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by Andre West
Description: Exploring the nature of evil and the nerve-racking world of crime, Blue Nightmares unleashes a frightening vision of the dark side of our seemingly safe existence. Meet the unforgettable Nicole Red, a young woman caught in one world and tempted by another, and Charlie Bones, who even in death threatens her with the darkness and madness that swallowed him whole.
eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, 2002 SynergEbooks
eBookwise Release Date: October 2004
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [349 KB]
Reading time: 228-319 min.
Nicole Red lit a cigarette, its tip crackled in the half-dark. She inhaled the smoke before shooting the eight ball into the upper-right corner pocket. The cue ball sped back; flickering light from the ceiling lamp bounced off it into oblivion. She let out a breath as the ball stopped in front of her.
Palming it, she said in a maternal voice, "Good boy, come here." Then she picked up the letter and read it again. Damn, she thought.
Miss, I must bring you terrible news, I'm afraid, terrible news. Apparently, your young man went berserk and gunned down nine people or so in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was shot down by police and pronounced DOA. Whether his madness resulted from the loss of you or because of another reason I cannot tell. I don't think anyone can. RM.
Who was RM? Nicole Red wondered. She crumbled the letter and ate it before leaving the small poolroom. It was early evening as she sat on the porch of the brown-colored cottage and watched the purple, cloud-speckled sky and the dry land with its patchy vegetation. The cottage was a few miles south of Rapid City; the landscape just as dry as the one back home, she thought. Nicole had sat on a dozen porches before and after meeting Charlie Hostletter. She remembered his brown wavy hair, his strong, handsome nose, his thin lips, the pale pallor of his face, and his wide brown eyes.
Damn, Charlie's dead, she thought as grief distracted her from the view. The cottage belonged to her plastic surgeon?Nicole's latest. It was as out of place in the barren landscape as a skyscraper.
"Ms. Stanford?" The deep voice of the plastic surgeon came from behind Nicole. "Your new ID and papers are ready, and I've prepped my equipment. It's all in the living room, everything sterilized. The money and our additional arrangement will pay for some good work. You'll finally be finished in your gradual transformation. You look fine in those jeans and that pink blouse, fetching."
Nicole stood and turned toward the short stocky balding man. He wore blue overalls and a flannel shirt, and smiled at her before going inside.
She wished she were back in warm sunny Rio. She had enjoyed staying with friends--lying low to shake off the nervousness caused by a job gone wrong. A job whereher partners and Charlie had screwed her with a one-two punch.
The plastic surgeon made love to her well. Considering that the sex was strictly transactional, it wasn't bad. Afterwards, he did the procedure, transforming her face into one neither Charlie nor the police back home would recognize.
A few hours later, Nicole walked out into the night and drove north with her new appearance and name. Her lips were still thick, but her nose was a bit shorter, her eyes rounded, and her chin sharpened. Looking in the rearview mirror, the changes made her somewhat unrecognizable even to herself.
By the early morning, she was in a small white cabin seventy miles northwest of the doctor's cottage. Sitting at the kitchen table, she tried to write a letter to her mother; she could picture the older woman's grizzled face perfectly in her mind. Nicole tapped the paper thoughtfully but couldn't think of anything to say. So she wrote about the Manhattan robbery and how it had gone wrong. After a long time, she crumbled the paper and ate it just as she had the letter from RM?getting caught terrified her. She had found RM's letter yesterday in a South Dakota hotel room.
No one in her family wanted to hear from her anyhow, and she couldn't blame them. The truth was she felt only a faint nostalgia for them; a distant throbbing that she thought must not be real. She had never taken much interest in them. They were nothing to her, and after all the pain she'd caused them, they must feel the same.
Nicole Red was twenty-four, and in the last few years, her life had rolled by in many strange places as far from home as when she attended college. She often thought about it while gazing into the shadows cast by the lights of too many motel rooms, but she had hardly given her family and friends much thought.
They were safe. That's what her contacts back home in Rocksdale had told her over the phone. And that pleased her. Mom, Kendra and the rest would go about their lives passively until the pain she'd caused them vanished. They were home, not displaced by what compelled Nicole to seek a different life's path.
Nicole wished she could have sensed that Charlie needed something he didn't have. She wished she could have sensed how things would turn out for him as articulately as she thought she might have, now that she looked back. To her, he'd always seemed well put together. Too late for regrets. This cabin and the plastic surgeon her boss had arranged for her were a start to a new life, and she could only hope to succeed better than Charlie did. God help her, she thought.