Wargrave Island (Serial Story) Part 3

List of Characters | Part 1| Part 2

They had just placed James’s body in the same room as the burnt canoe when all three of their phones rang.

Riko brushed her short black hair behind her ear and looked down at the screen incredulously

“Allison R has invited you to a LiveStream on Konect-EDTM” read her screen.

“What the hell? I thought she was dead?” Doctor Abe Harker gave a confused glance at the canoe.

“How’d she get my number? Wait… I don’t have signal. What the hell?” asked Ethan. He’d clicked on ok and Riko could see a countdown clock with fifteen minutes left.

Riko put her phone away and said, “If we got this, everyone else will have too. We should go before they panic.”

“Screw them, I’m panicking already,” Abe trembled as he spoke.

On the way to the staircase, they didn’t trust the elevator, they met up with Zane and Blane. “Riko!” they exclaimed in unison and pulled her into a group hug. The two had been inseparable in high school and they’d been teased mercilessly; called every form of homophobic insult until Zane came out. The teasing transformed into whispers and rumour. Despite everything, Blane had stayed firm in his friendship with Zane. In senior year they’d announced they were a couple. The whispers turned into bullying. Riko had been enraged by the way they were treated and had gotten into multiple fights before they’d asked her to just ignore it. When the two were married, a few years later, she’d been part of the wedding party.

“I know that look. What’s wrong?” Zane’s sharp nose and bright eyes looked down on her after the hug.

“James is dead and someone else was killed.” Riko was blunt but it was the best way.

“Good riddance. Who’s the ‘someone else’?” Blane’s sandy blond hair contrasted with his naturally tanned skinned and dark eyes.

“We thought it was Allison but…” Abe lifted his phone with the countdown on it and shrugged.

They walked the rest of the way to the ballroom without speaking.

When they arrived the whole group was there except for Jonathan.

“He went to the kitchen. Said he needed some ‘grub’. He’s really stuck in the past.” Zoe made air quotes around the word “grub”.

“That man is completely useless,” Missy enunciated clearly as if she was in parliament. “Screw him, What about this?” She held up her phone with a little over five minutes left in the countdown. Behind her well controlled disgust, she was barely hiding her panic.

Calmly Riko said, “Let’s all head to the kitchen together and we’ll take the call there.” As the ten of them walked across the lobby to the small attached dining room and kitchen Riko expected to see Jonathan dead. To her mixed relief and annoyance he was sitting on a stool in the dining room watching a large screen with the same countdown as their phones. He was munching down on a large bag of chips.

“Oh, hey guys. Looks like Teacher’s pet is still alive.” Jonathan used Allison’s high school nick name. He’d given it to her personally when she’d rejected him in junior year. He then started a rumour she’d been having an affair with their computers teacher, Mr. Trevors. He’d been straight out of teachers college.

Riko was embarrassed to remember that she’d believed the rumours. She wasn’t alone and they spread to the teachers and the parents. Mr. Trevors was fired for the affair despite both him and Allison saying it didn’t exist.

On the table next to Jonathan was a big bowl with ice, a dozen glasses, and a variety of drinks, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic.

Ethan reached over and prepared himself a drink of rum and coke on the rocks. Seeing Riko watching him he said, “What? We’re not on duty.” He said it with a smirk that made her insides tingle.

Taking their cue from him, they all fixed themselves drinks of one sort or the other in the glasses. Riko took a bottle of water and just held on to it.

“This better be good,” Missy mumbled. Sitting at the far end of the table she filled her glass with ice and poured a bottle of water over it. She looked ready for a tough business meeting at the end of the table in a comfy chair.

When the countdown ended, they were all sipping their drinks quietly. Allison’s face with a background of books, as if she were in a library, appeared on the screen. She hadn’t changed at all from high school. “If you’re getting this I’m most likely dead.” Everyone started talking at once, but quieted down when Allison continued, “The good news is one of you is my killer. The bad news is you’re trapped here.” Allison looked up, as if she was looking at something beyond the camera and asked, “Is that ok?”

The video cut to a blank screen and a computerized voice started saying, “Twelve naughty kittens all trapped on an island. They’re all going to die for certain. The first betrayed love for cash; now she’s ash. To violence and hate the second clung; now he’s hung.” The words appeared and stayed on the screens.

“That’s twisted,” laughed Jonathan.

“Oh shit. We’re all going to die,” Zoe fell from her chair and started hyperventilating. “We’re going to die, we’re going to die.” She kept repeating the words and Abe went to her to help with the panic attack.

Ethan moved closer to Riko and gave her a solemn look. Zane took her hand. If someone was really trying to kill them they needed to find out who it was. Riko wouldn’t put murder past most of them, unfortunately, but this was one step beyond. It was scarily premeditated.

Looking up at the screen again Riko noticed that another line had been added.

Twelve naughty kittens all trapped on an island; they’re all going to die for certain.
The first betrayed love for cash; now she’s ash.
To violence and hate the second clung; now he’s hung
To gossip the third fixated; now she’s been asphyxiated.

The only other person still looking at the screen was Missy. Riko recognized the signs of anaphylaxis; Missy’s skin was puffy and eyes bloodshot. Missy’s throat had closed and she’d suffocated while everyone had been fixated on Zoe.

Her dead eyes still stared at the screen with terror.
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Wargrave Island (Serial Story) List of Characters

Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11

Sergeant Ethan Avalon

The only person who came as a plus one he is Riko’s police partner of six years. In his mid-thirties with a casual surfer look he’s often mistaken as innocent or non-threatening. He’s always been supportive of Riko and she has a huge crush on him that she won’t admit to herself.

Inspector Riko Dulac

Youngest Inspector in Ottawa Police history, she was the quiet geeky student who was often teased for being the only Asian in her class.

Abe Harker

He was an outcast in high school due to his high intellect and inability to understand the other students. His cape and obsession with old monster movies didn’t help. The same qualities that made him an outcast game him the tools to be a great surgeon. He still loves old horror movies.

Kate Irondale

The perfect sports person, she won all the awards Arun didn’t. She had a huge crush on him until her accident. She was hit by a car and lost the use of her legs. She and Arun didn’t speak much after.

She went on to compete in multiple sporting events in her chair and is considered one of Canada’s best wheelchair racers. She’s a wedding planner and has been happily married for five years. She’s the only one on the island to have children.

James Grant

Sandrine’s best friend and toady; he was known as Fat Jeff in high school. After getting caught in university selling drugs for Sandrine, he spent some time in jail. He spent his five years in prison learning all he could about writing screenplays and moved to L.A. where he had minor success writing and met his wife; Rani Grant, a famous Bollywood actress trying to make it in Hollywood.

Zoe Green

Online video personality and psychologist, was one of the first vloggers. She used her show in high school as a way of dealing with the stress and transitioned it into an educational program about mental health and fashion.

Zane and Blane Gunn-Gonzalez

Zane and Blane were inseparable throughout high school. When Zane came out as gay everyone expected Blane to stop hanging out with him but he kept saying he didn’t care. In senior year Blane came out as Zane-sexual, as he called it. The two have been happily married for eight years and are trying to adopt.

Arun Lazenby

Won almost every sports trophy in high school and was one of the most popular kids. He and Zoe were voted prom king and queen but he competed and hung out with Kate most of the time. Drafted into the NHL and played for two seasons before a leg injury ended his career. He did a few commercials before becoming a male model.

Jonathan Mayor

A recently divorced professional, he was known as the class clown and partier. He us convinced the he ran over Kate while drunk in high school but drove away before anyone knew. The guilt feeds his alcoholism and false bravado.

Sandrine Morin

The terror of her high school, she was the perfect bully. Her bullying helped to hide some of her less legal activities. She was known to be able to get anything, for a price.

She graduated and went on to run her own construction business as a front for a burgeoning criminal empire.

Allison Rickards

A tech billionaire she found a way of using small portions of users computers to solve scientific and technological problems. TorrentSolve gave everyone who’s machine helped, a portion of the proceeds. Within one year of operations it had solved multiple issues and made Allison a billionaire.

In high school she was the quiet girl that everyone forgot was in the room. She spent most of her time reading non-fiction historical novels and playing with hardware and software.

Melisa “Missy” Quinn

Student body president and the schools biggest gossip Missy was efficient and ruthless. No one was surprised when she went into politics and became an MP. Intense by nature but always fair.

Details on the publishing of my books

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Publishing my Books

This month I’ve received two publishing contracts for books I’ve submitted. They will be published by Renaissance Press!

Renaissance Press

Check out their website and like their Facebook page!

You’ll hear about any updates as I get them. I’m ridiculously excited!!!

They are a local Ottawa press that has existed for just under 3 years old and have roughly half a dozen authors in their catalogue and have also been publishing card games.

I’ve been constantly impressed by their professionalism and I look forward to working with them.

A Study in Aether

Release Date: 2016

This is the first book in the Elizabeth Investigates Series or Baker City Chronicles (Series title to be discussed with the publisher.) I’m hoping they’ll be interested in publishing the next ones in the series.

The Series will hopefully consist of:

  • Memories of Faust (Completed Second Draft),
  • A Case of Synchronicity (Completed First Draft),
  • The Hounds of Bakerville (Completed Outline),
  • The Camp of Fear (Completed Outline), and
  • 2-4 more untitled novels.

This is all hopeful thinking. The publisher has only picked up the first one and I’ve only written the first three.

Parasomnia (Working Tittle)

Release Date: Hopefully 2017

This is a stand-alone book and needs some serious re-writes which the publisher has gratefully offered to help with.

Serial Story

You have until 11:59 tomorrow night to cast your vote for this year’s Serial Story.

What story should move on to the last round?

  • Wargrave Island (38%, 3 Votes)
  • The Ruby Child (38%, 3 Votes)
  • Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens (25%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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The stories listed below with their first paragraphs.

Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Scifi
Inspiration: Neverwhere

The café was full. Sandra had placed her backpack on the chair next to her pretending that she was saving it for someone. She had her headphones on, she had her phone on the arm of the plush chair and she had a paperback book in her hand. She wanted to be left alone to drink her overpriced and unpronounceable coffee. Her headphones were wireless and she wasn’t listening to music.

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Wargrave Island

Genre: Murder Mystery
Inspiration: And Then There Were None

“Best Party Ever!” yelled Jonathan. His hair was thinning and starting to go grey, but he was unmistakable.

“Remind me why I came?” Riko asked her partner Ethan.

“Because this is your ten year high school reunion and you’re the youngest person to make Inspector in Ottawa police history.” Ethan smiled proudly, looking at the quickly approaching island.

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The Ruby Child

Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Inspiration: Firefly

It was the middle of the night and darker than Mac was used too. When the clouds covered the stars in the rural islands there were no magical or electric lamps. It wasn’t the first time he’d wished he could use a magical torch or those fancy darkvision glasses but magic didn’t work on or around him. He just kept following the speck of light ahead.

Read More

 

Thanks for reading!

Éric

Serial Story 2016 Battle Royal – Round 2 – First Paragraphs

Hello,

In the previous round The Cosmic Cuckoos was eliminated. This poll will last until Wednesday the 27th, at 11:59 pm. Vote quickly if you want your favorite story.

What story should move on to the last round?

  • Wargrave Island (38%, 3 Votes)
  • The Ruby Child (38%, 3 Votes)
  • Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens (25%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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The remaining competitors are listed below with their first paragraphs.

Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Scifi
Inspiration: Neverwhere

The café was full. Sandra had placed her backpack on the chair next to her pretending that she was saving it for someone. She had her headphones on, she had her phone on the arm of the plush chair and she had a paperback book in her hand. She wanted to be left alone to drink her overpriced and unpronounceable coffee. Her headphones were wireless and she wasn’t listening to music.

Read More

Wargrave Island

Genre: Murder Mystery
Inspiration: And Then There Were None

“Best Party Ever!” yelled Jonathan. His hair was thinning and starting to go grey, but he was unmistakable.

“Remind me why I came?” Riko asked her partner Ethan.

“Because this is your ten year high school reunion and you’re the youngest person to make Inspector in Ottawa police history.” Ethan smiled proudly, looking at the quickly approaching island.

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The Ruby Child

Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Inspiration: Firefly

It was the middle of the night and darker than Mac was used too. When the clouds covered the stars in the rural islands there were no magical or electric lamps. It wasn’t the first time he’d wished he could use a magical torch or those fancy darkvision glasses but magic didn’t work on or around him. He just kept following the speck of light ahead.

Read More

Who will win? Murder Mystery, Urban Fantasy/Scifi, or Fantasy Adventure?

Éric

Choose a Serial Story for 2016 (And some coffee news)

2016 Serial Story

Below is a list of possible Serial stories. PLEASE VOTE in the poll after the descriptions. The polls will be open for 2 weeks and I’ll announce the winner on the 26th of January and start the story in February.

[Edit: Poll will close at midnight January 20th. The lowest story will be eliminated.]

Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens

An Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction, following a faery woman who must do one last job for her robot overlords before they let her go free. Can she stop the aliens from invading or would they be better than the robots?

Read the First Part

The Cosmic Cuckoos

A Science Fiction adventure, following a girl who is trying to save her friend from becoming just another clone warrior. Can a normal human girl really save her friend from the most powerful empire in the galaxy?

Read the First Part

Wargrave Island

A Detective Mystery set on an island in lake Ontario, my homage to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christy. Can Detective Riko find whose killing her high school classmates and who will be left alive when the boat comes back for them? It’s going to be a straight mystery with no supernatural or fantastic elements.

Read the First Part

The Ruby Child

An Adventure Fantasy that borders on Steampunk. Mac was a decorated soldier of the Empire who left the army and became an airship pirate. He and his trusted crew think they have the perfect way to stick it to the Empire, steal a magical ruby they’ve been protecting. It’s a trap set by Mac’s ex-best friend General Lanthier. Neither side could predict what happens when Mac touches the ruby.

Read the First Part

What do you want 2016's Serial Story to be?

  • Wargrave Island (57%, 4 Votes)
  • The Ruby Child (29%, 2 Votes)
  • Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens (14%, 1 Votes)
  • The Cosmic Cuckoos (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Coffee Voting Results

Last month, I asked you to choose what coffee would become the Core JenEric Coffee flavours, those that will always be available at conventions.

Here are your core flavours:

  • Jack Coco’neill – light Roast with Coconut flavouring
  • Davroast – Medium Roast with Chocolate Flavouring
  • Raktajino – Dark Roast with Cinnamon

Here are a few other questions you were awesome enough to answer:

  • On decaf, 60% said no… It may be something I look into if I can keep the same price point but for now it’s a No!
  • On grinders, 40% said no and 27% said maybe, this could be something we can do but I need it to be cheap and extra geeky.
  • On unflavoured coffee, 50% said yes and 21% said no… Not sure what to do with that… I’ll keep it in mind for now.

 

Thank you again for all your help!

Éric

Wargrave Island – 2016 Serial Story Option

“Best Party Ever!” yelled Jonathan. His hair was thinning and starting to go grey, but he was unmistakable.

“Remind me why I came?” Riko asked her partner Ethan.

“Because this is your ten year high school reunion and you’re the youngest person to make Inspector in Ottawa police history.” Ethan smiled proudly, looking at the quickly approaching island.

His pride was something she appreciated. Most men’s egos were too fragile to handle their female partners being promoted ahead of them.

“So how are you doing? I’m a lawyer you know.” Jonathan was drunk and they hadn’t reached the island yet. He pressed himself against her and she pushed him away.

They were on a nice sized yacht that was taking them to Wargrave Island; a small island in Lake Ontario which had some top notch facilities for high end events. It was overly expensive, but apparently Allison, the school nerd, had made it big with some sort of wearable tech invention.

“Jonny, piss off. You’re drunk.” Riko couldn’t stand the man when he had been a sober high school student. Now she was fighting the urge to throw him overboard. He was easily three times her size, but he was drunk. When he grabbed her ass, she punched him in his side hard enough to hurt, but not enough to have him pissing blood the next day.

He called her a few nasty names before saying, “Who invited the buzzkill.” He walked away from her looking grumpy until he saw Zoe. She had been the popular girl at school. The pretty one who all the guys, and some girls, wanted and none of them could get close. Riko’s facebook stalking showed her that Zoe had graduated from a prestigious University in Psychology and had gone on to do educational videos online.

“Thanks for the help, ‘Partner’.” Riko glared at Ethan. His sandy brown hair and scruffy beard made him look more like a beach bum or hipster than a police sergeant. He was large and everything about the way he moved and talked screamed, “I am not a threat.” It was half an act and half a lifestyle.

“I was ready to jump in and save you,” he paused before laughing and adding, “from throwing him overboard.”

The smell of the lake, a combination of fish and clean air, wafted over the deck as the boat slowed down and blew its horn three short blasts.

Everyone, Jonathan, Zoe, Ethan, Riko, Abe, and Arun, gathered on the deck.

“You didn’t tell me you had an underwear model in your class.” Ethan whispered gesturing towards Arun. He was the athelete of their class. He had gotten a huge scholarship to play hockey for an American College and Riko had lost track of him. His lush black hair was cut short now, but other than that he still looked the same as last time she’d seen him, powerful muscles hiding under tight dark caramel skin. Riko tried not to blush.

It was odd to see Abe without his cloak. He had always been a little odd, always wearing a dark cloak and making obscure, often inappropriate, geeky jokes. He’d been teased and called Dracula. He had been harmless and awkward. She hadn’t heard anything about him since high school. He seemed to have traded his cape for a smart looking vest and tieless dress shirt. He looked less like Dracula and more like Benedict Cumberbatch.

The ship docked and they all disembarked. The island was dominated by a large building. It was a beautiful turn of the century house that would feel at home in Avonlea. The only difference being it was four stories high and there was some sort of techno-remix of the Backstreet Boys playing.

“Yeah. Let’s get wasted!” yelled Jonathan obnoxiously.

After the last person got off the ship, the crew untied the ship and drove back to the mainland. “That’s the only boat on the island?” Riko pointed at a canoe that was on the beach. She didn’t like the idea of being trapped here.

“It’s only one night. They said the boat would come back tomorrow morning to pick everyone up.” Zoe’s overly chipper words sounded forced and certainly didn’t make Riko any less comfortable. She checked her cellphone and it had full bars, which did reassure her.

The lobby of the hotel was a stark contrast to its exterior. Everything was clean modern marble. The lobby was a hexagon where none of the six walls were the same length or height. The wall furthest from the entrance had an elevator and open-air staircase going up. On the wall behind a black stone counter was a banner saying, “Welcome Trudeau High, Class of 2006.”

There was a large television on the wall below the banner and it cycled between three screens. The first said there were drinks and food in the grand ballroom, the second had twelve names and room numbers, and the third had a collage of pictures from highschool.

“Is that everyone who could make it?” asked Zoe, disgusted.

They were all on the second floor and there was enough room for everyone to have a room of their own. Riko and Ethan had connecting rooms. In her room, she took off her regular clothing, stored her gun in the safe, and pulled out her dress. It was a sparkly purple dress that went to her ankles. It had a slit on the left side that went to her mid-thigh.

She was part way through doing her makeup when Ethan knocked on the connecting door. It was a hard and almost panicked knock.

Opening the door she didn’t get a chance to ask anything, he just pushed passed her and opened the curtains in her room. Floating towards the shore, was a large canoe or small boat and it was on fire.

The flames reflected on the calm surface of Lake Ontario, giving the impression that they were bigger than they seemed.

Running out of the room, Riko and Ethan grabbed a pair of fire extinguishers from the hallway. Not wanting to wait for the elevator, they ran down the single story flight of stairs and out the front entrance. The hill to the beach wasn’t steep, but she was happy to have slipped on her flats on the way out of her room.

The boat gently washed onto the beach. In her dress, the heat from the flames was intense in the cool night. As strong as the flames were, they weren’t a match for the fire extinguishers.

“What happened?” asked Jonathan, drunkenly staggering towards them, trying to get to the boat.

“What’s in there?” asked Zoe, who was followed by the rest of the party guests who must have seen the fire.

Riko tried to keep them back, but Jonathan made it past her and yelled, “Oh shit, there’s a dead body in there!”

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