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Not Dead Enough
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-548-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Supernatural/Horror/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 169 Pages
Published: March 2008



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Total Readers: 1

From inside the flap

Dolan Hermes is a cold and diabolical serial killer preying on Philadelphia. Finding him, however, is not difficult. He’s in a freezer at the city morgue. The real problem is Hermes didn’t actually become a serial killer until after he had died. Now someway, somehow people are falling victim left and right, just as Hermes had predicted. The cops already have their perpetrator. What they don’t have is the means to stop the gruesome
killings - killings set in motion by a dead man.

Reviews and Awards

"...fast-paced read; the writing rips along like bullets from an AK47"

"It reminded me a lot of the Saw series, or Se7en."

"The author does not mess around, though, and tells his tale how it should be told."

Paul McAvoy - Whispers of Wickedness

Not Dead Enough (Excerpt)


Chapter One

Inside a rented apartment, Dolan Hermes was working with his least favorite form of photography -- motion. Set up on a small tripod was a small Sony DVD camcorder. It was aimed directly at a simple wooden chair across the room. The floors had been recently carpeted, permeating the air with the odor of fresh woven fabric. The pleasant scent, however, was overtaken by that of acrylic latex coming from the newly painted walls. Though the small living space was a virtual clean slate for decorative enhancement, it remained barren save for functioning electronic equipment propped up on milk crates here and there.

Though he worked diligently, Dolan’s mind remained preoccupied, and it tended to wander now and again. He stretched wires and adjusted light stands; installed and uninstalled electrical outputs. He was a man on a mission. Still, his thoughts meandered somewhere between a deep, dark depression that threatened to smother him and out and out rage. The former must be kept out, he knew, and the latter, in.

Dolan had always been the creative type, especially when it came to photography. Imaginatively capturing images, while still or in motion, was his natural talent. It allowed him to become intimately involved, albeit from a safe distance, with any person, place, thing, or event. He felt that once he "captured it," it was forever his. It belonged to him. Though he had become a veteran of the craft, he was still amazed by the power of a simple snapshot. A single moment in time imprisoned forever within a solitary frame of film. What did that moment mean? What did it say? Time moves on, but the single photograph never budges.

In times past, Dolan had often frequented art museums. There he would stare in awe at the numerous paintings from the Renaissance Period. It was inconceivable to him how long it must have taken a painter to execute the depiction of one frozen moment, a distinct vision from his day so long ago. The patience, the discipline, was beyond Dolan’s comprehension. After all, he was able to satisfy a similar passion with just a click of the shutter.

As he fiddled with some last-minute camera adjustments, his vision briefly blurred. Grabbing the right side of his head he gasped in pain. He closed his eyes, the lights in the room suddenly appearing brighter. Breathing slowly, as instructed, he waited for the pain to pass. The doctor had warned him that the headaches would become more and more frequent, not to mention debilitating. He hadn’t lied.

Dolan had been plagued, for about a year, with what he thought were psychosomatic migraines. Though he had been living a life high on the hog, it was not without its stressors. Reluctantly, he went to see a doc. After two CAT scans and three MRIs, he was introduced to a picture he himself would never be able to snap. It was a white, cloudy mass where there wasn’t supposed to be any. They called it a high-grade astrocytoma. It was a brain tumor, or just a fancy word for death.

Looking at the illuminated image held by the ominous neurologist, who had apparently drawn the short straw that morning, Dolan had attempted to interject a little levity.

"See, Doc. I knew it was all in my head."

No laughter came from the physician, not even a smirk, just a laundry list of possible treatments that, in the end, would only serve to delay the inevitable. Dolan just stared at the MRI image as the doctor spoke. His mind was numb. All he heard was, "blah, blah, blah." It was then that he felt himself becoming angry, very angry. He didn’t deserve this. People he had known in life -- pricks, assholes, bitches, and jerk offs -- were going to outlive him. It wasn’t fair.

As Dolan’s pain passed he finished fine-tuning the camera lens. The sparsely furnished apartment hardly reflected the lavish lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. His was the life twenty-something bachelors could only dream about while stuck in traffic on the way to work. Dolan’s profession, allowing him numerous high-end clients, had him traveling to exotic places, driving exotic cars, and loving exotic women. He had tasted some of the finest foods, and swum in the bluest seas. He had rested on white beaches belonging to islands known only to very few.

But that was all over now.

He paused and looked around, wanting to make sure all was in order. Taking in his dull surroundings, he couldn’t be more appalled. Sighing, he knew it was only temporary. The apartment was rented for only a month, and it would suit its purpose just fine. It was perfect, really. He needed something disingenuous, something way off the mark. Besides, this was the last piece he needed to shoot.

The tiny camera now rolling, he crossed the floor and seated himself in the wooden chair, confident he was in center frame. Crossing his legs and grinning, he addressed the camera as if it were a room full of captivated people. Whatever gloom that had been haunting him now melted away without any trace of ever being there. It was replaced by a haughty narcissism that came easy for Dolan, especially when he was in control.

Dolan spoke for about twenty minutes, smiling shamelessly all the while. When he finished, he simply got up, turned around and stood up on the rickety chair. Above him was a rope fitted with a hangman’s noose. Without the slightest bit of hesitation Dolan Hermes kicked out the chair and hanged himself on camera. The fall, not nearly high enough to snap his cervical spine, instead allowed him to experience the slow, agonizing death of asphyxiation. The camera, however, only captured his dangling legs as they twitched and trickled with urine.

Finally, a death rattle, and all movement stopped, save for the rhythmic sway of his lifeless body.

Dolan Hermes was dead.