The voices in my head turned into “Voices”, the book!
A sample from “Voices”, a book taking place a few decades into the future from when Dark Earth was written, but in the same setting. Same options as before – if you like it check out the links at the end or feel free to let me know in some way, shape, or form. If you don’t…well, what’d ya read the whole thing for?
Billy woke up to dull agony. He lifted his head, knowing he shouldn’t. The room remained uncomfortably bright. He didn’t need to twist his head to see his arms were still stretched out on either side of him. The strap holding his neck in place had rubbed his throat raw, much the same as the ones around his wrists, ankles, and waist. He glanced down, giving himself a brief respite from the powerful lights, and saw a puddle at his feet. A puddle that was mixed with a variety of things that had once come from him. He looked away quickly, lest the sight of it rob him of what he needed most.
“I remember,” he gasped, his throat sending stabs of irritation as it rubbed against the rope. “It was the third one that built his house out of straw!”
There was no response. He looked around, squinting, and found himself alone in the room. Just him and the mirror. He glanced down again, briefly, wondering if he could add to the insult by relieving himself. With a painful bark of laughter he realized it was too late, the last round of electricity they had pumped into him had already voided his bladder. That was one of the ingredients of the chunky morass on the floor.
“They’re going to kill you.”
Billy said nothing. The voice seldom cared if he responded to it. To her. She’d tortured and tormented him for years, never caring what he wanted or did. He was certain it was that part of him he thought missing trying to bring him back around. His conscience, or sense of morality. Whatever it was that stopped most people from doing the things he did. By pushing it away he came to the conclusion that he had snapped. Gone insane, without hope, and now it was coming back to prove it to him by using the voice of a dead woman.
“No friends, no family, no backup. You’re going to die Billy. Are you ready to face your creator?”
Billy looked around, gritting his teeth and feeling the fresh ache in his jaw from clenching it through the torture. It didn’t matter how much they tortured him, they couldn’t learn anything. He didn’t know anything, only that he was given a job and he did it. Whoever benefited from it was hidden from him. He only knew that he was good at it. He needed it, otherwise his life held no real meaning. No feeling of life, just surviving.
He spat out another bitter laugh as he realized he felt more alive right then than perhaps he ever had. And this time he didn’t even have one of his girls with him. He sighed, bloody drool dripping from his lip. If only he could run his fingers along Betty Lou one more time or wipe Leigh Anne down. There were others, of course, but those two were always there.
“What will you do, Billy, when you die? Do you think you’ll finally see me? Finally know what you’ve done? What you’ve missed?“
He snorted. What had he missed? A lifetime of living on his knees? Answering to other people and kissing their asses so he could make his next house payment? Being held back from doing what he wanted because the kids needed to be run to soccer practice? He hung his head as much as the strap allowed and closed his eyes. “Fuck off,” he muttered.
“I don’t want you to die,” the voice sounded angry. “I hate you. Maybe more now than ever, but I don’t want you to die.“
He was accustomed to her not making sense. She’d told him how much she hated him many times. He supposed it was his own self-loathing. Some deep part of him that couldn’t stomach what he’d become. He wondered where it came from, even as a kid he’d never wanted to be a fireman or a cop or a doctor. He wanted to be gunman from the old west, or maybe a soldier. Something special and powerful. Somebody that didn’t need anybody else.
Then there were the times where she was sad or even sappy. Times when she told him she wished things could have been different. She said they were linked, two people to one soul or some nonsense. She wanted to be with him and be a part of him. She told him how different things could have been. To him it was just more proof that he was lucky to not be in an asylum drooling on himself while somebody shoved pills down his throat.
“This is going to take a long time and I don’t want to see you suffer. Not like this. They have no clue what they’re asking. You won’t even admit things to yourself, how can they expect to get a straight answer out of you?“
“Tell them that,” he grumbled.
A door opened. “Mr. Paquard, you’re an amazing individual. Not a touch of technology in you. No robotics, no replacements, no assistance at all. Your DNA is your own and other than trace amounts of mild pain relievers, you don’t even touch any chemicals of medicines. What is your secret, William?”
“Wheaties, every morning,” Billy quipped to the mirror, though his eyes tracked the enforcer who joined him in the room. He had changed to a fresh white lab coat, complete with clean latex gloves.
The warning was unnecessary. Billy grunted, spraying spittle on the pristine white coat. He tried to double over, but the straps held him in place and prevented him from cradling the blow to his midsection.
“Jesus Billy, tell them something! Anything!“
It took Billy a few moments to catch his breath. When he finally did he shook his head. “Lost my virginity when I was nineteen, does that count.”
At least the voice was surprised. Billy’s captors seemed unimpressed by their prolonged silence. He smirked, dripping some fresh pink stained saliva. He was hearing multiple voices now, both that of the woman, Julie, and the unnamed man behind the mirror who kept demanding answers that Billy didn’t have.
It also appeared that his smirk was taken as a further insult. His body stiffened without warning as the pain erupted inside of him.
Amazon / Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053KJBMA
Createspace (Print): http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Jason-Halstead/dp/1461096073/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309097333&sr=1-1
Novel Concept Publishing: http://www.novelconceptpublishing.com