Monday, September 4, 2017

Free Preview of Dreadful: Wolves in the Ice

This is a new short story series I've been working on. I wanted to have it out by Tri-Con, but things always to seem to take longer than I think or hope they do.  This is NOT the final version, but it is pretty close minus any typos or a few tweaks here and there.  Thanks for reading!

Dreadful: Wolves in the Ice

2
Lynn swore she would never come back to Alaska.  She hated this place.  The cold, it got to her.  She had spent the last eleven years where the weather shifted.  She got used to semi-normal seasons.  Her dad would have taken the term 'normal' personally.  He loved Alaska.  He was heartbroken when she left to live her own life.  She couldn't stay forever, she told him.  She didn't think that would be the last time she saw him.  She couldn’t have known.

The storm was getting pretty bad.  These rural roads were hell on a good day, but this was not a good day… well, night at this point.  She just wanted to get to her dad's cabin.  He left it to her in his will.  It was the only thing he left her.  Lynn's brother got everything else.  Of course he did.  He never left.  He was perfect and everyone in the family just loved him.  Her, not so much.

Lynn needed to be alone.  After what happened in New York.  After what Allun did, she just needed to be away from everyone.  Just for a while.  She started to cry again, "Goddamn it," she said out loud, "You're not going to let him hurt you anymore," she wiped the moisture from her cheeks. 

She was having a hard enough time seeing without crying her eyes out.  The snow was really picking up.  She slowed down below twenty miles an hour.  Her headlights could barely cut through the white static in front of her. 

THUD!  She heard it.  She felt it.  She had hit something with her car.  Oh my god, she thought.  Did she hit a person?  Surely not.  Who the hell would be out in this blizzard?  No, she thought.  Lynn exited her car.  Snow and ice hit her in the face with a dozen little stings.  She pushed her way through the blistering wind and sleet.

The figure on the ground looked like a person, "Oh shit.  No, no, no," she said frantically, "Mister?" she could tell it was a man as she crept closer," she noticed he was breathing.  She felt a bit relieved, but he could still be really injured.

She noticed something else as she was right on top of him.  The man was naked.  Completely buck-ass naked, "The hell?" she bent down to check his pulse.  He wasn't going to last long like this, she thought.  Why the hell is he naked?  Maybe this is like a mob hit or something.  Alaska-style.  Throw someone out in a blizzard and let them freeze.  That's silly, she dismissed the idea.  It didn't matter.  She needed to get him back in the car. She needed to get him to a hospital.

The man's eyes sprung open.  The man leapt up onto his feet.  The naked man grabbed Lynn and slammed her against the car.  He was so strong, "What the hell happened?  Who are you?" he shook his head.  He tried to clear his head from the car impact, "Did you hit me with your goddamn car?"

"It was an accident.  I couldn't see. Are you okay?" she squeaked out.  She was scared for a totally new reason now.  This guy was crazy.  She tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but his hands acted like vice grips.  Not just for a naked skinny guy in the middle of a blizzard, but strong for any person.  She couldn’t budge an inch.

The man let go of her and grabbed his head, "It's too late," he whipped his head around.  His eyes were bright yellow, "I put it off for too long.  I can't control it," Lynn heard bones cracking in the man's body as he screamed in pain, "Guess you'll have to do lady," he gave her a sinister stare as his incisors grew a few inches in front of her eyes.  Blood started pour out of the man's mouth as the bones and muscles in his body shifted in a grotesque manner.  His grin split the side of his cheek as he let out an inhuman shriek. A distorted howl.

Lynn ran to her driver's side door.  The contorted, naked man was distracted as he... whatever was happening to him.  She put her foot on the accelerator as hard as she could, but only spun out.  She forgot what it was like to drive in real snow.  She gently put her foot down and she got traction.  Lynn went around the man as she swore she saw his head was stretching.  Every inch of change audibly fractured his bones and ripped at his tendons.  His teeth were sharp and jagged.  Those yellow eyes burned through her with insatiable hunger.

Whatever the hell was going on, Lynn was getting out of here.  She was well on her way.  Suddenly she felt another impact.  This time on the back of her car.  Like something had slashed her back left tire.  She spun 180 degrees.  Lynn had no control and just held on.  She closed her eyes until she heard the clatter of shattered glass and denting metal. Lynn swore she was screaming, but it didn’t seem to rise above the chaotic crashing around her.

Lynn felt blood flow down her face.  Some of the glass hit her like a shotgun blast.  Lynn saw that the passenger side had hit a tree.  She shook the dizziness from her head.  She needed to get the hell out of here.  She reached for the door with her bleeding hand.  Blood smeared on the handle as she fumbled the door open.

Lynn saw her back tire as she fell into the snow, still off balance from the impact.  It had been ripped open.  Were those claw marks?  She looked around.  The snow was coming down even harder, but she somehow could feel that the contorted man could still be after her.

Her father's cabin couldn't be more than half a mile east into the woods.  She could make it.  She knew it.  Lynn put one foot in front of the other.  She wrapped herself in the only blanket she had and headed into the white nothingness. 

3

Lynn was running now.  As fast as her legs could propel her through the snowstorm.  She knew these woods well enough.  She spent a lot of time here as a kid, but a lot had changed.  She just needed to keep running.  Lynn reached into her pocket for her cell phone.  She hadn't even thought about calling someone.  No one was going to be able to get to her soon, but it was worth a shot.  She kept looking up at the path in front of her.  She did not want to run face first into a tree.  Lynn looked at her cracked screen.  It must had been damaged in the crash.  She hoped it would still work.

Lynn brushed her red hair out of her face as she dialed 911.  There was a voice on the other end, "Hello," Lynn tried to yell over the wind, "I'm near Elk Clearing, there's been an accident," she couldn't hear the person on the other end.  It wasn't likely they could hear her, "Shit!" whether it was the wind or the damage to the phone, help wasn’t coming.

Lynn shoved her slightly damaged phone into her coat.  She realized that drunk asshole said he was going to be at Elk Clearing, "No," she said.  It was worth a shot.  The guy might have a gun.  If that naked... thing was still after her, then a gun would come in really handy.

Lynn made a slight detour to the right.  She trudged through the two-foot-deep snow.  The crunching of the already freezing snow was all she could hear for a moment.  She focused on pushing her way to Elk’s Clearing.  It was the only thing that mattered. 

That's when she heard snarling.  Through the howling wind, she heard an animal growling.  Lynn spun around to see those yellow eyes.  Even through the swirling dots of white, she could see those eyes.  It was all she could see as she quickly turned around to sprint toward that clearing.

Lynn tripped over a downed tree as she stumbled through the woods into the clearing.  The snow was actually starting to let up.  She could hear herself think for a moment.  She shook the snow off of her head as she heard a voice further into the clearing.

"The bloody hell?" the voice called out.  The man's accent was distinctively British, "What are you doing here?"

She made out the man's face, "The asshole from the bar?" it was indeed the man from the bar, but he wasn't disheveled and drunk.  He was in an insulated trench coat with a sock hat wrapped around his head and ears.  She shook off the disbelief and just rolled with it, "You were going to go hunting!  You have a gun, right?  There's a vampire or something chasing me."

"No, love," the man said, "Not a vampire," he saw the yellow eyes peeking through the tree line.  They were at least seven feet off of the ground.  A white fur-covered hand grabbed the tree next to it as a massive creature stepped out from the forest. Black claws scratched into the bark.  The deep trails were carved into the wood with almost no effort.  Its foot wasn’t flat like a person’s but arched up, like an animal. Unlike an animal, it was standing up straight on two feet.

The man smirked, "That... is a werewolf."

4

The British man pulled a silver sawed off shotgun out of his dark blue trench coat.  The single barrel wasn’t rounded like a normal shotgun, but cut into a point on the top of the barrel.  He pumped the weapon one time as he walked toward the over seven-foot werewolf that had revealed itself.

It snarled as it carefully analyzed its two prey.  One was utterly defenseless and not worth one ounce of worry.  The other it seemed to know from somewhere.  It may have just know his kind.  Armed and formidable. Clever and dangerous.

Lynn was beyond frightened.  She couldn’t scream.  She froze in both absolute terror and due to the fact she was literally freezing while sitting in the thick snow.  She just watched the two figures squaring off in front of each other.  Both of them used an equal amount of caution.  Neither made a move for more than a few seconds.

The Britain stepped to the side while keeping his pointy shotgun aimed right at the creature, “So, you got my invitation.  It had been said that part of you remembers what happens when you’re a wolf,” the monster just deeply growled at him, but kept its distance, “Now you realize that when I ‘drunkenly’ and purposely brayed that I was going hunting; I meant I was hunting you.  You just walked into a trap.  You.  Not the other way around,” the wolf actually looked angry as the man taunted it, “Now you don’t have the smarts to fully understand how screwed you actually are. Do you, Fido?”

The werewolf called out with a rage that surprised Lynn.  Was this thing still a person, she wondered, on the inside that is?  Lynn crawled backward as the white monster couldn’t hold itself back anymore.  The wolf ran at the Englishman on all fours, instead on two feet as it had been using this whole time.  The wolf had indeed taken over.

That’s when a metallic snapping sound cut through the blustery wind. A red spray of liquid jutted into the air.  The wolf rolled around as it lost footing.  It yelped like an injured dog.  Blood could be seen in the white snow.  The man casually walked up to the creature.  Its leg had been caught in a silver, shiny bear trap.  The snapped shut apparatus almost cut the thing’s leg off.  A burning scent accompanied smoke in the air.  The silver was burning through the wolf’s leg.  The monster clawed at the trap, but only succeeded in burning its paws.

The man strolled along through the snow, “All it took was a little ridicule,” he aimed at the wolf’s face, “And you lost yourself to the animal,” he pulled the trigger.  The monster’s face basically disintegrated in a blitz of blood, fur and bone.  Its snout was gone.  Those yellow eyes burst like grapes.  The faceless werewolf fell forward into the snow.  Blood spread out onto the snow and quickly froze.
Text Copyright © 2017 by Jacob Harris (Jake dh)
All Rights reserved. No part of this book can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission of publisher/author.
Dreadful created by Jacob Harris (Jake dh)

Preview Edition 


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Updated: The BulletProof Ghost: In Spades is out now!


Update!:  The BulletProof Ghost: In Spades is out on Amazon.  This is the paperback version that you can purchase for $12.


The day has finally come!  The BulletProof Ghost: In Spades is available to purchase... kind of.

If you want to buy the physical version that will be shipped to your house, then you can to that.


The Kindle version will be out in 72 hours.  I apologize for that.  I thought if I technically published everything and kept the sales channels turned off, I could drop everything all at once, but alas, Amazon has to make things difficult.

The free preview for BPG: In Spades is available as the last post made on this blog.  If you need your BPG appetite satiated, hopefully that will suffice until your copy comes in the mail or the Kindle version pops up.  As soon as the Amazon versions appear, I'll post them on this blog and all available social media.

If you happen to live or are near Evansville, Indiana, I will be at Barnes and Noble on Green River Road from 1:30 pm until 3:00 pm selling and signing copies of both books in the BPG saga.  I hope to see you there. Stay tuned to the blog and my brand-spanking-new website for my updates.

See you around.

-Jake dh



Saturday, July 29, 2017

The BulletProof Ghost: In Spades Preview

These are excerpts from the next book in The BulletProof Ghost novel series.  The book releases on August 19, 2017.  There is a release event at Barnes and Noble on Green River Road in Evansville, Indiana.  Enjoy!

 The BulletProof Ghost: In Spades
Preview




Prologue

Five years earlier

Dan Grimes was absolutely terrified. It was hard enough for him to breathe without this heavy bag over his head. The van he was in hit a big bump in the road. The man to his right grabbed his arm to keep him from falling out of his seat. As the van came to a gradual stop, Dan knew he was going to die tonight.
Dan felt his arm being jerked hard. He got to his feet and moved where the tugging directed him. Dan was forced to his knees. He could tell that they were near the waterfront just from the smell. Dan closed his eyes and tried to slow his breathing. Slow his heart. He needed to be able to think clearly if he was going to have a chance of getting out of this alive. As slim of a chance as that was.
The sack came off of Dan's head. His eyes started to adjust to the increased light. Lights were dancing off of the water in the distance. Dan could make out four men standing in front of him. Another was bound and on his knees to his right.
Dan heard a voice from his left, “Dan? Danny? They got you, too?” Dan turned his head to see Bryan Hutch, also on his knees. Dan immediately knew who to blame for this situation.
Dan angled his head forward again. Bryan was starting to panic. Dan couldn't lose it as well. He needed to keep as much control of the situation as possible. “Let me talk. Don't say anything.”
One of the men stepped forward. Dan recognized him. Anyone doing 'business' around Indianapolis knew this man. “Do you know who I am, Danny?”
Dan looked at the muscular, balding middle aged man. “You're Aldo Unicro.”
Aldo threw a sandwich bag full of clear crystals at Dan. The bag hit him in the face. His hands were zip-tied, so he couldn't block the bag of crystal meth as it smacked him. Aldo threw it pretty hard and it hurt, like getting slapped with fish-tank rocks. Dan made sure to keep a straight face through the pain. Aldo bent down to get in Dan's face. “My boy over here got this from you. He was going to keep all of the profit to himself.”
Dan looked over at the desperate man on his right. He was sweating bullets and nearly hyperventilating. Whereas Dan has only heard stories about crossing Aldo, this poor son of a bitch has seen his handy work in person. Dan needed to lie. The lie was more than likely going to kill this man he barely knew, “I did sell the glass to him. It was better quality that the shit you peddle.”
Bryan started to sweat even more than he had been. “Um…Dan? Could you not...”
Dan whipped his head in Bryan's direction. “Shut your fucking mouth, Bry.” Bryan did just that. Dan looked back over at Aldo. “Sorry. What was his name over there? Oh, yeah. Bobby?”
The man spoke up, “Bobby Drak, you mutherfucker!”
Dan kept talking to Aldo without acknowledging Bobby, “Anyway, Bobby said this was an official deal, with your permission. I didn't know he was cutting you out. You have my apologies for not doing the proper research.”
Bobby screamed, “You're a fucking liar! I told you that this was between you and me...” Bobby realized what he had said. Up until this point, he swore that he hadn't been cutting Unicro out. Bobby started to panic, “No, wait. I meant...”
Aldo pulled his 9 mil out of his holster. He pointed right at Bobby's forehead and pulled the trigger as his victim begged for his life. Bobby's brains and bits of his skull scattered all over the riverfront. Aldo rushed back over to Dan. He was practically spitting on Dan as he screamed, “I knew that man for six years! I drank with him. I did coke with him. I considered him a friend, but he fucked with my money.” He pointed at Bobby's body on the ground. “That is what happens when you fuck with my money.” He straightened out and adjusted his jacket. “Now, why shouldn't I do the same to you?”
Dan was caught off guard a little. Once Bobby was dead, he fully expected to be next. He closed his eyes to think, “Um...I..”
Aldo put the gun to Dan's nose, “You are boring me.”
Dan opened his eyes. “It's not just drugs.” He looked into Aldo's eyes. “You handle whores and the underground gambling. Dog fights, high stakes card games...”
Aldo thumbed the gun's hammer back to its original position. Bryan sighed a breath of relief. Dan knew they weren't out of the woods yet. Aldo swung the gun to a neutral position. “Okay, I'm listening.”
“I heard that if you had to give all of it up, except one thing, you would keep the gambling. Cards and dice are in your blood. You love the thrill of chance,” Dan smiled a little.
“How is this going to save you, Danny?” Aldo chided.
“You have a pack of cards on you,” Dan exclaimed.
“That was a statement, not a question,” Aldo smiled a little himself.
“I do my research,” the sweating Dan said.
Aldo pulled a deck from his jacket, “That you do. So you want to play a game?”
Dan nodded. “I would like very much for you to grace me with a game.”
Aldo started pacing around. “What to play? I'm not going to deal you a hand.”
“A guessing game,” Bryan squeaked out.
Dan smiled at his friend, “Yes, what Bry said, a guessing game. Your choice of what to guess.”
Aldo shuffled his cards, one over the other. “I could be a huge dick and make you guess the number and suit. That's no fun though. One in fifty two chance and you'll lose. I could ask you to guess the number or face, but again the odds are grotesquely against you. One in thirteen, not counting jokers, no jokers in my decks.” Aldo bent down to look Dan in the eye. “The suit. One in four. You're still at a disadvantage, but you have a fighting chance. Those are the games I love. I'll pull out a card.” Aldo did just that and kept the patterned side toward Dan. “And you tell me the suit.”
Dan held his breath. His life was either going to end right here, right now or he would live. Dan exhaled one word, “Spades.”
Aldo flipped the card around to show Dan a five of spades. “Good guess,” he motioned for his guys to let them go. “Now get the fuck out of my city.”

Emergence
4

"Kyle?!" Irene was shaking Kyle's shoulder.
Kyle grabbed her hand. "Stop, you're making me sick."
"You don't have a stomach." Irene couldn't see Kyle, she was reaching into his masking field. Kyle didn't want to take the chance that someone would see him sitting in the Sentra's passenger seat. Irene kept her eyes on the road. "You weren't answering me. Did you hear anything I said?"
Kyle shook his head even though Irene couldn't see it. "You had the radio up. I was doing something on the internet."
"Like the internet-internet?" Irene asked. "Were you using cell phone telepathy?" she laughed a little.
"My brain-node network has a lot of uses," Kyle explained.
"What were you doing?"
Kyle saw they were approaching Johnson City's limits. "Nothing important...just a group thing."
Irene looked over. "Was it a therapy group?" There was an awkward silence. "Kyle...you can talk to me. I'm glad you're talking to someone."
Kyle touched Irene's hand, part of it went invisible. "We are talking. These people are dealing with similar situations to mine. You haven't done anything horrible, so as much as you're helping me, this helps me in a different way."
"You couldn't help killing Nick and the others. You almost died stopping yourself from killing me. None of it is your fault," Irene said sternly, but with concern in her voice.
"I still remember all of it. It's hard pushing it out of my mind." Kyle closed his eyes only to see Nick's dismembered body falling to the ground in a bloody gushing pile. "This helps. I promise to do it on my own time."
Irene smiled slightly as they were driving through Johnson City. "Do what you need to; just keep me in the loop."
"You're always in my loop. Wait...let me rephrase that," Kyle joked.
"Too late, I'm in your loop. Didn't think we were that close," Irene chuckled. Irene stopped at the light. "I hope my dad and Four are okay."
"They're not even near Vegas yet, so I think they're fine," Kyle smirked. "Four can control his motor functions with pinpoint precision. He throws some dice and we can get the funds to create our base of operations."
"You're sure you two can forge records to keep interested parties from tracing you?" Irene asked. "It's not like this is a tiny bit of cash you'll be throwing around."
"Four and I can manipulate computer code with no problem. He thinks making a shell internet business could take care of..." Kyle stopped talking.
Irene looked confused. She looked over to her passenger seat. "Kyle? What's wrong? Are you still here?"
"Your door didn't open, I can't phase through your car," Kyle answered. "Pull over somewhere. There's an alley up here. Pull into it."
Irene did just that. "Why am I pulling into an alley? I um...not sure what to think about this. I mean you haven't even bought me dinner," Irene started joking. "Besides you have all of that armor..."
"Stop." Kyle didn't mean to be mean, but he didn't have time to crack jokes about what people generally do in dark alleys. "Sorry, I need you to stay here. There's something going down on police scanner frequencies." Irene's door opened by itself.
"Police frequencies? Oh, no. Where are you going? Hey!" Kyle was gone, though he could still hear her. He didn't have time to alleviate her understandable confusion.
Irene pulled out her phone. She started to click around on TweetBook. She answered a few comments on her feed. Clicked on some links. Then it started. Her main feed blew up with stories. Irene updated her page over and over again. There was nothing other than this one single story. Over and over.
"Oh shit!" Irene said as her door opened on its own. It had been less than fifteen minutes. Irene looked over to her invisible passenger. "Kyle, what is this? What did you do? The internet is blowing up with stories about... about..."
"Me," Kyle looked around. "You need to move. The police are going to start sweeping this area soon. This looks a bit conspicuous."
Irene obeyed and drove into traffic. She looked panicked. "You and Four were supposed to be keeping a low profile. You were..."
"Irene," Kyle looked at his friend. She couldn't see him, but she knew he was staring into her eyes as they hit the next stop light. "People were going to die. I stopped it. I had to help them. I needed to." Kyle looked forward as she started accelerating. "It's done."
Irene pulled into the parking lot of the bulk store her dad shopped at. She sighed as she slid the lever into park. She slid the lock screen off of her phone and flipped through more stories. "There are videos? There are videos, Kyle." Kyle could hear the disapproval in her voice. She pressed play on one. "Wow, you're pretty awesome in this, I mean, couldn't you hack their phones with your internetelapathy?"
"Is that what we’re calling it?" Kyle shook his head. "I did for like two of the phones. A lot of them were live streaming and saving at the same time. Plus, I was a little distracted."
"I can see that." Irene put her phone back into her pocket. "Four's going to be pissed."
Kyle laughed, "Well I'm not sure he even reads the news or internet posts or..."
Kyle felt a scratch in the back of his mind, "Five...Five..."
Kyle rolled his eyes. "Go shop, I have to answer a...um, call I guess."

5
"Five!" Four and Kyle were standing in the white infinity of their brain-node network, "Why is the internet blowing up with stories about you?"
"Blowing up?" Kyle laughed. "That's a little too normal for you have come up with your own."
"Kevin Hedwin's phrasing," Four responded. He sounded annoyed, which meant a lot with his emotions being suppressed.
"Ah," Kyle walked around Four. "This place is a little plain for my tastes." Kyle snapped his metal fingers and it turned into the interior of a pizza restaurant.
Four looked around. He saw people eating. Children playing in the arcade. One of the employees bringing out an order. Two policeman eating pasta in the middle of the room. "What is this?"
"This is where my emergence took place. This is how it looked right before things went to shit. Before something awful happened. If I did nothing all of these people would be dead. All of them." Kyle took his virtual helmet off. Four was in street clothes. They met eyes. "I can't sit by and let people die if I can help them. I can't."
Four thought for a moment. Arguing that point with Kyle would be useless. He was still mad, but he tried to understand. "Fine. In any case, it is too late now." Four turned his back to Kyle. "They're already attempting to give you a title."
"I'm not reading any of the articles right now. I'm a little embarrassed about the whole being recorded thing. I guess I'm too self-conscious," Kyle smiled. "I'll check it out at the end of the day. I'm sure Irene or Al will read them out loud to me, just to poke fun at me."
"I do not understand. Embarrassed?" Four paused, "Mr. Hedwin and I are making what he calls 'good time.' I'll inform you when we arrive in Las Vegas." Four brushed the environment away. "Five, try to stay out of sight until I return."
"I'll try," Kyle said as Four disappeared. "No promises, my friend."
8
Smidt had sobered up 'enough' to drive home. Christ, he thought, Bryan knows how to fuckin' party. Bryan shouldn't have been driving, but Smidt was too high to argue. Smidt pulled into his driveway. He looked at his car's clock. 2:46 PM. He left a bit early, but he was the boss, so fuck it. Smidt was in the mood for a bit of his really good shit. The blue crystal he made for the high rolling clients. Not the cloudy shit he sold to the trailer park trash.
There was some crazy shit going on in the news. Some armored guy stopping some civil war-something-assholes. Was that even real? Did he come up with that when he was high? Shit, he thought, he needed to cut back on the drugs a bit. Not today though. Maybe next week.
Smidt's house was in an okay neighborhood. He didn't live near The Kitchen. Don't eat where you shit, his daddy use to tell him. He made so much money off of it he could afford to get an okay house. If it was too fancy, someone might suspect, even with the corrupt pigs in this town.
Smidt opened the door. "Honey, I'm home." He really hoped that bitch overdosed while he was gone. He was creeping up on forty-five, so he wasn't picky, but when a bitch smokes all of your shit and you're a fucking drug dealer, that's when you have to draw the line.
A lump of a woman about his age laid out on the stained couch, "Look at you, high as fuck, baby." She just groaned a little. "Where is the good shit. Where's my sky glass? I need to get stoned to put up with your dumb ass."
She muttered something. He leaned in. "G....n..."
"What? Speak the fuck up, bitch," he barked at her. He started looking in the normal hiding places. The pocket on the back of the couch. Under the game console. He was proud of that one. He had to create a tiny trap door on the bottom of the plastic. All of the secret stashes were empty. Smidt could feel his blood start to boil.
"Gone," she said barely opening her eyes.
"Gone! You could have snorted the shitty stuff and you take my sky glass! I have to drive all of the way back to the fucking Kitchen!" he grabbed her by the hair and pulled hard. She struggled as he dragged her toward the door. "You stupid, cunt!" He threw her into his yard.
She rolled a few times before she could stop her momentum. Smidt's girlfriend had a stream of blood leaking out of her mouth. She got up to her knees. "Don't dare...you touch me...like..."
"You can't even put a sentence together you junkie-twat!" Smidt went inside while she sobbed on the lawn. He came out with a dresser drawer. He emptied a bunch of women's clothes onto the grass. "Take your shit and get the fuck out. Now!"
The woman grabbed at her clothes in the grass. The lawn had just been mowed so there were clippings all over them. "Stop being so mean, I'm...I'm sorry...just let me," she tried to collect her thoughts. Everything was so blurry.
"No, shut up...SHUT UP!" Smidt threw the drawer at her hitting her in the arm and cutting her. Dark red blood dripped into the green grass.
She held her wound. "Why..." Blood trickled through her fingers.
She started to get up. Smidt felt the urge to just slap the shit out of her. One last time. He reared back and was caught off guard by the blur of a dark fist punching him in the face. One of his already loose teeth dislodged as he was knocked off of his feet. Smidt spit the tooth out as he scrambled to his feet. In front of his now ex-girlfriend was the black girl that visited her every week. "I told you to fuck off."
"You don't even know my name, do you, Smidt? Just back the hell off or I'll sock you again," Irene told him. Irene knew that this guy was drunk, high, or both. He was clumsy and she was fast and in shape. She had taken a handful of defense classes, but she knew he was still dangerous. She kept her hands up.
Smidt walked away. Irene looked down at the woman, who was confused, crying and bleeding. "Karen, you're staying with us. No argument, okay?" A few people were poking their heads out of their houses at this point. Irene shot them a dirty look. She thought, how could none of them help her? Irene had to park down the street due to the lack of space on the curb. She basically had to sprint when she saw this piece of crap getting ready to hit Kyle's mom.
Karen Richard nodded as they made their way to Irene's car. Irene heard someone come up behind her. She turned to see Smidt throwing a haymaker at Irene from behind. Sucker-Punching motherfucker, she thought, but knew with Karen on her shoulder, she was going to take this punch in the face. Full on.
Smidt was inches from hitting Irene, but before he knew it, he was suddenly hundreds of feet off of the ground. He didn't have time to react or comprehend what was going on at first. Smidt got his composure and took in what was happening. He was being held by the wrist by an armored...robot...something. Light grey armor with lit up panels and seams. Two bright blue, piercing eyes. His wrist felt like it was breaking. "Shitshitshitshitshit..."
The thing spoke, "You are a complete waste of life. Hurting that defenseless woman. You were going to hit that girl when she couldn’t fight back. She probably could have beaten your ass." The armored figure flew up higher. "Coward."
"I..." Smidt was trying to figure out what to say so this thing wouldn't kill him, but his brain was freezing up. "I'm really sorry. I swear, I'll be nice to ladies. Please don't drop me." He closed his eyes as tears streamed out of them.
"I don't believe you!" Smidt felt the grip on his wrist release. He screamed in the highest pitch he had ever screamed. Within a couple of seconds he hit the ground, which only hurt a little. He had been lowered to the ground while he had his eyes closed. He only dropped a few feet. The fall did hurt, but it wasn't fatal. He realized he was still screaming like a little girl and stopped.
Smidt looked around. Irene and Karen stared in disbelief. Karen had never even heard of this thing. Irene, because she told Kyle to keep a low profile, but was glad not to have taken a punch to the side of the head.
Kyle landed in front of the Chef. Smidt was crying on the ground, still terrified. The people in their yards were astounded, but scared. They kept their distance."It's him," one of them said.
"You will not hurt anyone ever again. Do you understand?" Kyle said to Smidt. Smidt didn't respond. "Answer me!"
"I promise. I'll be better..." he squeaked out. "I'll be more...than I have been. Please...don't." he looked at the bruises on his wrist. "I'll do anything, don't hurt me." His heart was racing faster than when he was on the best speed of his life. It took every ounce of control not to piss his pants.
Kyle stepped forward. "I'm always watching. Never forget that. If you even as much as look in their direction again. I'll drop you from a mile up." Kyle disappeared from sight.

10

Kyle came into Irene's house through an open window. He became visible as soon as he pulled the curtains. Kyle made his way downstairs to see Al sitting at the kitchen table. "Don't you have a house?" Kyle joked.
Al smirked, "Well, my dad does, but I like to steer clear of that place." Al was looking at a tablet. "He goes on a business trip in an hour, so I'll be spending a bit more time there."
Kyle suspected what was up. "He was mad you didn't come straight home after yesterday," Kyle referenced the massacre.
"Irene's car was messed up and he had his douchey driver take me. I wasn't going to let her go home on her own with who knows was out there murdering..." Al stopped. "I mean...at the time, that's what I was thinking. I didn't know you were..." Al looked at Kyle. Kyle had taken his helmet off and put it on the table. "I'm sorry."
Kyle didn't smile, but looked like he wasn't mad. Even without any color in his eyes, they had so much emotion in them. "It's okay. Don't worry about it."
Al whipped out his driver's license. "Look who's legal now, bitch."
"I know, I was checking the DMV databases in my spare time." Kyle sat on one of the metal chairs that could support his weight.
Al was looking at his tablet again. "Which I see you didn't have a lot of today," Al smiled while looking at Kyle over the tablet.
Kyle punched him in the arm. "You fucking dick. I thought you didn't know about me...um," Kyle didn't know how to put it.
"Being an exhibitionist. No, there's no way to get away from it. It is everywhere on the net, my friend, and they fucking love you," Al told him enthusiastically. "I've been waiting to spring all of this shit on you. There is one documentary by this guerrilla video journalist. She came up with about an hour ago. She works damn fast. How much have you seen?"
Kyle looked a little embarrassed. "I haven't really looked at any of it. I don't want to see the comments about me. It makes me feel nervous."
Al laughed, "Nervous? We were on the brink of being cut into little pieces yesterday and being trolled online makes you nervous?" Al started to hook the tablet up to the T.V. "That is so precious."
Kyle tilted his head. "What are you doing?"
"As soon as Ire gets here, we're gonna watch this shit. I want both of you to see this at the same time," Al said.
Kyle tapped his helmet. "You know I could have done that with my brain node network. I could display a hologram of the vid."
"We are doing this shit old school...well sorta old school." Al looked up as Irene came through the door.
Kyle stood up. "How's mom?"
Irene looked sad as she tried to find the words, "She's in the apartment over the store. I...umm...I'm sorry you saw her like that."
"How long has she been this bad?" Kyle's voice cracked a little.
"Years now. I check in her when I can, but she seems to be living with a different asshole every couple of months. I think this guy was the worst." Irene looked over at Al. "What are you doing?"
"No, you guys resolve the 'Kyle's mom' thing...I mean you met your mom? Did she know it was you?" Al asked.
"No. She's not going to either." Kyle looked at Irene. "She can't."
Irene nodded, "If that's what you want." Irene didn't want to lay on him that she may need him more than he needed her. Even as a cyborg, Kyle might be what pulls her back from the shitty world she lives in now. Irene looked back at Al. "Again...Al..."
Al hit play on his tablet so the video would stream. "Okay, check it."
The screen had a dark skinned woman addressing the audience, "My name is Sheba Parvati. This is The Free People's Report. I'm standing outside of Didi's Pizza. Today two people who claim to be part of a white supremacist group known as The New Confederates stormed this restaurant with AR-15 assault rifles. The first thing they did was shoot a police officer by the name of Chris Felt. Officer Felt was eating lunch with his partner, Adam Frix. Officer Frix was told to put his still holstered weapon on the ground as his partner bled out on the ground."
Images of the officers as well as surveillance footage of the incident flashed across the screen, "The two terrorists, whose names have been released as Sharon Scopes and James Monks, made demands about the racial purity of America as well as complaints about taxes, welfare, and other politically charged rhetoric. The white police officer tried to help his Latino partner, who had been shot. The terrorists made comments about his racially treachery." The video showed a man with a rifle aiming at the two officers on the ground.
Ms. Parvati was on the screen again. "What happened next is so unbelievable, if more than five smartphones hadn't caught this incident, I would suspect the footage was manipulated. What we are showing you is the best footage of the incident. There is sound, so I will not narrate this so you can experience the full impact of this history-altering moment."
The footage was clear and in color. Officer Frix was keeping pressure on his friend's shoulder wound. Sharon Scopes screamed at him, "Get the fuck off of that beaner. Who gives a shit?! Maybe he'll get replaced by a white man. Someone who'll do the job right. Who the job belongs to," she smiled with a smarmy grin.
Frix raised his head up. "You sick fucking bitch. He's saved my life. He is the best person I know." A tear leaked out of his eye. "If trying to save him gets me shot," he looked at his still conscious friend and partner, "Then it's the very least I could do. You're going to have to kill me to keep me from helping him.
"Fuckin' traitor," she said as her rifle's sight was lowered at Frix's head. The police officer mentally prepared himself for death. He thought of his family, but knew they would understand. He also knew that even if he abandoned Chris, he would still probably die. At least he was dying for something, he thought to himself.
The sound of the shot was deafening. The moment the trigger was pulled an armored figure appeared in the middle of the room. The figure deflected the bullet into the floor with its arm, controlling the shattered ammo's trajectory. Kyle stood challenging the killers in front of him. No one seemed to know what to do. All of the sound was sucked out of the room. No one moved for about ten seconds.
Kyle put his hands up. "Look, I don't want to hurt..."
Sharon looks at her partner. "James, light this motherfucker up!" They aimed their guns at Kyle and started firing like mad.
Kyle flew forward, trying to keep the ricochets from hitting innocent bystanders, who were running and taking cover. Kyle hovered about the ground while rushing forward. Five shots had hit him when he broke James' jaw. Kyle grabbed the gun out James' hand. Kyle dropped to the floor. As he swept James' feet from under him, Kyle shot a light kinetic blast at Sharon. Kyle's blaster popped out of his arm and retracted so fast, it was barely caught on video. Most of the witnesses just saw a flash of blue light.
Sharon flew off of her feet and hit the wall behind her. It felt like getting kicked by a mule. Her ribs cracked from the impact. She spit up a little blood as she tried to shake the fuzziness out of her head. "Holy god!" she barely whispered as she tried to catch her breath.
James' head hit the floor, but not hard enough to kill him. Kyle was planning his movements out very carefully to avoid that. Sharon cleared her head while she scrambled on the ground. Most of the patrons in the restaurant had run out the back door. The New Confederates had only four hostages. The two policemen on the ground and the two people recording with their phones. The other few people recording bolted as soon as the shooting started.
Kyle had his sensors keep track of everyone in the room. Kyle also noticed that the police cars were almost to his location. The armored figure walked towards Sharon. He was trying to get her to give up. "Look, there's no reason to keep this going. You can't hurt me. I can hurt you. A lot. I don't want to, but I'm not going to let you shoot anyone else. I will protect the innocent, even it means putting you in the hospital for a long time." He meant every word. Kyle held his hand out, "Please, give me the gun and..."
"Fuck off, tin man," Sharon said as she aimed her gun at the camera and therefore at the person recording. The figure extended a glowing blue blade and sliced the front of her gun off. Sharon didn't feel an impact. The glowing blade just slid with ease through the black metal. The armored figure kicked the remainder of her gun, breaking her hand. Kyle shot a stun blast, knocking her out. She convulsed from the electricity flowing through her body.
Ms. Parvati appeared on screen. "Shocking. Not just the technology used by the armored...figure, but the concern he showed. No one died today. And by that I mean that at this moment in the video, emergency response teams arrived on the scene. The figure should have left, but...well, I'll let the video speak for itself."
The video continued from the moment that it left off. Kyle turned from the psycho he knocked out and went to the officers. He scanned the downed officer. The uninjured policeman, Frix looked apprehensive. Kyle looked at him. "Officer Frix, I want to help. Officer Felt needs surgery and a blood transfusion." Kyle picked up the bleeding man. Blood ran down his armor. "The ambulance can't save him in time. I can."
Frix tried to form words. He wanted to ask if the figure was asking for permission, but he knew that's not what he meant. Kyle exited the building and flew into the air and out of frame. He just left a cloud of dust in his wake.
Sheba was now in front of a hospital. "Within thirty seconds the figure, the man…? Brought Officer Felt to JC General. If he had been transported by ambulance, he would have bled to death before arriving. The video of the events of the hospital are short. A father filming his newborn meeting his extended family for the first time."
A newborn baby was onscreen. "Hi there, Ms. Baby," a voice said. "Meet your aunts and...holy fucking shit!" The camera spun around to see the armored robotic-man walking into the front of the hospital.
Kyle looked around. "This man needs a blood transfusion, type O, right now." Everyone just stood staring at the armored man. No one came to help him. "Someone?" A doctor ran over to the police officer in Kyle's metal arms.
The singular brave doctor grabbed a portable bed. "Gunshot wound, prep him for surgery, and get that goddamned blood!" Several nurses pushed the bed away to an operating room. The doctor looked at Kyle. "Are you sure about the blood type?"
Kyle walked backward. "Yes, take care of him. He had a rough day."
The doctor nodded, "It's my job. I'll do my best." The armored figure faded away from sight.
Sheba was walking through the hospital. "Impenetrable armor, super strength, energy projection, a glowing blade that can slice through metal, flight, and the ability to become invisible. The videos hit the internet almost immediately. Debate raged for only about an hour before we knew the video was real. What do we think of this...person? Is he a person? A machine?"
The words 'Three Hours Later' popped up on the screen. Parvati was standing in front of Officer Felt's hospital bed. "Officer. I know you requested this interview. I only have a few questions, if you're up for it."
Officer Felt took a drink of water. "I'm a pretty big fan. I heard you were already making a video, which is so like you to be on this so quick," he coughed a little.
The doctor stepped into frame. "He needs to rest, this was a bad idea..."
Felt put his hand up. "I'm fine, just a couple of questions."
Sheba put her hand on his. "I don't need much, say whatever you want about today. About what happened to you."
"I was shot by hate. Pure and utter hate. It looked human. But it wasn't. The thing that umm...saved me. It didn't look like a man, not exactly, but it was a better person than those two in Didi's. It...he..." The police officer teared up. "I get to see my babies again. I get to live and laugh...and when I get outta here, have a couple of beers with that son of a bitch, Frix. If the armored man hadn't been there...it would be over. Wherever he is. Thank you. A lot of us will have your back. No matter what."
Sheba was now back in front of the restaurant. "Touching. But now, the authorities don't know how to respond." Someone else was in front of the camera. "Ma'am, do you have any comment, what was this thing that stopped the terrorists?"
The screen had the name 'FBI Agent Susan Gojen' pop up. She seemed to be in a hurry. "I was brought in to consult. This isn't the case I'm supposed to be on. I have no comment right now, get back to me later."
"The internet on the other hand had a lot to say about the incident." The websites and text scrolled down the screen. "The thing the comments seemed concerned with as much as the theories about what It was, was what to call it. Tin-Man was popular for a hot minute, but that gave way to Invinci-Phantom, due to Its ability to appear and disappear. This led to several variations including Iron Banshee and Steel Incubus. Then one single title rose above all that was the cacophony of the internet."
The video stopped. Al stood in front of the screen. "Okay, you ready for this, dawg?
Kyle scoffed, "Since when do you say dawg?"
Al grinned, "Only when it's needed and right now, it's warranted." Al touched play on his tablet.
"So one question remains. What is the BulletProof Ghost?" An image of the BulletProof Ghost closed out the video.
Kyle sat in his seat a moment. He leaned forward and touched the bottom of his chin, framing his face with his hand. "Oh," Kyle looked at Al and then Irene. "I like that." Kyle touched his helmet and for the first time, looked at it with a bit of pride. "The BulletProof Ghost."


Text and Photo Copyright ©2017 by Jacob Harris (Jake dh)
Cover Art Copyright © 2017 by Jacob Harris (Jake dh)
All rights reserved. No part of this book can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission of publisher/author.
The BulletProof Ghost™ created by Jacob Harris (Jake dh)
Cover Design by ebooklaunch.com
Physical Character Design by Scott Loesch
Author Photo by Susan Hayes
Editing and Formatting by Iflowcreative
First Edition