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Carl Henegan

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Yesterday's Darkness
by Carl Henegan   

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Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  Kindle Direct Publishing Type: 
Pages: 

304

Copyright:  © 2011 ISBN-13:  9780557374045
Fiction

In Carl Henegan’s first released novel he delivers a rollercoaster ride with dramatic perfection. Yesterday’s Darkness pulls you in and shakes your senses till you are hanging on every chapter. It will keep you hooked and guessing till you are obsessed with his suspenseful method of storytelling.

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In Carl Henegan’s first released novel he delivers a rollercoaster ride with dramatic perfection. Yesterday’s Darkness pulls you in and shakes your senses till you are hanging on every chapter. It will keep you hooked and guessing till you are obsessed with his suspenseful method of storytelling.

The opening scene finds bar owner Michael Andrews performing his normal duties working as the bouncer at his own establishment. After working for, then owning the Memphis bar for nearly seven years, nothing can surprise him. That was until he was confronted by the after effects of an event that occurred some fifteen years before.

When Mike realizes that the relentless repercussions of his past was not going away, he made a tough choice. With his life and his family’s life in jeopardy, for the first time ever he is introduced to real fear. It was represented in human form and walked into his bar, like yesterday’s darkness.


Excerpt


CHAPTER ONE

“It’s gonna be one of those damn nights,” Michael Andrews muttered under his breath.
Yet as much as he felt it, the words lack any rational basis. Unlike most who would say the phrase as a reactionary premonition resulting from some string of negative events, his thoughts derived out of thin air. He didn’t have a single thing to substantiate the mumbled words. The words came from nowhere, deriving from no tangible measures.
After all, from a rational perspective the night appears to be like any other night. But that was the surface, beneath that Mike could somehow sense that something dark was brewing. He felt it but, aside from the audible mumble, would keep it to himself.
Even to him the thought edged on insanity but it was without a doubt there. As sure as the band that set up on the stage, the club lights, and the blended scent of everything from light beer to Patron it was there and very real. Crazy? Perhaps. Yet the feeling was bona fide.
Earlier that day he had just finished an audio book about the balance of life. The post recollection of the words in the book retuned to his thoughts. Perhaps the book was on to something because right now he felt anything but balanced. The extended hard question that followed was, if he had ever been balanced. Or was he like most that the book mentioned who moved through life tilting on the lie that they were actually walking upright.
The book also mentioned how we can be unbalanced by anything. People, occupations, insignificant others, anything had the potential of forcing us to walk along a sloped path. Some issues, rather ignored or suppressed, are erased by time to fade from memory, never to resurface. Other unresolved issues tend to remain till they are ready to appear from some suppressed loosely sealed department in the back of our minds.
In the end it all balances. Just like the laws of nature, opposing forces will not be able to remain unevenly dormant. They will, sooner of later, develop into larger rivals in which one side or the other must face darkness.
Michael Andrews was tormented by the words in the book. The words triggered memories that he would have rather let fade away. Now he felt as if a dark destiny lurked in the mist of life waiting for him. He couldn’t lie to his soul and say that the concern was unwarranted. The thoughts were not derived from pessimism but linked to something real, very real.
Yet it was the life that he enjoyed now that got him past the less the joyous times that were placed behind him. In that aspect life was, for lack of a better adjective, good. Wasn’t it?



CHAPTER TWO

Mike owned and operated the Memphis bar that sat in a prime location in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. This was a lifelong dream of his. It’s location among a row of shops on of the busiest area’s of the city was ideal. While the shops were able to capitalize on the steady flow of day traffic, Mike’s bar dominated the night.
Every day of the week the bar slash club geared up for the night’s activity. The bar was consistently filled with its usual capacity of regulars as well as a constant flow of new comers. They marched past business that typically closed in the evenings to take part in a night of carefree entertaining.
The Memphis bar would deliver time after time. New pictures posted daily on social websites with random party shots. Below the photos were written captions to solely virtually rub the night of fun in the social networking faces of any who did or didn’t care. Whatever was written, all the words contained the same transparent insinuated intention. You shoulda been here.
The parts on the night they actually remembered would be repeated by the office water cooler the next day. For the parts of the night that were forgotten, they became Memphis folklore and fell in the realm of sensationalized legend.
Mike realized how lucky he was with his bar. He could count on nearly seven days a week of the bar overflowing with patrons trying to unwind to fill otherwise lonely and uneventful nights with discounted cocktails. Memphis was there to fill that void.
Peppered in the mixture of customers were a variety of tight t-shirted steroid junkies and need to be seen females wearing just enough to negate the need for imagination.
Michael stood among them just like he had done every night of the week. As the bar’s owner as well as bouncer, he rarely took a night off. Tonight he felt the unexplainable need to be a little more vigilant.
He didn’t notice anything that raised an eyebrow. Regardless, the slight tingling sensation persistently raced across his skin. The bothersome impression was just enough to make him stand a little taller and watch everyone just a little closer. Slowly but increasingly, even less comfortable perceptions developed.
This odd tingling was nothing new. At one point in his life he actually ignored it. Experience along with some close calls, now taught him to not question the arcane feelings that appeared out of nowhere. Instead of second guessing his six packed feelings, he now embraced them.
Michael, like the bar itself, had managed to remain a staple in the Addison addition of Dallas. One could without fail find him driving west on Beltline road at 9:00 am sharp in route his bar. By 10:00am the bar was opened it for business and ready for the lunch crowd.
Memphis opened like clockwork. With a low employee turnover the staff automatically took care of the day time preparations. No later then 11 am the lunch crowd filtered in as they had done for years, everyday, seven day a week.
The day to day operations routinely took care of themselves but there were the occasional exceptions. Michael took advantage of the slower day crowd by routinely remaining in his office to complete paperwork.
When the evening arrived he would merge from his office and merge into the crowd taking his place on a randomly selected perch. By 7:29 pm Michael stood somewhere blended within the crowd watching, monitoring, and observing.
Out of the corner of his eye he noticed three female customers whispering among one another. They pointed and giggled like adolescents. Stay over there, please stay over there. He mental plea was repeated with little hope that they would actually not find their way over to him.
One of the girls walked over to the bartender then pointed in Mike’s direction. So much for wishes. He could almost hear the conversation. Oh not that’s not just the bouncer but also the owner? She ran to tell her two wing – girls whispering franticly like she just discovered the meaning of life.
All three women adjusted their mini skirts and applied another layer lipstick before making their way over to him. This wasn’t the first time Mike wanted to turn invisible, wasn’t the tenth either but it was all part of the job. As unnatural as it was for him, he had to conjure up the social requirements needed to run a bar.
The bolder red head tapped him on his broad shoulder. “Hellooo, um you own this bar?” The other two giggled.
“Yeah I guess you can say that,” Michael said. “It’s still more fun to be doing shots then ordering liquor after hours I think.” He motioned to her friends. “Tell you ladies what, go over to Ruben there and tell him I said the next round is on me.”
“Really? Wow thank you! So you want anything from me, or us?” All three girls blinked repeatedly at Michael.
“Oh I doubt if I could handle you girls,” he smiled while turning toward the bar. “Ruben! Ruben!” Michael circled his finger over the top of the girls. Ruben returned a thumbs up.
“Ruben will fix you girls up. Have fun out there ok?”
All three squeezed Michael’s arm raising their eyebrows at one another in the process.
The red head – and apparent spokes person for the trio - made a statement for the group. “We sure will and the offer still stands.”
Michael smiled wondering if it looked as forced as it felt. He nodded in his pretend effort to show interest in the same liquor induced offers that came to him at least once a night. He had hoped by now that he would have gotten comfortable with the social side of business ownership but although no one seemed to notice, he hadn’t.
The fitted black shirt was always worn on work nights. The dark color was worn to hide the sweat that came from his armpits rather then as a fashion statement. He could feel the moisture under his arms now; years of this and the propositions still made him nervous.
No matter how nervous it made him, time was always set aside to greet the regulars and exchange small chat with anyone who approached. Again, all part of the job.
In conversations with visitors, unless recognized, he would omit the fact that he owned the bar. He thought that it gave him a true perspective of how the customers felt about his place. As for the regulars, everyone knew Big Mike.
His frequent trips to the Gym were obvious even for the casual onlooker. At six foot two inches tall, he tipped the scales at two-hundred and thirty-four pounds. After a recent physical, his doctor joked that Michael had less body fat then the average race horse.
Even with an above average physic, Mike still managed to blend in with the crowd. Within the shadows of his establishment he allowed his instincts to guide him. It was one of the few things he trusted and even doubted that at times.
Over time blending into the atmosphere came natural. The secret training that he received from his time in service was now instinctively done enabling him to maintain an outside observation.
He would be constantly reminded that no matter how observant he was he only had two eyes. It was impossible to catch everything and see everyone. This evening was no different.
“Say man,” the voice started behind him. “Where can a brother get a drink in this dump?”



CHAPTER THREE

Mike laughed before even turning around. “Oh hell, looked whose slumming it in Dallas today?” He turned and gave his buddy Eric Dunbar a hug. “Hell dude, I thought you were in Cost Rica or something.”
Eric shook his head, “Not anymore. The trip was cut short but I’m on my way to the airport now. Decided to swing by your dump, mooch a few free drinks off of you, then sleep it off on the plane.”
“Is that right?”
“Why not. You should be paying me to stop by and class up the place a bit. What’s up, black man can’t get VIP in here?” Eric laughed.
Mike smiled and shook his head. “Man you are a nut. You know the tab is always open for ya.”
Eric was a large man. He had a robust laugh that was infectious. Strangers gravitated to him since he always had a smile on his face. In the years that that knew one another, Mike had never been around Eric without having a good time and a lot of laughter. Eric traveled often but the Memphis bar was his fist stop when he was in town and last stop before he left.
“Good seeing you Mike. I’m gonna grab that drink and get out of here before I miss my flight.” He looked at Mike close. “You ok man?”
“Yeah I’m good, why you say that?”
Eric hunched his shoulders. “I don’t know. You just look a lil spaced.” He slapped Mike on his shoulder. “Got maid pregnant or something? Got to stop sleeping with help man.”
Mike laughed. “Man get the hell out of here with that.”
“Ok, you’ll learn. I read an article the other day about the dangers of sleeping with the help. I fixed that shit though,” Eric said.
“Alright, I’ll bite, how did you fix it Eric?”
“Hell, I stop reading shit like that. Damn sure not gonna stop sleeping with the help that for sure!”
Mike was almost in tears with laughter. “Man you need help! Get the hell out of here,” he said shaking his head.
Eric moved on to the bar got a couple of shots then slipped out of the bar.
Mike needed that laugh but needed it to last longer. Even with the light conversations, the comic relief from Eric, and typical calm environment, the feeling that something was amidst would not go away. Something was without a doubt lopsided.
Sure everything looked fine on the surface but so what? The tingling was there. It was there along with the vibrating music, cigarette smoke, and loud conversations. The music drowned out the conversation but did nothing to alleviate the tingling.
Ironically the jovial crowd that night appeared that night was calmer then usual. Generally on evenings even rowdier then this, Mike would still vanish back into his office to get ahead on some office work. This night, for reason that he could not understand, he could not leave his post.
As senseless as it seemed, he remained watchful. Like a mother bird over her newly hatched babies, Mike stood on high alert surveying everything around him. His head swiveled in distinct measured angles mechanically locking in on zero, one hundred and eighty, then ninety degree angles. After the sequence completed, it was followed by an identical repetition.
He had not been this tensed since the night that he was reinstated in the Special Forces to do the job that would go down in history. No one ever knew that he did it and no one ever would. Just like he had done that night, he reacted to any odd sound by jerking his head in that particular direction. If there was no cause for alarm, the robotic like process would resume, zero, ninety, and one hundred and eighty degrees.
Time extended with nothing visibly out of sync. He entertained that idea that he may have to face the fact that his instincts could possibly have been just an unwarranted illusion. Hour after hour passed and the end result was the same, nothing. No over excited disorderly individuals, no wild private parties, not even the random occasional troublemaker invaded the club. Even the customary arrival of college aged frat boys groping women as they passed were missing on this night. Just a normal night, too normal.
His sixth sense never failed him, so was he way past due now right? This innate ability to feel impending peril was the very reason that he was recruited to perform special missions.
Mike was still a week end warrior. That was getting old but he thrived on the rush. Yet for the small secret group that were specially selected to do what others only saw in the movies, rather they admitted it or not, they all thrived on the rush.
Mike was about to get a bigger rush then he could ever imagine.




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