Authors: Magus Tor,Carrie Lynn Weniger
CARRIE LYNN WENIGER
Copyright © 2014 Magus Tor
Published by Magus Tor at Amazon
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my ever-encouraging soul-mate, Aurelia.
would like to dedicate this book to Bodhi James Scott. Without his
encouragement, love, and support I wouldn't have had the courage to put myself
out there. I love you!
thanks goes to Carrie my co-author for making this book what it is today.
would also like to thank my awesome co-author for trusting me to take this and
run with it so freely!
years ago, CIA Agent Drew Corrigan never would have imagined that he’d be
sitting at a desk doing anything, let alone “customer service”. Once a Special
Agent, tasked with the most secret of missions, Drew lived for the constant
excitement of his job; never knowing exactly where it would bring him or how
far he’d have to go to get things done. That all changed when a mission he was
sent on went terribly wrong and people died.
After four years of simply going through
the motions, Drew decided that it was time to move on and do something
different with his life. Retirement hadn’t been all it was cracked up to be and
a big change was needed. So, he picked a city, applied for jobs online and
found an apartment to rent. All was in place.
“Chicago, here I come!” When Drew said
it, he almost sounded genuinely excited.
Now, the 6’, 250 lb., muscle bound
former agent simply sat in a cubicle, performing mundane tasks as a customer
service agent for a security alarm service. Retirement from the CIA brought him
the satisfaction of knowing he would not have to put anyone in harm’s way
again, but it also brought with it a sense of failure and of boredom.
A few weeks after moving to Chicago,
Drew decided the time was now. He had to start enjoying the city he lived in.
It was time to become part of this city that so many loved.
On his way to work, he stopped at ‘The
Bean’, a local coffee shop. It was right around the corner from his apartment
and steps away from the “L” platform he would need to be standing on in an
hour’s time in order to catch the train that would dump him off two blocks from
Stepping inside, The Bean was just as he
had hoped. There were smiling people behind the counter, a handful of tables
closely grouped in the center of the room, and comfortable couches situated
close to the window where people could gather and enjoy each other’s company.
Drew walked up to the counter, hoping that the coffee was just as comforting as
the ambience of ‘The Bean’.
“What can I get for you?” The guy behind
the counter asked. He was a short, blonde haired, wiry guy. His tag said, “My
name is Adam.”
“Large coffee, black,” Drew replied out
“Black? We have some great additions to
black coffee. You sure you don’t want to add some flavor?”
“I like it black.”
“Okay, black it is.”
While Adam got the coffee, Drew looked
down the counter and saw the variety of muffins and other pastries lined neatly
on trays at the opposite end. He made a mental note of that since muffins are a
weakness of his.
“Here you go, Sir. We are about to do
our weekly raffle, would you like to throw in a ticket? All you need to do is
join our coffee club. It’s free.”
“Sure, what the heck. You only live
once, right?” Drew filled out the card and handed it back to Adam. Adam then
neatly folded the card in half, and then in half again. With a quick toss, the
card landed in the big jug with the rest of the entries. “What’s the prize?”
Drew asked as Adam shook the jug.
“An alarm clock; that way, you can set
it for the perfect time to come to The Bean and have a great cup of coffee!”
Adam made an announcement to the people
sitting at tables, letting them know that the raffle was about to start. For
something so small and silly, the patrons sure did seem excited as they jumped
out of their seats and gathered at the counter.
“And the winner is…Drew Corrigan! Wow!
First day in the jug and already a winner!” Adam seemed overly happy that Drew
“Huh. Thanks,” a surprised Drew replied.
“Here is your very own The Bean alarm
clock! Enjoy your prize, and I hope you keep stopping by!” Adam almost sounded
like he was expecting Drew to leave now, so with that, Drew accepted his new
alarm clock, paid for his coffee and headed out the door.
Up on the “L” platform, Drew sipped his
coffee as he waited for his train.
I guess things could be worse,
thought as he eyed his new clock. It was shaped like a coffee bean, of course,
with the coffee shop logo on the top.
Once at work, Drew’s newfound smile was
replaced by the dull look all of the cubicle dwellers wore. Eight hours of
nothing but, “I’ll be glad to help you, Sir,” and, “Of course, Ma’am, you are
right.” The days around the office always seemed to drag, and today would be no
About an hour before quitting time, Drew
began to plan out in his mind what he would have for dinner. Nothing fancy, but
he always took care to eat a balanced meal; he liked to stay healthy and fit.
When he ended his last call of the day,
he turned off his phone and removed his headset. Five minutes was spent
meticulously arranging his desk for the next day, and then he was on his way
back to the train.
Drew always spent the fifteen minutes on
the train watching all of the people. The way they went about their lives, not
knowing that someone was looking at them, or perhaps not caring, fascinated
him. They talked on their cell phones, read books or newspapers, chatted with
friends or just stared blankly out the windows at the city passing by.
When Drew’s stop was called, he stood up
and headed for the door. As he stepped out he could hear the sounds of the cars
rushing by underneath him on the street below. Drew missed driving, but he
hated the traffic and parking was a nightmare in the city, so he settled for
Drew walked around the corner and smiled
as he saw his building. He loved his apartment. It was on a quiet street…well,
except for the sound of the train, which never seemed to bother him…and it was
a beautiful Greystone. He climbed the stairs to the second story, breathing in
the smells of the family dinner being cooked in the first floor apartment.
After eating dinner, Drew took a shower
and plopped down on the couch to watch the evening news. He found himself
wondering why nothing good was ever in the news. Just then the weather forecast
came up on the screen and he changed his tune. Beautiful, sunny and
temperatures in the 70’s were being forecast for the next five days.
When the news was over, he turned the
channel to Survivor and enjoyed the hour episode. He was always embarrassed
that he watched the show, and would never admit it to anyone, but after the
missions he has been on with the CIA, it was fun for him to watch all of the
whiny, bratty young adults complain about their situation. It also added a
little bit of comedy and drama to his life.
Chuckling about the outcome of his show,
he turned off the TV, put the remote control in its proper place and turned off
the lamp on the end table. Drew then slid the chain into the lock on his door,
flipped the light-switch on in the hall and made his way to the master bedroom.
Feeling slightly silly, he plugged in
his new alarm clock and set it. As he slipped into bed, he began thinking about
the nice weather to come. He slowly drifted off to sleep with a slight smile on
his face, as if the weather was already there.
Drew couldn’t have been asleep very long
when his eyes popped open. As he looked around he realized he was no longer in
his bedroom, but where was he? He didn’t recognize the dark and empty room. He
was on the floor, slumped up against the wall. All that was in the room with
him was a flat screen TV mounted on the wall opposite him.
He stood up, brushed himself off a bit
and took a few steps closer to the TV. Next to the television was a very small
sign posted on the wall that simply read, “Turn on TV for instructions.”
Hesitantly, Drew reached out and touched the power button. As a voice began to
come from the speakers, the words that were spoken were simply running across
“Hello. I am glad you are here. You have
been chosen to take part in a game like no other. The number of players is
slowly increasing, and the action you will encounter will be like nothing you
have ever experienced. This game is not for the weak, but for the
strong-willed. You will learn what kind of person you really are, as the game
will test your mind, body and soul.”
“The rules are simple. Kill or be
killed. On your right wrist you will find what appears to be a watch. Please
look at it now.”
Drew lifted his right hand and saw the
watch. The only thing on the screen was the number 50. Confused, he looked back
to the screen on the wall. Just then the voice began again.
“That number signifies the number of
lives you have. For every kill you make, the number will go up by one. For
every time you are killed, the number will go down by one. You will also lose
one life every day.”
Drew listened carefully, not saying a
This is so weird. Do I even want to play this game?
He thought to
himself. The voice on the TV paused as if it knew that Drew was lost in
“On the wall just outside the door to
your left, you will find your gun. You only get the ammunition that is already
in the gun, so chose your targets carefully. Once you are out of bullets, you
will be on your own.”
Cool, I get a gun!
Living in Chicago has its
drawbacks and not being legally allowed to carry a handgun was one of those. Of
course, being former CIA, there are some allowances made, but in the grand
scheme of things, Drew found himself having to leave his gun behind an awful
“Go now. You may go anywhere the tunnels
take you, but there is no way out except back at this room. I must warn you,
though, you are not the only one who knows where this door is, so there may be
others waiting for you to return. Oh, just a note, the game ends when you hit
100 or 0.”
Drew shrugged, “Whatever.”
He walked over to the door and slowly
opened it. Right there on the wall, as the voice said, there was a gun. It was
nothing spectacular, but it was all he had, so he gladly lifted it off the wall
and slipped it into the waistband of his jeans.
Drew slowly crept down the hall. With no
clear objective or target to set his sights on, he felt uncomfortable at the
thought of just killing random people. Maybe tonight he would just try to do a
little exploring and hopefully he wouldn’t have to use his gun.
The tunnels were dark, but because of
Drew’s specialized training, he was able to take a mental note of each turn he
made. His skills were still strong and he knew he would have no problem making
his way back to the room where he began.
Some corridors were very narrow, and the
soft green glow seemed much brighter in those areas. Other corridors were wider
causing the green glow to appear much dimmer. The green light almost caused a
night vision effect, which was also something that Drew was very familiar with.
As he inched his way through the
tunnels, he felt as though there may not be much to this game because he
encountered no other players. Just as that thought entered his head, he heard
footsteps and ducked around a corner. His instincts told him to stay flat
against the wall and hope he had not been seen.
In the distance, Drew heard gunfire as
it echoed in the darkness. All of his senses were on high alert, and since this
was his first day in the game, he decided it may be best to sneak back to the
door and leave. As he slid along the wall, a large man, skin as dark as night,
ran past him. He turned and glanced at Drew but quickly looked back up the
Whew, that was close. I guess I wasn’t the kill he was looking
Drew was surprised at how shaken he was and decided that maybe after
some rest he would feel better about this game and give it another go.
Quickly, but on high alert, he made his
way back to the area where he first started. He poked his head around the
corner, gun drawn, and looked toward the door. As far as he could see, there
was not a soul around. He made his move and lunged for the door, flinging it
open, diving inside the room and slamming it shut all in one swift motion.
Drew wanted to stand up but realized
that he was now safely tucked under the sheets of his king size bed. Slightly
out of breath, he sat up and looked around. The sun was glowing through the
blue curtains and the alarm clock was softly buzzing.
It was a dream,
thought to himself.
He felt weird for a short time as he
dragged himself out of bed and got ready for work. The dream left him feeling
as though it was real. Shaking off the odd sensation, Drew grabbed his wallet
and keys and decides to forego coffee today and grabbed a soda out of the
refrigerator as he headed for the door.
Stepping onto the train fifteen minutes
later, Drew had already put the dream out of his mind. Now, as he prepared
himself for another long and boring day of, “No Ma’am,” and, “Yes, Sir,” he
watched the people taking the ride with him and wondered how many of them felt
the same way about their jobs.