“Is… Is that you, Michael?”
The sickly, shaky voice came from a pale husk of a man lying on a hospital bed in front of me. I hadn’t noticed how much weight he’d lost up until now, how old he’d gotten. It seemed like he’d aged overnight, but it wasn’t so. The cancer had been eating him from within for years now, insidiously, until one day there hadn’t been enough of him to stand upright. He just went working, never once complaining about pain or anything else, until the moment he collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital.
It was his voice that got to me. My father’s voice used to be like a force of nature. Whether he used it to sing or sway a potential customer, or for something less benign, such as cursing and shouting at me or mom, it had always been so powerful, so… indisputable.
Now, machines beeped and sighed, as if to punctuate his feeble attempt at talking.
The man that came to Plano with only a shirt on his back and managed to build a small empire just by his blood, sweat and tears, now laid on a hospital bed, pissing himself and not recognizing his own son. But maybe it was because the son was not worth recognizing.
“No, dad, it’s… It’s me, it’s Dave.”
“Oh… Where… Where is Michael?”
“He couldn’t come. He had something he had to do.”
Dad coughed weakly.
“Oh, of course. He has… He has a lot to think about. His projects and the press… He’s doing a lot of important work, you know?”
“I know, dad,” I answered. But then, I couldn’t refrain myself and adding. “He had more important things to do.”
It went on the same way the second time he had woken up after chemo. And the third… But after the fifth time, he stopped asking for Michael. I couldn’t help it. I gloated.
Michael called on FaceTime occasionally, but most of the time it was when dad was out of it and couldn’t talk.
“How is he?” he inquired, with a worried look on his perfectly symmetrical face, framed by dark, conditioned locks.
“Come and see yourself,” is what I wanted to say, but I stopped myself. It was not the time for being snide. No, I had to play my cards right.
“Bad. It’s… Pretty bad. He’s stable, but the state of him… It’s hard to watch. He’s lost weight, and hair, and.. The smell… It’s hard keeping your lunch down. It’s sad, really sad, I tell ya. It’s sad to remember him like this… What a man he was…”
I thought of everything I could do to deter my older brother from coming. Since he had little will to come in the first place, it wasn’t a particularly hard task. The poor sap suspected nothing. So sure of the fact that his position of a sole heir was set in stone, he never even considered the implications of my role as a guardian-nurse. And I used every one of those moments to implant whispers of doubt into dad’s ears. Also, my role in his firm shifted from helper/desk clerk to an acting director; neither of us was happy about it, but at least dad was grateful. He loved his company more than he loved me, anyway.
Eventually, the hospital bills began ramping up, and the economically sound solution was to move dad home. And that’s what I did. The kids were somewhat distraught at first, but, being children, they soon stopped thinking about it and went back to their Pokémons and school assignments. Manny was of huge help, a real Samaritan wife, changing his diapers and IV drips, feeding and bathing him. She never complained, not once. I knew why, but I never mentioned it. Dad needed all the saints he could get right now, even the false ones.
It was the one thing I had that Michael did not: a family. A home, Christian home, with a wife and two children. Dad always spoke highly about the sanctity of family, and how it was the single most important thing in any man’s life. When Michael broke one engagement after another, he always said: “It’s ok. He’s just looking for the right one. He’ll get married come springtime, mark my words!”. But springtimes and girlfriends came and went, and Michael still never married. My family didn’t matter as long as Mike’s was right around the corner, but now, suddenly, my family was all my dad had. And he quickly began to realize that. At the same time, I realized how big of a hypocritical sack of shit he was.
When he was of clear mind, my father spoke to me with genuine affection for the first time in my (and his) life. He praised my life choices, my choice of wife (he finally forgave me for marrying a Mexican woman), saying that he was sorry about the way he always put me second, and that he was wrong for giving his all to Mike, when, in the end, he turned out to be so self-centered and uncaring. That was what he said when he was lucid. But he also spoke sometimes while feverish or under sedation. And then, he sang quite a different tune. Not knowing where he was or what time period he was in, he would laugh and curse.
“Good boy, Michael, my son, good boy! Go and travel and fuck and drink champagne and eat caviar! Fly high, my boy, fly high! Oh, how I wish I did the same, instead of marrying that horse-faced bitch who shat out nothing but ball and chain from her cunt! Oh, what I could’ve done, if only I didn’t marry! Instead of living the high-life, I have to spend every day watching my younger kid waste away into mediocracy, soiling my genes with a… wetback wife!”
Since hearing that, I no longer looked up to my father. Since then, I shifted all the enmity I had for my brother towards him, adding more on top. Since then, I started openly hating him. And my resolve for what I planned to do only hardened.
The smell of death and sickness soon started spreading through the house, going through the wooden pores, replacing all others. It reminded me of something from my childhood, back from when we still lived on the outskirts of town. I had a memory, a vague one, from when I couldn’t have been more than four years old, of dad coming home with a run-down hearse in tow.
“It was just lying there, by the road! There are some good parts in there! And I did the city a favor by getting rid of it!”
It was the beginning of his new business, one that eventually made him, and by proxy, us, relatively well-off. Soon, more wrecks came to join the first one. Dad stripped them for parts which he sold first from under his trench-coat and through anonymous ads, then on the internet, and lastly from his own local store. The skeleton of that hearse lay in our yard for years on, gradually disappearing, one metal bone after another. By the time we moved, it was all gone.
But I could never forget the way it smelled, or radiated perhaps. I didn’t even know what a hearse was back then, nor what death was exactly, but I knew that there was something wrong about that car.
But that was an old, half-forgotten memory. The smell in the house reminded me more of another affair, one much more recent and pressing. The damned, and I mean damned literally, the Malaby extension.
When my father’s business started picking up, some five or six years ago, he began thinking that one little store in the suburbs wasn’t enough, that he needed to start thinking big. He invested all of his savings into prime real-estate, a spacious site in a popular zone, right on the corner of Capital Avenue, where he planned to open a brand-new fancy car-part dealership. He was so into the idea we hardly even saw him. When we finally did see him, he said that the business is currently on hold, as he had to sign some contracts and get some permissions from the city council, but that it would be ready for a grand-opening any day. I actually bought a bottle of expensive champagne and put it on ice that afternoon.
But the contracts and permissions never went through. It wasn’t a big deal, as his old shop was still making money, but it seemed that every month there was something new that prevented the opening of his new store. Eventually, he decided to put the whole project on hold, and that the best way to use the newly bought property was as a storage room for the old and new wares that had piled up over the years.
That’s when the nightmare began. And that’s when he got sick, as we later found out.
It started as a phone call on a slow afternoon. Someone noticed that the lock on the shutter of the new store was broken, and somehow found out that dad was the owner.
“God-damn piece-of-shit town… Come here boy, you need to drive me, my pickup’s in the shop.”
True enough, the lock was broken, obviously forced; the shutters themselves were lifted about two feet from the ground. Something assaulted my nostrils, a sickly-sweet smell of rot. If it hadn’t been broad daylight on a relatively busy junction, I mightn't have dared to go in. But my dad was unshrinking, his rage carried him forward with a fiery step. He lifted the shutters.
The stench drove over us like a steamroller of death.
“Oh, what the fuck…” he mumbled, lifting the back of his hand to his nose. But he still proceeded inside. I had no choice but to follow.
We quickly realized that there were several people occupying the premises. Men and women, of different ages and skin color lay, sat, or leaned against the walls and boxes. One thing they had in common?… a lack of personal hygiene: the whole place stunk to high heaven. The floor was also packed: sleeping bags, plastic bags, duffel bags. Assorted garbage. Needles. Feces. It didn’t seem that anything was missing, though; all the boxes were still neatly packed, with the plastic sheets still over them, collecting dust and greasy fingerprints.
“Who… Who are you people? What the hell are you doing in my store? Get the fuck outta here, you bums! You losers! Git!” My dad raged.
Some of them began waddling out, without saying a word. But some of them, mostly the ones on the ground, didn’t move. My dad kicked the nearest bundle savagely. There was no reaction. It was like kicking a bag of sand.
“Don’t you hear me, you junkie fuck? I said, get up!”
“Dad,” I said, “I think this guy’s dead.”
We called the police. Altogether, there were four deceased on the property; the living had dispersed before the boys in blue arrived. The detective assigned to the case wanted to know who these people were, and what they were doing here, but dad outshouted him, threatened to sue the city for incompetence, as well as at least ten other things. When he asked them about what they were planning to do to prevent such things from repeating, a black, uniformed officer said: “Man, just get a better lock.”
And that’s what we did.
The autopsy showed that all four of the people had died from, to put it simply, natural causes: one overdose, one cardiac arrest, and two from previously sustained injuries. One of them, a middle-aged man, had half of a steering wheel lodged in his chest. How he even managed to get to dad’s store was a mystery. Anyway, since there was no evidence of a crime, and none of the people were in any way connected to our family (all of them were vagrants from different states, it appeared), there was no investigation. At that time, we accepted this as a good thing.
About a week later, it all happened again. Everyone was pissed: dad, neighbors, the authorities... A new, even stronger lock was installed.
“You need a better security system”, said the same cop. I don’t even like to remember what dad answered him.
After the third time, dad installed an industrial strength lock; we found it cut by an industrial strength tool ten days later. Only two dead people were inside this time.
“Someone’s out to get me! This is a set up! Well, I won’t be bullied! They can suck on a lemon! I don’t have time to waste on this, I need four more contracts signed! Listen, Dave, if anyone calls again, just ignore them. I don’t want to know anything unless something gets stolen, do you hear me?”
After that, he left for Dallas and I didn’t see him for months. The calls still came in, their message the same. I did my best to ignore them.
Soon, the local news crews got a whiff of the story. The store place was nicknamed “Damnation domicile”, and for a while it was the talk of the town. Our family name got dragged through the media mud, and I even got approached by a Hollywood director who wanted to buy the rights to make a horror movie out of it. These days I didn’t dare turn on the TV for fear my kids would hear some gruesome news pertaining to their family.
“Don’t you pay no mind,” dad said over the line. “When I’m finished with this, I’ll come pick up Michael. He’ll know how to deal with it. He’s smart, he’s got the know-how! Even more important, he’s connected!”
I knew exactly how Michael planned to deal with it: the same way I’d planned. The only difference was that Michael hoped to get his inheritance soon; he had expected that dad would get tired of the rat race and retire early, somewhere in Florida perhaps. I knew better, and I knew that no one would get any kind of inheritance before the old trooper was dead and buried. I just didn’t know how soon it would all happen.
I got a call one day, from a stranger, saying my dad was unwell. I didn’t take it seriously; I just thought that he had a sunstroke or low blood sugar or something like that. But the clinic was positive in its negativity: it was The Big C, no doubt about it. Spread its deadly tentacles all through the poor man. The doctor suggested chemo…
Since hearing him say all those disgusting things about mom and us in his sleep, I started growing some nasty thoughts of my own. I wanted to punish him somehow. I started thinking about making the rest of his life even more miserable, and sometimes, when I got particularly angry, I fantasized about just smothering him with a pillow while he slept. It would be so easy, I thought, and no one would ever find out. They’d wheel him out, just like one of the corpses from his store. But I never got the chance to fulfill any of my malevolent fantasies. The old bastard died calmly in his sleep, head full of opioid dreams. Manny found him while doing her morning round. She just closed his eyes, climbed down the stairs, sighed, and said: “It is over. He is gone.”
Michael came by the first flight. He acted sad and distraught, tie hanging loose and hair in disarray, but I could see him checking the calendar on his phone and turning corners to make calls every chance he had. No one cared about his charade, no more than about dad’s death. As soon as he realized this, he dropped the act.
The funeral and all about it were a haze. Michael and me invited people, paid the bills, organized the catering, did everything to make it end faster. The only ones remotely shaken by it were Gloria and Jake, asking a thousand questions about death in general, but as soon as we were finished lowering the casket, they sprang off to play hide and seek among the tombstones and the cypress bushes with the other children.
Then came the reading of the will. I wasn’t surprised by the outcome, but I have to say that I was mighty satisfied watching the expression on Michael’s face when he heard he didn’t get squat. The golden boy fumbled, argued and pleaded, sweat darkening the armpits of his silk shirt, but there was no error, clerical or otherwise: I was the sole heir to the whole of the Dorcel automobile part empire. Michael took the first plane back to Houston, never saying a word to me, or anyone else in the house; I suspected forever.
The inheritance wasn’t as substantial as one might have thought; or, it was, but it came bundled with a hefty debt, and those two mostly canceled each other out. There was the store, of course.
When I was a kid, I adored my father. He was like God to me. No, he was greater than God, as he actually performed feats and miracles right before my eyes. As I was growing up, the only thing I ever wanted in my future was to be like him: commanding, charismatic, respected, able. I dreamed about inheriting the shop and taking over the business, perhaps even expanding one day. I imagined myself coming home from work and finding my dad, gray and frail, sitting on the porch and drinking a beer, and he’d say “Come, son, sit with me. Have a beer, and tell me about how the business is going.”
By the time I was a teenager I knew that none of that was going to come true, ever. Michael was going to be the one to inherit all, he was the one who would sit by dad’s side and get all the praise while I slaved in the background, trying to make myself invisible, like Manny did as a maid to some other rich asshole.
When he got sick, a plan sprouted in my head, an idea that I could turn him, by kindness and, if needed, trickery. I’d get him to love and respect me for looking after him, while making Michael look like a jerk in the process (which wouldn’t be difficult since he was a real jerk). And it worked. But, after all I heard him say, after I found out what kind of a man he really was, I decided that I didn’t want it, any of it. To hell with the store and the family business. I would sell it all and get another job, one where I would never ever have to work with cars or car parts again.
I took the first offer on the store, covered all the deficits, and bought a red Corvette from the change.
“Fuck it”, I thought. “I deserve this.”
Anyway, the main part of my inheritance was still untapped, and it’s where the real money lay.
Michael actually called me once.
“C’mon bro, I mean, you aren’t gonna let me hang dry here? Who cares what he wrote in the will, the guy was a fucking Scrooge McDuck, and he was out of his mind the last couple of months. Hey, I’m your brother! C’mon, I’ll help you with the Malaby estate. It’s worth more than you know, it just has to be taken care of properly. I’ll sell it for a fortune, and then you can get thirty percen…”
I hung up on him. It felt so good. That was the last time we spoke.
But he was right about one thing: the Malaby property and all the problems surrounding it would need to be taken care of. Perfectly. No hasty reactions, no cut corners. Everything had to be done by the book.
I left for the site one bright morning, followed by a couple of Manny’s cousins, a cleaning crew, and two moving trucks. I notified the police, local hospital and the Plano TV station. All of them arrived before us. The guy I was going to sell the property to was there also, contract in one hand, pen in the other. He knew that it was going to be a shitshow and he wanted to make sure I would sell to him at the agreed, ridiculously low price, before someone swooped in with a better offer. Unlike me, he had nothing to fear.
The show was a more spectacular version of the first time we found interlopers on the premise. Stench. Filth. Death. Disturbing even in broad daylight. Police cuffed and loaded all of the still walking ones into their truck and drove off; the ambulance did the same with the dead ones. I sold off all of the parts that lay boxed up (all still intact, surprisingly) at bulk price, and a man with a crew carried them off immediately. I picked up the rest, a couple of mostly old boxes and instructed my men to take them to my home and put them wherever there was space: garage, shed, basement… Then we scrubbed the place, with heavy-duty detergents that smelled of ammonia. And the hospital where dad was admitted.
Finally, I signed the contract.
“…the notorious ‘Damnation Domicile’, as it came to be known, is apparently no more. The son of the previous owner decided to clean up and sell the so-called cursed property, making this public area safe and attractive once again…”
I slammed the door of the rented van and drove off, leaving the Hispanic TV speaker to run her mouth. It didn’t matter anymore. The nightmare was over.
Or so I thought.
The horror continued about a week later. I was pulling into my yard, returning from my new workplace, when the local busybody stuck her bespectacled face up to my windshield.
“Mister Dorcel, we have a nice, safe neighborhood here, a family-friendly area, where children can play in the street, without fear…”
I rolled down my window.
“Is there something I can help you with, missis Lang?”
“Well I… I do not approve of… this kind of business you are running. And I will not ask of you to… stop it, as I don’t want to get involved in any cartel business, but I just have to ask you, as a fellow parent, if you could conduct this operation… elsewhere.”
“What in the hell are you babbling about, Mary Lue? Cartel?? What… operation?”
“I just don’t feel safe with all these men coming ‘round here, that’s all! We all know what those people are capable of! Desperate, and, in pain… I don’t feel safe, not for me, not for my daughter…”
“Mary Lue, your daughter is twenty-six and she lives in Chicago. As for that other business, I really don’t know what to make of it. I don’t understand one word you’ve said. Now, if you please would move away from my vehicle, I need to park.”
Three days passed quietly.
“Querido, there is a man in our yard,” said Manny, peering through the curtains into the dusky outside. “I think he’s looking for you.”
I stood up with a groan, leaving a half-empty beer bottle on the coffee table to refract the light of the TV screen.
“Yeah, what do you want?”
The man didn’t answer. He stood in the shadows, gaze pointed towards the wall.
“Hey, pardner, I asked, what can I do you for? You here for the pumps? You gotta come to the office, amigo, during business hours. There’s nothing I can help you with now.”
The man didn’t say a word. He moved, slightly, and let out something like a low moan.
I remembered the incident with missis Lang from before. Suddenly, blood started boiling in my veins. I jumped and grabbed the man by his collar.
“Who the fuck do you think you are? What are you doing here, huh? Get out of here, you bum! You junkie!”
I pushed the man out of the gate and sent him going with a well-placed kick in the behind. I locked the gate after and paced angrily back inside.
“Who was that, querido?”
“No one, dear, just (some bum)… someone who got the wrong address.” I answered, taking a swig of now lukewarm beer.
I was seething. Thoughts buzzed through my head, wrecking my beer buzz. Was my dad really involved in some cartel business? I wouldn’t put it past him. Still, I didn’t really buy it. And then, there was the… But no. That story was finished. No. The store was sold. I had nothing to do with it.
It was all just a coincidence. It had to be. After all, the States were crawling with beggars, junkies and immigrants nowadays.
Next morning, I installed new locks on the front gate and the front door, as well as an alarm system with a motion sensor. All expensive, top of the line products. No cutting corners, no saving pennies. I was gladly paying extra because the mere thought of doing my best helped me relax; the commodity of a good night's sleep was certainly worth it.
The next night, I woke up to a blood-curdling scream. The alarm was also on, blaring in the night, but the previous sound was far more urgent. It was Gloria. I ran like a madman through the hallway and down the stairs, ignoring my bewildered spouse, not even bothering to turn on the light. Arriving at the ground floor landing, I bumped into someone in the darkness. There was a moist splatting sound, like a slab of meat hitting the butcher’s counter. I grabbed this person’s head, mad with anger, wanting to smash it against the wall. The fingers of my left hand felt a wet, jagged bone, and a hollow, where one shouldn’t be. I felt my hair turning white. Another scream tore through the house. I pushed the man aside and continued running until I arrived to her room, almost tripping over a body on the floor.
Gloria sat on her bed, knees curled up and with her back against the wall. She had a blanket lifted over her nose, as the thin fabric would protect her from the unknown assailants. Beside the person on the stairs and the one laying on the floor, there were three more in the spacious children’s bedroom. An old man, a gaunt young woman, and a little boy with a huge scar sprawling diagonally across his whole face. They all looked ghastly in the pale green glow of the night-light. I started shoving them away from my girl, roughly, beastly even, spitting obscenities through my gnashing teeth.
“What the fuck do you want, you fuckers? You motherfucking… coward… shit-eating… scum…”
But as eerily as they looked, they were no assailants. All three of them just stood there, looking more lost than threatening. A draft from an open window somewhere in the house rustled the fluff on the crown of the boy’s head, revealing that the scar went all the way around it. And then there was the smell. That same old smell that lingered in my childhood memories, made recent again in my father’s store and around his deathbed.
“What… do you want?” I asked again, this time without anger. I felt tired, broken, and, strangely, sympathetic and genuinely curious.
All three of them lifted their fingers and pointed towards the dresser. I followed their gaze, looking first at the mirror, then at the framed photograph of mom and dad hugging Michael and me in front of our old house.
“What do you want? I don’t understand… I don’t live there anymore, I hadn’t for a long time… And the old man is dead! If he wronged you somehow, there’s nothing you can do more. He’s dead! He’s gone…”
I looked again in the direction they were pointing. And I saw something else. An ancient, gunsight-shaped hood ornament, scrubbed free of rust, polished and re-chromed. I recognized it immediately.
“Is this…? Are you looking… for the hearse? Your hearse?”
The apparitions didn’t move, nor did they make any kind of sign, but I felt the affirmation emanating from them.
“But it’s gone! Long gone! Scrapped for parts and sold! The rest is rust! If there is anything left of it, it’s…”
And then it hit me.
Manny and Jake were standing in the hallway in front of the room, trembling, mad with fear. I put my hand around Gloria and led her to her mother and brother, and instructed them to take a cab to somewhere safe. I finally knew what to do to end this.
There were boxes in Gloria’s room. Ancient boxes, from the time dad first moved the junk from his scattered stashes into the Malaby locale. And somewhere in them were parts of his very first score, the one that kickstarted his legacy.
“But it’s not all there.” I said to the dead. “There may be some parts of it there, but a lot of it is gone for good.”
I got no reply apart from the cold stares. A lot of you is gone for good too, I thought.
An idea rose in my head. Actually, two of them. One mostly philosophical, about how it was all connected: the old hearse, dad’s hidden rot, his legacy, the corruption he implanted into Michael and me… It all needed to be rejected and purged. Thoroughly.
I tuned off the alarm. Then, I pulled out my cellphone and rang my wife’s cousin.
“Guillermo, hi, ola… Yes, I know it’s late… It’s urgent… No, yes… No, it’s not ok…. They are fine and safe… I need you to do something for me, I need you to find some men… We need to put together an old car… No, not in a week, right now… I know… I know… Well, make it possible… I’ll pay you… As much as you ask… I know this is not normal… Guillermo, it’s very fucked up, it’s... brujeria mala or something… It’s very important…. Thank you…”
One long and confusing phone call later, I took a beer from the fridge and sat on the stairs outside the front door. The dead were still in Gloria’s room, rustling softly. I tried to ignore their existence, drinking deeply to cool myself from the hot, clammy air.
About an hour later, a pick-up pulled up my drive-way, spilling a gang of tough looking Mexicans, bulging with tattooed muscles. All that bravado disappeared the moment I showed them my daughter’s room.
“I need that hearse done now. I don’t care how you do it. I’ve got a lot of parts here, these you have to use. I’ve got some more in the garage, and I can get you the rest if you tell me what you need. It’s a Mercedes Benz W123, pretty common, shouldn’t be too hard to put together.”
Twelve men worked like demons, sweating and straining in the warm night. They started by finding a similar hearse, and then they began changing parts, fixing, tweaking. It was still night when the deceased decided that it was finished. One by one, they started shambling out. The old man, the overdosed woman, the stitched-up boy, the man with spilt brains… Even the one from the floor got up.
One of the men threw up upon seeing the remains of his visage.
Suddenly, a thick fog materialized out of nowhere, engulfing the whole yard. Guillermo and his men began panicking and mumbling in Spanish, equal part swearing and praying. The fog was made both of condensation and mind-noise, it seemed, and I soon started feeling like I drank ten beers instead of one. My thoughts were slipping, becoming as dreams. Through all of it, I heard opening of doors and sounds of engine. I don’t know how long it all went on, but, when I came to, there were no walking corpses anywhere in the vicinity. The hearse was gone, too, like it was never there.
The tanned man in a red oil-stained tank-top stumbled towards me.
“Hombre, what… I don’t know…”
I put my hand on his shoulder.
“It’s over. It’s all over. Whatever the fuck it was, I’ll never forget this, Guillermo. Never.”
My mind was racing. I was anxious to go, right now. I reached in my pocket, pulled out my credit card and slipped it into Guillermo’s sweaty palm.
“Here, take as much as you want. Treat the boys, buy them some steak. This money needs to be spent in good spirit. Take all the rest of the parts you find in the house. All the boxes we took from the Malaby place. And dump ‘em.”
“Where are you going?” he asked, seeing me walking towards my car.
I held my phone by my ear, fumbling with the key stuck in my pocket.
“I need to find my wife and children. I need to find them…” I said with a broken voice, swallowing hard and failing to suppress the emerging tears. “And I need to hug them.”
Nenad Pavlovic was born in Eastern Europe. He majored in the English language and literature before moving to Norway, where he now resides, working as a teacher and scribbling away every Friday night with a pint of ale at his side. His short fiction (mostly fantasy, sci-fi and horror, with a few exceptions) has been published in magazines and short story collections. His first novel, Hokus Lokvud, won the Mali Nemo Best Novel Award in 2013, and his latest novel, Salvation on Peril Island, published under the pen-name Nash Knight, is currently available on Amazon. Apart from being a writer, he is also a husband, a father, a music aficionado and a video-game guru.