Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice preview

Welcome everyone to the Writer's Revolution. Today I wanted to give everyone a special treat. Since my book The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice is going on sale on August 7th-14th and the sequel will be coming out in September, I wanted to share a free preview; the first three chapters of Project Justice.

Chapter 1


Bright white lights.  It was the first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes. My head was throbbing; everything was blurry.

“Just relax Mr. Lancaster,” a stern woman’s voice said as she laid a hand on my chest; forcing me back to the bed.  “You’ve been through a major ordeal and need rest.”

I tried to push myself up on the bed, but found my arms tied down with thick leather restraints. 

“What’s going on?  Where am I?”

“Relax, you’re in good hands.”

I craned my neck to look through the window on a solid white door.  I thought I saw a familiar face standing outside. She had short brown hair. I wanted nothing more than to get out of that room, but was remanded to the bed. My arms thrashed around; trying to fight the restraints, but couldn’t move them more than an inch from the plain white sheets. My claustrophobia was kicking in; making my heart beat faster; keeping in time with the loud beeps on the machines I was hooked up to.

 “Mr. Lancaster, you need to relax.”

 But I couldn’t. I didn’t like being held against my will. I was scared and alone; held hostage by some random woman in a white room.

                Suddenly, I felt a calming sensation sweep over my body as if every muscle in my body was relaxed and numb.

“There, that should do it,” the woman said as she injected a syringe into my IV. She wiped my eyes; allowing me to see her large frame standing next to the bed. Her blue surgical mask covered her face; keeping her identity hidden.

“What did you do to me?” It was the only words I was able to speak before the room blurred and faded.

“He should be out any second.” The woman’s voice echoed as if she was talking down a long hallway.

“Good bring him downstairs,” a stern male voice said. I could hear a loud long beep as I was wheeled out of the room forcefully.
December 21st, 2006, it was the day my life would change forever. It was a cold wintery day in Buffalo. I was sitting on my stained blue couch that I found a year and a half ago; sitting on the curb around the corner from my apartment. I sat watching one of my favorite movies, Boondock Saints, when the doorbell rang.
                I stared at the TV, sighed and paused the movie before walking down the flight of stairs to my front door.
                “Yo open up,” a loud voice shouted from outside. “Get your ass up and let me in already. It’s freezing out here.”
                I knew it could only be one person. I jumped down the last few steps and opened the door. A tall muscular man stood on the top step; wearing a black pea coat.
                “Mike, what are you doing here?”
                “Don’t tell me you forgot already. I’m heading up to see my sister and figured I’d stop by for a visit.”
                How could I forget? Mike’s sister moved up here in August to attend the University of Buffalo for their International studies program. It was the first time I had seen Mike since he helped her move.
                I shivered as we stood in the doorway. He was right; it was getting brutally cold out.
                “Let’s get inside before we let all the heat out.” I waited for Mike to climb the stairs before closing the door and meeting him in the living room.
                Mike stared at the TV. “You’re still watching that? I would have thought by now you would have gotten sick of it.”
                “You know it’s my favorite movie. I could watch it all day.”
                “Works for me.” Mike took off his jacket; placing it on the couch and grabbed the remote. He clicked play and sat down; reclining the chair.
                “Please, make yourself at home.”
                “I always do,” he laughed. “Care to join me?” He gestured to the other side of the couch that reclined.
                I sat down and continued watching the movie. We laughed as the two brothers hung from the ceiling; shooting their victims. It was one of my favorite parts because of the joke about the rope.
                I did my best impersonation of an Irish accent as I quoted the movie. “Name one thing you’re gonna need the stupid rope for.”
                “Can we watch this once without you saying all the words?”
                “Of course not. I love this movie. Stuff like this should happen in real life.”
                “Don’t start this again.” Mike knew where the conversation was heading. We talked it over at least a dozen times over the phone, at the bar, through emails.
                “You mean to tell me you wouldn’t want all the greedy corporate leaders and corrupt politicians to disappear?”
                “What good would it do?”
                “For starters, it would make the world a better place.”
                “We’ve been through this before. There’s no way to make them magically disappear.”
                I looked at him with my eyebrows raised.
                “Oh no, I know what you’re thinking.” There was only one way to eliminate the people that were truly evil from the country.
                “We could kill them.”
                “What’s this we shit?”
                “You wouldn’t back me up?”
                He thought about it long and hard for a moment; wondering what it would be like for us to go on a rampage; a crusade to kill all the evil people in the world.
                I laughed it off. “You know I’m only joking right?” I could see the worry leave his face instantly.
                “Can you stop joking about that shit? Half the time I wonder if your joking or if you’re going to end up with your picture plastered all over the news as the cops hunt you down and kill you.”
                “It’s not gonna happen.”
                “That’s a relief.” He shook off the conversation and reached for the remote. “How’s it been up here?”
                “Same old shit. I go to school, I go to work, I walk around in the freezing cold and then I come back here to fall asleep.”
                “You coming back to Long Island for Christmas?”
                “I really don’t want to, but my dad is making me.”
                “Look on the Brightside. You get to party with me for a few days.”
                “Thanks, I’ll need it.”
                “And I know someone else that’ll be happy to see you.”
                My eyes lit up. My lips curled into a smile. “Lilly!”
                “She’s been asking me when you’re getting back. I was beginning to wonder if you ever would.”
                It was something I wondered myself, but I had my reasons for not coming home. “Put the movie back on.”
Chapter 3
It had been three hours since Mike arrived. The movie was over and I could feel my eyelids slowly shutting; drifting off into a nice relaxing sleep. It was peaceful; probably the first time I slept without the same reoccurring nightmare where I relived my mother’s death.
She died when I was fifteen in a fiery car crash on the east bound side of Sunrise Highway on Long Island. She left me in charge of keeping my younger brother Steven out of trouble while she went to our older brother’s house to babysit his children. I replayed the last moments I spent with her every night for six years.
“Drew,” Mike moaned from his recliner with the echo of a rock song accompanying his moans. “Drew, your phone’s ringing.” Mike took a pillow from the couch and threw it at my head. “Drew!”
The force from the pillow hitting my face jolted me out of my peaceful sleep. I caught the end of the song; hearing the last the lyrics talking about making our mark on this world. I reached for the phone as the call ended and sent to voicemail.
                “Who was it,” Mike asked with annoyance in his voice.
                I watched the screen; waiting for two circles to appear at the top of the screen to let me know I had a new voicemail, but they never showed. “I guess it wasn’t important.”
                I rubbed my eyes repeatedly as my contacts dried out from sleeping in them.
                “You okay,” Mike asked.
                “Yeah, I’m fine. Just wish I could have slept a little more. That was the best nap I had in a while.”
                I looked at Mike; wondering what he would say if I told him about the nightmares and how intense they were getting.
                He looked at me with concern. “You’re having those dreams again; aren’t you?”
                He saw right through me. I couldn’t deny it. Mike knew when I was lying. After all he had been my best friend since the beginning of high school.
                “I’ve had them every night for the last few months, but lately they’ve been getting worse.”
                “Worse how?”
                “I started seeing the car crash and hearing officers talk about her death; like it was more than just an accident.”
                “You probably remember hearing them being at your house and talking to your dad.”
                “No, this was different.” I didn’t want to tell Mike about the most recent dream. I was at a funeral home watching my family mourn my mother. There was a long procession line waiting to get inside the room. I snuck passed them saw a chubby teenage version of me wearing an old hand me down black suit; standing next to a tall clean shaven man with slick black hair and sharp three piece black suit. I continued towards the casket, leaned in to see my mom and jumped back as I stared at my own lifeless body lying in the wooden box.
I wanted to tell him everything, but instead kept my focus on my phone. “What time do you have to see Liz?”
                Mike sat up; pushing the recliner back into an upright position and looked at the clock.
                “I’m supposed to be there by five.”
                “You better get going. It’ll take you a while to get over there.”
                Mike stood up as the phone rang again. The song blaring loudly next to me. I looked at the caller ID; saying Unknown Caller.
                “Answer it already,” Mike shouted. “I’m sick of hearing that stupid song.”
                “Hello,” I answered.
                “Hi, I’m looking for Andrew Lancaster,” a cold stern voice responded. It didn’t sound like anyone I knew.
                “Who’s calling?”
                “Someone who has the power to change your life forever.” His voice grew more confident with every word he spoke.
                “If this is some telemarketer, you can hang up now. I don’t have any money and I’m not interested in what you have to say.”
                “I assure you; this isn’t a sales pitch and I am not a telemarketer.”
                “I don’t know what you want, but I don’t have time for any games.”
                “Mr. Lancaster, it has come to my attention that you and a few friends have discussed eliminating certain types of people.”
                My heart leapt into my throat. Who was this and how did he know about that? My jaw hung open as I searched for something to say.
                “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Mike stopped at the top of the stairs and watched with curiosity.
                “Don’t play dumb with me.” The man’s voice became louder and more forceful. “You and your friends have been monitored for quite some time now. We know everything.”
                “What are you talking about?”
                “We have spent the last few months hacking your emails and listening in on your calls. We know you want justice carried out against those who weaseled their way around the judicial system.”
                Whoever this man was, knew something I only shared with two people. “Who are you? How did you get this number?”
                “I work for the U.S. government and have been authorized to present you with an ultimatum.”
                My face turned pale white. My heartbeat grew faster.
                Mike could see something was wrong. He put his jacket down and walked back to the living room.
                “What’s wrong?”
                I placed the call on speaker; allowing him to hear the rest of the conversation. I pressed a finger to my lips; hoping he would just stay quiet for once.
                “Look Mister. I don’t know who you are, but that was just a joke between me and my friends.”
                “That doesn’t matter to me. I’ve been instructed to present you with the following options. The first is to wait at your house and a team of FBI agents can be at your house in a half hour to arrest you and then your friends.”
                “They had nothing to do with it. This was my idea; my joke.”
                “All three of you will be brought up on charges of treason and conspiracy to commit an act of terror in the United States”
                “That’s bullshit and you know it.” Mike’s anger burst at the thought of being arrested for something that we joked around about.
                I could hear the papers rustling over the phone. “That would be… ah yes; Mr. Santangelo.”
                “How does he know my name?”
                I placed a hand over his mouth. “What’s our other option?”
                He cleared his throat. “The government is putting together a top secret project; one that will capture and eliminate those that have evaded justice.”
                “How is that possible,” Mike asked.
                “That’s confidential.”
                “So what do you want with us?”
                “You and your friends get your wish. We will provide you a list of targets and evidence that proves their guilt. You’ll also receive aid from the government.”
                “If you have evidence that proves their wrongdoing, why not put them in jail where they belong?”
                “Some have already been tried and found not guilty. Others have ways to get around the judicial system. We all know it’s fallible.”
                Mike and I stared at each other in disbelief. How is this possible?
                “Why me,” I asked. “Why us?”
                “You three wanted to make the world a better place. We’re giving you that chance. As for you Mister Lancaster; who better to lead the team than someone who has never received justice for his own mother’s murder?”
                “But it-it was ruled an accident.”
                “That’s what you were led to believe. I have proof of her murder and can tell you who’s responsible.”
                “Who did it? Tell me. I need to know.”
                “I’ll leave that up to you to find out. One of our men will be by tonight to deliver a few files for you and your friends. I suggest you look them over carefully. I look forward to your answer.”
                “Wait, what’s your name? How do we contact you with our answer?
                “I’m the Benefactor, and I’ll contact you when we’re ready.”

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