Book Excerpt – A PERFECT WORLD: (A Perry Richards Novel)

A PERFECT WORLD: (A Perry Richards Novel)
by Bernard Alexander McNealy

    Publication Date: Apr 12, 2004
    List Price: $26.50
    Format: Paperback, 580 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    ISBN13: 9781418404574
    Imprint: AuthorHouse
    Publisher: Author Solutions
    Parent Company: Najafi Companies

    Read a Description of A PERFECT WORLD: (A Perry Richards Novel)

    Copyright © 2004 Author Solutions/Bernard Alexander McNealy No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the publisher or author. The format of this excerpt has been modified for presentation here.

    From Chapter 2: On Shaky Ground

    I moved to the porch baluster…leaning closer to her. ’You aren’t ruling out the possibility that you’ve gotten worked up for nothing…are you?’

    ’Good heavens. You really believe that? I heard what I heard. And those headlights tried to keep up with me.’ She remained on the rail. ’Even you don’t believe what you just said ’ do you?’ Generous lips parted and her coffee cup went up to them.

    ’I prefer to look at more plausible explanations..that’s all.’

    ’Really? Is that what you’re looking at?’

    The porch overhang threw a veil of shade. I withdrew into the dimness not knowing why. I stared at Bonnie Lee..and afterwards at the walls of the opposite bank. Then my sight rested on the encroaching forest. Sniper’s nest. I’d never noticed this before. A sudden rush of something cold and unnatural splashed on my back. I said: ’You said he mumbled. You may have misunderstood the whole thing.’

    ’That’s bloody bull. Condor Lake is not exactly on the main road. Anybody coming here is doing it for a purpose. This chap had something on his mind. Something very bad.’ She looked straight at me. ’Is somebody trying to get you..Perry?’

    ’Wow. How melodramatic. An uncle once told me: ’Check it out and see ’ then react.’ Same guy got hit by a train in a tunnel.’ I shaped my forefinger and thumb into a ’v’ to smooth my mustache. Her anxiety was contagious. I wanted the shadows to protect me. This provided little solace because in the dark..phantoms of unknown purpose lurked.

    ’Even though you’ll reject it..take some advice.’ Bonnie steered he body pass me. She went down the steps and stood on the pathway. ’Before my husband..Sammie..died fives years ago..he passed me something he knew especially well. A snake crawls and circles his prey.’ She looked amused. ’Come to think about it..that’s how he died. One night a snake lay in wait for him. Busted two slugs behind his ear. Perry..the guy last night was walking on his belly. If I’m wrong..would it harm you to humor me?’

    In silence..I watched her disappear behind thick foliage. She took the curved trail back to her place. The specter of her timorous face lingered. Chypre grew faint.

    Birds shrieked in a clump of trees somewhere. Just then the sky above the glacier walls became dark with crows. This flock appeared not dissimilar to a funnel cloud..only it climbed skyward instead of coming down. They flew into the waning vestiges of fog.

    I got nowhere dialing Felicia’s car and cell phones. The person answering the Felicia’s office telephone at Hillhaven was Betsy..her secretary. Absent from her voice was its usual mirth. She connected me to Dr. Edwin Kaplan..the clinic director. After babbling for two minutes praising Felicia for being Hillhaven’s most dedicated and thorough psychiatric social worker and counselor..he dispelled with the pretense of actually liking me. Doughy moon-faced with sandy hair..I thought Kaplan was a perfunctory clown.

    ’I wanted to know if my wife dropped by. I know she’s probably on her way up here to our cabin..but I thought I’d check. I’ll talk to her then. See you around..Edwin.’

    Confounded..he blurted: ’Wait. Are you talking about Condor Lake?’

    ’As a matter of fact..I am.’

    ’That’s strange. Felicia didn’t come in yesterday. She called me presumably from home and requested an emergency leave of absence.’

    ’Leave of absence? Did she tell you why?’

    ’I didn’t ask. She’s my I wouldn’t dare refuse. Anyway..your wife came in this morning before anyone arrived. A formal leave notice was on my desk. Frankly..I assumed it was family related.’

    LA baked in the sun yesterday. Felicia wasn’t at the Convention Center when I came out of the lawyer’s exam. I made my way over to our second meeting place at the downtown arena. Still no Felicia. When I called home..she answered and claimed an unspecified job crisis delayed her. Kaplan’s presumptive familiarity with Felicia upset me. ’I talked to her yesterday and this morning. She said you needed her help with an emergency audit.’

    ’Perhaps you misunderstood. We never had that discussion..Richards.’ He downplayed the whole thing before hanging up. I was about to do likewise when Betsy quietly said my name. My words were slurred and may have been mistaken for a response.

    Calmly..Betsy offered: ’Mr. Richards..I’m breaking confidentiality. Forgive me. I took an unusual phone call yesterday intended for your wife. It was a call of confirmation.’

    Read AuthorHouse’s description of A PERFECT WORLD: (A Perry Richards Novel).