Monday, December 17, 2012

The Indigo Factor Now in Paperback


I’m pleased to let readers know that The Indigo Factor is now available in paperback. Ordering information is here. I wrote a fair amount about this book when it first came out in e-book form earlier this year. You can see more of that here.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:


Chapter One
 
            Here is what she sees: a family home, not large, not lavish; probably rented. There is a garden but, even in the dim light, it looks uncared for, unloved. Just a yard. It might once have been someone’s pride and joy. It’s not anymore. That is clear.
            It is dark. Full dark and not even the pregnant moon illuminates the surroundings. A soft rain hits the ground as slowly and softly as the feet on a cat. She fears the rain will impede her progress; make things slippery, but it does not. Anyone watching would see a young woman moving with confidence, a long skirt swaying past an athletic form, the small case in her hand held as though it were an extension of her arm. She is comfortable carrying it.
            A carport shelters an elderly Toyota. She slips by the car and tries the side door to the house. Locked. The window next to it leads to a bathroom. It is open a few inches to let in whispers of late summer air. She smiles at this thought. It makes her feel even more stealthy. She likes to think of herself as light of touch and as inevitable as air. She likes to think of herself as a catlike rain.
            Emerging from the bathroom, she finds herself in a darkened hallway. It’s not possible to untangle the smells. Yesterday’s pizza. Tonight’s take-out Chinese. A long-forgotten onion. Stale beer. An unscrubbed toilet; the scum that settles around the edges of a sink; the dirt that clots at the corners of windows; the dust that touches everything and moves as she walks by. So much more. She notes the location of the kitchen. Remembers.
            It takes less than a minute to discover that -- beyond the discarded pizza and the ring around the tub -- things are not what they should be. There is only one where there should have been three. The one sleeps alone, arms extended above his head like some threatening bull. He does not threaten, though. He slumbers. She hears his regular breathing. The light and occasional snore.
            She stands over the sleeping male form, her rage unfurling around her head like a flag. She can feel it there, flag-like – a banner of crimson with the texture of blood – but anyone watching her would not have seen even a trace of it on her visage. She appears calm, the pale blue eyes placid in a moon-shaped face, lengths of dark blonde hair plaited tightly and wound around the back of her head so that it frames her face like a golden halo. As she wallows just for a moment in her silent rage, were the man to wake he would think, for a heartbeat, that he saw an angel. The thought wouldn’t last long, though. There is something in her eyes.
            When the rage passes, she considers her options; considers what is the right thing to do under the circumstances. The thing that is correct. She is utterly still as she stands, but for a slight sway of her hips. It betrays the shifting of her weight, from the ball of one foot to the other. It is an unconscious movement – she would be shocked to know she made it – because she believes herself to be perfectly still.
            She knows that the man whose sleep she guards is not her target. He is not the one she was sent to find. And she does not have instructions to kill. Still, her heart flutters with it. She would like to touch him; wake him. She would like to see his expression as he moves toward the fate that she would prescribe.
            She takes another look around. No one else is present; she’s certain of that. No one will report or even know. She feels the last of the rage subside. Feels, in its place, an excitement rise in her breast. It will be beautiful. She can feel it. And she can feel her eyes swim ever so lightly under a film of emotion; of tears.
             She sets the case down, silently, on the chair that stands next to the bed. She opens it and, from within the well-stocked medics’ case, withdraws a syringe and a vial. She handles both expertly, then moves closer to the man on the bed, syringe in hand, with a confidence that shows this is absolutely natural to her; an extension of breathing, of blinking one’s eyes.
            When the needle bites a vein his eyes flutter open, though he isn’t able to focus. And if he thinks at all, whatever he thinks is wrong.
            So wrong.

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