G. E. Stills
I live in the southwest with my wife, dog and
a cat. I have grown children with children of their own. In the past I
was a mechanic and then a business owner, retired. I have always loved
to read and enjoyed writing stories from an early age. Most of my time
now is spent in front of my keyboard writing or sitting back and
thinking about a current WIP or a new story to write. When not engaged
in my favorite pastime of writing, I enjoy boating and camping.
My stories primarily deal with paranormal,
fantasy or science fiction and all of them, thus far, involve romance.
The heat levels vary from non-erotic to sizzling. Most of my characters
are strong and assertive; many are outspoken. Many of my characters have
magical abilities or are normal people in abnormal situations with a
strong sense of justice. My villains are, well . . . villains, doing
New Titles from G. E.
Sherry and Rodger have known
each other since childhood. They've been good friends for a long time,
but have lost contact over the years. Chance brings them together once
more. There is an almost magnetic attraction between them. Over the
course of two days they become much more than just friends. There is one
problem though, Sherry is the ex-wife of Dave, Rodger's cousin. Dave is
the son of a very wealthy and powerful man and he is determined to make
Sherry’s life miserable. She is very afraid of him. He would definitely
not approve of Sherry and Rodger’s relationship if he found out.
Word Count: 17,720
Pages to Print: 64
File Format: PDF
|Before the cruise begins, Jay innocently asks Trish and her friend for a dance and is not only turned down, but insulted when Trish's friend tells Jay he isn't good enough for them. Trish is captivated by Jay's smile, but once her friend has her say, Trish is sure Jay is lost to her. Trying to apologize to him later, Trish witnesses two men tossing Jay overboard and finds herself thrown in after him as well. Imagine Jay's chagrin later when he finds himself washed up on an island with Trish and the constant reminder of their unpleasant encounter before the cruise. But Jay isn't what he first appears to be, and as the two of them get acquainted, Trish realizes he is a keepeer. What will happen when they are rescued and Trish goes back to her mundane life, determined to forget Jay?
Word Count: 17000
Pages to Print: 65
File Format: PDF
|As a fireman in a small town, Chad’s
life is laid back, easy going. The worst problem he has is
tolerating Jerry, his so-called friend. Jerry sees himself as a
gift to women. He's a player and Chad has a difficult time
dealing with that. Chad’s life is destined to become much less
peaceful and serene when Heather appears in town. From the very
first time they meet, he is strongly attracted to her. To his
consternation, Jerry imposes himself between them and tells lies
about Chad in order to win Heather’s favor.
Jerry vanishes, as does Heather. Then one day on the way home
from work, Chad encounters her again. Having discovered Jerry’s
lies, she invites Chad to join her for dinner. Cheerfully, Chad
accepts. With Jerry out of the picture it'll be just the two of
them . . . but things are about to get very interesting for Chad.
Word Count: 6647
Pages to Print: 29
File Format: PDF
||Leah's home has been burned to the
ground and a man she once loved has killed her mother. She is
taken to a new world, held captive and tortured by a ruthless
sorcerer. Jan helps her escape and takes her to his village. The
people there look to her for salvation. How can she, a simple
woman from Earth with no special abilities, possibly live up to
Word Count: 23500
Pages to Print: 80
File Format: PDF
||Have you ever wished you could go back
in your life and change things? Would the changes made turn out
for the better? If you remembered your future, you could correct
your mistakes, but would you make others? Gene took a wrong turn
in life. He lives on the wrong side of the law, but he gets a
chance that we never get. He gets a Do Over in his life.
Word Count: 22640
Pages to Print: 80
File Format: PDF
Rodger had just returned from overseas the week
before. His enlistment in the Army ended at the same time, so he was
staying with his parents until he found a job. His parents ran a dairy
farm about fifty miles north of the Midwest Nebraska town of Colter
where he was presently, having found nothing in the way of female
company in the nearby North Scotia. Colter, with a population of about
thirty thousand, was almost a huge city compared to the small ones
closer to the farm.
“I’m going to Colter. Gonna do some shopping,
maybe look for a job,” he told his mom just before he left the house.
The first he actually intended to do, the second . . . well, he was not
in any big hurry to find a job and settle into a day-to-day routine.
He’d put money in savings the whole time he was overseas, so money to
live on was not an immediate factor. Doesn’t take much to live on when
you are restricted to base in a war zone, he reminded himself. He was
just ready to relax and unwind for a few weeks.
Which brought him to the real reason for being in
Colter―the night clubs. He hoped to meet a single female at one of these
clubs; drink and dance and just be in her company for the evening. Of
course, I won’t refuse sex either if the chance presents itself. I’ve
been out of the states for almost two years. It’s been far too long
since I had female company, to say nothing about sex.
The sixty-eight cherry red Mustang he drove was
his baby. Thanks to being in storage most of the last four years and a
lot of time spent waxing and polishing, it still looked showroom new.
The inside was as spotless as the outside. It should do very well as a
chick magnet. He grinned from ear-to-ear.
His grin faded into a frown when he started across
an intersection and the car quit―it rolled through the intersection and
he guided it over to the curb. He stepped out and looked under it to see
if by chance the drive shaft had come loose or broken. It was still
“Shit,” he said aloud, “I wonder what’s wrong?”
A transmission shop just happened to be about half
a block away, so he locked the car and walked down to it. He told them
what had happened and they agreed to have a look at it. It was close
enough that several of the mechanics got together and pushed it to the
shop. After the service manager told him to check back later, he left
his baby to their care.
He walked around in the downtown area, mostly
window shopping and killing time. Damn I wonder what is wrong with my
car? A few hours later he returned to the transmission shop and got the
bad news: his transmission would require a complete overhaul.
“It’ll take about two days,” the service manager
So much for my plans. I guess I will try to get
out to the interstate and get a motel room.
He found a payphone and called his parents to let
them know the situation and that he would not be home. Looking at his
watch, he realized his mom and dad could not come get him since it was
getting close to time to start milking the cows.
“Why don’t you call Sherry? Maybe your cousin Dave
is down there or is going down there to visit his son. You might be able
to catch a ride with him. Just a suggestion.”
Sherry was his Cousin Dave’s ex-wife. Dave lived
in North Scotia with his parents. Mom, if you only knew how much Dave
and I dislike each other you wouldn’t even suggest I catch a ride with
him. His thoughts drifted to Sherry.
I didn’t even know Sherry lived here. I haven’t
seen her since we were high school kids. He had no intention of asking
fuckhead Dave for a ride, but it would be a good enough reason to call
her. Not that he really needed a reason, but it would serve as an ice
breaker to renew their friendship.
“Thanks Mom. I’ll do that. You don’t happen to
know her number, do you?”
“No, but I’m sure she's listed in the phone book.
Your dad and I can come get you after milking in the morning if he’s not
“Nah. If worse comes to worst, I’ll just stay down
here a couple days until my car is fixed. No sense in you coming down
here just to turn around and bring me back down to pick it up. Bye Mom,
see you in a couple days. Sooner if I catch a ride.” Not fuckin’ likely,
if I have to ride with ‘him’. He grinned.
Rodger’s parents hadn’t always been farmers.
Rodger had grown up in a large city far away from the small sleepy town
of North Scotia. His parents had moved onto the dairy farm while he was
in the Army.
He and Sherry had been close even though many
miles had separated them when growing up. They only saw each other for
about two weeks a year when he was on vacation with his parents. He was
much closer to her than he'd ever been to her ex-husband, dear old Dave.
They'd talked on the phone frequently and shared
all their teenage experiences over the years. Some of them had been very
intimate and personal. Some of them had been silly like who their
favorite bands were. Sherry had talked him through the heartbreak of
teenage breakups. He had helped her get through the frequent fights she
had with Dave. The two of them seemed to be drawn together like magnets.
Nothing sexual, just excellent friends. When Sherry got pregnant he had
been the first one she told. She told him even before she told the
Poor Dave. What a joke. Rodger knew better. Dave
was an asshole. At least that is the way he felt about him. Sherry had
gotten pregnant before getting married and now had a two-year-old little
boy. Because of Dave’s insistence they not talk, he and Sherry had lost
contact. Even after the divorce they'd never renewed their friendship.
Partly because he was over seas. He missed the close friendship they'd
once shared prior to her marriage. He picked up the phone now and called
A female voice answered, “Hello?”
He didn’t quite know how to start the
conversation, so he just dived in and started by identifying himself,
“Sherry, this is Rodger. How are you? We haven’t talked in a long time.”
After a long moment of silence on the other end of
the line, the woman hesitatingly asked, “Rodger . . . Dave’s cousin
“Yes, that Rodger.”
“My God. We haven’t talked for such a long time.
How are you? Where are you? I heard you were visiting your parents.”
“I’ve been better. My car broke down here in
Colter,” Rodger hesitated then asked, “Sherry, is Dave by any chance
here, or coming here?”
“No, he’s not here and I’m not expecting him,
He explained the situation to her. He asked if it
would be possible for her to give him a ride out to one of the motels by
“Sure,” she told him. “I’ll be there in about
thirty minutes. Just watch for my battered old white Chevy II.” She
After some final words with the service manager
and signing more forms, Rodger stepped out on the sidewalk in front of
the shop to wait.
I wonder what she looks like now. She was always
so pretty before. It’s been so long since I have seen or talked to her.
About an hour later a Chevy II pulled up to the
curb in front of him. It was just as she had described, ‘battered and
old’. Dings and dents, with primer in a number of places. She stepped
out on the sidewalk to greet him. After they exchanged hugs, she leaned
back against the car door.
She looked nice, in a proper sort of way. She'd
always dressed rather conservatively, in his opinion. Most of the girls
from around here dress that way. Not like the more revealing way the
girls dress in the city where I grew up. She wore a knee-length print
skirt and a matching button-up print blouse with all but the very top
button fastened and white sandals.
She saw him looking at the car and with a shrug
she explained, “This is the only thing the asshole left me to drive when
we got divorced. I guess it beats walking, though.”
As if it had just occurred to her she suggested,
“Rodger, you should come over to my house first, so we can visit before
I take you to the motel; that is, if you don’t mind visiting with your
cousin’s ex. It’s been ages since we talked and even longer since we saw
each other. No sense in your spending the entire evening out there
sitting in a room by yourself.”
He snorted. “I always liked you much better than I
did him.” He laughed at his understatement. “That'd be great. I wasn’t
looking forward to staring at four walls all evening. Getting
reacquainted sounds like an excellent idea,” he agreed, and walking
around to the passenger side, got into the seat.
She turned to him and introduced the child in the
car seat beside her. “Rodger this is my son, Jacob. Jacob, honey, this
Jacob didn’t say anything, of course; he just
looked at Rodger with big green eyes very much like his mother’s. The
last time he'd seen Sherry she wasn’t even pregnant and now she had this
little man. Rodger made googly eyes at him and was at last rewarded with
a giggle and a smile.
Back to Forbidden Love
Not Good Enough
“Wow, look at the arms on that one.
And that hair . . . It’s just to die for, I tell ya.” Sheila
pointed out the man standing at the bar with muscular arms and
shoulder-length hair. “Or maybe that one,” she said, pointing to
a man seated at one of the tables across the dance floor from
them, wearing a three-piece suit. “I can smell the money on that
Trish followed Sheila’s pointing
finger as she directed her attention to the men around the bar.
All of them were either handsome hunks, or had the look of
wealth. Sheila downed another shot and chased it with gulp from
her fruity drink. From the glassy look in her eyes and her
slightly slurred speech, it was obvious to Trish she was getting
“Don’t you think maybe you should slow
down on the drinks a little?”
“Naw, I’m okay. I’m not driving,” she
said, shaking her head slowly, “and I’m going to find a man for
you tonight yet.”
“Sheila, I don’t need a man. I just
got out of a relationship.”
“Relationship? Is that what you call
it? I call it slow death. You were with him since college.
Trish, Todd treated you like crap.”
“Not in the beginning, he didn’t.
Before I put on a little weight . . . and before the car
accident, things were different.”
Sheila rolled her eyes. “You look
fine, Trish. Maybe dressed a little conservative, in my opinion.
I mean, you have to put yourself out there, show a little leg
and cleavage if you want to reel in a man. Just look at me.”
Trish exhaled loudly in disgust. “I
told you, I’m not looking for one. The only reason I’m going on
this cruise is because you asked. And you say, look at you? Damn
it, Sheila, if that dress you’re wearing got any shorter . . .
well, it wouldn’t leave anything to the imagination. If it was
cut any lower, your boobs would be hanging out on display—and
how long did it take you to put on that makeup?”
Sheila ignored her. “Oh, damn, look at
that one. Geez, I wouldn’t mind wrapping my arms around that
one. Maybe even my legs, provided he has a lot of money.” She
giggled, hid a tiny belch and then added, “Look at the guys I’ve
been with compared to Todd.”
“Yeah, look at them. You’ve been
married three times. Just ended one, and you’re only—”
“Careful,” Sheila warned her off the
subject of age. “You’re older than I am.”
“I’m just saying that having been
married and divorced three times by your early thirties is not
exactly a good track record. Your life is not exactly a shining
“The first one couldn’t afford the
lifestyle I wanted. The second one tried to put me on a budget.
Screw him. The third one . . . the third one couldn’t satisfy my
“Imagine that. He was over twice your
age. I sometimes wonder why you and I are even friends. We’re so
“Ah, come on, Trish. You know you love
me. We’ve been friends since childhood.” She might have
continued, but just then a man stepped up to their table.
“Good evening, ladies. Would either of
you care to dance?”
Trish looked up at him. Although he
was dressed nice, it wasn’t a fancy suit. She cringed at some of
the flamboyant styles the hunks Sheila pointed out wore. No, he
was just dressed nice.
He had a pronounced widows-peak,
thinning hair cropped short, and a slight bulge in the belly
area. The man didn’t have bulging biceps, but his arms weren’t
skinny either. His eyes were just a little glassy, like
Sheila’s, indicating he’d had a few drinks, too. What really
grabbed her attention though, was the brilliant smile on his
Just a normal guy with a wonderful
Then Sheila spoke, and his smile faded
into a frown. “Go away, fatso. You’re blocking our view of the
real men. You know, the ones that aren’t fat. The ones that have
hair . . . and muscles.”
He glared at Sheila “I was just
asking. There’s no need for insults.” Turning, he looked at
Trish. “And what about you, would you like to dance?”
“Loser,” Sheila sang out and made an L
on her forehead. “She doesn’t want to dance with you, fat boy.
You’re not good enough for her, either.” Sheila kicked Trish
under the table to insure compliance.
“Fine,” the man growled. “A simple no
would have sufficed.”
“Your kind don’t take a simple no. Now
“My kin—” Without another word and
with a strong glare, the man turned and walked away.
“Geez, Sheila. Sometimes I’m
completely embarrassed to be with you. You’re downright mean at
times. After all he only asked us to dance.”
“The hell with him. He’ll get over it.
I’m over it. Besides, after tonight we’ll never see him again.”
Sliding her chair back, Trish excused
herself to go to the restroom, and as no surprise to her when
she returned, Sheila was out on the dance floor, her arms
wrapped tight around a Beefcake. She didn’t come back to the
table for the next dance, or the one after that.
Trish couldn’t help looking for the
man with the nice smile. Yep, there he was. Alone. She made eye
contact with him and gave him her best come hither look. With a
smile, she watched him get to his feet and start in her
This time I’ll do my own talking.
He came to a stop at her table.
“Where’s your rude girlfriend? I don’t think she likes me much.”
That winning smile stretched across his face once more.
“She’s right behind you,” Sheila said.
Neither of them had noticed her arrival with the Hunk in tow.
“And you’re almost right; I don’t like you at all. I thought we
got rid of you. Maybe you need a little physical persuasion.”
Turning to her muscle-bound companion,
she said, “Theo, this person, I refuse to call it a man, will
not go away. Perhaps you could convince him.”
Once again, the smile on his face
vanished. This time his frown was directed at her. Trish wanted
to slide beneath the table to escape the daggers his glare
focused on her.
For once in your life, Sheila, shut
“I was mistaken,” he said to her. “I
thought that you wanted to—Never mind.”
Turning to Sheila he grumbled, “I was
just leaving. I thought your girlfriend wanted to see me. Guess
I was wrong.”
Theo clamped his hand onto the man’s
arm. With a look of fury cold enough to make hell freeze over
and a voice so low it was nearly a whisper, he growled at Theo.
“Theo . . . if you value that hand . . . and don’t want it
broken . . . you’d better take it off my arm.”
Oh God. That’s all we need is a fight.
She could see in the man’s eyes that
the words were not an idle threat, but a promise. Now that she
was able to look closer, she saw that, though not bulging with
muscle like Theo, the man’s arms were very strong. His demeanor
screamed, Don’t mess with me. She hoped Theo would see it, too.
To her relief, Theo picked up the same vibes. He released his
grip on the man’s arm.
With a glance at her—frigid enough to
make her shiver, he walked away.
“Such an annoying person. See, I told
you his type doesn’t take no for an answer,” Sheila said.
She sat down beside Trish, and Theo
took a seat across from them. She introduced them. “Theo, this
is Trish; Trish, Theo. Theo has a friend, and the two of them
have invited us to an after-hours party in their room.” Leaning
over, Sheila whispered in her ear. “I’ve seen his friend. He’s a
beefcake, just like Theo. So anyway, how about it?”
She looked at Sheila and then at Theo
before whispering, “Sheila, Theo can’t be more than his early
twenties. He and his friend are probably looking for one thing,
especially from an older woman. I really don’t think we should
“He thinks I’m only twenty-five,”
Sheila whispered back and giggled.
Shaking her head, Trish said aloud, “I
think I’ll pass. I’m kind of tired. We need to get around early
tomorrow for the cruise.”
“Well, I’m going. See you later,
Trish,” Sheila huffed, clearly not happy with Trish’s decision
not to go with them. “Come on, Theo; let’s see if we can find
another girl to party with us.” With that, the two of them got
up and left.
Picking up her drink, she wandered out
onto the patio area and stood at the railing, looking up at the
Why I put up with Sheila I will never
Glancing to her side, she saw the man
with the smile again. She started toward him to apologize, but
never got the chance. He spotted her at the same time, turned
his back and walked as far away as possible.
So much for apologizing for Sheila’s
bad manners. I’m sorry, she thought at him. Finishing her drink,
she left the nightclub and strolled back to her room.
Not Good Enough
The Witch and the Squirrels
Chad resisted the urge to break into a run when he passed the
run-down house. If not for the fact it was along the route he
used when he walked to work . . . You’re a grown man, not some
scared little boy. Still—something about the place gives me the
Cold and dreary-looking, the dilapidated two-story structure sat
on a lot that encompassed the entire block. An unkempt yard,
overgrown with vines and shrubs, surrounded it. Nobody had lived
in the place for years.
Not since old lady Jameson vanished a number of years ago.
That was long before he’d moved here.
His steps carried him away, putting the house behind him. The
somber feeling of foreboding lifted from his shoulders as the
distance increased. Two blocks farther, he entered a two-story
eight-plex. Taking the steps two at a time, he then paced down
the hallway to his apartment door located on the left near the
rear of the complex. Soon he forgot the eerie feeling. Changing
out of his uniform, he put on faded blue jeans and buttoned up
his sport shirt.
Locking the door behind him, he left for the small bar a short
distance away. When he opened the door, the smell of whiskey and
stale cigarettes assailed his nose.
Why do I come here?
He answered his own thought immediately.
Because this may be a hole in the wall, but they have an
excellent burger. He usually treated himself to one at the end
of his shift. The bartender poured a glass of ice water and set
it in front of him on the counter.
“The usual, Chad?” the bartender asked.
The bartender walked away to place his order.
“What’s up, Chad my man?” a familiar voice said. He stifled a
groan when Jerry sat down next to him.
“Not much. Just got off work.” For some reason, Jerry had
glommed onto him from the start.
Maybe because I was new in town. Maybe because I didn’t know him
any better. That, and the fact he has an apartment in the same
building as me. And he and I are both single.
“Wanna come to the club with me tonight? There might be some
fresh meat there. Ya never can tell, with that new catalog
ordering center opening up. I hear they’ve hired a number of
women. About damn time this shitty little town got some new
Translated, new women who don’t know you and what a player you
“If you hate this place so much, why do you stay? Why don’t you
move to a larger town?”
“Maybe I will someday, but in the meantime I haven’t bedded all
the eligible ladies in this one.” He winked.
And some that are not eligible, Jerry.
Chad shook his head and smothered his sigh of disgust. Even
after all these months of knowing Jerry, he found it hard to
believe his attitude toward women. He found it even more
difficult to accept.
“So what time should I pick you up?” Jerry asked.
“I’m kind of tired. Just got off my three-day shift.”
He should have known that Jerry would not be discouraged that
“Aw, come on. You don’t do anything but lay around over there
unless there’s a fire.”
“We do other things besides fight fire in this town, you know.”
“What, rescue cats from trees?” Jerry scoffed.
He rolled his eyes and bristled at hearing his job belittled.
“It’s not worth arguing about. I just don’t feel like going out
Back to The Witch and the Squirrels
Wrath of Leah
Crossing the clearing between her house and the barn where she
kept her horses, Leah glanced around. Tall pines surrounded the
clearing containing the buildings. Only a slight breeze
whispering through the pine needles disturbed the early morning
silence. She loved the silence and the solitude her remote
location in the mountains provided. The last of the snow had
melted away and the first tiny sprigs that would grow to be a
riot of beautiful wildflowers had pushed up from the ground to
the right of her wooden cabin.
It’s so much different here than in the town fifteen miles away,
where I spent my first twenty years.
Leah stepped into her cabin and poured a cup of coffee. As she
sat at the table with her hands wrapped around the steaming cup,
she thought back to her high school days and specifically, Mike.
For two years, they’d dated and made plans for the future, like
going to college together. Maybe even living together. Reaching
up, she twirled a lock of her chestnut-colored hair, wondering
what it would look like next week when she had it cut to off to
Her memories turned once more to Mike. He was an only child and
lived with his parents half a mile from her house. She
remembered the day as if it had happened yesterday. Mike was
supposed to call that Saturday morning and together they would
make plans for the senior dance. He didn’t call. By
midafternoon, she tired of waiting and called him. The phone
rang and rang.
I was worried. He never broke a promise before. The next day,
she borrowed her mom’s car and drove to his house. It was
vacant. Glancing through the curtainless window, she saw that
the room was bare. The front door was unlocked. She strolled
through the empty house in disbelief.
She searched, using every means she could think to locate them.
Nothing—not a single clue, as if they had dropped off the face
of the Earth. She was crushed. The boy who owned her heart had
A few months later, her dad died, killed in a car accident. The
two most important men in her life had been ripped away from her
in less than six months. She graduated from high school, but
delayed entering college. Instead, she moved here to the cabin
her parents owned. Pleasant memories from her childhood
surrounded her. She begged her mom to come with her, but she
refused, remaining behind to work at her job. Her mother, in
turn, expressed deep concern that her daughter would be living
in the mountains alone.
“I need time to think, to grieve,” Leah explained. “I’ll go to
It was still hard for her to fathom—three years had passed. She
would be twenty-one next month. She took a sip of coffee. I kept
my promise, Mom. I’m enrolled in college. I start this fall.
The crunch of gravel jerked her from her melancholy thoughts and
alerted her of visitors. Leah strolled toward the door and
answered at the knock. Her mother, Janice, stood framed in the
“I would’ve called, but I just had to see the expression on your
Leah moved back to let her mother in. “What’s going on, Mom?”
Janice stepped to the side and Leah saw for the first time her
mother hadn’t come alone. Her jaw dropped and her knees wobbled
when she saw him. His piercing blue eyes, wavy black hair and
great physique left no doubt. “Mike?”
“One and the same,” he said.
She wanted to rush into his arms, and at the same time wanted to
beat on his chest for never having contacted her over the years.
“I answered the door this morning,” her mother explained, “and
there he was.”
Leah stumbled back and sat in her easy chair heavily. “Where
have you been?”
“Away! That’s all you can say?”
“Don’t I get a hug and a kiss?”
She wanted to. She wanted to fly into his arms, but at the same
time displeasure with his response held her back. “Not until you
can give me a better answer for where you’ve been the last three
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
Her displeasure was escalating into anger. He was avoiding her
question. “Try me.” Again, she heard the crunch of gravel. Now
Car doors slammed and a burly man darkened the doorway. She
could see there were two others behind him.
“About time,” Mike snapped.
She glanced at Janice, who looked just as surprised as she felt.
She looked up at Mike, waiting for an explanation. His eyes had
taken on an iciness that sent a shiver racing through her.
“We got here as quickly as possible, Lothar,” the first man
Lothar? Who’s Lothar?
“Is that the bitch?” the man asked, indicating her.
Anger having come to full bloom, Leah sprang to her feet. “I
don’t know who you are, but I didn’t invite you into my house
and I won’t be called names. Get out! All of you get out. Mike,
who are these men?”
He ignored her question. “That’s her, Olaf. The other one is her
mother. Secure them both.”
Olaf and one of the men surged at her. The other man angled off
toward her mother. Leah fought like a tigress, but the strength
and size of the men quickly prevailed. In a short time, plastic
ties secured her arms and legs. Olaf ripped a piece from her
now-buttonless blouse and shoved it in her mouth, cutting off
her swearing. He stood behind her, holding her down in the
chair. She glared at Mike for a moment and glanced at her mom.
Her arms and legs were also bound.
“We’ll take the witch with us. What about this one?” the man
holding her mother asked.
Mike directed his gaze at her. In a voice cold enough to freeze
a bonfire, he said, “She’s of no further use. Kill her.”
Leah struggled, attempting to rise, but Olaf held her in place.
She watched the third man draw a wicked-looking knife and plunge
it into her mother’s heart while holding his hand over her mouth
to keep her silent. After twisting it several times, he pulled
it free. Leah watched in shock until her mother’s wild bucking
and twisting stopped. A spreading stain of blood spread over her
green blouse as the older woman twitched. Her head bobbed, and
she was gone.
Callously, the man wiped the blade clean on her mother’s
The gag in her mouth muffled Leah’s choking sobs. Tears stung
her eyes. She closed them, attempting in vain to shut out the
awful sight of her mother being murdered. Pain lanced through
|Back to The
Wrath of Leah
. . . Gene got out of bed, stretched, then took a shower and
performed his other bathroom duties. He dressed in fresh
clothes, put on his holster and then grabbed the backpack and
his overnight case. After a final look around, he stepped into
the hall, and a momentary vertigo hit him. He stumbled and
braced himself against the wall to keep from falling. The
dizziness went away and his vision cleared.
Stress, it has to be stress.
He glanced around in confusion and sensed something was
different. The hall seemed newer—fresher somehow. Funny I didn’t
notice it yesterday. I must have been too lost in thought.
He rode the elevator down to the lobby and took a seat in the
restaurant. I really must have been lost in thought. Everything
about the hotel seems different. They must have remodeled since
I was here last. They did a good job. Reminds me of how this
place used to look.
He charged his breakfast to the room before leaving the
restaurant, not paying attention to the price, and left a
generous tip for the waitress. He leaned into the registration
desk. “I’m in room 536. I need to check out,” he told the clerk.
The clerk searched through his files. “I’m sorry sir. Your
“Hmm. I’m sorry Mr. Cardone there seems to be some type of mix
up. I have no record of you.”
“I checked in yesterday.”
“I don’t doubt your word. I’m just saying I show no record.”
The clerk typed in the information he provided and gave him the
price, which included the breakfast he informed the man about.
“That’s all?” Gene asked.
He peeled off some cash to settle his bill, still wondering at
the low price. Flipping open his cell to call a cab he noticed
to his surprise there was no signal. Moving around in the lobby
didn’t help. There was no signal anywhere Maybe they’re just
having a coverage issue here in the Hotel. Finally, he went to
the registration desk and had the clerk there summon a cab.
Gene stepped out in front of the hotel to wait. Again he flipped
open his phone to call Felix. He frowned in confusion when the
no signal message came up on the phone.
The cab that pulled up was a vintage car that he remembered from
his youth. Talk about retro. He got in the back. Where to?” the
“Where? I’m not familiar with that airport.”
Surely you jest. You’re a cab driver and you don’t even know
where Coronado is?
“It’s located on I-25 north toward Santa Fe.”
“Uh Sir, there’s no airport out there that I’m aware of.”
Gene glanced at his watch. Time was ticking away. I’ll call
another cab. This guy is obviously new to town and doesn’t know
“I just remembered something I forgot to do. Here, this should
cover you for your trip.” He handed the cab driver some money
and left the car. After watching the cab pull away, he shrugged
on the pack, picked up his bag and stepped out of the hotel
drive to the sidewalk. He glanced around. Nothing looked right
in the surroundings. It was familiar and yet completely
different from what he’d noticed the day before.
What the fuck is going on?
While heading back into the hotel lobby he glanced down at a
newspaper vending machine. He halted and stared in shock at the
date on the paper. July, 15th, He couldn’t believe his eyes when
the year jumped out at him. 1973! What the hell?
Inside the lobby once more, Gene saw that as the morning had
progressed guests had filtered into it. In amazement, he noticed
that every one of them wore fashions terribly outdated. Passing
a floor to ceiling decorative mirror, he glanced at himself and
halted dead in his tracks. The man staring back at him was not
him. Well it is me, he admitted. “The way I looked fifteen years
ago. What the fuck is going on here? I must be still asleep. I
must be dreaming,” he mumbled beneath his breath.
Can’t go back to the room. I’ve already checked out even if this
is a dream. I’ll go for a walk, get my thoughts together. He
laughed out loud. I’ll probably wake up naked as the day in some
public place or some similar embarrassing situation.
He left the front doors and strolled down the street deep in
thought and yet aware of things around him. Wouldn’t do to be
taken by surprise. Not with three million dollars in this
backpack. He felt the gun nestled under his arm. “Not that I
need to worry much about being mugged.”
He was astounded at the cars passing by on the street beside
him. None of them was newer than early seventy vintage, and many
were older. Slowly he concluded that something, he didn’t know
what, had happened overnight. Gene halted abruptly and stared in
disbelief at the rental car lot next to him. The lot was filled
with 1973 dodge cars. Among them, he spotted a row of
Challengers. An idea surged to life, and he marched into the
Gene never used his charge card while on business. While his
wallet was open, he quickly counted the bills. Several hundred
dollars should be enough for the time being. “Here’s my card,
but don’t run it I’ll be paying the rental fee in cash.”
“Very good sir.” The agent slid forms across the counter for him
to fill out and turned away to make a copy of the card.
Gene drove off the lot and spent the rest of the day driving
around town. The first place he drove to was Coronado Airport,
at least the location where it should have been. There was no
By evening, he was more confused than ever. He couldn’t argue
the facts. They were everywhere around him. Somehow, he’d been
transported back from the year 2000 to 1973. With the exceptions
of a few minor changes, Albuquerque was the same as when he’d
gone to school here in the sixties. Early in the evening, he
treated himself to a burger and fries, then pulled into one of
the motels on Central Avenue and rented a room. The bar next
door looked very inviting. He slipped the backpack in the trunk
then going around the corner entered the bar. All night long, he
remained deep in thought, trying to figure out what had
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