MERCURY FALLS by Robert Kroese
Rob, aka Diesel, is one of the newer members of the Book Roast team, but his style and brand of humor have made him fit right in! We've appreciated his help and support, and think he has a darn good book! Plus, he uses his wicked computer skills to keep Google, Inc. up and running. Without further ado, let's sit back and peek inside the briefcase...
It's the end of the world – again – and this time Christine Temetri is paying attention.
Signs of the Apocalypse? Yawn. The End of Days? Please. In case of rapture, please leave a message. Years of covering the antics of End Times cults for The Banner, a religious news magazine, have left Christine not only jaded but seriously questioning her career choice.
That is, until she meets Mercury, an anti-establishment angel who’s frittering his time away whipping up batches of Rice Krispy Treats and perfecting his ping-pong backhand instead of doing his job: helping to orchestrate Armageddon. With the end near and angels and demons debating the finer political points of the Apocalypse, Christine and Mercury accidentally foil an attempt to assassinate one Karl Grissom, a thirty-seven-year-old film school dropout about to make his big break as the Antichrist.
Meanwhile, fundamentalist firebrand Harold Giddings has heard The Call: denounce Karl to the world and unleash the Apocalypse. But was it God or the devil who dialed his number?
Christine’s betting her soul that Harold got his wires crossed. Now, to save the world, she's got to outsmart Harold, negotiate the byzantine bureaucracies of Heaven and Hell, and convince the apathetic Mercury to take a stand, all the while putting up with the obnoxious mouth-breathing Antichrist.
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Excerpt from MERCURY FALLS
The Antichrist was clearly out of his element.
All that was really expected of him was to cut the ceremonial ribbon in front of the newest Charlie’s Grill, but he was having difficulty with the giant ceremonial scissors. Finally, he bit into an edge with his teeth and tore the ribbon the rest of the way. Red-faced and drenched with sweat in the 100 degree heat, he muttered an obscenity and stomped off.
The crowd cheered this display of mildly Satanic behavior.
“The Antichrist, Karl Grissom!” shouted a diminutive man who had presumably been standing next to Karl the entire time.
The crowd clapped politely for the Antichrist and the man they assumed was the Antichrist’s dwarf henchman, but was, in fact, the director of marketing for Charlie’s Grill, Inc. The dwarf henchman marketing director proceeded to hand out free cheeseburgers while the Antichrist made his way to the parking lot. A local high school marching band began to play a jazzed up version of the Charlie Nix movie theme.
Behind a line of police tape, in the parking lot of the Burger Giant next door, a group of several dozen protesters held signs with slogans like “Pray for Karl Grissom” and “Karl Grissom GO TO HELL.” Despite their lack of both logical consistency and complimentary cheeseburgers, they were a spirited group.
Having fulfilled his contractual obligations as Antichrist, Karl plodded through the crowd toward his mother’s Saturn. This whole business was getting a little old. He had half a mind just to call it quits. And at this point he didn’t even know about the man with a high-powered rifle who was lying in wait on the roof of the Burger Giant.
The man’s name was Danny Pilvers. Danny was wearing army camouflage and had his cross-hairs trained on Karl Grissom, the Antichrist. As Danny was on the opposite side of the roof from the crowd and was making a point of being very still, no one seemed to have noticed him.
Danny’s hands shook, not because he was afraid, but because he was angry. He was angry with Karl the Antichrist. He was angry with Katie Midford and her dwarf henchmen. He was angry with Charlie Nix, despite the fact that Charlie Nix was only a twelve year old boy, and a fictional one at that. Danny was angry at all of these people because he believed that they made a tapestry of religion. Hadn’t the angels told him so?
The angels had not, in fact, told him so. What they had said was “travesty.” In fact, they had repeated it several times. “A travesty,” they said. “A travesty of religion.” Finally they had given up, satisfied that Danny understood the gist of what they were saying.
Danny took a deep breath, trying to steady his hands. “A tapestry of religion,” he muttered, and flicked off the gun’s safety.
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