Sneak Preview: Interitas Volume 2: False Prophets

And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the . Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

— Matthew Chapter 24

PROLOGUE
2:33pm, Monday, October 26, 2015 – Macon, Georgia

Clayton Walker didn’t think he deserved to die.

To be sure, he was not a good man. He knew it, most of the people that knew him knew it, and the police certainly knew it. A drug addict, a petty criminal, and an all-round jerk most of the time, Clayton lived his life according to what his co-worker Julie always referred to as a “loose moral code.” It went something like this: screw it. Screw responsibility, screw authority, screw the world, and screw hot women. Especially that last one. That was important.

It’s also probably why he was chained to the door of a walk-in beer cooler in a crappy convenience store in Macon, Georgia bleeding to death.

It had been a pretty boring day until she walked in. He normally worked the graveyard shift at the store but Julie, who usually took days, had to go visit an old friend that was dying or something and the fat creep of a manager Darius had basically told him that he needed to work a double or he was fired. Clayton wanted to say screw it but he knew that his parole officer would lose her mind if he got fired from another job, so he reluctantly agreed. The day dragged by as he rang up packs of cigarettes for pimply faced teenagers, candy for stressed-out housewives, and lottery tickets for guys in suits who dreamed of not having to wear suits anymore.

The only good news was that most of them were too distracted by wherever it was they were on their way to – people never left their house to specifically go to a convenience store – that they didn’t notice that Clayton had short-changed them. He had an extra $37 in his stash, which wasn’t bad considering that on most graveyard shifts he was lucky to make half of that.

Then, a little after two in the afternoon, the day got a little brighter when the bell over the door jingled and she came in. She was hot, no two ways about it; late twenties, longish brunette hair pinned up with what appeared to be chopsticks, dressed in tight jeans and a halter top showing off her toned arms and other assets. As she approached him with what he interpreted as a sexy smile, she reached up to the back of her head and undid her hair, allowing it to cascade down in a sultry wave. He had just enough time to picture doing some fairly lewd things to her before she stabbed his right hand with the sharp sticks. They passed all the way through the flesh and into the wood, pinning him to the counter.

He screamed but only for a second because she used her other hand to grab his head and bang it into the metal cash register with such force that it knocked him out cold.

When he came to a few minutes later, he was in the back of the store, chained to the handle of the walk in beer cooler with a bicycle lock. She leaned down over him, getting her face right up next to his.

“Where is she?” she asked.

“Who?” he replied.

She explained. He pretended to not know what she was talking about, not because he had any particular allegiance to the subject of her inquiry, but his automatic response toward anyone who asked for anything from him was to say “screw it” and that was a hard habit to break.

She responded by breaking his nose and asking again.

“Where is she?”

Clayton knew he should have just gone ahead and told her right then and there but once again his macho pride and tendency toward jerk behavior got in his way and he refused to say. He realized it as it was happening but he was unable to stop himself.

She responded by kicking him in a place that no man ever wants to get kicked. He cried and called her a bitch. She told him to look deeply into her eyes and then ask himself whether he thought calling her names was in his best self-interest. He realized immediately that it wasn’t. She asked a third time.

“Where. Is. She?”

This time he told her.

She thanked him and then asked one more question. A question he didn’t understand.

“Do you know who Dominic is?” she asked.

“No,” he replied, truthfully this time.

She looked at him for a moment as if trying to read whether he was lying to her again and apparently decided he wasn’t.

“You’re a lucky man,” she said.

With that, she stabbed him in the neck with one of the sharp sticks. It cut his jugular and great gasping bursts of blood sprayed across the room.

He slumped to the side, his view of the world now turned 90 degrees and fading fast. He was able to see the woman grabbing his car keys from the nearby desk and going out through the back door. Just before it closed, he saw her get into his 1992 Chevy Impala. He thought he heard the squeal of tires but he wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure of a lot.

Maybe I should have been a better person, Clayton thought as he watched a pool of his own blood form on the floor in front of him. Maybe I should have tried more. Maybe I should’ve said screw it less.

In the end, Clayton Walker left this world sure of only one thing.

I should have just given the crazy bitch what she wanted the first time she asked.

I should’ve just told her, “She’s in Savannah.”

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Interitas Volume 2: False Prophets
Coming April 2018