs, lying on the floor, trussed up like the others had been. He wiggled and rolled around to test the tightness of his bonds—they weren’t going to come off easily.
Quieting his mind, Chase remembered tucking a small hunting blade into his boot. If he could slip it out, he might have a chance. He rolled onto his belly, tilting his boots and wrists toward the ceiling. He could feel the knife sliding down the neck of the boot. As it finally fell to the floor, Chase rolled on his side, and felt around until he touched the straight edge. He began sawing at the rope around his wrists, until at last, the bond cut free.
His head felt like a cantaloupe. A good-sized knot protruded from his forehead, and he could feel blood caked to his cheek and neck. Finding the bathroom, he splashed cold water on his face, head, and neck, washing away the pain, and the blood. As he headed downstairs, Chase couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t felt Edward’s presence earlier. But he was sure the guy who whacked him was Edward!
“No time to dwell on it now,” he thought, as he headed outside to retrieve his bow. Scanning the back yard, he spotted the trail he had seen earlier in his mind. Three sets of footprints worked themselves down the damp, leaf-covered path. Two sets stopped ten feet down the trail, and turned back abruptly. “The police,” he thought, “must have taken a quick look and headed back.” The third set was very fresh, and continued on around the bend.
Following slowly, Chase moved silently as he advanced 300 yards down the gently sloping hill into the valley. Suddenly, the tracks he was following veered off to the right, directly into the woods. As he followed into the trees, he noticed some movement about 40 yards ahead. Just then, a shot rang out, exploding against a tree one foot above his head. Wishing he had his Glock, Chase dropped low to the ground, realizing that the shot had probably come from his own pistol! Crawling to the left to avoid another shot, he heard someone begin to run. He quickly stood up and continued pursuit.
Eventually, he came to a small brook and noticed footprints going into the water. Searching the woods ahead, Chase saw nothing. He was about to cross the stream, when he noticed a wet rock about 25 feet downstream. “Smart,” Chase thought, “he walked through the water to throw me off!” Instinctively, he crouched, just as another shot exploded from further down the incline. This time it was a clear miss.
Chase’s mind flashed to the smaller building he had seen in his vision. He sensed that it was located uphill from the cabin, not downhill. The Hacker was leading him away from the other building!
“The important thing is to find William, and get him to safety,” Chase thought, as he ducked behind a large hemlock tree. Taking off his hat, he stuck a long stick into the ground behind some ferns and put the hat on top. An old trick yes, but it worked every time. Pulling an arrow from the quiver, he placed it in the bow, put on the mechanical trigger, and waited.
In less than a minute, Chase saw an arm come from behind a tree almost 50 yards away. It would be a long shot, but he didn’t want to kill the Hacker. Not yet, anyway. He needed far too much information from the guy, especially if his hunch about William’s whereabouts were wrong. He preferred to wound Edward, and more importantly, get him running even deeper down the valley. Looking through his peep sight, he placed his aim between the 40- and 60- yard range pins. He was not a marksman, but he did believe in luck. He gently squeezed the trigger, and launched the arrow silently through the forest.
He could see the arrow like a tracer, as he followed the bright orange and green tail feathers blazing down the slope. His shot would be close. The angle he was shooting from would put the arrow right into the Hacker’s forearm, disabling his shooting arm and sending him fleeing down the hill. BINGO! Chase saw the arrow slash the arm and plant itself into the soft wood of the pine tree. His instincts were right—Edward flinched, let out a soft cry of pain, then turned and fled through the trees.
Chase didn’t waste a second; he grabbed his hat and ran at top speed back toward the cabin. He estimated he had half an hour before Edward would figure out what was going on. Stopping back at the log cabin, Chase looked around for another trail. Nothing! “Shit, I’m so close I can smell it!” he muttered.
Remembering the uphill direction leading to the other building, Chase started moving along the edges of the clearing, stepping back to look at the ferns bordering the forest. He could barely see ten different entry/exit points along the perimeter. “This guy is smart,” Chase noted, recognizing that Edward used the scatter method of covering his trail. Only a discerning eye would pick up those subtle hints, preventing most anyone from finding the second building. His adrenaline pumped, Chase started running through the woods, always heading up slope.
Twenty minutes later, he found what he was looking for. Getting as close as he dared, he looked through the window. He could see a table, small sofa, wood stove, and the door to another room. Checking his watch, Chase decided he didn’t have time to fool around. Carefully opening the unlocked front door, he pushed his bow through first. He didn’t believe there was more than one person involved, but one never knew. Stepping through the door, Chase looked around quickly, but carefully, for danger. Seeing and sensing nothing (not that it mattered much having gotten his head knocked off at the cabin) he opened the only door.
Jackpot! The VIP’s son, William, was in the room lying down on a cot, tied by his hands and feet. He was gagged with an old cloth and was obviously not drugged—at least not anymore. Chase was struck by the fear in his eyes; whatever he had been through in the last four weeks, he was scared to death. Quietly calling out his name, Chase told him he was there to help. Getting out his small blade, Chase cut the bonds, one-by-one, and removed the gag.
“William, we need to get out of here quickly,” Chase hissed. “Can you walk?” William spit, and could barely utter a word after being gagged for so long.
“Y-y-yes,” William choked, as he raised himself up from the cot, trying to stand. He was a little wobbly, but it didn’t take long for the adrenaline to kick in when he realized he was being rescued. Chase asked him when he had been moved from the cabin to this building.
“Late yesterday afternoon, I think,” William rasped, “He’s had me in the cabin for days or weeks,” he continued, having no idea it had already been four weeks. “The asshole’s been giving me some kind of injection and I’ve been out of it most of the time. Yesterday afternoon, the guy came running into the cabin in a panic, untied my bonds, and led me here. He was obviously afraid of something.”
“Is he the only one here?” Chase asked.
“Yes,” said William, “He would be gone for days at a time, then come back and give me some food and water.”
Chase studied William carefully, noting that his dark brown hair was matted and greasy, his shirt torn and stained, and his pants were soiled with excrement, causing a very bad odor.
“Okay, William, I managed to get this guy out of our hair for a little while, but he’ll be back any minute. We have to get out into the woods, and try to get back to my car. Are you sure you’re up to this?”
“Yeah,” William answered; a look of desperation on his face. Chase took him by the hand, and led him to the front door. Pausing for a moment, Chase settled his spirit, and focused on Edward’s whereabouts. A picture came into his mind. Edward was driving down a back road not too far from where they were.
Chase was not sure if the vision was past, present, or future, but decided they needed to move quickly anyway. Darting into the trees, Chase led them back down the valley, skirting around the log cabin, to the far road where Chase’s car would be waiting.
They had just moved behind the large propane tank, when a shot rang out, grazing Chase’s shoulder. Pushing William into a bed of ferns, Chase took cover behind a pile of junk. Another shot hit the piece of galvanized roofing he was behind and ricocheted right by his head. Ducking down, Chase gathered his thoughts. The shots were coming from a second story window in the cabin. Edward had a good line of sight, but didn’t have any spare ammo for the gun, and four out of nine shots had already been expended. Loading his bow, Chase moved away from the pile of junk, taking cover behind a small fir tree. Stealth was his advantage now! Pulling down his face mask, Chase took advantage of the approaching twilight. He whispered to William to stay down and keep quiet, as he moved about 30 feet further through the forest.
Chase could barely make out Edward’s figure peering out the window. He knew he would only have one shot, and had to make it count. Drawing the bow, he held his breath, and waited for the Hacker’s impatience. Finally, Edward inched closer to the window and took a long look out. Chase could tell he was having trouble seeing in the coming darkness.
Edward held out the pistol and took three random shots into the woods around the propane tank. “Shit,” Chase thought, hearing a grunt coming from the ferns, “William has been hit!” William didn’t get up, or move, as the Hacker leveled the gun in the direction of the grunt. Chase let loose his arrow. The projectile soared through the air with lightning speed, piercing Edward’s chest. Chase watched him fall back, and heard him cry out in pain. Chase quickly ran over to check William, who was laying still, dirt and mud covering his face.
“William, are you okay,” Chase asked?
“Yes, I was lying here when a shot landed right in front of my face;” he answered, “Dirt flew into my eyes, and blinded me.”
“Let’s get out of here,” said Chase, breathing a sigh of relief, “I just got a clean shot and hit the guy. Hopefully he’s not getting up.”
Chase led him into the front yard, and toward the road. Fifteen feet from freedom, they heard the front door squeak. Turning around, they froze at the sight of a bloody figure in the doorway, a Glock in its hand, and an arrow sticking out from its shoulder. Edward, with a wild look in his eyes, fired a shot at the two men. Guessing there was only one shot left, Chase pushed William to the ground. Wobbling, Edward fell back against the door and raised the gun one more time. Chase had already loaded the bow, drawn, and was sighting, as they both fired their weapons. The bullet whizzed by Chase, long before the arrow hit its target. Edward and Chase both watched the arrow sail across the clearing. It seemed to move in slow motion before it pounded Edward in the chest, pinning him to the front door. Edward’s face did not show pain, but rather serenity, and then, suddenly, his lips curled into the most evil smile Chase had ever seen. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, and Chase knew, that the look on Edwards face would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Seattle, Washington---17 Years Later
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Prologue of Serial Connections--A Thriller - Tuesday, April 15, 2008