Metamorphosis: The Trey Parker Story, the first novel in a three-part paranormal thriller series. A young male is forever changed after a near death experience. His incident invites the attention of a covert Government agency. A gritty detective remains diligent in discovering the facts of the incident and encounters opposition from the unlikeliest of places.
Ten years have passed since Trey’s question went unanswered, the sacred practice of attending church Sunday mornings now a distant memory. On a cool fall Saturday night, Trey’s thin, six-foot frame stands in the doorway of their small apartment. His mom is asleep on the brown suede couch, and he can overhear the faint sound of arguing neighbors next door. The aroma left from a well-cooked pot roast lingers and competes with Tracey’s smoldering cigarette in an ashtray on the floor, inches from the remote control—another failed attempt at quitting. While the ceiling fan does a poor job circulating warm air throughout the dimly lit apartment, it works wonders for the smoke.
Red, green, and blue lights from the television flicker on and off Tracey’s face while she curves into a ball in her blue scrubs. Above her on the wall is the blown-up picture of Nana and the family when it was still together: Toni still in Tracey’s stomach and James’s arms holding his wife and son tightly, Nana beside him.
Laughter from a discontinued sitcom cries out from the television—another episode of Three’s Company and Chrissy misunderstanding something she overheard.
Trey decides to go through with his plan. He pushes his silver-framed glasses up on the bridge of his nose. Heart pounding, he sneaks into the kitchen in search of his mother’s gun, bumping the table and almost knocking over a glass of water beside Tracey’s nursing books.
Plowing from right to left through the wood-finished cabinets, one after another, the anxious Trey can barely breathe from the pain in his chest. Finally, in the last cabinet above the refrigerator, he finds a scratched and dented blue coffee can without a lid.
Trey pulls the coffee can down with two trembling hands and peeks inside, then glances at his mom through the cutout to make sure she is still asleep. He sets the can on the counter. He grabs hold of the cold pistol—his shaky hand causing him to almost drop it in the process.
Trey fumbles with the right-handed pistol and is unable to shake the awkwardness since he is left-handed. He holds the pistol in his right hand and struggle to hold it firmly as he uses his left hand to pull the slide and peer into the half-cocked chamber to check if it’s loaded—it is. Another glance at Tracey. She pulls the red throw closer to her face and rolls over on the couch.
The pistol’s magazine is full and several loose bullets tumble over into the can. The refrigerator’s icemaker clanks out a few more cubes, which breaks Trey’s gaze on the bullets. Trey packs the gun at the small of his back. After a half-stride, the gun slithers down onto his buttocks. He goes perfectly still, repositions the pistol, and tightens his belt.
Trey scampers out of the kitchen and across the living room. He stops at Toni’s bedroom door. Shaking, he pushes it open, and get enough light from her night-light to make out her ten-year-old silhouette. Trey sees his sister curled under the butterfly-covered blanket Nana spent her last days on earth stitching. When Nana found out she was dying and would not see Toni grow up, she organized a box of gifts for her granddaughter, to be given at special occasions. The first gift was that butterfly-covered blanket and Toni cherishes it.
My infatuation with writing was born before I ever took my first breath, somewhere on the rural plains of Eastern North Carolina, nourished by the adventures of my grandmother’s childhood. From the time I was only four or five years old, her memories gave flight to my imagination and fuel to my curiosities. Her stories widened my eyes to the fascinatingly bizarre in the everyday.
As a young girl, my grandmother would bring her puppy with her to stalk rabbits every morning. The two of them would chase an unlucky long-eared rascal until it escaped into a hollow at the base of a tree, and she would run a stick around the inside of the opening as though churning butter. The spell of the sound and vibration would lure the rabbit out of the tree and into her hands.
Good fiction, inventive and provocative fiction, reverberates in readers and spellbinds them. It can spur surprise, delight, discomfort, and revelation and defy reason. As a storyteller, I strive to help others solve their problems by sharing things that I have read about, heard about, and seen. But I also prize the look on people’s faces when they hear the brilliant punch line of a joke, or when they experience an epiphany that knocks the logical wind out of them. These are the reactions that I live to inspire in my audiences when I write paranormal thrillers.
My obsession with the extraordinary in my writing might also, ironically, stem from my 20-year career in the U.S. Army. I can allow my mind to wander in the extraterrestrial sphere while my love for my country keeps me grounded in domestic affairs. Of all of my accomplishments, serving as a paratrooper in a Special Forces Group and a Field Artillery outfit during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm claims high rank. Few situations force a person to confront his humanity as painfully as going off to war, and this experience taught me both to accept accountability for my actions and to trust others. Eventually, I became a successful Army Recruiter and Station Commander, earning the Top Recruiting Station awards in Dallas and Seattle Recruiting Battalions. North Carolina Central University granted me a Public Service Award for my work in the local community. And currently, I serve fellow veterans as an HR Specialist for the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Other passions of mine include playing chess, traveling, and indulging in my contrarian nature by instigating debate. Spending time with my wife tops the list of my life’s privileges, however. Whether I am entertaining her with my emulation of Laurence Olivier as Marcus Crassus or protecting her from an elk during one of our photography excursions in the wild, I treasure her companionship and affection.
When I was twelve years old, I announced to my Aunt Becky and Cousin Tony that I wanted to write a book. They stared at me in astonishment. The world of publishing was an enigma to simple country folks in Beaufort, North Carolina in 1982. These days I am achieving my dream with the ebook, a medium through which I can express my individuality without sacrificing my voice to expectations of marketability, popularity, and deadlines. My goal is to create an opportunity for escapism that is bold and absolute.
The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.