Yes, unfortunately, you read that right.  This project has taken on a life of its own.  Personally, I am thrilled at this.  I needed the spark and the drive it’s giving me. But on the other hand, that also means the story has progressed into something much different than what I had originally planned.

In other words, I would bet on this becoming a full length novel.  

If it doesn’t, I’ll be sure to post more on the blog.  But if it does, then you will have much more of Ivan and Carter—and Samantha. Yes, she’ll be back and bigger than ever.  I am about two chapters (about 7,000 words or so {I’ve been extra slow at writing}) ahead of this last section, so I think I know what I am talking about.  Too bad I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen next.  But then again, that’s how I like to write my stories.  Surprises are fun.

So I will give you the last post of Kristen’s Thriller for Rachael Ritchey’s #BlogBattles.  Enjoy it.

You can find the first sections here.

 


Kristen’s Thriller: Part VI

 

Ivan paused to reopen his phone and dial a number.

“It occurs to me that you might want more proof than my word,” he said, the tip of his tongue poking out from the corner of his mouth.  “I know I would if I was in your situation.”  Carter could hear the ring of a phone through the speaker.  A second later, a voice answered, feminine with a cheerful lilt to the voice.  “Yes.  Do you have a Mrs. Henretta Adams there?  I was just talking to her and we got disconnected.  Now she won’t answer her phone.  Would you be a dear and dive into her room check on her for me?”

The scream that came over the line a moment later chilled the marrow in Carter’s bones.  There was nothing but horror in it.  Ivan closed the phone with a snap.

“Have you ever noticed how retirement places have all these comforting names.  Sunny Oaks.  Pleasant Acres.  Happy Tree-Filled Valley.  It’s like they expect the names to distract us from the fact that people go there to die.  People die there every day.  Though, I fear that I might have ruined her day.  Shame that.  She seemed—”

Carter heard nothing more as he raged and pulled at the bonds that held him to his chair.  Straining, he tore at the ropes wanting nothing more than to wrap his fingers around Ivan’s throat.  Pain was nothing.  Not even his dislocated should held him back.  All he saw was red as his vision dimmed save for Ivan’s face.  His mother was as much in hiding as he was.  No one should have known about her, yet he had.  Those comments about the dress and duvet, now he knew why they sounded so familiar. He’d made them himself when he’d given her the dress—

Three years ago.

Christ, how long had they had him under surveillance?

The answer baffled his mind.  None of this made sense.  Why him?  Why now?  His vision blurred fresh with tears as his head flopped onto his chest.  His mother, dead.  He’d lost her all over again.  That scream replayed itself over and over in his mind.  She was gone.  He’d never see her smile again.  Hear her voice.  All of it, gone for good.

Gradually, he realized that the room had fallen silent save for his breathing.  Carter looked up and saw Ivan watching him with one eyebrow raised.

“I assume that I now have your attention, Mr. Andrews.  This is no game.  There is no get out of jail free card.  If you don’t do what I want, then more people will pay.  Your petty nation of fools and ideologues will burn in its own filth.  Their own hate will fuel the fires of their false piety.  And together we will watch the flames consume the world.”

There.

There was the madness.  It danced behind his eyes with a fire of its own.  Each word only feed fuel to that fire, increasing its intensity.  There was nothing to do but go along with it and hope that in the end he wouldn’t be consumed as well.  The odds of that seemed to be between slim and none, but what other choice did he have?  Carter shook his head.

“I know what you’re thinking,” said Ivan.  “I’m not mad though.  Madmen don’t think like this.  True madness is a force of chaos.  Chaos is too messy though.  Too much random chance, and I don’t like that.  If it makes you feel better, call me a sociopath.  It’s much more apt.  Still wrong, mind, but closer.”

He smiled.

“Now, about what I want.  How much do you know about Russian history?  Not a lot, I’m assuming.  Not many in your country do.”

“I know that you like to talk,” Carter said.

“Indeed,” Ivan laughed.  “I can’t stand the silence.  Do you know much Russian history, Mr. Andrews?  Do you know about the Soviet’s sleep experiments of the late 1940’s?”

Carter shook his head.

“Well then, let me enlighten you.  In the late 1940’s, Soviet Russia decided to experiment on several men for a sleep study.  All these men were enemies of the state and told that should they stay awake for several days—I can’t remember how many—that they’d be released.  Only they weren’t told that the bunker they were being housed in was being filled with an experimental gas.  Terrible things happened to those men over the next month.  By the third day, they were starting to go mad.  Their conversation gained a darker and darker turn to them.  They started to whisper the secrets of their compatriots into the microphones in order to garner favor with the researchers.  Finally, one man started to run back and forth in the test room, screaming until his vocal cords tore.  But no one ever responded.  Then the test subjects covered all the windows in the room with pages covered in their own excrement.

“But that is when things got weird.  All noises ceased.  The microphones failed to pick up any noises.  The only response came when they were promised release.  They no longer wanted freedom.  When the room was opened the next day, horror met the eyes of the researchers.  Intestines torn from living bodies.  Skin and muscle gone.  You could see their hearts and lungs.  None of them wanted to leave.  Surgeries didn’t help.  Several died that way.  And the survivors begged to be returned to the room and the gas.  Living horrors all.  That gas ruined lives in more ways than I can ever imagine.  I shiver to think about it.

“Only those Russian dogs, couldn’t leave well enough alone.  They weaponized it by the end of the 1970’s.  I know I haven’t told you everything that gas did, but trust me that it would cause unimaginable horrors should it ever be released in war or in peace.  Luckily, it was destroyed in 1981 under suspicious circumstances.  All canisters destroyed.

“Only it wasn’t.  Records indicate that one of the canisters went missing at the same time as the rest were destroyed.  Nor is there any sign of it ever being destroyed.  Of course, the United States, England, and all the other world powers denied any knowledge of it.  But I know better.  We both do.  So, that’s what I want, Mr. Andrews.  That gas.”

Ivan leaned back against the pillows that leaned against the headboard, his head touching the wall.  Silence filled the room as he crossed his legs at the ankles.  Carter shook his head in disbelief.  Who would want to release that on the world?  He could see the benefits of removing the need for sleep from your own troops, but to do the same for the other side seemed counterintuitive.  But if they increased the part of the chemical that sowed madness, then your enemies would sow their own chaos.  They would do your job for you.  Then all you would have to do is march into the capital unopposed.  Any exposed troops would die and along with it any resistance.

“Oh, wait,” said Ivan, sitting up.  “I forgot the maniacal laugh.”  A sound came from his throat that sounded like the scream of a scared rabbit on speed.  He turned to Carter.  “You were expecting a maniacal laugh right?  Was that good?  It wasn’t that good was it?  Maybe I should try again.”

Carter shook his head.  “No, I’m good.”  What was wrong with this guy?

“You sure?  I can do it again.  Let me do it again.”

But before Ivan could throw back his head, a cough came from behind Carter.

“Sir,” said a deep voice, “she’s here.”

Shit!

Samantha.  In all the chaos, he’d forgotten about her.  A ball of ice filled his stomach and he felt like retching.  The last thing he wanted was to have these soldiers get their hands on her.  Not after what they’d done to his mother.  They didn’t need another rope to tie to him, nor another lever to make him do what they wanted.  But there hadn’t been a whole lot he could have done to warn her off.  Maybe she’d see the broken windows and realize something was wrong.  He’d raised her well enough that she should notice something as obvious as that.  She didn’t and he’d be after her.

“Ah, the girl,” said Ivan.  “Well, not much of a girl anymore is she.  Old enough to be in college and make her own mistakes now, am I right?  Too bad you don’t know the mistake she’s coming home with right now.  I do, and it’s a doozy.  I’m sure you’ll love it.  Wait, I didn’t give anything away, did I?  Shucks, I can see that I did.  I won’t say anything more.  Promise.  My lips are sealed.”  With that, he mimed locking his lips and threw the key over his shoulder.

He addressed the man which stood out of sight over Carter’s shoulder.

“Bring her to me.  She resists, kill her.”

A grunt and then Carter could hear feet descend the stairs at an even, heavy pace.  How could he not have heard him approach?  The ball of ice grew larger.  There was no way, training or not, that Samantha could avoid whoever owned those feet.  Visions of seven foot tall weightlifters with three foot shoulders armed with rockets and machine guns danced through Carter’s head.  There was no way.

His daughter wouldn’t survive the afternoon.


Author’s Note: The experiment that Ivan talks about was a real thing. I didn’t go into full detail in writing about it, but it was horrendous. If you’re interested, look it up.  There are pictures and it gets stranger, but please be warned.

Content advisory. It’s pretty graphic and disturbing.

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24 thoughts on “Kristen’s Thriller: Part the Last?

    1. Yeah! It was crazy when I first heard about it. And then when I was trying to come up with some sort of motive, the oddity of it all seemed to fit right in. Did you happen to look up the experiment like I suggested?

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    1. It creeped me out when I read about it but I couldn’t stop reading about it. But yeah, don’t read about it.

      I’ll be sure to let you know when the novel is close to being published.

      Thank you for the kind, kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you don’t mind me asking, what questions do you have? Maybe I can answer some for you. Also, by you asking me, I can see if I’ve missed something in my writing. The last think I want is a surprise plot hole. 😀

      Thank you for the kind words again. The whole thing will be coming eventually. As I said before, this may—or may not—be the last bit I publish on this blog. Don’t really know. I do know that Carter and Samantha’s journey is just starting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The one big thing I thought while reading the latest instalment was why did Carter so readily believe Ivan about his mother’s death? Maybe it’s just my sceptical mind, but I did think that, without real proof, that could have been anyone screaming on the other end of the phone.
        Most questions are about what’s going to happen – what’s Samantha’s secret? How much does Samantha now know about her father and what all her “training” was for? Where is her mother? Is Carter really the Frank Andrews that Ivan thinks he is?
        I can’t think of any others at the moment. I haven’t noticed any glaring inconsistencies. I wish you luck with this, and hope to read more. 🙂

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    1. Don’t be. She has to deal with all the errors and changes that I’ve made but not edited into the actual document before just changing everything. For example, the setting changed cities and the time of the year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. haha I bet she doesn’t mind. You know, writing her this story is basically like a writer’s way of giving his lover chocolates and a dozen roses. If she enjoys a thriller and you wrote it out of love for her, that’s just tooo romantic. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

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