Jessica B. Bell is not real.
A couple of years ago I started writing horror stories and Jessica was born. I had fun creating a twisted and ominous biography for her, painting a picture of some crazy hermit who lived in my basement and wrote stories on old parchment using her own blood for ink.
But she was never real.
Real or not, an unspeakable act of violence leaves the residents of Ward C, home of a secret experiment, dead – torn apart. There is only one survivor…
What happens when the creation surpasses the creator?
How far will Jessica go to be real?
Find out in SINGULARITY
Michael didn’t know how long the phone had been ringing when he picked it up and answered with a groggy Hello?The man in the bed next to him slept through it, but that didn’t surprise him. Michael had crushed three Xanax into his wine the night before to ensure he fell asleep quickly afterward. He just wanted the sex, not conversation. He got all the conversation he wanted and more from his partner when he was around, which was rarely. But when he was, all he wanted to do was talk about their relationship. They had become an old married couple, and Michael resented the hell out of him.
They had fought so hard to get married – to be allowed to be married, for fuck’s sake – and now all Michael wanted was a divorce. It was almost embarrassing.
The call was from his answering service. They’d been trying to get a hold of him on his cell phone for hours, but got no answer.
“Shit,” he muttered and fumbled for his pants. “Hang on.”
He dug in his pocket for his cell phone, which was dead, and turned on an antique lamp – a birthday gift from Ray – to look for his charger.
“What is it?” he asked the operator, whose utter lack of emotion betrayed nothing of the urgency of the call.
“I’ve got a message – several of them, actually – for you to call Dr. Chandra immediately.”
“That’s it?” he asked.
“They didn’t give me any other message, Doctor,” she replied. “Do you have the number?”
“Yes, thank you,” he sighed, and hung up the phone.
Chandra. Just the mention of her name tied a knot in his stomach. If she was calling him at – Jesus, it was only half past four – then it wasn’t good news. Dr. Chandra and he had worked very hard to keep their little project a secret. If their work were successful, they’d both be up for the Nobel Prize. If not, well, omelettes and eggs, Michael figured.
His cell phone lit up, showing ten missed calls and three messages.
He was about to listen to them when someone started pounding on his front door. He pulled on his pants and went down to open it.
“What is it, Naveena?” he asked, opening the door, both annoyed and worried.
The woman standing in his open door was pale and trembling. Her lips were twitching as if she wanted to say something but couldn’t. Her face reminded him of an unravelled sweater, and just the thought of that made him shiver at a distant memory that he couldn’t quite place. But it wasn’t the look on her face that worried him, rather, the smears of what could only be blood on the sleeve of her scrubs.
“Naveena?” he asked, more gently this time.
She snapped back to life it seemed, her eyes angry and wild.
“Where have you been, Michael?” she hissed, and pushed past him, closing the door behind her. “I’ve been calling you for hours!”
She was clearly frightened, though her voice was the same melodic singsong it always was, the product of British Schools and the affluence of New Delhi. She’d spent her years at Oxford trying to disguise her roots by adopting a posher, more English lilt to her voice, but in her anger, she fell back on her true origins, and her voice took on a character that Michael could not find intimidating in the least.
“Yeah, sorry, my cell phone died,” Michael said, his head still a bit dull around the edges from the wine. “Are you okay?”
She didn’t answer him, but frantically made her way to his kitchen, pulled a stemless Riedel glass from the cupboard and reached for the bottle of wine that was still open on the counter.
“Don’t,” Michael warned, running a hand over his face. “Um, don’t drink that one.”
She surprised him by smashing the glass on the floor and screaming – a sick, wordless growl.
Upstairs, Michael’s lover stirred.
“Is Raymond here?” Dr. Chandra whispered.
Michael shook his head and hung his head in shame.
“You fucking asshole!” she sneered. “Get dressed. Now. And get rid of him. We need to talk privately.”
“Are you hurt?” Michael asked, motioning to the blood on her sleeve.
“This is not my blood, Michael,” she said. “Get dressed.”
WHOSE BLOOD IS IT?
Find out in the newly released SINGULARITY , with bonus perks available. Order today.