RSVP: Invitation to a Chumash Massacre: A Noah Winter Mystery Thriller

| April 1, 2018


The acne-pocked assassin-child acknowledges his savior’s nod and swings his thick, corded neck toward his prize. Noah recognizes the blood-lust in the child’s eyes. Like toys carelessly scattered on the savior’s floor, the other boys sway, and puke, and crawl on their bellies around the bonfire, each under varying effects of the Datura. One curly-headed boy rolls up against one of the hot stones surrounding the bonfire, and when he pulls away, a patch of skin is left behind with the stench of scorch, but he shows no pain. Robbie smiles vacuously into the flames. The assassin-child’s machete blade traces a thin line in the dirt as he rounds the bonfire toward the seated Noah, whose ankles are bound by rawhide …. Just four days ago, Noah had it all, wealth, power, toys, a mansion large enough for twelve families to live comfortably in and never bump into one another for months at a time—and to share his life with him, a gorgeous, scrappy little poet named Colleen, fluent in the scatology of half-dozen languages. So, why would he sacrifice everything, including the woman he loves, for the fool’s quest to find and bring back a runaway teen, Robbie? Why would he continue his challenge in the face of mounting evidence that Robbie is one of an unwitting group of participants in an unholy Cult sacrifice? When the two cops who investigate the bombing of his motel room, urge him to turn the search over to the better-equipped police, why does Noah turn a deaf ear and become at that moment a rogue sleuth who will carry the full burden of guilt should he fail? …. Perhaps, if he has the luxury of time, Noah will consider these ‘whys’ himself. At the moment, he is rather committed to a massacre he’s been invited to attend. And the assassin-child looms over him, his machete gripped in both white-knuckled hands. The assassin-child leers into his eyes for that glint of fear that adds value to his vocation. Noah locks eyes on the other, forces a smile to spread across his teeth, and wills his lips not to tremble ….


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