Peek Inside – The Unseen Anthology

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

This, with the exception of the stories included by Mandy C. Moore, James Summers, Dr. Samantha V. Evans, and Marie-Colette Dimanche.

Text copyright © 2019 by Zita Grant et al.

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN 978-1-945491-18-4

All rights reserved. 

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission of the publisher.

Published by 2 Tigers LLC

Anthology Cover design by 2 Tigers LLC

The first edition

 

Table of Contents

Suspension – Tessa Stockton

To Paint an Angel – Clabe Polk

Don’t Celebrate Too Soon – Adam Steiger

Incited Warfare – Mandy C. Moore

The Vision of Endor – A. K. Preston

An Encounter with The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

– James Summers

Gods They Had Never Known – J. S. Helms                        

Night Visitors – Dr. Samantha V. Evans

Fighting the Good Fight – Carole McDonnell

Spiritually One on One – Marie Colette Dimanche

Crossed Realities – Gerrold Lo

Pray or Be Prey – Zita Grant

Connect with the Authors

 

Suspension: The Troubled Life of Ralph Specht by Tessa Stockton

“What if when you die, they ask, ‘How was Heaven?’”

—Unknown

Spontaneity is a killer. I would know. This is where my beginning starts. At the end.

On the morning of a non-descript day, I purchased my newest car, costing six-figures—painless for me those days. Drove seven hours toward the most iconic suspension bridge. International Orange, a sunset beacon, burned through the windshield at first glance of the painted span. After I parked, the luxurious seat groaned as I squirmed against its stitched hide reeking of earthy sweetness.

I walked, fists jammed into the pockets of my leather coat, collar upturned. Nippy today. The acrid smell of seaweed assailed me. I sunk my head to ward off the biting wind. Glanced at the water. Choppy. White foam delivered infinite seductive winks. The silhouette of the cityscape grew more pronounced as the day faded, and I paced across the bridge noting the commanding spires. I’d visited San Francisco many times, mostly on tour, never to make a sport of ending my life.

From the middle of the span, I focused on the surface of the bay from my great orange perch.

Heights. I favored them. Never reached my fill of climbing higher. The location I stood now proved dizzying. Not as much as reaching the pinnacle of my career where the view from the top made me realize I have nothing left to achieve. I’d attained fame, fortune, and everything that goes with it. A sought entertainer. My specialty? Visual art aiming to shock and entertain through goth metal. A dynamic show though, admittedly, blasphemous. But as “Specter,” the titled front-man for my band, Ghosts of Fleas, the sake of the show and music… they stopped driving me long ago.

I noted the suicide hotline phones in bright yellow, one within reach. I thought about grabbing the receiver from the cradle but swiped the rooster plume of my hair instead. Besides, when curiosity caused me to open the call box, a piece of paper inside, the same color yellow, met me with the message, TEMPORARILY OUT OF SERVICE. Ha! That’s a laugh. The irony.

A patrol car slowed but kept going. I watched brake lights engage a few times. The bridge closed to pedestrians at night. I imagined the driver maneuvering to return, so I had to make this quick. As quick as I’d deliberated.

I climbed over the rail and stood at the edge with my back against the expanse. Rubbed the residue of vermillion paint from my palms, a gesture striking me as odd since I resolved to give up living. With a shrug, I glanced again at the rising spire and regretted not scaling one more concrete thing making for a more magnificent descent.

This was it. In the dramatic fashion fans expected of me, I fell backward in a staunch swan dive.

Except for the moment my heels unhitched from the steel, I’d made a mistake. Even the millisecond before, hands tingling after unhanding the icy railing, I knew.

I didn’t want to die. I needed to live. A slip-up now impossible to correct.

Midair, the first second shadowed my deep regret. The next taunted my changed mind. The third begged for mercy. And when I begged, it was to God—the one I had mocked.

End of Sample

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