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Excerpt from Black Pearl 2

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The doctor told Detective Epps to sit down, and he wouldn’t leave the hospital room until he was sure his patient was as comfortable as possible. Once satisfied, Dr. Melton stormed off.

            “Don’t be long,” he said. “The patient needs-----.”

            “Now if you will excuse us, Doc.” Epps stared coldly at the broad-shouldered man. “This shouldn’t take long.”

            “Make sure that it doesn’t.”

            This was Epps’ second trip to this room and he couldn’t avoid marveling at the man, who, by all accounts, should have been dead. Talk about a miracle. The man smiled weakly.

            Epps took it upon himself to fling open the blinds on the window. It was a beautiful fall morning and Epps felt that a little sunshine would be perfect for someone who had just experienced a three day coma. As the sunshine pierced the room, the man smiled more fully, welcoming the glow.

            “What about that night?” Epps asked.

            The patient jumped, slightly unnerved, saying nothing.

            “Tell me about it?”

The patient stared at Epps, wondering what words he could use to describe that night. How could it ever be explained? “It was evil.” The patient spoke with enough crispness so that he barely had to breathe. “Evil.”

Epps walked closer to the bed, had a seat. “But there has to be more.”

The man openly wept.

“Has it reached the point where you’ve forgotten?” Epps coldly ignored the man’s tears.


“All right, then,” Epps whispered. “I need to know what happened.” He looked at the weeping man as if he was a spoiled child. “Do me a favor and pull yourself together. I need you to talk about that night without falling to pieces.”

The man pursed his lips, but made no response.

“The problem with your silence could mean that the man who did this-----.”

“Man? It wasn’t a man.”

For a brief second, Epps looked embarrassed. He became more guarded. “You mean it was a….a woman?”

The man nodded solemnly. His eyes fluttered wide open. “Surprised?”

            A light instantly came on in Epps’ head, but he just as quickly turned it OFF. “Tell me more, please. I’m sorry if I appeared surprised, but it’s just that-----“

            “She was pretty, a pretty devil.”

            Epps removed a micro-cassette player from his briefcase. He touched a button on the player’s silver front and a red dot in the tiny corner shimmered ON, and after informing the recorder of the day, date, and the nature of the business at hand, he looked into the minister’s eyes. “Tell me everything.”

            The preacher got chills just from thinking about that night. His body tingled. He felt light-headed, and wished over and over again that that night had never happened. Looking back in time, his blood pressure surged as the events of that night leaped out at him, slamming into his consciousness. Trying to remain calm, he saw his hands transformed into fists, but how did he protect himself from a nightmare that had already come and gone? Still his heart hammered.

            The preacher wanted to hate his vivid recall of what happened, but the memories were there, gleaming and glistening with terrible fright, frozen in his mind’s eye. Every time he took a breath, the fear inside his heart seemed to gather momentum, tightening up its psychic noose until he wanted to yelp like a sick puppy.

            Cradling his head in his hands, the preacher groaned miserably. “Her voice was full of hostility. It sounded like darkness, like nature gone crazy.”

            “I understand,” Epps commented blankly.

            The preacher doubted it.

            “What did the woman say with the voice?”

            “She was ranting, raving, saying blasphemous things like God didn’t exist, and that she was going to prove it.”


            “By making me pray.”

            “For what?”

            “For God to kill her.”

            “Huh?!” Epps exclaimed. “To kill her?” He was puzzled. “So the woman wanted God to kill her. Why?”

            The preacher sighed wearily. “Because that would be the only thing that could prevent her from killing me.”


            “The point, detective, was that the woman wanted to prove to me that God didn’t exist, and what better way to demonstrate that than by showing me that my prayers for my life would not be answered.”

            Epps got the point. “And who else should God respond to quicker than one of his ministers.” Epps turned thoughtful. “Still, it appears from everything you’ve told me that the proof was not so much for you as it was for the woman. The issue seemed to be that the woman was the one seeking confirmation that God----“

“Suit yourself,” the preacher butted in. “Either way, it almost got me killed.”

Epps switched OFF the recorder. The city was going crazy. A woman?!

BLACK PEARL 2. 99cents
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Busy ain't the word.  I was gonna do the links for al the books when I rebuilt your page, but I'm rebuilding AALBC.com and I hit a snag on the menu.  Very frustrating problem words in IE, Chrome and Safari but is jacked up in Firefox.  I can't figure out what is causing the problem the code is fine... ah I won't bother with the details :-)

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