It’s Wednesday (even if it’s already 10:30pm), and that means it’s time to showcase one of my many works-in-progress.
In today’s installment of WIP Wednesdays I am presenting the opening scene of a dark urban fantasy piece I’m working on. It is a novelization of my short story “Pandora’s Box.” The piece below would be considered the prologue. Enjoy.
Six days ago I received an unnerving phone call from my brother Adam. He had called from his mobile and the battery was about to die. He told me that his girlfriend had been murdered the night before, “by accident,” he said; and that he was mixed up in something that, “you wouldn’t believe even if I told you.”
“Slow down, Adam,” I said. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Where are you?”
“I can’t talk right now, Jane—there isn’t time,” he rushed. “I’m going to be sending you something. It should explain everything.”
“What do you mean? What are you talking about—explain what? Adam, are you in trouble? Do you need help?”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine … I have my guardian angel with me.” The signal started to drop out then.
“I have … go Jane … see you … few days … love…”
“Adam! … Adam!” I yelled into my cordless, but the signal was already lost.
I disconnected and called him right back. The phone did not ring. “Adam Gorman,” said the mechanical voice of his default voicemail message. I hung up before it could finish telling me he was unavailable.
For the next five days I heard nothing from my brother. I called him several times on every number I knew. I tried every friend or associate of his I could think of. He was a freelance journalist who lived out of his duffle bag most of the time, traveling from place to place; so I wasn’t really surprised that no one I tried had any idea where he was.
Then, last night, my doorbell rang as I was getting out of the shower. By the time I ran downstairs to answer it, whoever rang had left. All I saw were the tail-lights of some low car speeding down my block. And perched on my porch, was a worn cardboard box with the words “To Jane,” written in thick black sharpie on the side.
I lugged the box into my house, placed it on the kitchen counter and opened it. Inside was a tattered journal, several loose sheets of paper, some mini cassette tapes, a tape recorder, digital camcorder, video tapes and a flash drive. At the very top of the pile was a note written on what looked like the back of a supermarket circular:
I had to tell someone.
I began examining the contents of the box then. What follows on these pages, is everything my brother had to say…