Chapter One/Teaser: Telephone Games

Below is the first chapter to a surreal detective novel that I have in the works.
If you’re interested in reading more, check out my Patreon page (www.patreon.com/LoganRiley) and pledge just $1 a month for updates on the novel plus exclusive looks at my art process and if you pledge $20, you will receive original paintings in the mail monthly.

Enjoy, and thank you for all your support throughout the years here and on Strange News From Nowhere.

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The phone rings and she reaches a tattooed arm across me from underneath the sheets.
The tattoos don’t look familiar, but this early everything feels like a mystery.

“Who is it?”

“I don’t know. I don’t have my glasses on.”
“Well hang up then.”
“…hello? It’s for you.”

She drops the phone on my chest and rolls over.

“Yeah?”

Faint static on the line, nothing else.

She’s snoring softly.

I swear her tattoos were different last night,

Static.

Then a tinny sound like…cows?

The sound of a baby crying in an aluminum can.

A whisper, harsh and fast.

“Five thousand or we kill the kid.”

A roaring noise.
I’ve heard it before.

A shotgun.

Single barrel.

The line goes dead.

I lean over her and kiss an inked mermaid before I sit up.

Looking at my phone, staring at a random number from New Jersey, the echo of a blast and a crying baby.

Who asks for only five thousand?

She stretches and smiles.

“Who was it?”

I’m pulling my pants on, scanning the room for a lost sock.

“I have no fucking idea.”

“They asked for Charles, who is Charles?”

“Fuck if I know, babe. Fuck if I know.”

Through the window, grey light slowly crept in.

Not even fully morning yet.

Better make some coffee.