If you’ve been following along with the serialized version of the book, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. But it’s such a pain trying to scroll and click through links, right? Never fear: you can now order KUMIR both in Dead-Tree and Kindle formats. I will also have copies with me as I travel, which will[…]
Jane walked out of the compound into the flashing red lights of the ambulances and police car. Law enforcement had finally shown up and was dealing with the last of the wounded and unconscious Incubikers left by Patrick and Jason’s assault. She paused to take in the sight of wrecked bikes, unconscious and wounded bikers,[…]
Jane whimpered, eyes wide, desperately trying to twist her neck and look at the man who held her. “Theo…” she rasped. “We were…good! You know we were. Don’t throw…us…away! Please!” He laughed cruel and low into her ear. “You really think that was anything, slut? You were a distraction. I used you like I’d use[…]
Patrick looked up at Jason as both men checked the fasteners on their body armor. “You know, I knew things would get rough, eventually. But this was not how I pictured it going down.” Jason grunted noncommittally and slid a matte-black collapsible baton into one of his belt loops. He set the handle at an[…]
Wondering what this is about? Read prior chapters!
When Jason finally felt like opening his eye – only one was available, the other pressed against Jane’s warm skin – he saw the line of needles still sticking in her back, like strange little cel-towers on a warm skin-toned landscape. They’d stopped glowing, the tiny filigreed wires spiraling back in to protect the gems now that the healing was done. Jason sat up, seeing Jane and Isabella lying with eyes closed, breathing easily. Down at the foot of the bed Patrick was sitting quietly, looking at the two women, his hands now folded reverently in his lap.
Reaching for the crown of Jane’s head, Jason carefully withdrew the needle, wiping it down with a surgical cleanser before placing them one by one in the inlaid box. After the third one Jane smiled and stirred, turning her head silently to watch Jason. Isabella still rested, eyes closed. Patrick began untying the ropes slowly so as to not disturb her. Both men moved with a careful ritualistic reverence, only stopping on occasion to caress the Jane, who gave soft, happy murmurs at their touch. As the last coil of rope unwound from her calf Jane carefully slid off to the side of her sleeping friend. Now that the magic had calmed, there was a strange, post-orgiastic awkwardness in the room.
“You’re more than a barista, aren’t you, Jason?” Jane asked softly. He didn’t answer. He turned and rummaged some more in the lacquered case at the foot of the bed. Jane watched to see if he would answer, finally sighing and looking over at Isabella. Her wrists and legs were marked with the impressions of the hemp ropes. Her body sprawled lush and relaxed, her mouth slightly-open with a soft snore. […]
Jason returned carrying a small flat wooden box with dark curling patterns carved into it. Jane was too weak to actually convulse any more and her body simply shivered in waves that trembled through the ropes that bound her, wrists and ankles, to Isabella. The larger woman was breathing with the deep and easy rhythm of sleep, her face a classic aquiline portrait calm over the top of Jane’s matted hair. The hemp ropes that bound them were a dark crimson, the color of blood, and they pulled the women’s limbs out into an X on the futon. Isabella’s skin looked ruddy and almost luminous in the ambient light of the room, in stark contrast to the pallid tone of Jane’s body.
She was laying face down on Isabella, breath shallow and gasping. Her earlier brief moment of lucidity had been completely overcome by the shock of her ordeal. Blood still flowed from wounds in her nose, breast, and from between her legs, leaving scarlet trails across Isabella’s body and gradually staining the coverlet with dark red blood.
As Jason opened the needle case he glanced worriedly at Patrick. “I don’t think that bleeding is slowing down for any good reason.” […]
Jane snored softly, head in Isabella’s lap as the redhead calmly watched the goat eating. When the door clicked open Isabella looked up, still calm, only mildly curious, a soft smile on her face as a black-gloved hand edged around the opening. It was followed by a man in black fatigues and a military harness strapped over his broad chest. He wore a black bandana tight over his scalp and his face was smeared black with camo paint over and under his neatly trimmed beard. He crept into the room silently and efficiently, closing the door behind him. Putting an ear to the wood he listened for a moment, then glanced up at the cameras in the corners to verify their lights were out. He gave a grim nod and turned towards the two women.
He spoke into a small microphone strapped his shoulder. “Alec, this is Patrick. I’m in the room, video is confirmed disabled, I’m – holy shit!” His eyes widened as realized he was standing in a pool of blood. Beecee’s head was inches away from the edge of the man’s boot, eyes frozen wide with the shock of his unexpected death. The crimson pool was mottled with the white and blue of the biker’s intestines, spilling out of his large belly. The goat stood close over the grisly mound, and Patrick looked away, trying to ignore the happy muffled bleating of the goat as it continued to munch.
He looked at the women and swore again. Isabella looked up at him placidly, body smeared and crusted over with the dried remains of various body fluids. The wild tangle of her auburn hair looked muddy brown. Her eyes had deep circles of fatigue under them, but they still shone with the drug-induced devotion. She looked like a refugee from an 80’s punk band. […]
Editor’s note: As noted earlier, this is a novel about bad people doing bad things. This chapter gets extremely dark, and trigger warning for nonconsensual scenes of torture and sexual assault. Because this is about the villains, folks, and they are Bad People. Proceed at your own risk.
Jane came awake slowly, her head filled with a dull roaring tide of pain left over from the chokehold. She was laying naked on her side on what felt like a cement floor. She listened without opening her eyes, trying to orient herself. She couldn’t feel any bonds on her body or limbs. There were no street sounds, and as far as she could tell she was alone, wherever she was. Cracking one eye, she saw the corner of a frosted window high up in the wall letting a dirty gleam of daylight into the room through chain link barricades covering the frame.
She moved ever-so-slightly and realized that what she’d mistaken for freedom was actually her hands and arms numb in the tight ropes binding them. She didn’t try moving her hands – couldn’t feel them anyway – but instead shifted her shoulders with her breath, trying to gauge the range of motion available.
There wasn’t much, but the movement inspired a sudden click and sliding sound of a door opening. “Hello, Jane,” Theo’s voice echoed through the empty room cheerfully, and she opened her eyes fully just in time for a floor’s-eye view of his boot rushing towards her abdomen. […]
Padre Innocente looked over his empty chapel as the time for the exchange approached. Tall columns loomed over rows of empty pews cut by the diagonal rays of the setting sun slanting through the rose window. The glowing shafts of red, green, and blue speckled the rich dark wood and red velvet of the seats.[…]