About this project
This isn’t one of them.
Now Pen’s socialite mother is drinking even more than usual, and her supermodel sister is depressed, even though her latest ad for Interface is still trending on interFacebook.
That’s why Pen is making a pilgrimage to the flagship store. The fact that it’s just in time for their latest release party has absolutely nothing to do with it. At least that’s what she tells her mother.
Interface is releasing a security webcam called the inSight. They’re giving away thousands of inSights for free. Better yet, they're throwing a huge release party at their flagship store in New York City.
It's not like this is her first time. Everyone knows the Nowens are loaded. She tells her kidnappers she’ll pay the ransom, but they say they don’t want her money. They want her help breaking into Interface.
Paul started twirling the knife between his fingers and promptly dropped it. “I’m pretty sure it’s her.”
“Pretty sure isn’t good enough,” said the Christian. “Thou shalt not kill. Unless thou hast a really good reason.”
Another Neo Amish put his hands on his hips. There was a cross on the back of his jacket, but it was upside down. Even I knew that.
“I thought we talked about this,” he said. “Just because they’re your commandments doesn’t mean-”
“How about you drop the knife again, and let the girl go?”
A group of people were standing in the entrance to the parking garage. The one who’d spoken was an old man. His hair and beard were gray, except where nicotine had turned them yellow. He had to be at least sixty, but he was wearing a Disneyland T-shirt. His beer belly had turned Sleeping Beauty’s castle into a duplex.
He would’ve looked like he'd just come back from a vacation with his large and motley family if it weren’t for the gun. Family vacations always made me want to kill someone, but I'd never actually packed a gun.
There was a lot of infighting between different factions of Neo Amish. The Jews didn’t get along with the Christians, and the Scientologists didn’t get along with anyone. There were some neighborhoods where wearing the wrong colors could get you shot. Neo Amish had always been big on the Second Amendment.
“We’ve got company,” said the Christian.
Paul waved the toast knife. “I’ll get out the fine china.”
“That would have worked so much better if you had a ceramic knife,” said the man with the gun. “Now then. Let's not make this complicated. Toast knife at a gun fight and all that. It's not worth it. How much did you think you were gonna’ get for her, anyway? Hans Nowen has been dead for seven years, and people like the Nowens think a budget is a kind of bird.”
Paul looked put out. “We weren't going to demand a ransom. This is a righteous cause. We're doing this in the name of God.”
“Uh huh. Well, I think maybe God changed his mind about this particular righteous cause. Why don't you ask him? We'll wait.”
The Christian put his hand on Paul’s shoulder and squeezed.
“It's not our place to question God's will,” he said. “Let's go.”
Paul dropped the toast knife again, and the Neo Amish exited the parking garage, staying as far as possible from the man with the gun.
Which left him pointing it at me.
“Thanks,” I said. When he didn't move, I added, “You can put the gun down now.”
Instead, he picked up the knife.
“Ross,” he said.
A boy stepped forward. He had holes in his jeans and hair longer than mine. He looked like the guys I went to school with, except he probably hadn’t spent twenty minutes trying to get the perfect bedhead or paid Levi's to rip his jeans for him.
He also had an inBook. I didn’t recognize the model, but it was definitely a computer. They weren’t Neo Amish.
“Put her in the van,” said Sol.
This is just concept art, but illustration is one of my stretch goals.
I'm a writer, who lives in Portland, Oregon, with my cat and social anxiety. My short stories have been published in RAIN, Pathos and Dream People and won awards in the 2012 Ooligan Write to Publish contest and the 2013 Wordstock contest.
Some of my short stories can be found on my author website.
Your support will pay for editing, printing, and formatting for print and digital versions, rewards, ISBNs, taxes, and fees.
My funding goal is based on a plan to minimize production costs by publishing print-on-demand, but the more you contribute, the better the final product will be.
Since I'm planning to publish through both CreateSpace and Smashwords the digital copies will be available in DRM-free mobi, epub and pdf formats, and the print copies will be paperback. Below are mockups of the book and sticker. These are subject to change for the better if stretch goals are met.
Stretch goals include illustrations, hardcover editions, professional cover art, an LCCN for inclusion in libraries, Goodreads giveaways, and extra rewards for backers.
Risks and challenges
Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so you won’t be charged unless my funding goal is met. If my funding goal is met, the challenges are minimal, because the books are already written.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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