Thank you for joining us on The Writers Revolution. This week we are celebrating the upcoming release of Conviction (book 3 of the Detective Ryan Series). We are 5 days away from the release and release party. Join us each day as we bring you more from the Detective Ryan Series, including teasers, reviews, and even an excerpt.
It was a bright sunny day in August of 2006. The birds were chirping loudly outside the bedroom windows as the town of New Paltz sat quietly; waiting for the new school year to begin. For a few hundred students, this would be their first year on campus; their first taste of freedom, they would meet new people and would make memories that would last forever. For so many more, it was a return to their boring classes; late night cram sessions till four in the morning for a class that began at eight and of course lots of parties. But there was one man in particular who was chomping at the bit for the school year to begin. In fact, he planned on making it the most memorable year ever.
He was an average sized man in his early twenties and typically had short brown hair that stood on end in the back with a small curl in front. His thick black glasses gave him a geeky appearance, but all of that was about to change.
He entered a three story house from the front door and looked around nervously before climbing the narrow stairs to his apartment; room fourteen. Sweat dripped down his forehead as he carried three large bags. The plastic handles stretched and ripped until they dropped below his knees causing him to nearly trip over them as he fumbled with his keys.
The lock struggled to turn until he heard the sound of the bolt unlock the dirty white door. He flung the bags quickly onto his unkempt bed next to the red comforter that was still rolled in a ball at the foot where he left it that morning.
“Shit, I knew I should’ve left the windows open,” he said as he felt the sticky heat of the eighty five degree weather which by midday made his room feel like a sauna.
He looked around his apartment. It was a rundown oversized bedroom that was converted into a studio apartment. There was hardly any furniture except for a small black metal desk that sat behind the door with his TV on it, a corkboard that hung over an old wooden dresser, a small refrigerator, an old disgusting stove, and a wooden table with two matching chairs that sat on a sloping floor.
“I need to get out of this hell hole,” he grunted as he pulled the windows up; letting a warm gentle breeze flow throughout the room. “Can this place get any hotter?”
“Did you hear the weather for tomorrow?” a woman’s voice shouted from the hall.
He turned around to see Jess, a neighbor that lived in the room across from his. She was petite with short reddish brown hair that came to the middle of her neck. She was in a pair of blue short shorts and white tank top. His eyes hit the floor and rolled up; carefully taking in every inch of her body before looking her in the eyes.
“Hey Jess, how’s it going?”
“It’d be better if they let us put air conditioners in our apartments. It’s supposed to be ninety tomorrow.”
“Great, I think I’ll just spend the day sitting under the cold water in my shower.” He glanced over at the closet sized shower with glass doors and thought about how difficult it was to stand inside; let alone sit there for hours.
Jess laughed and stepped inside the man’s room. “Looks like someone went on a little shopping spree. What’d ya get?”
He snapped his head back and jumped in front of the bags; shielding them with his body. “Just a few things before the semester begins; some new clothes and books. I figured I’d get them out of the way before the school store opens the gates of hell.” He emphasized the last few words; adding a dramatic effect.
Jess laughed and thought about the long lines they faced every semester. “I tried finding the books I needed online, but only two of my classes had them listed.”
“I guess you’ll be down there with the rest of the animals.”
Jess scowled at him before walking further into the room examining her neighbor extensively with her hypnotic green eyes.
“There’s something different about you.”
His paranoia seeped in; making him question if she figured out he was planning something fiendish. Maybe she noticed the change in his demeanor or maybe she saw the black gloves and mask sitting in the shopping bags or maybe…
“You got a haircut,” she said with a smile; checking out the shorter brown hair spiked up with gel in it. “I like it. It brings out the green in your eyes.”
“But my eyes are hazel.”
“They look a little greener today then they usually do.” Jess stared into his eyes for a few moments.
“What are you doing for dinner?” he asked.
Jess looked at the time on a nearby clock and saw it was a quarter after three. “Shit, I’m gonna be late. Sorry, I’m supposed to be at work in fifteen minutes. I’ll see you tonight when I get back.”
Jess ran out the door; leaving the man behind. His lips curled into a smile as he considered the possibility of dating Jess; even scoring one date with her would mean the world to him.
He closed the door and hurried to a long mirror that hung over the kitchen/bathroom sink that was filled with dirty dishes. He looked at his reflection; admiring his new hairstyle and the twenty pounds he lost over the summer.
“Time to get rid of the geek,” he whispered as he opened the first bag; pulling out a small blue box. He tossed his glasses onto the counter and popped two contacts in his eyes. They filled with tears instantly; turning his hazel eyes into a brighter shade of green.
He was beaming with confidence; something he never had in the past. He looked at the flyer taped to the fridge. The bottom of the flyer had a broken picture frame with a black and white photo of a man with glasses lying on the floor. The same man stood over it; dressed to the nine in an Armani suit with a hot blond wrapped around his arm. The bold caption read: Find the Success You Want.
He pulled it off the fridge and stared at it; remembering the rainy Thursday afternoon during his sophomore year when he exited the Lecture Hall and found the flyer posted on each of the bulletin boards. He had broken up with his girlfriend of three years; the same girl he moved to New Paltz to be with. They had fought about him not being the kind of man she wanted. She wanted someone with confidence; someone that could treat her right; someone who had ambition and passion in his life. None of that described him until the day he found that flyer.
“I guess I don’t need you anymore.” The man tore up the paper into tiny pieces and threw them into the tall beige trash can next to the sink.
A calendar rested above his head with two dates circled in red marker. The first was marked for August 23rd, the first day of school. The other was circled multiple times; creating a bullseye over September 1st. He placed his finger on the target and smiled before returning to his desk.
The drawers creaked out a loud high pitched noise; worse than nails running along a chalk board. He shivered as a chill ran down his body. His hand slipped into the drawer and pulled out a small wrinkled piece of paper with four names written in black ink. He stared at the names intensely and whispered to himself.
“Vengeance will be mine.” He pulled the bags closer to the desk; removing the new clothes and placed them on the bed. “I think it’s time for Mark Thompson to make his debut.”
If we've piqued your interest, be sure to grab a copy of the first book in the Detective Ryan Series, Campus Killer