Story Excerpt: Collateral Damage



This story excerpt is from one of the SPECIAL books. That you get from Kobo Books, after you buy the bundle.

Is that sweet, or what?

I’ve known Mark Leslie for a few years, primarily as an editor and as someone in the publishing business. I’ve always been impressed with his savy. He knows that there isn’t just a single path to publishing. He’s invented and continues to champion many ways to the mountain.

I’ve gone out to different meals with Mark. In addition to being incredibly generous with his time and his ideas, he’s also very funny.

If you ever get the chance to work with Mark, do.

In the meanwhile, you get to enjoy just a taste of him with this excerpt.


Collateral Damage


AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a stand-alone story which, if one is interested in timelines, takes place between Chapters 6 and 7 of Part III of the novel I, DEATH)


“I’m not a scavenger,” Peter mumbled as he rifled through the jacket pockets of the dead man who lay crumpled against the alley wall. “I’m a sin-eater.”

He had to keep telling himself this.

After all, scavengers feed on the dead. Peter fed on the living, was the force that took those lives. With each victim he could feel their life-force draining from them and channeling through his entire being, kick-starting orgasmic ripples of uncontrollable laughter that shot up and out from some dark core.

Peter was the harbinger of death.

He had been for years; and though he had suspected he was to blame for so very many deaths – his mother, during childbirth, his father just a few years later, his first best friend Donnie, then a dozen more friends, colleagues and teachers at school – it had just been in the past six months that it had become undeniable. His stare killed people – it sucked the life-force right out of them. He had spent several frustrated years trying to deny it and wailing in the pain of being at the center of so much loss and tragic death; loved ones whose lives were cut short simply for their proximity to Peter O’Mallick.

He had tried to put an end to it.

Several times.

But for some reason, perhaps a side-effect of the curse that coursed through his veins, every single suicide attempt had proven fruitless; simply, he could not die by his own hand.

It was only recently that Peter realized this power, this inexplicable curse he had been born with, could be put to good use.

In an alley, one not unlike the one he was in now, he had accidentally killed a man; watched the side of his head explode when making eye contact with him. But, while standing over the dead body, again frustrated with his curse, he had discovered the man he had just killed had himself been a killer.

That changed everything.

It meant, after all those years of suffering the slings and arrows of his outrageous fortune, Peter could finally attempt to take arms against his sea of troubles, apply his curse to a good cause, and prove to Hamlet that it didn’t have to always end in tragedy.

If he was cursed with causing death, the very least he could do was focus his time and energy on ridding the world of the low-lives, the carrion who fed off of the havoc, pain and loss of others.

That moment, the Peter O’Mallick who had railed against his curse took a back-seat to the new Peter who had embraced the power flowing within him as a force of good.

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Yes! You can get this sweet story as part of the Middlings Bundle. 12 great stories for only $12!

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