“The Wages of Sin”
Special Agent Lydia Bryant, along with an elite team of law enforcement personnel, must transport the deadliest serial killer in the United States to his execution. In the process, she discovers the true mission lurking within this demonic killer’s mind. Now, she must race against time to prevent it from coming to fruition.
“Love Thine Enemy”
At forty, Laurel Baxter feels that life is passing her by. As a vampire hunter for the Harker/Van Helsing Institute, she endures lonely nights and constantly limited horizons. Her only hope of gaining the life she so desperately craves rests in the hands of the world’s most lethal vampire.
“An Eye for an Eye”
Oliver Ocean is the head of Miami’s top modeling agency. Knowing that his models contracts are soon to expire, Ocean plans a final photo shoot with them in the Caribbean. The voyage becomes a bloodbath, though, when Ocean’s crew is ambushed by unstoppable zombies.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.29(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Winn Horror Trilogy
By Jason M. Winn
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Jason M. Winn
All right reserved.
Chapter OneEven a blind man could see the vintage quality of the newsreel: black and white picture with random specks of white slivers dashing about. The camera-man did his/her best to steady the camera yet, one could see the drops and sways trying to keep up. Even the reporter was old school: long sideburns, butterfly-collar, and padded microphone.
"This is Special agent Richard Newton of the FBI!" announced the neatly groomed man in front of the camera. "This is footage #42913-5! We are reporting now live May 5, 1971, from Houston, Texas, in an abandoned building near downtown!"
The journey began. Newton started in his walk with camera close behind. His form gradually faded into the dark corridor. The young man's footfalls could be heard as they trampled upon flotsam and puddles. Rats were even heard as they squeaked and scrambled about.
"This is the room where most of the slayings took place!" noted Newton while pointing his finger towards a section of the room. "You can see a large blot: probably blood from one of his many victims! Over in this area we have visible handprints, scratches, even fragments of clothing! We've even come across human teeth and bits of bone: possibly skull fragments from machete and sledge-hammer usage!"
"I know why he's showing me this video!" snarled Agent Bryant mentally. "And it won't work! I've worked too hard and long for this day! And I'm not going to let his little boogey-man story spook me out!"
The old video footage continued.
"This building has been swept and studied for over two weeks now! And we're still finding evidence!" announced Newton as he walked past a section of the room that was hedged with crime scene tape. "Each day seems like yet another in finding just how low this monster has plunged into the depths of depravity! The monster I'm speaking of is Lazarus Lorenzo King!"
"You're not going to talk me out of this, damn-it!" shot Bryant mentally.
"Lazarus King, is evil! Plain and simple!" stated Newton to the camera. "He started his murders in 1970! And has since claimed the lives of at least 20 young women: mostly prostitutes! He lures them to this building! The building soon becomes a torture and death chamber! And he literally slaughters them in vicious and highly sadistic ways! Dr. Robert Steiner, our forensic pathologist, has concluded that King's victims struggled wildly before they died! This is evident by the hand smears across the walls, the torn up furniture, and the broken windows with fragments of human flesh on the glass!"
Bryant was bored out of her mind at this. She actually couldn't believe that she was made to watch this. Getting the goose-bumps was not easy for her. And a cast iron stomach was all too evident in her make-up.
The video presentation ends with a noticeable click.
Light reveals a room of excellence and purpose. A room impeccably manicured with walls adorned with professionally framed certificates and awards. Brightly polished leather furniture and a freshly steamed carpet wonderfully accented the room.
This room also contained two other very important people:
Harold "Hal" Tucker of the US Marshalls. A tough and hip 40 something dressed in denim and a matching button down shirt. A handsomely groomed professional with a pony-tail and slight stubble.
Cole Younger of the DEA. Solid professional with a penetrating stare. By the book from head to toe: white shirt with the suspenders and tie.
"I'm not going to bore you with the next thirty minutes of that video, Agent Bryant!" announced Newton as he switched the lights on. "I'm sure that you've seen it dozens of times! It is required viewing for those agents selected for this department!"
"Yes, sir!" shot Bryant.
"Lazarus Lorenzo King, is America's worst serial killer!" explained Deputy Director Richard Newton while looking his fellow agent squarely in the eyes. "His viciousness is rivaled only by his intellect! He spent the early years of his "career" taunting local law with sick notes detailing his victims' slaughter! He even went a step lower by telling when the next body would be found-and-what shape it would be in!"
"I've studied his file, sir!" answered Bryant smartly. "I even studied, the Mendez-Clarke Case of 1981!"
"And what did you think?" asked Richard.
"Francesca Mendez could not have possibly known that the man she was dating was the nations' deadliest killer!" noted Bryant. "She dated him throughout his bloodiest time frame: 22 more victims from 1981-1984! This evidently shows his uncanny cunning! Lazarus King had her so fooled that she was going to marry him!"
"But?" shot Newton.
"Fran, began to put King on the back burner for another guy: Louis Clarke!" explained Bryant. "This one act sealed her fate! King dropped off the scene long enough to be "forgotten" yet, kept tabs on her whereabouts! To this day nobody knows how he did this! And on the eve of her wedding King, kidnapped and savagely mutilated her! Leaving a bloody husk sprawled across the reception hall!"
"You still believe that this one act of utter inhumane cruelty was a blessing in disguise?" asked Cole with an air of sarcasm.
"Most definitely, sir!" answered Bryant. "This ruthless murderer placed us within striking range of tracking him down! His elusive make-up was starting to wane! And the bureau caught him in 1999!"
"I joined the bureau back in '70!" announced Richard to his audience while rising to his feet. "The new technologies that have come and gone meant very little in apprehending this man! The way he butchered his victims, let alone the way he covered his tracks, made him a killer of legend! Hal, I know Wayne Winters stayed all over your back when it came to King!"
"Yes, sir!" acknowledged Hal in his Southern drawl. "The US Marshalls specialize in fugitive retrieval but, King, was always a step ahead! Marshal Winters made us understand that!"
"He was a brilliant escape and evasion master yet, he was caught!" answered Bryant gently.
"By you, Agent Bryant." deliberated Newton.
One could see every one of the senior officers' teeth at the mention of this. It was as if some nerve was plucked with sinister ease. Bryant was taken by this yet, retained her composure.
"I had the best training that the bureau could muster for this task, sir!" offered Bryant.
"You wear modesty far better than honesty, Agent Bryant!" replied Newton. "Every news magazine in the country has been singing your praise for years! And for good reason: you caught the bad guy!"
"I couldn't have done it without my team, sir!" acknowledged Bryant respectfully.
"And, once again, honesty suits you better! For you were the nucleus of Operation Guiding Light!" determined Richard Newton with a broad smile. "Everyone knows about your role in bringing in the most wanted man in America! How you went undercover, posing as a prostitute, to get full access to his death chamber! We all know of the ill-fated, Patty Du Hurst, used to reel him in! Incidentally, Du Hurst over-dosed shortly after King was caught!"
"And we all know that over a 100lbs. of heroin was found in several cars on the property where King was operating!" shot Younger.
"With all due respect, sir, what does this have to do with me?" questioned Bryant.
"King, is set to die on the 25th of February! He is to be put to death by lethal injection here in Texas!" noted Newton.
"King, is in Massachusetts!" shot Bryant. "Why wouldn't they just kill him there?"
"No death penalty! And besides, your governor, is getting a lot of pressure from some VIP's! Most notably Sen. Andrew Collins!" smirked Cole while browsing over a group of papers. "A few people have relatives that lost their lives to King! So it's not hard at all to see why he is to be extradited!"
"Extradited, sir?" probed Bryant.
"We're taking a train ride, Agent Bryant!" affirmed Cole Younger with gentle adjustment of his glasses. "You, me, and Hal are going to extradite King via rail-road back to Texas!"
Lydia Bryant flashed a puzzled look at this. The train ride was an unexpected twist to things. One: she hated trains. And two: she preferred planes. Flying was always a joy to her.
"I know that Boston has a couple of airports, sir!" pleaded Bryant to her audience. "That means Cape Cod, Sterling, or Chatham! There's got to be a faster way to transport this madman!"
"No, there isn't!" shot Richard Newton. "King's quite a celebrity up there! Half the population wants to study him! While the other half wants to keep him in prison! And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the angle we have over those liberals up north! King committed the vast majority of his crimes right here in the south! And we've got a senator and a governor who want to execute him here!"
"I'll do it, sir!" acknowledged Bryant with a nod of her head.
"Excellent!" affirmed Richard Newton. "Now, it's important for you to know that we have several strategic bench-marks set in place for this mission! Massachusetts is a state rich with protesters and scientists! So a commercial flight is out of the picture: they'll no doubt flood the airports! A motor convoy is also out due to similar constraints! A train will give us the motion and security we need!"
"He's right!" followed Hal with a nod of his head. "I'll bring along three additional marshals' to help in piloting our helicopter! We'll be your eyes in the sky to keep tabs on King!"
"The DEA has given me a team of 5 agents, including myself, to assist with the onboard duties in keeping King secure!"
"Agent Bryant, let it be known, you are in charge!" declared Richard Newton. "The DEA and the US Marshal Service are working with us, not over us, in this mission! They are there in a support capacity-and- they will support you!"
Cole and Hal nodded in approval at this. They appeared to have no problem in being the assistants to a woman. They were confident men of purpose.
Richard Newton, still out of his seat, began to pace the room. All eyes were on this well seasoned man. Looking upon him was very moving. He had seen the best and worst of the bureau through the years.
"I know that you all will do your best in this mission!" uttered Newton while pacing the floor. "I need not remind you of the seriousness involved: the price at stake! Lazarus Lorenzo King! A monster of a man with zero capacity for mercy! He is vicious, deceptive, and a master of the highest criminal intellect! Do not be misled into underestimating him! Doing so will only hasten your departure from this world-or-get you horribly maimed! If my words scare you shitless, great! If you think I'm over-reacting, outstanding! For this, God willing, shall keep you all alive!"
Richard Newton is from the old school. He spent a great deal of his career in the bureau tracking down King. And he knows just how savage an enemy he is. Newton has sacrificed 2 marriages, gained an ulcer, and watched good people get maimed both physically and mentally due to King.
Agent Lydia Louis Bryant, born in East St. Louis, graduated in the top 5% of her class at Ness University, and excelled in counter insurgency and small weapons handling. A woman genuinely respected though out her department. She was tough as nails and twice as humble.
"I'll send that crazy, sick, fucking bastard back to death row where he belongs!" thought Lydia to herself as she followed Newton with her eyes. "I've a new team but, same goal! And we will put him away!"
"You all will report to the SARR (Staff Administration and Reporting Room) tomorrow at 0630!" notified Newton while staring at his well polished bookcase. "To our DEA and US Marshall crew: that's this building near the basement level! You are dismissed!"
It was with these words that the die was cast.
Lydia Bryant could feel a certain swelling within her heart that one could easily call conviction to purpose. Now was her chance to set the record straight. Now was the time to shine. People would see her as a pioneer. She could at least now be considered a female Elliot Ness. She was highly instrumental in cornering the nations' top killer.
"I'm glad that we'll be working together, Agent Bryant!" acknowledged Hal as he caught up with her in the hallway. "I'll have my boys ready to roll on schedule! Count on it!"
Hal's job was US Marshall but, his persona was totally urban cowboy. He stood a commanding 6' 2", possessed dreamy brown eyes, sandy brown hair and rugged facial features. The type of man one would easily see starring in a western epic.
And people recognized this.
"Marshall Tucker! Agent Bryant!" announced a bright voice.
"Agent Gray!" announced Bryant to the running admin. secretary.
"I'm sorry to intrude but, this is important!" noted Gray while hurrying between Hal and Lydia. "These files contain the authorization codes for your cargo! So you shouldn't have a problem with transport!"
Lydia and Hal both exchanged a quick glance at each other. It was mildly entertaining to see the strapping 20 something year old try to flirt with Hal. Gray, ever the professional, was still a sucker for a cute guy in jeans.
"Thanks for the paper work, Ms ...?" unfinished Hal.
"I'm Agent Gray, Marshall Tucker!" interjected Agent Gloria Gray while batting her eyes to Hal.
Lydia Bryant could only smirk at this. She knew that the files were essential. She also knew that it was very important for every check to be double-checked. And she really knew that it was just as important for a young woman to get her flirt on with a hunk named Hal Tucker.
"I'm glad to see the bureau being so helpful to you, Marshall Tucker!" smiled Bryant slyly.
"Yes, mam!" acknowledged Tucker while giving his file folder a brief look. "I do believe that we'll be successful! And my team will be ready for take-off tomorrow morning!"
"I'll be waiting!" assured Bryant.
This stretch of hallway, so alien to most agents, was rather passé for Bryant now. She had advanced in such a special way. Nabbing King placed her on the FBI's sought after list. The big promotions and the super status awaited her now. Completing this assignment would no doubt place her right on top of a new office: maybe Director Newton's office.
"Agent Bryant!" shouted a powerful voice.
"Col. Riley Bryant, USMC!" announced Lydia while turning to meet the voice.
"They won't put you in jail for calling me daddy." whispered the aging marine while handing his daughter a bouquet of red roses from behind his back. "Intel gives us the green light for at least an hour. I talked to your boss, it's my treat, and you will say yes."
"You are so bad." replied Bryant while accepting the bouquet and receiving a peck on the cheek.
Lydia Bryant could be called many things. Most people never saw her daddy's little girl side. And most people hardly ever saw her daddy. All present in the hallway however, did see the joy in her eyes to see her father again. Colonel Riley Bryant was not going to be denied. He had just flown in from Quantico to see his daughter who was now based in Houston.
And it was just too convenient to grab a bite of BBQ while in town.
Old Man's Guidry's BBQ was the place to be for father and daughter. Located on the outskirts of downtown Houston (midtown). Founded in 1967 Guidry, made it his business to serve lovely food to lovely people. Guidry was there when MLK was in the Sam Houston Coliseum, Apollo 11, and the 1986 light show as well as the 1990 Economic Summit.
"It's been too long since we last visited this place!" enthused the colonel while finishing his last baby-back. "And I couldn't turn it down! Uh, uh!"
"Daddy, the ribs are nice but, I know why you're here." uttered Lydia.
"Lydia, you will not prompt a discussion on work." warned Bryant to his daughter. "You work for the feds and they scare the shit out of me: and I'm a marine. So no talk of work, understand?"
"Daddy, I can't help it." whispered Lydia while snacking on her curly fries.
"You had best learn to." offered the colonel simply. "I didn't slave like a fool to see you rise and fall over some petty BS like keeping your mouth shut."
"You need to bring some of those Washington D.C. types down here for some real Bar-BQ!" suggested Guidry.
"You and I both know they wouldn't listen, Guidry!" replied Col. Bryant. "Besides, politicians don't eat Bar-BQ! They eat people!"
"There you go!" laughed Guidry while he finished wiping off the bar.
"Christ Almighty, I love this place!" declared the colonel while rolling the ice around in his tea glass. "You know, back in the day! I got hooked on this place by accident! I was on my way to Giselle's Bistro! One of those artsy-fartsy type of restaurants close to town! The surprise came when I took a wrong turn off of 45 and ended up here! And the rest is history!"
Excerpted from The Winn Horror Trilogy by Jason M. Winn Copyright © 2010 by Jason M. Winn. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.