NEW NEW *** The Man in the Wall *** NEW NEW

6 Aug

Congratulations to Ben Larken on his new release from GSP.



Ben Larken resides near Fort Worth, the city in which he was born and currently works as a police dispatcher. He is the winner of three Epic eBook Awards for Best Horror.


His book we are highlighting today is The Man in the Wall.


Now that David Alders knows time travel is possible inside The Hollows, his mind is set on one goal—to save his wife Elise. He has one chance to get it right and decides to try changing the past on a test subject. A nightmarish spate of child killings known as the Wetzel Murders occurred in the 70’s, and David believes he can erase them from history. 

But The Hollows has other plans…


  Elise’s Journal: March 24, 1999

He should have been back by now.

That’s all I can think. It’s the one sentence that circles my head all day like an annoying song. He should have been back. Like, days ago. Hell, he should’ve been back five minutes after he left. I mean, I’m talking about time travel. I don’t know how he’s making the trip, but if he’s able to make it at all he should find his way back to the same time period, right? He could punch some coordinates into a super-computer, give the Flux Capacitor an oil change and just pop back to the same day he last saw me. That makes sense, doesn’t it? God, I’ve got a headache.

Future David. That’s the name I gave him a week ago, this rumpled guy with the tortured eyes who showed up in my front yard. He’s the guy who knows something too terrible for words is about to happen to me. I know, because I tried to make him say those words and he couldn’t. Part of me wanted to strangle him for that, but another part of me reminded that part that I AM in love with this man.

Well, that might be true. But sometimes love isn’t worth the pain. Or love shouldn’t cause so much pain. Or something greeting card-y like that.

Last night I was thinking of him again, my mind drifting as I sliced apples and separated them into plastic baggies for Mel’s school lunches. Mel was in the front room soaking her brain in Dora the Explorer. Hop (that’s Present David, the man who has absolutely no idea that Future David paid me a visit last week) was enjoying his day off by catching up on paperwork, a task which seems to define a detective even more than detecting. He sat at the kitchen table, scribbling something in triplicate, and I let my brain devolve into the same line of circular questioning that has become the bane of my existence. It goes something like this:

A. Why isn’t he back yet?
B. What if he CAN’T come back?
C. What if he’s in some kind of trouble?

for instance:

D. What if that creepy oily-haired bastard in the Roaming Plumbers van grabbed him?
That’s the question that caused me to put the knife down and grab the counter to steady myself. I tried to stop where my thoughts were headed, but as usual I couldn’t. I saw Future David in a slasher movie, where the audience sees the bad guy sneaking up on the innocent victim. Hop hates taking me to those movies. I’m the viewer who shouts at the screen. DON’T GO DOWN THAT HALLWAY! or TURN ON THE GODDAMN LIGHT BEFORE YOU GO IN THERE! That’s what I was about to do to the movie playing in my brain, the one where Future David walks out of the Candlelight Inn and the red van swoops in and . . . and . . . the rest of the scene brings tears to my eyes. Because it’s never anything good. It’s not like the giggly bastard stops him to hand him a plumbing gift certificate or ask if him if he’s considered being a Jehovah’s Witness. I can see those manic eyes as he said the words that have since been seared into my brain.

You’ll have to learn to share him . . . Just like he’ll have to learn how to share you.

God, I’m putting the pencil down. I need a tissue.

Okay, I’m back. So obviously, Question D is not my favorite question. It always turns me to emotional jelly, and that moment last night was no different. But it gets worse. Question D always leads to Question E, the most hopeless question since God asked Cain if he’d seen Abel around. It’s the one that puts everything in perspective and makes me realize just how insane a situation I’ve found myself in.

E. What do I do about it?

“Those apples are going to turn brown if you don’t bag them up and get them into the fridge—” said Hop, who was right next to me, leaning on the counter.

I jumped. He chuckled, giving me a sideways hug, which I accepted rigidly. The alternative was to melt into his arms, and if I did that I would start bawling and never stop. I’d tell him the whole crazy story and he’d have me committed.

He pulled back, watching my stony expression. “You’re edgy,” he said. “And I don’t blame you. I know I’ve got you worried.”

I let out a bitter chuckle. If he only knew. “Yes,” I replied. “You’ve got me worried.” (I left off the part about him breaking the laws of space and time.)

He nodded and crossed his arms, something I imagine he does every time he’s about to interrogate a perp. But I wasn’t the perp in this situation. HE was—or will be—in ten years, when he decides to come back in time and mess with my head. (Have I mentioned I’ve doubled the amount of weekly headache medicine I buy?)

“You think I’m forgetting you,” he said. “You think I’m getting all caught up in my little world and I’ve left you to fend for yourself.”

“Well . . .” That was all I could say, because it was truer than I wanted it to be.

He had one of those inner conversations with himself. I saw the back-and-forth in his eyes. It didn’t take him long to come to a conclusion. He looked up again and smiled curtly.

“Right, then.”

That was all he said. He turned and exited the kitchen.

“Umm, Hop?” I stood there next to my bruised apple slices and waited for him to come back. But he didn’t, and it wasn’t like him to give up so quickly. I finally lost my nerve and went after him. “Hop,” I called as I crossed the kitchen, “I’m not that upset. We don’t have to make this a big dea—”

I stepped into the hallway. There he was. He hadn’t gone three steps beyond the doorway when he turned and got on one knee. He held up a diamond ring.

“I’m not trying to bribe you,” he said, his eyes large and earnest. “I just wanted you to know why I’ve been working so hard.”

“Hop,” I said, my voice lost after that.

“Five years ago your wedding ring disappeared down the drain,” he said. “I’ve always taken it as a bad omen for our marriage. And I didn’t want a bad omen hanging over us. More than anything else in this life, I want us to work. So I knew I had to take the next step. No more being a beat cop. Even if it meant moving heaven and earth, my wife was not going through life without a proper wedding ring.”

He went silent and waited for my reaction, the ring glimmering in the hallway light.

That thing I said about melting into his arms and bawling? Yeah, I did that. What can I say? He gave me an opening, and I went with it. He tried to give me the ring, but my fingers were too shaky, so we both kind of clung to it for a second. I held him, letting my view of the sparkly thing connecting us dissolve into tears. This diamond ring that on the one hand was just jewelry and on the other meant the whole world. Because he was right, I realized. I want us to work, too. And what did that mean for Question E?

Well, it meant I needed to take the next step.

Tomorrow after David goes to work, I’m cracking open the phone book. It’s time to call the Roaming Plumbers.




One Response to “NEW NEW *** The Man in the Wall *** NEW NEW”

  1. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough August 6, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Sounds good!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: