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In the not so distant future, news had been flashing ceaselessly on television screens around the world. For the first time nations shared a common ground. World leaders and others of importance were being killed indiscriminately. It was still unclear who was responsible but the west began looking to the east and the east to the west and tensions were high. Because of the widespread nature of the murders it wasn’t easy to point the heavy finger of blame in any particular direction. The killings were different each time and despite many militia and terrorist groups laying claim to the assassinations, the culprit was thought to still be on the loose. CIA, FBI, NSA and all the other lesser known government agencies had been searching for the killer or the group offering him the opportunities. The terrorist cells responsible were particularly difficult to place because they seemed to have no real motive. There was no political statement made and no payments demanded. Many terrorist groups throughout the world were claiming the killings as their own but their claims were always found to be without merit.
President Philip Owen had been stirred from his bed as new news was emerging of yet another death.
“You must come immediately,” said the emotionless voice over the telephone. His entire body leapt from sleep to wake in cold shakes. He looked to his wife Jackie lying beside him. The phone was still buzzing on the night stand so he switched it off and without turning on a light he left his wife sleeping and made his way to the Oval Office, pulling a green sweatshirt over his pyjamas to try to make himself more presentable at such an ungodly hour.
Inside the Oval Office a member of his staff had already switched the television on in anticipation. A news report was being carried out by a young journalist wearing a long black coat and a smug expression. President Owen had seen his face so often recently as he kept the world up to date with the exploits of the ‘Chaos Killer’. He was an American reporter named Jaimya Van Hols and he always managed to get himself the exclusives on the murders. People were dying but he could only offer a small amount of care because it was causing his career to flourish. Words scrolled underneath which read ‘Chaos killer strikes in the Middle East’. His Highness Mohamar Al Sayeed Ambhad, a Saudi Arabian prince had been found hanging from the ceiling by his feet in his stately room in the palace. His throat had been cut in a ceremonial way and when his security happened upon his body, blood was still dripping from the wound. Someone had managed to make their way in and back out of his chambers with the swiftness of a cat but no money had been taken and there was no sign of a struggle. It almost seemed like he had gone willingly to his death. Amateur footage that had been taken earlier showed Mohamar hanging and his distraught attendants weeping close to his body.
Prince Mohamar Ambhad had been a pioneer in building relations between his country and the rest of the world. He was beloved by his people and respected by his counterparts in the west. He had no known enemies and his death would only hinder progress.
President Owen dropped his head into his hands and brushed his dark brown hair back, which was gathering more grey as the death toll increased. He reached out to take some water but his hand was met by an empty glass. Jackie appeared in the doorway still in her nightdress.
“Another killing?” she enquired. Philip looked back at the screen without replying. “They will find the one who is doing this.” Whether as a wife, mother or politician Jackie was always found the same way. Her optimism was why the American people loved her.
Philip had met Jackie at a political conference back when they were both starting out in their careers. Both of them hailed from old political families. Their parties were in direct opposition so when their union was announced the nation rejoiced because it meant that the entire spectrum of American politics was brought to the centre. Jackie’s grandfather had been a man of great influence in political circles but Jackie was not without her own astuteness. She was a caring wife and mother but also an excellent partner. They would be married twenty years the following Tuesday and Philip didn’t know how he would have handled the past few weeks without her.
Beside President Owen the faint buzz of the telephone sounded again. It was hardly noticeable to him because the ringing had begun to merge with all the thoughts calling out in his mind. It wasn’t until a commotion erupted in the corridor outside, as the Secret Service agents on staff began to discuss the latest killing that he finally answered.
“Please hold for the Prime Minister, sir,” said the sweet voice of Emily Miller, the secretary for the Prime Minster of England. The voice was very familiar to Philip Owen although they had never met in person. She was always pleasant and he had come to know her so well over the telephone that he had sent her flowers of condolence when her mother had died recently.
Soon her sweet voice was replaced by that of the Prime Minister, Selena Samson. It was harsher and much less formal. “Another one Philip,” she greeted.
The President fell silent for a moment. “They will be lucky if they do find the killer. Already half of Europe is looking for him not to mention Australasia and still nothing concrete has turned up. He has been wanted by Interpol since the first.”
It had all began when Jacques Marlode, the prime minister of Belgium, was found in the bathrooms of The Hague. His body was trapped inside the window where the authorities believed he had been trying to escape his attacker. Jacques’ body was intact but his head had been taken cleanly. This was followed closely by Antonio Romero of Italy, who was discovered in the back seat of his silver car with diplomatic license plates showing no discernible cause of death. Arnold Grigsom, an Austrian official, had been murdered on his favourite golf course on the outskirts of Vienna. A cart carrying his body came crashing into the club house where guests were being served lunch. His torso had been torn and his heart removed. The assassinations had caused such an upset that the tabloids had dubbed the assassin ‘The Chaos Killer’. The latest killing in Saudi Arabia showed the assassin was continuing on his murderous rampage and they were no closer to finding him.
“He is definitely a professional. He has found his way into some of the most secure locations,” Selena was saying. “You and I seem to have been kept safe enough though. If I didn’t know any better I would swear it was one of us.”
President Owen immediately became defensive. No matter how late the hour, he would always be alert enough to return a challenge. “Something like this would never be funded on US coin!” he said. He had been particularly edgy lately.
Selena began to laugh, easing the tension. “Of course not. I’m just saying what others are thinking. Something has to be done so I’m calling an emergency summit. We will meet in the coming week or so.”
“A summit at this time?” He felt his people would feel safer if he remained in the United States at the present time.
“What else do you suggest? We wait around to see who is murdered next? None of us are safe you know. We had a break in at number eleven last week. We thought we had him at first when MI5 took him into custody. After hours of questioning it seems he was just an enthusiast.”
President Owen sighed. “I guess we have no choice.”
“My office will co-ordinate with yours,” said Selena. The President agreed and just when he was at the point of disconnecting the call she added. “Oh and Philip… Keep safe.”
President Owen’s eyes were immediately drawn back to the screen. Now the report was showing a large map of the earth with red markings on the places in the world that had been affected by the recent killings. South America and Canada had been touched but so far the U.S. had managed to evade attack.
“I don’t trust her,” Jackie was saying to her husband, stirring him from his swimming thoughts. “She is a little too ambitious. She would knife your back as soon as sit you on a pedestal.”
“I don’t trust her either but she is the Prime Minister of England and a good ally for us,” Philip assured.
“Doesn’t anyone think that having all the world leaders in one room together gives the assassin ample opportunity? It doesn’t seem likely he would make an attack in such a public area but you can’t be too careful.”
President Owen shrugged his shoulders. “Security will be very tight.”
Jackie Owen pursed her lips tightly. “I was in Saudi Arabia last month. I was on a diplomatic mission but it took me several hours to get through that security. This killer managed to get in and out without anyone noticing. Security doesn’t seem to concern him.”
Philip looked at his wife. He was used to having debates with her; it gave him well rounded opinions to take to his cabinet. They always argued over their political differences but this time she was genuinely concerned.
“If I’m called I can’t refuse to go. We need to show that we are doing everything possible. Besides, it might draw the attacker out. With so many people there it might cause him to make a mistake.”
“I am going to make a few phone calls,” she told him. “I’ll send for some coffee. I think it’s going to be a long night.”
“Send for water instead,” Philip called after her pushing the empty glass away from him.
Philip Owen laid his hands on the desk that he had fought several years to sit behind and for the first time in his political career he had no idea what to do next as the world began to wake to the terrible news.
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COMING SOON as a graphic novel!
We are pleased to present the cover art for novels, short stories and graphic novels from Vivika Widow.
Presented by Torrance Media and designed by Leo ST Paul.
Take your pick of thrillers, adventures, black comedy and fantasies.
Which is your favourite? Comment below and let us know.
Sales from all Vivika Widow work supports Ragdolls UK (charity reg SC043805)
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COMING SOON from Torrance Media: The Myths and Tales web series!
I know as you read this you will find my predicament quite silly. After all, who in their right mind would want to be made of cheese? I certainly didn’t. It was quite accidental. I’ve just had to learn to live with it. The magic I possess has been passed down to me through the generations of women in my family. Dad was a little weary of it, especially when he had to spend a week with an extra head. The extra head was great for heightened senses but not so good for his job as a buttoned down insurance salesman. Poor dad struggled to converse with his clients. Not everyone was accepting as we were. Even with the second head and other little magic mishaps, dad loved mum all the same.
As I grew older the magic became strong in me. Every time I sneezed I would set fire to the coffee table. We would chuckle and put the fire out. Not necessarily in that order.
The magic was difficult to control and when it was mixed with a clumsy gene it was positively dangerous. It was actually written somewhere that my great grandmother – a well respected witch – had been asked by the villagers for help to make their crops grow. Grandmama was only too happy to oblige. Soon the village had more food than they could eat but poor Grandmama had blown herself up in the process, which brings me to my current situation.
Most witches opt for a black cat as their familiar. Sometimes an owl or even a raven – so I have been told – will do the trick. I had opted for three white mice. That was my first mistake.
Squeaky, Screetchy and Clive – that would be the mice – were the best familiars any witch could ask for. They were cute, fun and always greeted with a squeak and a smile.
They loved cheese as most mice do, at least in cartoons. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this). One day the local store was out of the brand the mice liked best so I thought I could save myself some money and make my own cheese. Now, not every girl has a cow at home and even for those who do, who has time for all that churning? Not me! I would conjure the best cheese my little mice ever tasted.
I had everything I needed. The mice watched in eager anticipation from their cage. With a sway and a swoop, a jump and a loop I set about making my magic cheese. That was when it happened. In my nostrils I felt a tickle. I tried to hold it back, I really did. A loud sneeze escaped me and the whole thing back fired. Instead of a mountain of tasty cheese for my mice I instead became cheddar.
Its taken some adjusting, like keeping myself constantly refrigerated. I had a boyfriend who was allergic to dairy. Needless to say that didn’t last very long. But my mice are happy. In fact they are positively giddy when they see me…
Click HERE to read Vivika Widow’s Myths and Tales.
COMING SOON as a Torrance Media web series.
1 – Based on Tales from the Crypt and similar
We all remember those shows that had a different little story to tell every week right? Well, ‘Myths and Tales’ was inspired by these shows. ‘Tales from the Crypt’ and ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ being Vivika’s favourites. It is a mash of genres which gives something for all readers to enjoy.
2 – Based on not so true events?
The ‘Confessions’ series stemmed from a ‘Myths and Tales short story titled ‘Confessions of an Anatomist’ which was written during Vivika’s time at medical school. She promises no one was harmed in the writing of the story but the black humour, the horror and the unforgettable character of Tracey Campbell made it a favourite amongst ‘Myths and Tales’. So much so it was adapted into a full novel! ‘My Silly Little Confessions’.
3 – Handling the Hangram
After an initial pitch of the ‘Hangram’ short story, Vivika was surprised to receive comments on how violent it was.
“I honestly didn’t see it that way,” she said. “Perhaps I should lay off listening to Marilyn Manson when writing.”
We love the ‘Hangram’ as violent as she is.
4 – Shared universe
‘Red Snow’, ‘Knights of Ravensedge’, ‘Seeking a Boat’ and ‘The Mad King’ all share a common universe and are part of the Red Snow Fairy Tales.
5 – Treading the boards
‘The Gift’ has been adapted as a stage play and will be hitting theatres in the UK in 2018!
6 – This Place Misunderstood
It may not seem it from the outset, tone and general happenings in the ‘This Place’ poem but Vivika assures us there is actually a positive and affirming message behind it.
Torrance Global took a closer look. Click HERE to read their thoughts.
7 – Listen to the Music
Vivika loves music of all kinds. She especially enjoys classical music. The poem ‘Violin’ is a dedication to that love, which is ironic because Vivika plays cello (somewhat).
8 – Kicking off a Conflict
In ‘Myths and Tales’ you are introduced to the elite group known as Rogue Battalion. This is just the beginning of the highly anticipated Conflict series. Coming soon as a graphic novel as well as some insights featuring as part of the ‘Myths and Tales’ web series! Stay tuned.
9 – Taking Requests
‘Princess and the Beetle’ is the most requested poem of Vivika’s for recital. It is a favourite among readers and we are so excited for it to be the pilot of the web series. It will be leading the charge with a unique brand of comedy.
10 – Soon to be a Web Series
Directed by Leo ST Paul (The Walk) ‘Myths and Tales’ will be hitting the Torrance Media channel soon! Subscribe, tune in and enjoy!
Click HERE to read Vivika Widow’s Myths and Tales
Coming soon as a Torrance Media web series