Grave Dealings

A Case File From: The Grave Report

R.R. Virdi

Kindle Edition

Copyright R.R. Virdi 2017

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Chapter Two


Moving through the streets of Queens isn’t difficult on its own, but when you’re forced to rubberneck and take odd paths, it adds up. I veered down an ill-maintained sidewalk. The cracked concrete looked like a dumping ground for adolescent trash. Torn pages from adult magazines and fast food wrappers whisked down the street with the breeze.

Nobody followed me, but the feeling I was being stalked lingered, refusing to let go.

Whoever was trailing me was good.

I sped up and rounded the corner, doubling my pace until it became a jog. A cathedral came into view. It was a simple thing of brick, capped with a white tower. Much of the color had faded with age and the elements. I paused at the double doors and glanced over my shoulder one last time.

Nothing.

The pressure in my jaw built as my teeth ground. I cupped a hand to the side of my face. “You suck salty moose wang!”

There was no reply.

Figures.

I scowled and pushed my way inside. The interior was the opposite of its outside. Beautifully crafted pews of dark cherry filled the floor. Columns of white wrapped with intricate filigrees of brass. The ceiling was painted to resemble a velvet sky strung with stars. It could’ve been pulled from a night in the African savannah.

I moved towards the front, keeping my eyes open for anyone else. The place seemed deserted. I whistled. “Candy-gram for blonde and geekily handsome!”

Someone cleared their throat, prompting me to turn.

He sat several pews back with his legs crossed. The man was a dead ringer of what I’d called out for. Church’s looks were the definition of geek chic. He eyed me and arched a brow.

“Uh, I woke up underwater—with my hands tied, by the way. Thanks for that.”

“I don’t choose the circumstances, Vincent. You know this.”

“I have the feeling you have a lot more control than you’re letting on, Blondilocks.” I eyed him hard.

He sighed and pulled his designer glasses from his face. The dark frames stood out against his wavy, shoulder-length hair. Church pulled a cloth from his pocket and polished the lens without taking his eyes off me. It was like gazing into frozen azure waters. A heck of a stare.

I fought not to blink.

The edges of his mouth quirked like he was fighting not to smile. “Have you changed your mind about punching me?”

I blinked. “The feeling’s coming back.” My fingers dug into my palm as my fist tightened.

Church took note and eyed me. “Violence isn’t always the answer.”

I snorted. “Tell that to the freak who jumped me on my way over here.”

He thumbed shut the journal on his lap and clasped his hands over it. “I’m not surprised.”

“Really? I am. I just got this meat suit.” I hooked a thumb to my chest. “How am I already pissing people off?”

Church folded his lips and stood. “Vincent, I am always surprised by your ability to irritate others. In that regard, you have no equal. I’m sure you found a way.” His eyes shone with amusement.

“Thanks. I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“Please don’t. I’m not trying to encourage you.”

I rubbed the back of my neck and looked past Church. Two journals sat on the pew; a rich burgundy atop a saddle brown. They belonged to me. One helped me keep my memories straight between all the body bouncing I do. The other was a compendium of every bit of mythological lore I’d come across over my cases. It was the only real tool I had. I nodded at them.

Church inclined his head and fetched both. He presented them to me like they were a gift. “Wait here.” He moved towards the altar.

“Um, okay.” I stood rooted to the spot and blinked. That was new.

Church vanished from sight and returned just as quickly. He carried a set of folded clothing atop his hands.

“Aw, shucks, you shouldn’t have. I’m only drenched.” I placed my journals on a nearby pew.

He raised a brow. “Technically, you are damp. Most of the water dried during your trek here.” Church placed the clothing on a pew next to me.

I scowled and snatched up what looked like a perfect replica of the clothes I wore. Well, they were dry at least. I hooked my index finger within the collar of my shirt and pulled. Fabric stretched. Strings tore the next second sending buttons bouncing onto the floor. I tossed the shirt aside with a callous flick of my wrist. My pants fell to my feet after I kicked off my shoes.

Church’s eyes went wide, and he turned away. “Vincent, I don’t think it’s wholly appropriate to strip in a place…” He gestured to our surroundings.

I waved a dismissive hand. “Whatever. It’s not my body. Don’t suppose you can tell me what killed this stiff and save me some time?”

Church’s back was fully to me now. “You know I can’t.”

I pulled off the guy’s briefs and slipped into the new clothes mechanically. My muscles loosened in response to the first touch of the shirt around my chest. It was like it had come out of the dryer. The pants were the same. “Toasty. Thanks.”

“Of course.” Church tilted his head.

“You can look, dude. I’m dressed enough.” I pulled on the socks and slid into the replacement sneakers.

He turned and faced me. “You have questions on your mind.”

“Yeah, I do. I’ve got a feelin’ you know what I’m going to ask.”

Church nodded. “Ask anyway.”

“I’ll ask the ones that matter, how’s that? I know how you’ll answer the others.”

He gave me a paper-thin smile.

“How is Lizzie?”

“She is doing well in the care of her grandmother. Elizabeth still thinks about you, Vincent. You had quite the effect on her.”

I shrugged.

“You saved her and her sister. She’s at home with someone who cares about her because of you.”

I grinned. It was good to hear. Lizzie was a little girl I’d met on one of my cases. Pretty normal, except for the fact she had the peculiar ability to see and speak to ghosts. Kids, right? They’re weird.

Church cleared his throat. “That’s not the only question on your mind.”

I shook my head. My throat seemed too tight, refusing to let me voice my question. “How’s Ortiz?”

He brushed a lock of hair away from his eyes.

“Church?”

He remained silent and looked away.

“How’s Ortiz?” My heart felt like I’d gone another round with the Night Runner.

“I can’t answer that.” His voice sounded like he had swallowed a handful of sawdust. I could hear the desire mixed in with restraint. He wanted to tell me.

I arched a brow. “Let me guess: These weird rules—the ones you can’t tell me about—are keeping you from answering?”

He nodded.

“Your boss is an ass, no offense.”

Church blinked, and his face twisted like he was caught between wanting to laugh and remaining poised. “Vincent”—his lips twitched—“I don’t think you can say that and mean it without offense.”

I smiled.

He held out his hand. “We’ve spent enough time talking. You have work to do.”

I sighed. “Thanks, Mom.” I pulled on the cuff of my shirt, rolling the sleeve back to my elbow.

Church grabbed my forearm. The man had a hydraulic grip. Heat radiated over the inner part of my arm and intensified. It felt like I had touched my skin to a stove.

I shut my eyes. My teeth slid over each other as I grimaced through the pain. It went quickly. “Ow.”

Church removed his hand.

There was a patch of reddened skin. A black number fifty-seven sat in the middle. The magical tattoo would decrease in number by the hour until I found the thing responsible for murdering the previous owner of the body I inhabited. I glanced at it, then Church. “Feeling generous?”

“You’ll need the time.” He paused, and his mouth pulled to one corner. “And luck.”

The desire to bury my fist in his face returned. But I’m a mature adult. I reined it in and gave him the finger.

He sighed.

I gave him a look. “Don’t suppose you could give me something to go on here? Not even a teensy clue?”

Silence.

“Give me something work with, Church.”

“I did.” He pointed to the journals, then my tattoo. “And time is passing.”

I bent at my waist and looked down as I recovered my journals. “Fine.” When I looked up, Church had vanished. I exhaled through my nose. “Yeah, you’re a regular Harry Blackstone, congrats.” The smaller burgundy journal slipped from atop the stack. Its corner struck my palm as I fumbled for it. The collection of memories hit the ground at an angle. A plastic card slipped out.

I bent and scooped up the journal and card. A picture of a man that could have been used on a Korean travel brochure stared back at me. Cognac eyes and tousled black hair with a hint of a tan. Good lookin’ guy. I smiled at the driver’s license and held it towards the ceiling. “Smartass.” I had a feeling Church heard me wherever he was. The man always seemed to know.

I tucked the journals under an arm and turned my attention to the piece of plastic. My index finger bounced off the card as my fingernail struck the section with his information. I burned the name and address into the back of my mind. “Let’s go find out who you really are, Mr. Kim. And…what the hell offed you.”


Chapter Three


The walk to Daniel Kim’s apartment complex took longer than I’d have liked. I had taken the longest route I could. I couldn’t shake the feeling that my unseen tail nipped at my heels the entire trip. It felt like a pair of screws had drilled their way through the back of my skull. Whoever was keeping tabs on me was good, and annoying. Their presence had cost me.

I’d lost an hour. Fifty-six left.

The apartment complex was unremarkable. Three stories of brick with windows trimmed in white paneling. Sturdy and, by the looks of things, affordable. I walked up three concrete steps and stopped at the door. The glass was clean enough to offer me a hint of a reflection. It wasn’t much, but with the street lamps behind me, it gave me a decent view over my shoulder.

Nobody sensible would roam the streets this time of night. The only thing that passed by was a 90s sedan with dimmed headlights that barely illuminated ten feet before it. Still, the unshakable feeling someone was watching didn’t subside.

Dull pressure radiated around my gums as my teeth ground. My fingers dug into the meat of my palm. I balled my fist tighter before releasing the tension. A series of gentle breaths through my nose and I was calm. I raised a fist over my head, hoping my stalker would see it. A smile spread across my face as I extended a single finger.

They got the message.

I pulled the door open and stepped inside. The white tile was in serious need of polishing. I crossed over to the carpeted staircase and stopped. A burgundy plaque, with tenant names and apartment numbers, hung on the wall. My finger trailed across the list horizontally until I found what I was looking for. I stayed an extra minute to commit the names of his neighbors to memory. It’s hard working a case when you’re stumbling over who’s who.

Nodding to myself, I grabbed the railing and hurtled up the stairs to the second floor. I passed doors the color of rustic oak as I searched for Daniel’s apartment. I found it halfway down the hall. My lips folded under my teeth as a realization hit me.

“Urfle, murfle, gruhl.” The base of my fist ricocheted off the wooden door. It vibrated where I had struck it. It did little good to open it. I nursed the temptation to drive my heel into the spot just above the doorknob. If I did it right, I could force the sucker open. I resisted the urge. It didn’t seem like a good idea starting off my case by damaging the victim’s home and pissing off the building’s superintendent.

A click sounded behind me. I turned to the source. The door opposite pulled back, and a young, dark-skinned male blinked at me, then at the door.

“Locked out, Daniel?” He scratched the side of his head and offered me a lopsided smile.

I growled.

The scrawny kid recoiled. He looked like he was in his mid-twenties and the definition of an information technology geek. The guy had a shaved head, and his rectangular glasses sat askew on the bridge of his nose. The only thing he had going for him was his height, standing a little over six feet.

I raised a hand as a way of apology. “Yeah, sorry, rough night.”

He looked me over and nodded. “Sounds like it if you’re coming in this late. Working overtime at the gallery?” He arched a brow.

I nodded. It was a nice bit of information I wouldn’t need to fish for, and it made sense. Long Island City was home to a fair bunch of artists. I didn’t know how it was useful, yet. At least I had another stop after I checked out his place. As soon as I figured out how to get into it. I let one of my hands rest on the knob.

A disorienting wave rolled through my brain. It was like syrup crashed down and congealed within my skull.

Daniel’s foot bounced off the door and he swore. He jostled the knob in frustration. His hands burrowed into his pockets, fishing for a key he didn’t have. He placed his back against the door and crossed his legs. The man shut his eyes and thought for a moment.

The vision snapped out of clarity only to be replaced by another. I watched Daniel cross over the concrete roof to an ill-maintained looking ventilation system. His fingers closed around the poorly fastened grate, and he pried it loose. Daniel ran a hand over the side. Something rippled against his fingertips and clung to the skin. It felt like tape. One of his fingers came across a sliver of metal that was cool to the touch. He closed his hand around it and pulled.

The memory faded, and I blinked several times as I readjusted.

My neighbor eyed me sideways. “You…okay, Daniel? You look like you’ve had a four-oh-four error in your head.”

I blinked again.

“You know, error, broken page?”

I stared.

“Like your mind went blank—crashed.”

“Oh.” I nodded. “Yeah, sorry. I’ve got a lot on my mind.”

He nodded to himself. “Fair enough. You want me to call the super and see if he can get you into your place?”

I shook my head. “No, thanks. I’ve got it. I know where I left my key.” I took a step towards the stairs.

“Wait. You coming to movie night tomorrow, or, um, I guess tonight—shit. What time is it?”

I stopped. “Movie night?”

“Yeah, you know, at Ashton’s place?” He pointed to a door several apartments down from mine. “The gang gets together, and we watch a movie…like the name suggests.”

I bowed my head. “Sure, yeah, um, count me in.”

He looked at me like I was strange then yawned. “Cool, cool.”

“Sorry for waking you.” I turned to move towards the staircase.

“No worries, was already up troubleshooting stuff for clients. Perks of the home IT gig.”

I ignored him and raced forwards. My legs hammered over the stairs as I made my way to the roof. I flung open the door and rushed to the grate. My journals came to rest near the ventilation shaft as I placed them down. I closed my fingers around the edges like Daniel had, and pulled. The grate resisted. Rolling my shoulders, I placed my heels against on framework and leaned back. The metal pulled free. My hand slid against the inside.

The same coolness filled the tips of my fingers as I brushed the key. I gripped and wrenched it free. Ribbons of clear tape tagged along.

Daniel may have been absentminded if he needed a spare, but he was clever enough to hide it well. I pursed my lips and hoped he wasn’t too clever. It could have been a contributing factor to his death.

I discarded the tape and stuffed the key into my pocket. The grate fought me as I tried to realign it on its brackets. I managed to get it to stay in place, albeit a bit crooked. A quick look around reassured me no one was nearby. My foot lashed out. Weak metal groaned as the grate warped and fell into alignment. It’d be a pain to remove in the future, but it wasn’t like Daniel was going to use it again.

The thought sent a numbing cement through my gut that solidified behind my navel. It’s something that never fails to get you. The idea that I’m running around in what used to be someone else’s body. Someone who had a life, one taken by the paranormal. Like mine had been. All I could do was gank whatever killed them and offer that person some semblance of justice. Or vengeance.

My fingernails dug deep into my palm. The feeling pulled me from my train of thought. I recovered my journals and moved towards the door, shutting it without looking as I headed down the stairs.

I approached his door and unlocked it. My hand closed around the knob, and I took a breath before opening it. The muscles along my spine tensed.

Daniel’s body may have ended up in the water, but when it comes to the paranormal, nothing is that simple.

I pushed the door open and surged inside. I expected a fight. Instead, I walked into what looked like the aftermath of one.

Daniel’s apartment looked like he’d left his windows open during a tornado. A bleak, gray velour sofa lay on its back in the middle of the room. A cheap lamp sat next to it, the cord ripped from a nearby socket. Its shade lay flattened under a small stand. A variety of art-related books littered the place.

I let out a low whistle as I flung the door shut. The television was barely hanging on the wall from its mount; only one of the brackets remained intact at a corner. I stepped over various utensils, art supplies, and a broken laptop.

Something had definitely targeted Daniel here before deciding he needed to work on his breaststroke.

I moved around with caution, partly out of respect. As I stepped further inside, I shut my eyes and nearly pinched my nose shut. Someone had gone overboard with the pine freshener. It was thick enough to gag a person. I could almost taste it.

I pulled the shirt collar over my nose as I moved towards the open kitchen in the far corner. Nothing stood out enough to jog my knowledge of the paranormal. The disarray looked like a burglary gone wrong rather than anything involving a monster. I scanned the room one last time before moving on.

The small bathroom on the other side appeared untouched. Two doors remained. One ahead, and one to my right. Both were shut.

If anything was lurking around his place, those would be the last places for them to hide. Opening the wrong door would signal them and lead me into a world of trouble.

Everything you do leads to trouble. I frowned. It was true however.

I held my breath and placed a hand on the doorknob to my right. Please let room number one be free of nasties. In one swift movement, I turned the knob, leaned in with my shoulder and barreled through. I stopped as suddenly as I’d started. My arms went to my side, spinning like pinwheels to help keep me from tumbling over.

The room was fashioned into an artist’s workspace. Supplies littered the floor in groupings that made no sense to me. An easel to the far right boasted an unfinished drawing done in charcoal pencil. Streetlights filtered through the window and cast an eerie amber glow over the work. My fingers trailed over the webbing of a short hammock strung across the left wall.

A closed portfolio, larger than any suitcase I’d ever seen, sat under the hammock. A simple table stood crammed against the far wall. Countless other supplies littered its surface, ranging from pencils to brushes and pastels. Despite the mess, the room seemed like nobody but Daniel had ransacked it.

I ignored the mess and approached the easel. The closer I looked at it, the stranger the image appeared. It was a disorienting blur of shapes. An unfinished man tightly held a woman of fierce beauty. Hair fell past her shoulders, and she had full lips. Like the man, the rest of her detail was lacking. A figure hung around the corner of a street that vaguely resembled the road outside. The stranger had a shock of frizzy, thick hair that stood out as the most prominent detail.

My eyes trailed over the piece, fixating on the image above the people. It dominated the remaining space. A pair of orbs—the only color on the canvas—contrasted the monochromatic work. Violent red anything is never a good sign. There was no face to frame what looked like eyes, and a series of lines spread out from them. They connected at the edges and littered the inside of the odd, jagged shapes on either end. It looked like spines and a membrane.

I blinked and bit my lip. I couldn’t recall any creature with those traits. My heart sped up as I stepped closer. It was probably taboo, but I reached for the corner and tugged on the piece. It fought back, flexing and folding as I pulled on it. I gave it another yank, and the sound of tearing paper filled my ears. The drawing pad was blank underneath.

I flipped open the journal containing my collection of mythological lore and folded the piece of art into it. This likely wasn’t the only piece of art on the pad. I followed the hunch and slipped an index finger under the paper folded over the top of the easel. With a simple flick, I sent the next work tumbling towards me.

“Well, damn.” Something was clearly nipping at Daniel’s heels before he passed. It was detailed work of something that looked like an old-fashioned drawing of a devil crossed with a bat. I blinked, not knowing what to make of it. The next page left me just as clueless. A work of all black streaked with gray lines. It looked like massive wings. A pair of white eyes hovered between them. It was a stylized piece, whatever it was.

Great, looks like Daniel was haunted by freakin’ Batman.

“Third time’s the charm.” I reached out and flipped over the next sheet. Hideous was an understatement. The thing looked like a cross between a gibbon and a bat. A claw-like hand covered in fur reached out from the page to give the illusion it would grab me. I shook my head then paused. Something caught my eye within the work. There were lines—faint—within the monster.

Another face. One with a shock of thick, frizzy hair. I squinted and leaned closer, making out a speckle of dots on either side. The rest of drawing was difficult to make out.

None of this made any sense. I tore the other sheets free and stuffed them into my journal. I’d go over them later.

I backpedaled until I reached the door, turning and giving the room one last look. There wasn’t anything else to take away from it. No one said my cases were easy. I sighed and shut the door. Only Daniel’s bedroom remained.

I covered the distance in a couple of long strides. The door was cracked open just enough for me to slip my pinky into the space. I gave it a gentle push. Daniel’s bedroom was a stark contrast to the rest of his home. Simple, orderly, and clean. Every mother’s dream.

My eyes trailed over the room from left to right. The dresser and small television were coated in a thin layer of dust. More artwork dotted the walls. They were professional and held within slender, black frames. A warm heat, like fresh-out-of-the-laundry clothes, flared in my chest. Daniel favored those pieces. One caught my eye.

It was rough in comparison, but not bad by any means. A man and woman with their backs turned to the viewer. They held hands over what looked like the roof of Daniel’s apartment. The scenery seemed a tad too fantastical, from the pink and vermilion-tinged sky, to the white clouds that seemed to carry a hint of turquoise. It was almost too colorful.

A lance of pain shot through my skull. A streak of light followed, and my vision blurred. Something tugged at my heart at seeing that piece, like it was strung with invisible weights threatening to pull it to the floor. The back of my throat dried. Whoever it belonged to must have been close to Daniel. I felt like I’d been hit by an emotional freight truck. I shook my head clear and separated Daniel’s thoughts and feelings from my own.

Focusing on the case was my best bet to keep my borrowed head in check. I shut my eyes and inhaled. Something tickled my nostrils. I blinked and took a step back. The smell was of burnt oranges. I looked at the floor and a hint of Daniel’s face stared back at me in reflection. It was some wood polish to give off that shine and odor. I cleared my throat and pushed the smell from my mind. My attention turned to the bed.

It was the only thing out of order. The sheets looked like he had suffered through one hell of a nightmare under them. I stepped closer and gravitated towards sections of the sheets that were darker than the others. Burnt citrus wasn’t the only odor in the room. Sweat—barely noticeable, but it was there. I shut my eyes tight and balled my fists. Things weren’t adding up.

The drawings pointed to a slew of different figures; some looked like combinations of animals. Daniel’s home had been ransacked. That was a clear sign of…something. He ended up in a fatal underwater routine. Something kept him from his eight hours of beauty sleep. And he had poor taste in floor polish.

My fist tightened until my knuckles ached. I took another series of breaths. “Calm down. Take it slow. Take it all in.” I repeated the mantra until the muscles in my hand loosened. My gaze fell over the nightstand.

I made my way over to it and fumbled under the lampshade for the switch. Weak light flickered into life and gave me a better view. I pulled open the first drawer. It was like looking inside a recycling bin filled with paper. Various letters and envelopes lay atop one another without any organization. I sifted through them. A few of them smelled like cheap perfume, the sort that was more of a chemical assault than anything pleasing. I ignored them.

Most of the papers were notices of late payments. I thumbed through them until they were replaced by utility bills and statements. His art gallery’s income had taken a sudden turn-around to do well.

I had seen shifts of fortune like this before. Someone’s luck and finances going from dismal to successful, like a wish come true. Only, that wish had a price.

They always do.

I rummaged through the letters until I found one with the information I needed. The address was another long walk away. I frowned. If this kept up, my timeline would dwindle to nothing simply from walking.

Note to self: Ask Church for a car. If Daddy doesn’t buy you one for your birthday, steal one.

I blinked.

Keys, you idiot!

I pressed my hips against the drawer and shoved it shut. The act of thinking about Daniel’s belongings triggered another flash. A painless one, thankfully.

I followed the vision and sank to my knees. My index finger hooked around the handle, and I pulled on the lowest drawer. It opened. I found a wallet made from black faux leather and one of those overly expensive smartphones. A ring of keys sat next to the wallet. Bright colors caught my eye. Each of the keys had a thumbnail-sized strip of electrical tape stuck to it. A stack of art-related magazines served as a bed for the items on top.

I pursed my lips as I snatched the items. The tape was a good way to keep track of what key did what. I flipped the wallet open, sliding his license into a flap. The cell phone was a good place to dig.

I gave it a sideways look. Technology and I don’t always get along. I pressed my thumb to the only visible button. The screen flared to life and prompted me for a password.

“Fuck.” Somehow, I didn’t think Daniel’s phone would unlock from profanity. I shut my eyes and tried to clear my mind.

The subconscious is an amazing thing. Sometimes you simply need to turn everything off and just trust yourself. If only it were that easy.

I tapped the screen without thought, hoping Daniel’s body memorized the repetitive action of keying it in. No luck. My grip tightened, and I felt the plastic and aluminum shell threaten to warp. I sighed and loosened my hold. One last try couldn’t hurt. My index finger bounced over the screen.

A warning message appeared, alerting me that if I kept it up, I’d be locked out.

I glared at the phone and wondered if it would unlock after impacting a brick wall. A growl escaped my throat, and I stuffed the phone into one of my pockets. The wallet followed along with the keys.

“Man, I hope one of these is to a car.” I clung to them and headed to leave, pausing near the door. A thin coat-rack stood there; a lone windbreaker hung from it. I snatched it up, slipping into it. It had mesh pockets large enough to stow my journals. I did so and left the room.

There was no point in cleaning up Daniel’s home on the way out. The dead don’t care much for how their place looks. I lowered my head, giving the apartment a final look. “I dunno if you can hear me where you are, Daniel, but I’m going to gank this sucker.” I looked up to the ceiling, hoping my words reached him and stepped out of his apartment. The door thudded shut.

I headed down the hall and the stairs. The keys jingled as I bounced them in my palm. As I neared the exit of the complex, I grumbled to myself. No memory passed through my noggin of Daniel owning a car. My teeth ground. I opened the door and scanned the street. None of the vehicles lining the curb triggered a thought in my host body.

“Figures.” My shoulders sank as I sighed. “Guess I’m hoofing it.”

I recalled the address to his studio. An electric charge went through the muscles in my back causing me to shake. The last time I had visited someone’s workplace in New York, I had ended up in a fight with one heck of a monster.

I hit the street hard. A single thought crossed my mind as my feet pounded against concrete.

I really hope there’s no monster lurking around your studio, pal.


Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek at the chapter reveal of chapter two and three from Grave Dealings! Book three is coming soon. 🙂


 


“His stuff is badass!” – New York Times bestselling author, Hugo-nominee, and two-time Dragon Award-winner, Larry Correia.

Don’t make deals with the paranormal. They’re better at it than you, and they never play fair.

Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, did just that—a deal made in desperation. Now it’s coming back to bite him in the middle of a case.
He has 57 hours to investigate a string of deaths involving people who’ve made some devilish bargains. Too bad devils don’t deal in good faith. It’d be easy enough, if he didn’t have to deal with things such as:

  • Being hunted through the streets of Queens by a dark elf with a motorcycle fetish.
  • Ending up the target of a supernatural hit.
  • An old acquaintance dragging him to a paranormal ball where he could end up on the menu.
  • And having one of his closest guarded secrets brought to light…

Not great for a tight clock, because if he doesn’t get to the bottom of this case in time, Vincent and company might just lose their souls.

Dirty deals are never done dirt cheap. And the supernatural always collect—big!


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