Interviewer: State your name.
Hunter: Hunter Garciez.
Interviewer: Tell us about yourself.
Hunter: Since you’re looking at me, you know I have brown hair and green eyes. I’m twenty-one years old, and I stand at 6’3” tall. My favorite food is a bloody steak with no sides, and the only color I like is black. What other questions do you have for me? I’d like to get out of here sooner rather than later.
Interviewer: How do you think your presence makes people feel?
Hunter: Why don’t you tell me?
Interviewer: I’m not the one who is being interviewed.
Hunter: People feel the same as you feel around me.
Interviewer: Do tell me, how do I feel around you?
Interviewer: Is that what you think?
Hunter: No. That’s what I know.
Interviewer: If you had one free day with no responsibilities, how would you spend it?
Hunter: That’s a stupid question.
Hunter: Because that day will never come. Between my line of work and raising my kid sister, responsibilities are all I know. I haven’t had a day for myself in three years. If you knew my boss, you would understand.
Interviewer: What do you do for work?
Hunter: Things that could send me to jail.
Interviewer: What is the most dangerous thing about you?
Hunter: My intelligence.
Interviewer: What are you most ashamed of?
Hunter: That I allowed my parents to die.
Interviewer: If you could be anything, what would it be?
Interviewer: Are you suicidal?
Hunter: Being suicidal isn’t an option when I’m the sole guardian of my sister. If I disappear, Tessa will go straight into the system of orphanage. I want to die, but I will never slit my own throat. My final breath will be due to murder. It won’t be suicide.
Interviewer: Why would anyone want to murder you?
Hunter: Because people are terrified of the unknown. You sit across from me the same, trying to get in my head like an overpaid shrink, but there is no relating to a guy like me. The only way you could comprehend my logic would be if I explained it to you. As I’m sure you can guess, I have no intentions on doing that.
Interviewer: What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Hunter: Impossible to narrow down.
Interviewer: Will you try?
Hunter: I sold my soul to the devil.
Interviewer: Who are you referring to as the devil?
Hunter: The bodies on the streets who wear their colors of mafia allegiance proudly. The bodies who decorate the buildings of America with their gang signs and graffiti. The devil might be the man seated next to you on the train. The devil might be the barista who poured your coffee this morning. The devil lives in each of my acquaintances. The devil is my leader. The devil is inside of me too. Scary is not who the devil is. Scary is what the devil’s entity stands for.
Interviewer: What does it stand for?
Hunter: Power and greed. An uprising of a different world. The things I’ve found in the government’s database would change your entire perspective on who we have running our country. The devil in me wants to leak everything I have stored in my photographic memory. The devil doesn’t understand consequences, because the devil does not fail. This is what makes his stigma so cryptic. It might take years for him to announce his arrival, but the devil is within you too. All it takes is one unfortunate predicament to summon him. Your time may come yet.
Interviewer: Are you afraid of the government?
Hunter: People should never fear their government. The government should fear their people. Hackers like me could destroy everything for them. We could destroy everything for people like you too. Once you know the things I know… it’s game over.
Interviewer: Predict what will happen to you after you die.
Hunter: I’d say that my soul would go to hell, but aren’t I already living in such a place? A world full of war and violence. A world where innocent lives get taken over pocket change daily. A world full of blood. A world where I myself have killed. If I don’t already reside in the pits of hell, where the fuck am I?
Interviewer: Faith is necessary.
Hunter: Faith is for the weak.
Interviewer: Have you ever been in love?
Hunter: Love is an impediment.
Interviewer: Is that what you truly believe?
Hunter: I believe what Shakespeare said.
Interviewer: What did he say?
Hunter: Hell is empty. All the devils are here.
Hell Will Rise
The Bloodthirst Mafia Series
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Skyla Murphy
Date of Publication: May 2017
Word Count: 86,400
Cover Artist: Kim Killion
Tagline: “When dawn breaks…”
This was never what I wanted, but fame in the mafia was what I got.
When you see numbers like I can, death becomes a constant threat. It lingers, waiting for you to make one wrong move. One falter. One fatal step out of line. The endless presence will drain you, layering you with guilt and regret. Until one day, you’re covered in blood. And in that moment, you realize… you’ve become the grim reaper yourself.
Nothing could stop me from saving my little sister. Nothing could weaken me… until my boss threw a blonde slave at my feet. Once I found out who she was, I should have wanted her dead.
But I had a bad habit of breaking the rules.
And I loved that she hated me.
Like a stupid man named Romeo, I fell for the daughter of the feuding family. Like an idiot named Juliet, she didn’t try to run.
And when I fell for the fair maiden, I shook a pair of dice. I smoked a cigarette, but she paid the final price. As I offered her a smile, my venom filled her core. I watched her drink my poison as her soul walked out the door.
Chapter 1 Excerpt
I carved the next X into the concrete wall of my cell, stashed away in the depths of somewhere much like hell. If my tallies were accurate, it was Wednesday again today; my twenty-first day of captivity.
Dried blood was splattered on the concrete flooring of my new home. Some of the red was undoubtedly mine, but many other droplets were evidence of prior struggles. The dried handprints along the walls were telling me the stories of many other slaves before me. All in a row, our bloody prints depicted a painting of a morbid reality. My handprint was the last in line.
Three weeks had passed since I’d tasted more than blood and saltine crackers. Three weeks had passed since I’d showered, turned eighteen, and had then said goodbye to my freedom forever. Three weeks had passed since the thugs had given me my first tattoo. And now, whether I managed to escape from this prison or not, a barcode would mark me indefinitely.
My identification number was 40347. I had memorized the digits within moments of staring at the unwanted code on my right wrist. I had memorized everything right down to the dirty needle. My barcode had become infected now, just like I’d anticipated it would, leaving me certain of one detail; whoever chose to abuse me would consequently become infected with whatever diseases I had. For participating in such a masochistic scheme, it would serve the motherfucker(s) right.
My friends had been with me that night during spring break. We’d been out celebrating my eighteenth birthday on the grass down by the marina. Since most of us were attending different colleges come fall, inevitably vanishing from each other’s lives one by one, we’d made a pact to make good use of the time we had left together. Little did any of us know, when I had insisted I was fine to make the short walk home alone that night, it would be the last time they would ever see me.
I pressed my ear to the cell door. A slab of closed steel was blocking my only exit, making it difficult to hear the voices chattering in the distance. It wasn’t until the men footed closer that I managed to make their words out. Once I could, I wished I couldn’t.
“Rows of whores…” The voice sounded like the man I had woken up to on my first day of captivity. “But it’s that blonde bitch who caught my eye. Once Garciez finds out who she is, the white girl will be dead within hours.”
I stared at the mats in my blonde hair, suddenly wishing I’d been born a brunette. This week had been the absolute worst so far. My hallucinations had kicked into overdrive, a cause of low blood sugar and dehydration. But in this moment, I was aware of my fever. Another few days, maybe even just hours, I wasn’t confident my sanity would still prevail.
I wanted to believe this was just a nightmare. I hoped I was in a parallel universe, in a hospital bed, maybe even in a coma. I prayed this was just a sick plot my unconscious had stirred up. That all seemed better than this reality; the reality where an ice-cold floor was my new home.
I didn't have much to compare being locked in captivity to, but I’d seen movies of this type of thing. In Hollywood, the lead female always gets rescued. A timidly sweet girl generally plays the role, perfect in all the right areas. Unlike her, I was far from timid and even further from perfect. I carried a chip on my shoulder; a chip that only came from nearly dying of cancer.
About the Author:
Skyla Murphy is a highland junkie from West Coast, Canada. When she’s not searching the Rocky Mountains for Sasquatch, she can be found researching every other conspiracy theory known to mankind. Her Yorkshire Terrier is usually clung to her side, but he doesn’t buy into her philosophies much. Therefore, she writes about them instead.