I am excited to welcome author Alex Hughes, who is celebrating the release of her third Mindspace Investigations novel, Marked.
FORESEE NO EVIL.
Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.
When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.
Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.…
April Fool’s Day: A Monologue from Adam Ward
So when I was back at the Guild, before the whole drug thing, before Dane died, there was this guy in the Research department. They called him Crazy Neil, but I didn’t know why for the longest time. One April Fool’s Day, I found out.
I was walking back from lunch to my office like I did a hundred other days. Dane, who worked in the office past me, followed behind. We had lunch together most days, but that day we’d stayed a little longer than usual, so I wasn’t surprised to feel a mind ahead, in my office. Probably a student wanting feedback on a project, I thought. I left the office door unlocked for exactly that reason; anything important ended up in the locked filing cabinet anyway.
So Dane said something he thought was funny, and I laughed along; it didn’t really matter what it was, I liked laughing with him. It was a friendly, companionable mood that day. Until I opened the door to my office.
Frigidly cold water doused the entire front of my body. I shrieked, and jumped back.
“What the—” I sputtered. “The cold is dead on, I’ll give you that.” I had assumed it was a student project, with telepathy.
Behind me, Dane folded in half, laughing so hard. Ahead a sound like a braying donkey came, and I sputtered. Finally I saw him: Neil Henderson, an older guy in Research, laughing his fool head off.
I was confused. He wasn’t one of my students. And worse, I was still wet. Like, actually, physically wet, with water. I shook my arm, and little droplets of water fell onto the carpet.
“What did you do to my office?” I asked. The water was everywhere. Like, everywhere. Not just the carpet in front of me, but all the papers on the top of my desk had some drops on them. Expensive Structure of the Brain posters had lines of running ink. “What did you do?” I yelled.
“April Fools!” Neil yelled, pointing, and then pushed past me, laughing and rushing down the hall.
My brain only caught up once he was out of practical range. “Should have knocked you out when I had the chance,” I murmured.
Dane suppressed one more snort.
“You didn’t have to laugh,” I said, swiping a clump of water away from my forehead. “You really didn’t have to laugh.”
“Here, I’ll help you clean it up,” Dane said.
“Ruined. Half my office ruined,” I muttered.
“Hey, it can’t be that…” he trailed off as he finally got the first view of the office itself. “Wow, that’s a lot of water,” he said.
“Yeah.” I breathed, controlling the anger so it wouldn’t flood Mindspace. “Yeah, it’s a lot of water. We better start cleaning.”
Meet Alex Hughes!
Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including scifi, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, she has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area, including Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered. Her work is dark, complex, action-filled and a little funny. Her Mindspace Investigations series has been called “A fun blend of Chinatown and Blade Runner” by James Knapp, and Publisher’s Weekly called her “a writer to watch.”
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