Watergate, That Blue Dress and A Nothingburger

I can remember the late summer of 1974 pretty clearly, considering it was 45 years ago and there are times I can’t remember why the hell I walked into the kitchen.

Watergate had been a thing on the news for some time and it was finally coming to a head that August. I sat in what used to be my grandfather’s bedroom in our two-story North Dakota house. He’d died a few days before and we were still dealing with the aftermath of that loss and his not being around. There’d been many times I’d been in his room with him, just watching his old black and white TV.

This day I was there alone, watching President Richard Nixon resign and leave office rather than face being impeached by the House and tried by the Senate. He’d broken the law and even his own party felt he needed to resign rather than put the country through what would have come if he had stayed and fought. It was the second time Nixon had chosen his country over his ambition.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy barely defeated Nixon for the White House. There was some suspicious voting in key states that swung to Kennedy that day. Nixon could have fought it. Might have proved it and won. But he realized in 1960, as he did 14 years later, the damage to the country was not worth it.

Which brings us to the impeachment of Bill Clinton nearly a quarter-century later. Like Nixon, Clinton had broken the law. He had lied under oath during a court proceeding. He was impeached once he refused to put the good of the country ahead of his ambition. He was not convicted, not because he wasn’t guilty (he was), but because by the late 1990s politicians willing to put country ahead of party was a thing of the past.

Now, we’re starting to reap what Bill Clinton sowed twenty years ago. Now, politics rules all – even areas which shouldn’t be political (sports, science fiction, the list is nearly endless) – and now its the truth be damned! It is all about saving your guy while getting their guy at all costs.

I’ve stated on Twitter that if Trump had done something I’d be driving the impeachment train myself. I didn’t vote for him or the other corrupt Democrat (I’m still not convinced he really feels he’s a Republican) from New York that the two parties put up.

But the honest truth is: There is nothing there to impeach him for. There was no collusion with Russia. There is no obstruction of justice. You can’t be found guilty of obstructing because you had the nerve to come out and say “I didn’t do this and I’m not going to help you railroad me either!”

Now we’re on to Ukraine. I’ve read the transcript – not the “parody” that Adam Schiff tried to sneak into the record (and may I say, based on about three years of working with a lawyer and writing drafts of legal briefs – the sure sign that the other side has no case is when they start off by lying about their “evidence”) – and again, there is no crime there.

Oh, there is if we’re going to play the “I’ll interpret what you said based on some non-existent code that I made up so I can say you did something that you didn’t” game. But in a court of law, that’s not a game you can play. A court deals in facts. The facts are, there is nothing there.

But again, since “party” is all, I have no doubt that Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, et al are going to march double-quick time toward impeaching Trump. And the Senate will do what the Senate did twenty years ago, return a verdict of not guilty. Only this time, the verdict will be accurate.

And as for the country? I’ve seen a disturbing hashtag on Twitter today: #CivilWarSignup. The people joking about this are the ones who run screaming for their safe spaces at the sight of a red baseball cap.

If we keep on this path, this country will fracture and it will not be insults and milkshakes being tossed about. It will be bullets. And only one side appears to be armed for that kind of fight.

So, I want our political leaders, especially those on the left tonight, to take a step back and consider what they are doing and where it will lead. I mean, really chew right down to the bone.

Because if blood is shed over this, it will all be on your hands.

Stop this insanity, while you still can.

 

1K Serials: Legacy Of Death, Ch. 8

LEGACY OF DEATH: 

THE DYSON’S COMET KILLER

By Richard Paolinelli

© 2019 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION.

 

EIGHT

 

Mac Bolton had never considered himself a religious man. Before his mother’s death when he was only nine years old, he’d gone to church with his parents and prayed like he’d been taught. After his mother was killed in an armed robbery that has turned terribly tragic, the young Bolton lost any faith in a supreme being and the prayers quickly stopped.

But now, with ten unsolved murders that had undoubtedly been committed by one person and Bolton himself accused of the very same crimes he was trying to solve, he was quickly rediscovering prayer. It was quickly becoming the only thing left going for him.

He’d been brought in eight hours ago, quickly and quietly, by the two Internal Affairs detectives to the Chief of Detectives’ office. Kiner sat next to Bolton, in a private room away from prying eyes, playing referee between Bolton and the IA men. For the time being, they were the only four people who knew Bolton had been arrested during the night.

“Look Baker,” Bolton snapped hotly at the older IA man seated directly across the table. “How many times do I have to tell you? I am trying to catch the killer, I am NOT the killer!”

“Maybe when you can give us some sort of an alibi for any of the murders.” Jackson retorted, “then Sergeant Cooper and I will believe you Inspector.”

That point was making Bolton sweat. He couldn’t give an alibi that would get IA off his back. The time of death had been established for all of the victims and Bolton had been alone long enough each time to have committed the murders. He knew he wasn’t the killer, but he also knew that in their shoes he’d be just as unbelieving of his story as they were.

“You can’t,” Cooper charged, “can you? You don’t have any better alibi than you were asleep during six of the murders and somehow managed to be all by yourself in a city of almost one million people for the other four. You tell me Inspector, what you would think of a weak alibi like that?”

“It wouldn’t play with me,” Bolton allowed. “But that doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t kill those women.”

“Unfortunately Inspector,” Baker interjected, “you have no proof that you didn’t and all you can offer us is your word that you didn’t and your claim, that in an incredible string of coincidences, no one knows where you were during all of the attacks?”

“Yeah Baker, it is an incredible set of coincidences,” Bolton replied. “They are also true. And no, I don’t have any concrete proof. But you don’t have any proof that I did, do you? If you think I am your killer, where’s your forensics? Other than a set of incredible coincidences, what the hell do you have that says I’m your killer?”

Lisa would have been impressed with his turning the IA’s theory back on them. He’d been thinking of asking Kiner to call her down here and see how IA would like to deal with an irate assistant D.A. Bolton decided against calling her in. There just wasn’t any way this was going anywhere.

The two IA men remained silent, giving Bolton hope that this nonsense was about to come to an end at last. Kiner, who’d been strangely silent during most of the interrogation, quietly reached into his jacket pocket, withdrew an evidence bag and handed it to Bolton without a word.

“Do you recognize what’s in the bag Inspector?” Cooper asked.

Bolton held up the clear plastic bag and saw a round, silver medallion attached to a silver chain. Bolton easily recognized the engraving on the back of the medallion.

“It’s the St. Michael’s medal my mother gave to my father on his first day on the job,” Bolton said, trying to figure out what this medal had to do with anything involving this case.

“Your father gave it to you to carry when he retired, didn’t he?” Kiner asked, his tone hushed.

“Yes, so?”

“Where’s the last place you remember seeing it?” Kiner asked.

“I don’t know,” Bolton replied. “The chain kept breaking and I quit wearing it a few months ago because I was afraid I was going to lose it. Why? What does my father’s medal got to do with this?”

Before anyone could answer, there was a quick rap on the door behind Kiner. A patrolman thrust in his head long enough to tell the Chief he had an urgent call.

“Well?” Bolton asked again after Kiner had left the room.

“It was found clutched in Inspector Townsell’s hand,” Cooper replied coldly. “About two hours before what you allege was the first time you arrived at the crime scene last night. Can you explain how it got there?”

Bolton felt the blood draining from his face. He looked at the medallion again. There was no doubt in his mind that it was his and he had no idea how it had wound up in a murdered woman’s hand. He did know, no matter how it had happened, he was in a lot of trouble.

“Inspector MacKenzie Bolton,” Baker said as both he and Cooper stood up. “You are under arrest for suspicion of murder. You have the right to remain…”

Baker broke off as Kiner returned to the room, his face almost as ashen as Bolton’s.

“This interview is over, gentlemen,” Kiner said. “Inspector Bolton is free to go.”

“I’m sorry Chief,” Baker replied. “We’re just placing the Inspector under arrest.”

“No, you’re not,” Kiner shot back. “Two more victims have been found. It’s been confirmed that it is our killer’s handiwork and the time of death has been set at just about three hours ago. I believe the three of us can attest that Inspector Bolton was right here at the time and therefore cannot be our perp, correct?”

Both of the IA men wisely backed off. Bolton stood up to leave for the latest crime scene but was stopped by Kiner.

“Mac, I’ll have someone drive you to the scene,” Kiner said. “But I’m afraid I have to pull you off the case.”

“Why? You just said…”

“Mac, shut up and listen to me. The victims…,” Kiner’s voice caught in his throat. “I’m sorry Mac. It’s your father. He’s killed your father and his nurse, Chelsea Jackson.”

 

*     *     *     *     *

Like what you’ve read so far? Be sure and sign up for Richard’s newsletter, “Postcards From Infinity“, and if you’d like to become a patron you can do so right here. Any amount you choose will be appreciated and will help keep this blog, these weekly serials and Richard’s podcast, “A Scribe’s Journey” up and running. Thank you for reading and for your support.

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Day Off? What’s That?

Yeah, it is Sunday. Yeah, I’m watching football. But that doesn’t mean I have the day off. Welcome to the life of an Indie writer, even a hybrid writer like I am for that matter.

Here’s my day today:

Signed a contract for a short story that will appear in the Sherlock Holmes Adventures in the Realms of Edgar Allan Poe anthology by Belanger Books.

Did an interview that will run with the Kickstarter for the aforementioned anthology.

Did show prep for tomorrow’s show recording of A Scribe’s Journey. London-based author Benedict J. Jones is this week’s guest. It should be a very good, spooky show. (Maybe I should have scheduled it for next month?)

Outlined the four short stories I need to complete for anthologies before the end of October – totaling about 16,000 words.

Tended to some editor’s work on the Pluto anthology.

Got in some marketing for published works.

Oh, yeah, and I wrote a blog post.

I need a day off. But don’t worry, I have one scheduled… January 16, 2020.

 

*     *     *     *     *

Like what you’ve read so far? Be sure and sign up for Richard’s newsletter, “Postcards From Infinity“, and if you’d like to become a patron you can do so right here. Any amount you choose will be appreciated and will help keep this blog, these weekly serials and Richard’s podcast, “A Scribe’s Journey” up and running. Thank you for reading and for your support.

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1K Serials: Legacy Of Death, Ch. 7

LEGACY OF DEATH: 

THE DYSON’S COMET KILLER

By Richard Paolinelli

© 2019 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION.

 

SEVEN

 

Bolton had been right about one thing, Barlow was not the last victim. Despite teams of Inspectors, patrolmen and clerks checking out any and all leads nothing had turned up but more victims. Three more victims had fallen to the knife of the Dyson’s killer, the name the press had given the killer once word had gotten out about the carvings on each of the victims.

Seven women in five days and still not one shred of evidence or a single lead existed that gave anyone hope that the killings would end with an arrest. With each hour that passed without sleep and without any positive news or leads, Bolton’s temper worsened until finally he bit off some poor policewoman’s head for merely offering to get him a cup of coffee.

Kiner stepped in quickly and ordered Bolton to go home and get some sleep.

“You’re no good to this investigation like this Mac,” Kiner said, gently putting a hand on Bolton’s shoulder to ease the sting of his words. “Go home and get a few hours of sleep before you collapse. We’ll call if anything turns up. It’s only ten in the morning and he’s never attacked during daylight. There’s time for you to get some rest.”

Grudgingly, Mac acquiesced. Too tired to trust himself behind the wheel of a car, Bolton resigned himself to a BART ride home to his apartment in San Bruno after he failed to reach Owens at her office or on her cell phone. He left a message for her, letting her know he was going home and that he would call her later after he’d caught a nap.

His place was only eight blocks from the station and his father’s apartment was situated nearly halfway between the two. Bolton decided to stop by and see how the old retired cop was doing. Nick Bolton had put in twenty-five years on the job before cancer had finally slowed him down and confined him to a wheelchair along with a live-in nurse.

“Hello Mac,” Chelsea Jackson greeted Bolton at the door. “He’s asleep right now, he didn’t have a good night.”

“I know the feeling,” Bolton replied wryly. “I’ll just look in him for a minute and then I’ll get out of your hair.”

Bolton quietly entered the bedroom and sat next to his father’s bed, watching and listening to the rhythm of his father’s breathing as he adjusted the covers on the bed. As he pulled back, he noticed that his father was now awake.

“You’re supposed to asleep, old man,” Bolton said.

“And you look like you need it more than I do,” the elder Bolton shot back. “You look worse than I do son. You’ve got another bad case, worse than Parker from what Kiner told me.”

“Pretty much.”

Nick Bolton sat up a little and looked his son in the eye.

“You’ll get him son,” he said. “He’s been lucky so far, but he’ll slip up soon enough.”

“I know dad,” Mac said. “What scares me is how many more he’ll kill before he slips up enough for us to catch him. But for now, you go back to sleep.”

“I will if you will.”

“That’s my next stop,” Bolton told his father as he stood up. “A few hours sleep, then I’m going to try to grab a quick dinner with Lisa.”

Nick Bolton quickly reached up and gently grabbed his son’s arm.

“You ever gonna get around to marrying that girl, son?”

“Working on it Dad,” Bolton said, covering his father’s hand with his own. “Just as soon as I can find enough time between major cases.”

“Make the time son,” the old man said, lying back in back and quickly drifting off to sleep. “Make the time.”

“I will dad, I promise,” he whispered before leaving the room.

Ten minutes later, Mac Bolton was sound asleep on his own couch, but it wasn’t a peaceful sleep. His dreams all began with him and Lisa together in a peaceful park and they all ended with nightmare visions of mutilated women riding the iridescent tail of comets in the sky above, each calling out for him to join them.

* * * * *

This cleansing was proceeding smoother than ever before. Over halfway completed and no interference yet from outside forces. Still, there was one who presented a problem, one who might unwittingly interfere with the holy task. Before that could be allowed to occur, action would be taken to permanently remove the threat.

* * * * *

He’d only intended to sleep for a couple of hours, but he must have rolled over and turned off the alarm in his sleep. He was awake, but it was now past eight and the sun had set two hours ago. After a quick shower and a change of clothes, Bolton was starting to feel human again. Before he could grab something to eat or give Lisa a call, his phone rang. He could hear Kiner bellowing at him long before the receiver reached his ear.

“Where in blazes have you been Bolton?” snapped Kiner. “Our friend has paid us another visit, we’ve just got a report of another victim in the park. Get down there, right now.”

It took over an hour, catching BART back to his car and then out to the newest crime scene. CSU was already working the scene and Bolton quickly found Sanchez first, not wanting to look at the figure lying under the black tarp anytime soon.

“What have we got so far,” he asked the tech, who was looking like she’d aged ten years in the past four days.

“Um, not much more than the others,” Sanchez replied, looking uncomfortable with the conversation.

“What does that mean, Sanchez?” Bolton asked, confused by the woman’s attitude. “Do we know the name of our vic yet?”

Sanchez did not answer, but merely bent over the covered body of the eighth victim and lifted away the covering.

It was Inspector Townsell. A single knife wound to the chest and the damned carving on her forehead confirming the identity of her killer.

“How the hell did this happen?” Bolton rasped, forgetting that just days before, he had considered Townsell a likely suspect. But before Sanchez could answer, a pair of men in long, black overcoats that screamed out Internal Affairs approached them.

“Inspector Bolton,” the taller of the two men said as they both flashed their badges. “Sergeants Cooper and Baker, IA. Can we have a word?”

“I’m in the middle of another murder investigation gentleman,” Bolton replied tersely, as he heard Sanchez walk away from the three men. “You’ll have to wait until I get back to the office.”

“I’m afraid that’s not good enough, Inspector,” Cooper said as the shorter Baker quickly stepped behind Bolton. “You can come along quietly or we can arrest you right here.”

“Arrest me?” Bolton exclaimed. “On what charge.”

“Suspicion of murder, Inspector,” Baker said coldly. “Ten counts of cold-blooded murder.”

 

*     *     *     *     *

Like what you’ve read so far? Be sure and sign up for Richard’s newsletter, “Postcards From Infinity“, and if you’d like to become a patron you can do so right here. Any amount you choose will be appreciated and will help keep this blog, these weekly serials and Richard’s podcast, “A Scribe’s Journey” up and running. Thank you for reading and for your support.

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Books 3 & 4 of the Timeless Series

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up copies of my Space Opera/Steampunk/Time-traveling Space Pirates novella series yet, you really should correct the oversight.

The Timeless (Book #1) and Secret of the Sphinx (Book #2) are out and available in print and e-book formats across several platforms. (Links below)

The next two books are scheduled for release very soon. Odin’s Runes (Book #3) will come out around Thanksgiving Day and Empire of the Golden Dragon (Book #4) will be released around Christmas Day. Check out the recently finished covers:

odins runes copy

empire copy

 

The final two books of the series – Blackbeard’s Treasure (#5) and The Last Quest (#6) – should be out before spring of 2020. They are loads of fun to read and suitable for readers as young as age 10 that will also be enjoyable to readers as old as 110.

Here’s the links for the two books currently available. You can get The Timeless for $0.99 as an e-book while Secret of the Sphinx is currently $1.99. Print copies go for $7.99 each:

 

1564615499The Timeless E-Book Amazon

The Timeless Print Format

The Timeless E-Book Other Platforms

 

 

 

1564615766

 

Secret of the Sphinx E-Book Amazon

Secret of the Sphinx Print Format

Secret of the Sphinx E-Book Other Platforms

 

In Case You Were Wondering About Yesterday…

You might have noticed this post yesterday: Dear Wayback Machine and have been wondering what prompted it.

Well, it goes back to our good friend ChinaMike, the Lord of the House of 770 Vile Aromas, and his many minions (Camelflop, Frau Butthurt and others). They like to cherry-pick authors websites – usually in an attempt to attack said author by taking said cherry-picked portion of his or her website out of context. By not linking directly to the site this bars the ability to examine the rest of the website and getting an accurate read on the author in question.

China_Mike-ExposedIn ChinaMike’s case it also reveals a little bit of his character. He is such a creature of website traffic he once had Chinese Web Bots coming to his site to artificially inflate his traffic hits. He was called on it when he posted a screenshot of his traffic numbers that showed 92.7% of his hits were coming from China. (Pictured)

Since then, his numbers are well below what they once were. But he seems to think everyone else sits and worries about their website numbers too. Actually, most don’t. We’re too busy writing books or creating other sci-fi/fantasy media and selling them to worry about that. So he uses the Internet Archive to cherry-pick while – he thinks – hurting the target by denying them clicks on their site.

So I got the idea yesterday that since I have copyrighted material on my site, I have the legal standing to contact Internet Archive and serve them a DMCA to remove any and all instances of my website from their service. I did so, professionally, and they responded very professionally and agreed to do so after I proved that I was the legal owner of my website.

If they want to link to something on our sites, they will do so to the actual sites. No more Wayback Machine links.

Screenshot (19)

Yesterday’s post was one of the options I was given to prove to their satisfaction that I had the right to make the request. I could have chosen a more private method, but this one served a second purpose.

It served public notice to ChinaMike and his minions that they could no longer do this, sets a precedent for me to contact their individual ISPs and request that they remove any mention of my website on these individuals websites for the same reason and, I hope, serves as a road map for other authors who have been similarly targeted.

It is time we took away these toys from these Internet brats until they grow up enough to use them properly.