COMING THIS FALL – FAR BEYOND DESTINY – the new supernatural/science fiction/suspense/thriller from worldnewsspell.com author Stephen C. Perkins!
The biggest lies are often the most seductive – and the deadliest.
Humanity’s future inside the cube promises eternal peace, serenity.
But will heaven on earth resemble paradise or purgatory?
When Sam Yalta Booth – a black magician disguised as America’s most charismatic, wealthy media mogul – plans to offer humanity a technological simulation of utopia, the entire world – except three heroic young avengers aided by Booth’s mysterious nemesis – will be utterly deceived!
Before the new novel, Far Beyond Destiny – which will be made available in kindle, paperback, and hardcover formats – soon arrives for sale on Amazon, everyone will now have an opportunity to read the book description, see the dazzling book cover reveal and, as well, to sample the exciting first chapter – right here at worldnewsspell.com, the only real alternative news source!
Copyright © 2021 by Stephen C. Perkins
Far Beyond Destiny
Soft whispers of rain grew to a scream. Vicious winds howled forlorn serenades. Distant thunder’s cannon roar pealed. Whiplash lightning scarred scowling mobs of clouds. The blood red sun blotted into a black sliver. Drawn like a warring scimitar, it threatened to slash both heaven and earth asunder.
Before him, loomed the wonderous black pyramid of INS headquarters, its towering edifice of immaculate stone, dazzling dark glass presided over the jungled cityscape. A din’s chaotic tumult – shuffling feet, bleating horns, whirring sirens – ambushed, surrounded, engulfed him. He felt the slithering creep of fear’s terminal virus. Never, had Sam Yalta Booth summoned him to the inner sanctum.
The clarion bell of the elevator’s luxurious cage chimed, echoed.
“Good morning,” he said to the doorman.
Imposing, tall, with a black umbrella in hand, the doorman – normally cheerful in greeting – appeared grim-faced. Tipping his top hat’s black brim with a white glove, the doorman merely nodded with his iron-boned chin.
His whirlpool mind spun, churned. Anxiety’s fury of carnivore teeth began to consume him. Then, stricken with clarity’s beacon, he began to wonder further. Had his mistress – the pretty working-class barmaid – been foolish? Had she gossiped about what – in a moment of compromising weakness – he repeated to her, about what Booth briefed to the board of directors? My own fault, he considered, in choosing to philander with a such a young trophy – one thirty years his junior, one capable of seductive entrapment, such tempting feminine wiles.
He gazed at the faceless human parade, marching towards death along the crowded sidewalks. He pondered the sweep of history, the news of the world: a foolish symphony conducted by invisible maestros. He began to also consider – over the span of years – the reams of confidentiality agreements, lacking forethought, he’d willingly signed his name to. Should there be regrets – over the dark secrets spoken, even whispered between his colleagues at INS while enclosed by boardroom walls?
After all, he’d been privy to manufactured celebrity deaths, mythical stories of serial killers, fabricated images of wars, imaginary pestilences, simulated space missions, doctored statistics of economic depressions, the dramatic narratives of events – both foreign and domestic – created from whole cloth. For years, he’d watched with passive amusement while what passed for the ‘news’ splashed across network teleprompters, read to the public by popular news anchors like storybook bedtime fantasies. Those created fantasies had made men like he, his colleagues at INS, and Sam Yalta Booth rich men, indeed.
While his conscience felt pricked with savage thorns, a thought glimmered: This time, things were profoundly different. If anyone ever leaked – about the sinister agenda INS planned for that coming quarter’s news cycle – the consequences would be unthinkable.
Still, even if that were so, he tried to reason away.
A throaty groan, a muffled shriek, burped from the rising elevator. Aloof, he watched as the world sank, smothered beneath a raging storm’s dark cloud. In consideration, he’d been a productive high-official at INS’s Special Information Bureau for the last twenty-one years. Before entering the private sector, he’d been a decorated Army colonel specializing in psychological operations billeted at the Pentagon. Surely, Sam Booth – a resourceful, reasonable man of business – would see his way through – if discovered – to forgive such a minor infraction.
Or would he?
An eerie hush, a shadowed pall, swept over Booth’s office lobby. Then, he winced as the secretary’s fingers – rapid slews of crackling bullets – struck a computer’s keyboard. With ginger steps – as if treading on cracking ice – he went ahead towards the secretary’s desk. Like a gawking swan, the secretary’s snow-white neck peeked around the monolithic computer console. Her petite mouth molded in a welcoming grin.
“Good morning, Colonel Thaddeus Shelby,” she said in formal greeting.
“Yes, Good morning, Grace,” Shelby replied.
“Of course, he said, “I’m here for my appointment with Mister Booth – in his private sanctum.”
Shelby felt his internal organs singed with blasts of flame. A funeral’s pyre ignited his brain’s paper soft tissues. His skin – moist with cold beads of sweat – twitched. His posture grew cement stiff. The rigid slabs of his lips wrenched into a cordial smile. His voice cracked; a feeble wisp croaked from a dry well’s depths.
“I shall try to remember that Grace,” Shelby groaned in reply.
An ear splitting claxon barked.
Dual shafts of blood red light strobed.
A thick black metal door yawned.
Crossing the threshold, Shelby’s nerves shuddered as the door crashed shut. Rays of angelic light pierced an impenetrable darkness. A spotlighted figure – laid upon a long oak table – appeared wrapped in layers of white linen. Beyond the table, he saw the silhouetted outline of a velvet black cube. Its opaque interior glazed with galaxies of silver pointed stars. The air grew thick, humid. Tremors wriggled along his shivering spine. Dread’s scorpion bite stung his clammy skin.
Is it – that thing – alive?
Shelby’s wondering eyes – stabbed with blades of light – squinted, focused.
Oh God – is that a body?
He cringed at the dull thud of his soles upon the plush red carpet. Closer, then still closer, trembling, he felt his veins course with foul poisons. His nostrils filled with the rancid stench of flesh’s decay. He reached into his tailored suit jacket’s breast pocket to retrieve a colorful kerchief. Again, his shaking hand hovered, trying to draw back the silken covering.
His tactile senses recoiled.
Beneath illuminating light’s ghostly glow, each finely threaded filament – spun by some hideous arachnid, he guessed? – glistened with silvery pearls. Grasping the kerchief to his sweat slicked skin, determined, he thrust forth his free hand. Shelby’s fingertips – soaked, glued by strange residues – gently pulled away some of the sparkling threads.
A horrific gasp bellowed from his fevered lips.
Oh God it’s her – Nicole – and she’s – DEAD!
The dazzling eyes of Shelby’s former mistress were drained, vacant. Her skin appeared spectral, translucent. A distinctive voice – a storming ocean’s violent wave – crashed, raged against the walls of his skull.
You must atone Colonel Shelby…For you have committed the ultimate SIN!
Shelby whirled, retreated, but, stumbling, found his unwieldy feet morphed into formless rubber. Collecting his scattered senses, he crawled – like a helpless infant – across the lush carpet, seeking escape. His gaping mouth panted, desperate to draw breath from withered lungs. Volcanic, molten blood rushed in lightning torrents. His skin, limbs, and bones melted, candlesticks dripping hot wax. Groping amid the darkness, desperate fists struck, pounded upon the unyielding door.
An unearthly screech, a guttural roar rattled his ears, shook the walls of the soundproofed sanctum. Thorny tentacles – sharper than sabers, coiled vice tight – gripped in a stranglehold. Yet another earsplitting roar filled the room. Mummified in suffocating yarns, Shelby’s screams fell silent. Before drooling tusks, merciless pincers bore down upon him, he felt drowned in saliva’s scorching droplets, smelled the bloodthirsty creature’s putrid breath.
When the carnage subsided, Sam Yalta Booth – tall, sartorial, distinguished – appeared from his inner sanctum. Dabbing his bloodstained mouth with a silk kerchief, in a commanding baritone, Booth ordered his secretary, “Hold all of my calls for at least a few more minutes this morning. Won’t you, please, Grace?”
Booth’s gleaming teeth flashed.
“That is – only until after I’ve finished my delicious breakfast.”