Monthly Archives: August 2013

Chapter 3.

Chapter 3

Pierce is robbed.

Jake Pierce was happy, but happy is really too weak a word to describe how he felt; 5,000 dollars was that much more that he had as he had virtually nothing. He could now pay the rent that was due as well as some of his other debts. As he was to enter the apartment his landlady came from behind him, Mrs. Patterson.

“Well, no more excuses now Mr. Pierce. I want my rent money and I want it now or I will throw you out, as God is my witness.” shrieked Mrs. Patterson.

“Not to worry here it is, 700 dollars right,” said Pierce as he was counting the money from his leather bag. Mrs. Patterson was wide-eyed and open mouth when she saw the bag containing the money.

“Wait a minute,” she said, “tell me that you didn’t rob a bank, because I don’t want dirty money, is that clear?”

Pierce looked at her and laughed. “Don’t worry, it is all legitimate. I was given money as an advance for the job that I will be undertaking, but I cannot discuss this in more details. You have to trust me.”

“Well as long the money is clean, I don’t care what sort of job that you’ll be doing, as long as it is honest and you pay the rent on time, understood?”

Pierce looked at her and smiled and nodded. Mrs. Patterson left him, happy with her money. As he put the key in the door and opened it a vision of horror struck him; someone had rummaged through his belongings. The scene before him was what would be expected if a tornado had struck his small apartment; drawers were overturned, clothes were on the floor and his mattress was upside down and had been slashed repeatedly.

He walked through his apartment and tried to imagine what the thief was looking for. He had very little of value; and old television set, a stereo that had seen better days, a camera and the lens that went with them. These were the only valuables to him and as he looked for them he found them in their case. The only real thing of value was his camera, as he used this to make money as a freelancer. However, the thief did not take them. Obviously, it was something much more valuable that was sought. He began to wonder if the break-in might have something to do with his uncle and the money that he received. Perhaps it was the sticks that they were after.

He sat down and began looking at the sticks in a new perspective. And what if these were the key. Perhaps they were very valuable and maybe he was in danger he thought. He had dismissed the idea outright when Stevens had told him that people were watching but now he was not so sure after all. He would have to be on guard.

After putting back his room in order he sat down and began to reflect; he had to hide the sticks as they were of importance to him as well as to other people. Obviously the thief was looking for them. He had decided to hide them in his room but now he had second thoughts. Maybe he should put them in a safe at the bank. And then he remembered; he had two pots that had plants. He would simply put the sticks in the pots in a diagonal way as the pots were not tall enough to put them straight up. No one would suspect that these artefacts were there hidden in plain view.


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Chapter Two.

Chapter 2

Gwen and Susan at the waterfront.

Gwen Hmong was proud of her long brown hair, brushing it repeatedly until there was a certain shine to it. She was also proud of her lithe body, so small and yet so firm. An ex-gymnast, she was a beautiful petite woman and she knew it. Now in her forties she did not look a day over 30. She was called by many names by those who knew her; difficult, stubborn, lovely. By those who disliked her, she was called the bitch with a bite and she was lethal. She had killed when necessary to protect the secret and that was why she was the head Guardian, the apex of a secret organization bent on protecting this secret.

That secret organization had no name and no headquarters. Orders came from the head guardian who also knew who the members where. Most of the members lived in South America where the secret was located but the exact location of the secret was known only to the head guardian and to her select group of women known collectively as the Nine. Only females could be members and that simplified things greatly. The price they had to pay was sterility and they all paid that price gladly as the result was everlasting life, or very close to it. The aging process in these women had slowed down to such an extent that they really did not age anymore.

That organization had eyes on certain people, especially anyone who knew or was a member of the Hiram Bingham expedition of the early 1900’s. And especially anyone close to Stephen Pierce, the uncle of Jake Pierce. Obviously that meant that John P. Stevens, the attorney to Stephen Pierce had to be under constant surveillance. He could know or might know some details about the secret and its location and it made sense to keep a watch on him. In New Stanton, the job of keeping an eye on the attorney and the Pierce family was mainly the work of Susan Drake.

Susan Drake’s official job was working in the municipal offices of the city using computers all day long and thus, she able to look into the Pierce family history as well as the attorney. She knew everything about them; where they lived, how much they made etc. But Susan Drake was not one of the Nine and she did not know about the secret. It was intimated to her that if she served well, she might be compensated with something that was well worth the wait. But never was the secret explicitly explained to her. In fact, the chances of her being admitted to the Nine were slim to non-existent. The club was closed to new members, but that too was not explicitly said. The organization needed women like Susan, women who did the dirty work. But these women were expendable. It was a pyramidal organization, with those at the bottom supporting those at the top. As in all pyramids, those at the bottom did not know that they were to toil to support those at the top, with no expectation of rejoining them. Hope was the only thing offered to them and that was their payment.

On that fateful day when Stephen Pierce was buried, she was there at the funeral, dressed as one of the mourners; all in black, a black scarf over her head and black sunglasses. She looked around and saw Pierce arrive late. She knew him well from her files; a lazy bum who only cared about money and fast motorcycles. She discounted him as a threat. But then, she saw the attorney Stevens talking to Pierce and giving him his card. Then she knew that the game was on and that there was going to be an attempt to discover the secret, even if in an indirect way.

Rapidly she went to her car and followed Stevens back to his office waiting for Pierce to arrive. With her camera she took a few pictures to document the meeting. That would be useful as people might not believe that a good for nothing like Pierce would get involved in all this. Money is a strong motivator, especially when you yourself have very little of it or none like Pierce.

As soon as the meeting was over she rushed back to work sending her report to Gwen. The pictures confirming all this would come later and now she had to wait for further instructions. The members of this secret organization rarely met, and for the head guardian to meet another member this would have been unprecedented and dangerous as well. And yet it happened. Gwen wrote back and requested a meeting.

The meeting took place later in the evening in a park of the city that was well known, James Park, situated near the waterfront. It was 19:30 and the sun was still shining. Gwen was sitting on a park bench looking at pleasure boats passing by and wearing a white shirt with a cap. With her ponytail gently blowing in the wind she looked more like a tennis player than the head of anything. But she was not here to play ball. Finally, she saw Susan Drake arrive; it was 19:38, and she was late. They recognized each other by the descriptions that each had of them, but more importantly by the handshake; the handshake had to finish with the hand resting on the heart area.

“You are late.” said Gwen. “You know how I told you to be on time, did I not warn you?

Susan put her head down, looked at her feet and nodded. “Yes, I know, and I am sorry, but I got caught in the traffic.” That was a lie and she knew that it would not pass that easily. Gwen was excellent at uncovering lies.

“Well, tell me more about all this. Did Pierce get something from the attorney?”

“Yes, he did have a small bundle in his hand and a small leather bag with him. I suspect that he received money. I followed him and he went straight to buy groceries and that included beer. He paid cash with was inside the leather bag.” Gwen stayed pensive for a while. It was clear that a possible threat was in the making even if Pierce was an unlikely one.

“From now on, make sure that someone will follow Pierce day and night. Ask John and Stewart to do the job.”

John Drake and Stewart Acton were members of the guardians, but only by being associated with women inside the group. In this case, John was Susan Drake’s husband while Stewart Acton was her brother. It was a tight unit with Susan directing the show.

“Of course.” replied Susan, “I will instruct both of them to keep a watchful eye and I will monitor him through other means. Anything else?”

“No, that will be all. “replied Gwen, adjusting her sunglasses and getting up. She was about to turn away when she said, “And Susan, next time, be on time. I won’t be so accommodating if it happens again.”

“Yes of course.” sheepishly answered Susan, lowering her eyes to the gaze of her head guardian.

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First chapter.

Chapter 1

New Stanton.

It was late morning and Jake Pierce was still under the covers, trying to forget his troubles. Suddenly someone knocked at the door.

“Mr. Pierce, where is the rent money,” exclaimed Mrs. Patterson. “I need it now!”

Mrs. Patterson was his old landlady, a woman with a shrill voice and the personality to go with it. Pierce had a habit of being late with the rent or for that matter with every bill that he had to pay. It was just his way of living life. That was a recurrent theme with Pierce; not having enough money for all the necessary of life or to enjoy it. At least, not enough to have the enjoyable life that he wanted. In other words, his wants exceeded his ability to pay for them. By far.

“Mr. Pierce, I will come back later tonight, and you’d better have the rent money or I will throw you out you lazy bum!” exclaimed Mrs. Patterson. She stomped back in a huff towards her apartment.

Being a freelance photographer Pierce’s income flow was irregular; it was feast or famine and lately, he had been famished. He was running from job to job, peddling his pictures of people and events to newspapers and magazines. Sometimes he hit it big, selling pictures of famous people out on the town but usually it was nothing. He liked it that way as he had a lot of freedom, either to sleep in and of course to starve. He saw himself as an artist and if life was not easy, he accepted it. He felt it suited his personality best.

Pierce opened one eye and then another, trying to force his way out of bed. It was as if he were resting on a fluffy cloud. Then he opened both eyes, looked at the clock and said, “Holy shit!” He knew that today was Sunday, April 10. It was the day that his uncle Stephen was to be buried at Holy Oaks cemetery and the service was to start at 10:00. It was now was 09:55 and it was obvious that he would be late.

Rapidly Pierce threw the sheets away from him and exploded out of his bed, a man bent on a mission. He ate, showered and dressed in record time and by 10:15 he was on his Ducati 500cc, racing the little roads of New Stanton. He liked speed and his motorcycle was perfect for him, giving him that rush of adventure that he loved in life. Woe to any little old lady bent on crossing his path at that time.

As he turned the bend he saw the old cemetery with a small crowd of people. They all turned towards him at the sound of his motorcycle with looks of disapproval evident on their faces. As he proceeded to find a place to park he looked at those faces and was unable to recognize a single person there. This was not surprising as the Piece family was rather large and Pierce himself rarely or ever bothered attending family gatherings. He just did not care enough to attend them and found them supremely boring.

He finally parked just outside the main entrance and proceeded to walk the short distance that separated him from the small gathering. As he approached the mourners and was able to see them up close, he began to recognize a few familiar faces from the past. Here was Aunt Louise, the old unmarried woman who was so religious. There beside her was another uncle of his, Albert, the younger brother of his deceased uncle Stephen. He was the opposite of his brother; a solid family man who never drank nor smoked in his life. They nodded at him in a stern way, as if they were acknowledging him simply because they had to. He nodded back and smiled at them.

As he took his place beside the mourners the priest began his short homily. Pierce did his best to appear sombre yet they all knew him too well; a man who cared only about himself, about his needs and wants and who did not mingle well with others. In short, a mean son of a bitch.

Everything was done quickly and in less time that one cares to remember the coffin was in the ground and ready to be forgotten. Two cemetery workers appeared out of nowhere and began the task of shovelling earth on top of the coffin. At their appearance the mourners began to disperse. It was at that point that someone grabbed Pierce’s arm.

“Mr. Piece I presume?” said a man that had seen better days. Dressed in his best, with an astounding red tie that was in symmetry with his red hair. He was a short man, with a rather muscular build. He must have been quite a catch in his youth but he was now in his early 70’s. He was the man that was taking care of the affairs of his late uncle, and his name was John P. Stevens, attorney.

“And who wants to know?” said Pierce, in a defensive way. He knew quite well that all sorts of people were looking for him, mainly of the unfriendly kind who wanted their money.

“I understand your fears Mr. Pierce. You seem to collect unpaid bills,” exclaimed Stevens.

“And even if I do, what is it to you?” replied Pierce, ever ready to land a blow to that jutting jaw of Stevens. The old man was taken aback with that reaction.

“Now now Mr. Pierce, no need to be hostile with me. In fact, I am bringing you good news. I am sure that you will love it. Here, take this and come and see me later today. “ Stevens handed him his business card which said:

John P. Stevens, attorney.

Best prices in town!

It was mid-afternoon when Pierce finally arrived at the office of John P. Stevens. It was located in the downtown area of the city where the chic boutiques are and pretty girls abound.

He had dressed in a casual way; polo shirt and jeans with his baseball cap on. He was intrigued by what Stevens had told him. Moreover, Stevens was well informed about his money problems and that bothered him. How did he know? Obviously he had snooped around.

He finally arrived at the address, 241 Mason Avenue. It was a skyscraper full of offices, with the office of Stevens on the third floor. Pierce took the elevator as he tended to avoid walking like the plague. At the third floor he stepped out and began hunting for 309. It was 14:45.

“Mr. Pierce,” said Stevens as he saw Pierce approach him, “I was expecting you, as you can see.” The office door had been left open on purpose.

“Well you’re offer to solve my financial problems was too good to miss.” said Pierce as he shook hands with Stevens. “You know, I have no idea what is the link between my late uncle and me. As far as I knew, he had very little money and I am sure that once the creditors learn of his death, like a bunch of vultures they will descend on his estate and eat it up.”

“Well let me re-assure you. Your uncle was not poor, far from it. He was a miser you know, not a spendthrift. He had accumulated a large amount of money before his death and he knew about you, even if you barely send him a postcard through the years.”

“Well I am shocked to hear this. “said Pierce. “I may have met him a few times at some family gatherings and that was all.”

“I understand your surprise, “said Stevens, “and you will be even more surprised when I read you the will.”

“You mean to say that I was left sole heir to his fortune? “exclaimed Pierce.

“Indeed Mr. Pierce, you are. But there are strings attached. Let me read you the will if I may.” At those words Stevens fished out his glasses and began reading.

My Dear Nephew,

I am sure that you will be surprised that my attorney contacted you. After all, you and I never had much contact and yet I know all about your money problems. I can solve your money problems for good. However, there is a catch; you must accomplish certain actions before the money can come to you. And it will come to you but not in one bunch. It will be delivered to you piece by piece. My attorney, John P. Stevens will be the arbiter in this little contest. Do what is expected of you, find what I want you to find, and the money will be yours. My attorney is the only one you should contact for help as he will hold the purse strings. He will tell you informally what I want you to do. Be careful!

Your uncle, Stephen.

“Alright, “said Pierce, “tell me how I can get the money. But first, nowhere in the letter does my uncle tell me how much he would leave me?”

“Yes, I understand that money and how much of it will accrue to you are the crux of the matter and I will tell you now: your uncle is leaving you 10.5 million dollars.”

Pierce looked at the attorney with a sense of disbelief. After all, it was known that his uncle had lived in a small apartment, had driven a used car and generally was not known to be a flashy dresser. In short, no one looking at how he lived would make the mistake of taking him to be a rich man. And yet, he had been filthy rich.

“I don’t understand,” exclaimed Pierce, “this man could not have been rich, looking at his lifestyle. How is it possible and how did he made so much money?”

Stevens replied. “The explanation is simple. Your uncle was rich, but did not want the world to know about it, or more precisely, he did not want certain people to know this. He was afraid for his life. That is the problem for you as you must not tell anyone about his money because there are people who may covet these riches and other artefacts that your uncle had.”

Steven’s went on to explain how the uncle of Pierce achieved such richness.

“Your uncle in his younger years accompanied the famed explorer Hiram Bingham in discovering various Incas cities that had long been forgotten. However, what was not explicitly said by the explorer is that he too, as those before him, was looking for El Dorado, the famed city of the Incas. Gold flowed in abundance there and numerous conquistadores went and lost their lives in attempting to discover the city. Well, it seems that your uncle saw a glint of it and profited richly. As far as he told me, he did not discover where it was, but had a good idea of where it was located and more importantly, he did discover gold artefacts.”

Pierce was listening to the story wide-eyed and open mouth. Suddenly, he burst out laughing and clapped his leg.

“You mean to tell me that the old goat found gold and never told anyone about it? But why didn’t he? “

“I told you, he had been involved in conflicts with the natives and afterward in his life he told me that he thought that he was being watched. It seems, according to him, that there are people out there looking out for the secret and protecting it. That is why you must never say a word about all this. Your life could be in jeopardy.”

At those words Pierce became serious once more. If this meant that his life could be endangered, he would need Stevens to show him some of the money. He needed a firm advance, not just promises from Stevens.

“Very well, it does sound promising and I do need money as you seem to know. But I want some of the money upfront and not when some conditions would be fulfilled.”

Steven’s remembered what the uncle had said about Pierce; that he was a lazy person that never amounted to much and that his lust for money drove him. The uncle had told him to whet his appetite but not to satisfy him completely. Let him work for it.

“Very well. Your uncle agreed that a small stipend should be provided to you to start you out. Here is a check, for 5,000 dollars. Can I give you the details now? “

“You know, 5,000 dollars is nice, but not nearly enough for me. I need more to cover my debts and further living expenses.”

At these words, Steven’s grew impatient. He decided to play hardball with Pierce, knowing that he was the only game in town if he wanted to solve his financial woes.

“Mr. Pierce, it is 5,000 dollars and not a penny more. It is a take it or leave it offer. If you refuse, you will have to wait one year before getting the same offer I am now telling you but with less money!” Stevens was grinning from ear to ear, knowing in what dire financial straits Pierce was.

“Fine. “said a sullen looking Pierce. “I agree to the amount, now tell more about the details and what are those artefacts that you talked about?”

Stevens rose slowly from his desk and walked over to a large painting that was hanging in front of him. The painting represented the explorer Bingham as he discovered Machu Picchu. He slowly removed the painting that revealed a safe and began dialling the numbers. Pierce approached him slyly as he was curious to see the contents of it. But Stevens had noticed him creep up behind him and in one swift motion he took some money with two wooden sticks and quickly closed the safe. He turned and faced Pierce again with a smile on his face.

“Be careful Mr. Pierce, being too curious can be just as dangerous as not being enough.”

Stevens began to count the money. In all, he was giving him 1000 dollars cash and the rest as a check. Then there was the matter of the two wooden sticks and the part that they played in the whole story. Pierce was counting the money and was paying scant attention to Stevens who took the sticks and was pointing them at Pierce.

“Now look here, Mr. Pierce. These two sticks are of utmost importance to your future. Look at each one.” said Steven’s. “Look at the two elongated holes on the top part of the sticks. One hole is enlarged towards the bottom while the other one is toward the top. There is a crystal in both of these holes. At some point, they must face each other at the proper location. “

Pierce took the sticks in his hands, looking carefully at them. He noticed the writing on them, going from top to bottom. They looked like Egyptian hieroglyph but they were not exactly similar. These sticks were of about two feet in length and about ¼ of an inch in diameter and round. He then looked at the holes.

“What are they for, to let the wind pass through or perhaps they are musical instruments?” At that, Pierce took one of the sticks and tried to blow through the hole. Stevens was incensed by this. He extended his hands and snatched the stick from the hand of Pierce.

“Look, these are not toys and they could well be instrumental in fulfilling the wishes of your uncle and of course, assure your financial future. So behave.”

Pierce slumped back in his chair slightly bored at the whole affair. He had what he wanted, the money, and he dearly wanted to get out of Steven’s office. Nevertheless, the sticks and the story that Stevens recounted to him intrigued him. If his uncle was that rich and had left him with such an amount of money, perhaps it was best to play along he thought.

“Now here is the plan Mr. Pierce. You are to organize an expedition to Peru, in the area where Machu Picchu is. There you will contact a woman named Maria Hernandez who lives in Lima. Contact her and move on from there. Let me remind you that you are on a tight deadline; you have less than three months to find something interesting. If you are too lazy and simply enjoy your new money then our association will be terminated, am I clear?”

Pierce knew what the correct answer was. “I understand Mr.Stevens. I will fulfill my end of the bargain. Make sure your end is secure as well.” Pierce said as he grinned at Stevens, looking at the money and the check. He shook Stevens hand and left the room.

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Free book!

Hello to all. I am presenting my first novel, in ebook format. Anyone can download it in epub or mobi for those who have the kindle. I will also put up one chapter per week.The Sacred Stream



The men were tired, it was the middle of the night and it was raining hard. The four men were carrying with them shovels, picks and guns and they were being led by a man who knew the area very well, Stephen Pierce. He had been with the expedition led by Hiram Bingham the famed explorer back in the early 1900‘s but now he was on his own and trying to enrich himself. By following clues on a map that he had discovered he had found some gold and now his appetite for more had been whetted.

“Quick, bring the light here,” Pierce said. “And be careful where you dig, only where I tell you to.”

“But Senor, there is nothing here, only grasses and some rocks, “said one of the men.

“Do as you are told. Dig here.” Pierce indicated by pointing a stick in the ground. The three other men began digging. The whole area was covered in mud. It was still raining hard, so hard that it looked like solid sheets of rain descending from the heavens. The gods were angry. Then a dull sound as the shovels hit pay dirt.

“Senor, there is something!” cried out one of the men. They looked at each other and then at Pierce

“Let me see this.” Pierce got on his knees with the lantern and began digging slowly with a small shovel. His hand then went into the mud and out of it he retrieved a shiny object, a gold chain.

The three other men all smiled at each other and grinned foolishly, slapping each other on the back with visions of being rich swirling in their thoughts. They turned towards Pierce to congratulate him only to face the muzzle of a gun. Lightning and thunder illuminated the skies and muffled the sound as three shots were heard in rapid succession, felling the three bodies as surely as a wood-chopper would chop down trees. The bodies fell and crumpled on the muddy ground. Pierce looked at them and saw that one of the bodies was still twitching and was trying to get up. He quickly kneeled down beside it and pumped several rounds in the head.

Rapidly he dug a large hole away from the cache of gold and began to drag the still warm bodies into it when suddenly he thought he had seen people surrounding him. He took out his gun and looked around, looking and listening for any suspicious sounds. But the storm was still raging and he heard nothing that sounded out of the ordinary. He went back to dragging the bodies into the hole but stopped again. Each time that the area was struck by lightening and illuminated the area it seemed that people were creeping closer to him until one of those men finally struck him from behind on the head with the shovel that he had brought. He fell hard on the muddy ground and passed out, still clutching his gun in his hand. The last thing he remembered was seeing the feet of people surrounding him.

When he awoke he was in jail surrounded by three other prisoners. As he was slowly returning to consciousness a guard arrived with another familiar person

“Again in trouble Pierce?” his good friend Stevens said. “Aren’t you sick and tired of running after trouble?

“It’s not that I am running after trouble, its trouble that seems to be running after me.” he said, smiling. “Get me out of here and I’ll tell you a tale worthy of my troubles. You’ll see that it was worth it.” Pierce had a smirk on his face. Stevens on the other hand had an exasperated look.

Stevens paid a small bribe to the guard and out went Pierce. They said nothing as they quickly exited the station, taking a cab straight to the airport. Along the way, Pierce recounted the tale…


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