It’s The Year of the Snake (Is That A Coincidence?)

Posted: February 12, 2013 in Living and Life, Novel, Scary Stuff, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

As many of you know, the Chinese New Year was celebrated recently, ushering in the Year of the Snake. As many of you also know, I recently wrote and completed a thriller novel called Snake, which is about a serial killer hunting mafioso. Since Snake will probably be published sometime before this time next year (hopefully), I thought it was a pretty strange but otherwise wonderful coincidence. Of course, the serial killer whom the novel is named after, the Snake, was probably born in the Year of the Rooster like myself, but still it’s a pretty cool coincidence.

And since it’s the Year of the Snake, I thought I’d give you a small sample of Snake, something to let you get a sense of one of my best written works to date (at least in my opinion). It’s from the first chapter, when one of the Snake’s first victims makes contact with the Snake over the phone. It’s creepy and I love it. Enjoy:

            Paul felt a buzz in his pocket and looked down. Through the fabric in his pants Paul could see the light from his phone shining through. Paul reached into his pocket, pulled out his phone, and dove into a little alcove where he could take the call in peace. Without checking the number he pressed the talk button and brought the phone to his ear.

            “Hello?” said Paul; on the other end all he could hear was a deep breathing. Paul raised his eyebrows suspiciously. “Who is this?” He checked the caller ID, and saw only UNKNOWN NUMBER.

            Suddenly the person at the other end of the phone spoke. “Men in your line of business have no right to be in a church, Mr. Sanonia.”

            Paul stared at the phone, surprised. Glancing quickly around the church, he saw only three people, and none of them were on their phones. How did this person know where he was and how did he get his number? He looked back at the phone and spoke into the mouthpiece. “Who the fuck is this?”

            The man on the other end laughed, a rich, hearty laugh that for some reason chilled Paul’s skin. “When your cousin James Sanonia died, he was shot in the head.” said the man, his voice deep and affected with a heavy Russian accent. “Then several bones were broken all over his body. He was then taken from wherever he was killed and thrown in the Hudson. Dockworkers saw his body floating and pulled him up out of the water. By the time they got him though, there was nothing to identify your cousin’s murderer. Except for one interesting detail, that is.”

            Paul froze, his heart beating loudly in his chest. Who was this guy? How did he know all that? “And what was that detail?” he asked through gritted teeth.

            The man spoke, and Paul froze. “You killed my cousin.” he hissed angrily. “You killed Jamie.”

            “Horrible thing, wasn’t it?” said the Russian man. “I couldn’t get what I wanted out of your cousin. But I’m sure you’ll be much more helpful.”

            Paul was only half-listening; he was looking around the church, trying to find someone—anyone!—on a phone. One of the other worshippers, a teenage girl with a skirt too short for the cold February weather, walked out of the church while texting. Besides her, no one else seemed to have a phone.

            “Where the fuck are you, you crazy shit!” Paul whispered into the phone. “Come on out and face me like a man!”

            “But there is no fun in that.” replied the Russian man. “Besides, you’re so much more amusing to watch.”

            Paul stepped out of the alcove, looking around the church. “Watch?” he repeated.

            “Oh, didn’t I mention it?” asked the Russian man. “I’m right in the church with you.”

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