I'm so excited about this new release and hope you will be as well.
Lucifer's Lunatic, a dark paranormal novella, is out today!
Please help me celebrate with Marc Alice and Dark Hollows Press!
Pick up your copy of Lucifer's Lunatic today at Dark Hollows Press, Amazon, Bookstrand, Barnes and Noble or All Romance Ebooks
Only one man can keep him sane and his sole purpose is to drive him crazy
Price: $3.99 (eBook)
The final jangled slam of the iron bars as they locked into place made Manson Angola into a dead-level believer.
His mama wasn’t going to yell for him in the morning to tell him breakfast was ready and waiting on him in the kitchen. His daddy wouldn’t be lying on the sofa sleeping off a good drunk—or if he was, Manson wouldn’t know about it.
Oh no, first thing tomorrow morning, Manson wouldn’t stumble down his home’s rickety front stairs and grumble about another day’s work in a hot-as-hell factory. He’d stand at these very bars, holding fast to steel rods and staring across the short way at the man in the cell across from him, the one glaring back at him now. Given the look on the fellow’s face, they wouldn’t be any closer to becoming friends then than they were at that very moment. In fact, it was probably a good idea if he didn’t pass along goodnight sentiments or tell him to sleep well.
“Thirty years to life, son.” The man behind him finally spoke. “And it ain’t any better today than it was the first night I strolled into this hell hole.” After he released a smoker’s cough and cleared his throat, he added, “Name’s Benson. What’s yours, kid?”
Manson narrowed his eyes on the fellow across from him, not at all unaware of the way he slowly dragged the tip of his tongue across his upper lip. He stroked the texture nice and easy, made a real show out of tonguing his mouth, while Manson stood there gawking like a man with nothing else better to do.
Fact of the matter was, he didn’t have anything else better to do.
“Might wanna leave Tiger alone, son. Been here going on thirty-six months and I ain’t ever seen him do anybody any favors, if you know what I mean.” The old man kept right on rambling. “He’s a dangerous kind, too. Stay away from him is what I say.”
Manson tore his gaze away from the beast of a man who was still standing there stroking his lip like it had a specific flavor, one he apparently savored. By then, he’d started hissing, too, like a reptile might.
Taking a few short steps to the beds, Manson tossed his belongings onto the overhead bunk. He looked around the small cell. A dirty toilet marked its place in a dark corner. Located right above the wide sink, metal slabs served as shelves, both of which were next to a deeply set frosted-glass window with enough of a concrete enclosure to serve as a seat. The window didn’t open. Even if it had, there would’ve been bars on the other side.
“I like the bottom.” The old guy peered up and shot him a toothy smile. “Most of the guys in Cell Block D, which is where we are as a matter of fact, prefer the top.” He laughed, gave Manson a good once-over, and lifted a paperback book away from his chest. “You’ll find that out soon enough I imagine.”
“I prefer the bottom, too,” Manson said, speaking to his cellmate for the first time.
“Don’t tell me,” Benson said, giving a sharp nod at the bars. “Tiger’s the one who’d be interested in that sort of information. Me? I got me a woman at home.”
Realizing what the old guy was insinuating, Manson stepped on the end of his mattress and hoisted himself to the top bunk. He’d meant to negotiate for the lower bed but given the title of the book in the old man’s hand—Self Pleasure for Inmates—and the nearby Vaseline jar, he opted for the bunk above in hopes he’d at least sleep on clean sheets.
“Never told me your name, kid.”
“Manson.” He might as well get the questions out of the way tonight. “Manson Angola.”
The rickety-rack of springs popping and squeaking resounded as the old man scrambled to his feet. “Did you say Manson Angola?” His brows furrowed and twitched. His lips trembled.
“I did.” Manson threw his pillow behind his head and studied the ceiling, wondering how long it would take before this fellow would start screaming until his blasted lungs collapsed. That’s what had happened in the county jail. No one wanted to be locked up with a serial killer, particularly one accused of the most heinous crimes to have ever been committed in the United States.
“Well I’ll be damned,” the old man said. “I guess the warden finally decided to do it. Huh?”
Manson shifted to his right shoulder. He rolled away from his cellmate and faced the dull grey wall.
“I may be old, but I can give you a good fight, son. If the warden thought he’d send you in here to off me and it would be a neat and clean death, he should’ve studied my file for a bit longer. Back in the day I was an aggressive fighter, a pretty good one at that. You might get the best of me in the end, but you won’t walk away without a scratch, boy. Ya hear me?”
Manson yawned. He was sick and tired of these bad asses telling him how they could give him a good brawl.
“Go to sleep Benson!” someone yelled.
“Lights out!” another inmate hollered.
The old man never budged. “You may be doing some hard time, kid, but I ain’t afraid of—”
Manson flipped over, grabbed Benson by the throat, and pulled him halfway to the upper bunk. All the color drained from his face as he started whimpering like a baby, just a doggone child.
“Hard time is exactly what I’m doing, old man, so you and I need to get a few things straight. I ain’t here to be your top or somebody else’s bottom. I’m not here because the warden sent me or because some drug lord wants you dead before mornin’. Fact is, I’m here because I was tried in a court of law—same as you I guess—and a jury of my peers convicted me on forty-two counts of murder.” He tried to flash a downright evil smile, a smile he hadn’t realized he possessed until a newspaper reporter dubbed him as the man with the most “diabolical” grin. “And so you know, that was in the first trial. I was also tried and convicted of a few charges down in Mississippi, a state I’ll later visit if I somehow manage to serve out my first life sentence here.
“So you see, Benson, I’m not exactly the friendly type. If I were you, I’d request a cellmate change first thing tomorrow. Until then, sleep with one eye open. From what I hear, I’m a very dangerous man.”