A Murder of Crows (Part Eight of Nine)

An excerpt from Descendant
Available now from Belfire Press


“I got another call.”

“What’s that?” Martin Crowe was piloting the Jeep Grand Cherokee down I-71. They’d just passed Cincinnati and entered the State of Kentucky, barreling along at more than eighty miles per hour, hell-bent for Louisiana and their next assignment. Of course, this one was off the books, a special request from their Director, Michelle Hawkes.

“From the phantom number, the one supposedly out of service according to the wireless company,” Selina said — she was sprawled out in the front passenger seat, bare feet on the dash and a computer keyboard in her lap — “I’ve been doing my best to track it, even had the guys in Forensics look into it. Well, I found something… on the Internet of all places. I came across an old messageboard, long since abandoned, but thanks to the wayback machine I was able to look through some of the old postings. There were more than a dozen people getting calls from this same number. Crazy, I know, but these people were really freaking out over it and they all started to sound pretty paranoid.”

“Like you?”

“No, not like me. More like out on the fringe, conspiracy nut, kind of paranoid.” Selina folded the computer monitor into its closed position and slid around in the seat to face her partner.

“Like I said…”

“Fuck you, asshole,” Selina laughed. “I’m being serious here. Anyway, one of the girls on this messageboard followed a lead and found out where the number originated from.”

“Go on, the suspense is killing me.” Crowe maneuvered the SUV through growing traffic, sliding between an eighteen wheeler and a red Volvo, as they neared Louisville.

“You’re not going to believe me when I tell you,” Selina said, dead serious.

“You do know what I do for a living, right?”

“Alright, smart ass, here’s the rub.” Selina paused for dramatic effect. “According to ‘misstreegirl13’ the number belonged to a phone in the Hotel Ambassadeur.”

“You lost me…”

“The Hotel Ambassadeur is located on the outskirts of Arcadia, Louisiana.”

“Which is where we’re headed.” Crowe fished a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it, flashing his partner a wink and a smile. “Well, at least now we know where we’ll be staying when we get to town.”

“I’ve already made reservations.”


Return here next week for the final installment of
A Murder of Crows

Chapter Nine will be posted on October 26th

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