Shift – The Box

Continued from scene thirty-four


Chapter Seven

“What time is it, Donnie?”

“Ten-o’clock.”

“Mitch, you heard from Peter?”

“Yes, sir. Borya is in the barn.”

“Christian, any last-minute memories pop into your head we need to know about?”

“Remember the girl from Borya’s hometown? I think she’s here with him. Her name is Echo.”

“Donnie, has anyone been in or out of Cathy’s house in the last thirty-six hours.”

“No, sir.”

“Then we’ll have to assume she’s embedded herself at another location. Let’s move.”

I went through the window first and opened the back door. Once inside, we moved on to the basement while Donnie stood guard outside. Robert picked the lock, and we were in without a hitch. The relief on Cathy’s face when we opened the soundproof box was overwhelming. She had been in there for over a week. Only receiving food and water once a day, along with a diaper; the old ones thrown out in the exchange.

“Thank God you found me. Did you kill the bastard?”

“No, we need time to flush out his accomplice, so let’s go. Mitch is going to shift and take your place, so he doesn’t get suspicious.”

“You can’t do that to Mitch. I’ll stay; just make sure you get him.”

“I can’t leave you here. You’re too weak, and Doc’s waiting on you. So go behind the curtain, and throw out your clothes.”

After a few minutes, Mitch was dressed as Cathy.

“What do you think, Robert.”

“You don’t match. Cathy has lost weight. Make contact with her and update.”

“Stick your hand through the curtain Cathy.”

A shifter’s database of bodies remained the same as when touched. Only growing older when the body is used. Mitch had not made contact with Cathy in months.

“That’s better. Now get in; we’ll be back after the meeting.”

Cathy cried at the sight of herself being locked in the box. A frail body mirroring her own.

“Christian, send an encrypted message to Karen telling her we are on our way.”

To be continued…


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – Horrors

Continued from scene thirty-three


Later that night Karen, slid into bed, wrapping her arm around me from behind. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“For what?”

“Finding the enemy within and exposing the Ghost tribe for what they are; traitors. Spying on the alliance is forbidden.”

“What happened to Cathy?”

“She’s alive, locked in her basement.”

“He’ll kill her and try to make it look like a suicide if he leaves.”

“I already have a plan in place.”

As she continued to lay out the details, my thoughts drifted toward a world reset, led by Ghost, a nightmare scenario where past horrors are repeated. Without power, most of the world’s population will be helpless and run into the hands that feed. A trap from which they’ll be enslaved.

Continue to scene thirty-five


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – Snap

Continued from scene thirty-two


Doc’s methods were similar to the ones used on Kate, so I knew what to expect. And hearing him say when I snap my fingers almost made me laugh as it was so cliche.

“Doc, I know you mean well, but my mind will not go under so easy.”

Laughter filled the room as I opened my eyes to see Karen standing in front of me with the same grin she had in Georgio’s Pizza.

“What?” I asked.

She ignored me and walked into the other room with Doc.

“Robert, do you want to tell me what the hell is going on?”

“Nope.”

“Donnie?”

“You’ve been under for over an hour, mister Lore.”

Robert chuckled again as he left the room to join Karen and Doc.

“Let me help you up, mister Lore. You might feel a little dizzy after being under for so long.”

“Seriously, an hour?”

“Yes, sir. Would you like to see the recording?”

Taking his phone, I watched as one memory after another spilled out for all to hear. Borya was twenty-nine, single, from Russia, and a member of призрак, meaning ghost. An outlier tribe determined to bring down the technocracy. After which they, themselves, will rule over their land using fear and deception.

He was here to spy on Elysian and other American tribes to see how responsive we may be to a total world takeover. One in which shifters governed at the expense of all others who would be relegated to peasant status, serving tribes under a feudalistic system.

There was more, but it was all I could take for the moment. “I need to go lie down. Tell the others, will you.”

“Sure thing, mister Lore.”

Continue to scene thirty-four


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – Extraction

Continued from scene thirty-one


“Thanks for getting here so quickly, Robert. Doc is on his way. Christan is in the kitchen.”

“What happened, Karen?”

“Christion walked up behind Cathy McCall and tapped her on the shoulder, seeing a man named Borya Volkov. He told her he could not see due to his concussion and asked for her name. They talked for a while before she went back to work, and Christain feels like she bought the whole concussion story.”

“I’ll go arrest the damn spy as soon as Dillion gets here.”

“Not yet. There could be others, so we’ll need to come up with a plan.”

A knock at the door completed the group of four standing around me. And though my eyes were closed, I felt their presence, knowing where each of them stood.

“Christian, this is Doc. Karen has placed you in a semi-hypnotic state from which I am going to take you deeper. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”

“Her quick thinking may have prevented Borya’s memories from being lost. It’s difficult to recover memories from an out-of-body shifter, but it can be done. So I’ll need to guide you through a series of meditative steps to see if we can extract them. You will be able to do this yourself one day. But, for now, you need me. Understand?”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s get started.”

Continue to thirty-three


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – Code Red

Continued from scene thirty


It was becoming clear to me that every member of Elysian worked for or owned a business. A secret society filled with workers of various skillsets. Doctors, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, police officers, firefighters, carpenters, and farmers, of which one, just pulled up on his tractor. Jumping onboard to claim my fender seat, I asked, “Everything good at home?”

“It is, and Olivia wants you to tell Karen the catering issue is resolved.”

“I didn’t even know there was a catering issue.”

“That makes two of us.”

Karen met me at the door with some cookies she had baked when I returned home. Not her strong suit, but I ate a handful to be polite.

“How many Elysians have verifiables?” I asked while pouring a glass of milk.

“Two, Nicky and I.”

“Then we might have a problem.”

“How so?”

“I surprised Cathy McCall today by tapping her on the shoulder. She turned quickly and looked at me as if I was about to attack.”

“And.”

“It wasn’t Cathy.”

“Christian, what are you trying to say?”

“I saw a man named Borya Volkov. I played it off and asked her name. She wanted to know why I didn’t already know it, so I told her I was having problems due to my concussion. She studied me for a moment but appeared to be satisfied with my answer.”

“Hold that thought,” Karen said as she picked up the phone. “Robert, code red, meet me here ASAP.”

Hanging up, she turned her attention back to me. “Christian, sit down. You haven’t been trained to do this, so follow my guidance.”

“To do wh—?’

Placing her index finger over my lips, she said, “Close your eyes.”

A strange feeling came over me after I heard those words. It was like I had been preprogrammed to respond. I sat there for some time until I heard a knock I the door.

Continue to scene thirty-two


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – Startled

Continued from scene twenty-nine


Not far from the breaker box was a golf cart charged and ready to go. As we traveled, Jeff schooled me on the various outside corridors running off the main tunnel, each leading to an entrance underneath a member’s home. Inside corridors led to storage, meeting, and living accommodations.

The entire complex was self-sufficient. And could be transformed into a deadly maze if breached by using movable walls to guide intruders to what Jeff nonchalantly called the killing room.

The underground portion of the tour finally ended when we rode up a service elevator leaving us in a building owned by Darrel Lackey, who was busy milking cows. From there, we transferred to Lackey’s truck to retrieve the tractor still sitting in front of the abandoned farmhouse.

“I’ll meet you back at Darrel’s, but I’m going to stop by the house for a minute to check on Olivia.”

“That’ll be fine Jeff, see you in a little while.”

Darrel was nowhere to be found when I returned to the barn, so I wandered around on my own. The place was impressive with all its milking equipment in action. Wanting to learn more about the operation, I tapped an employee on the shoulder while she worked. Startled, she turned quickly.

“Didn’t mean to scare you. I haven’t been thinking clearly. The concussion I received during our last meeting has made me a fool to tell you the truth. Can’t see a thing clearly these days. What’s your name again?”

“Cathy—I saw you when we touched. Why didn’t you see me?”

“Like I said, I can’t see a thing. Doc says it will go away, But I’m beginning to wonder.”

“Well, I hope you get better,” she replied, returning to her work without another word.

Continue to scene thirty-one


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – The Tour

Continued from scene twenty-eight


In pursuit, I caught up with Jeff as he flipped a switch causing the entire tunnel to come alive for as far as I could see in both directions. Astonished by its length, I lost track of my tour guide, who hid snickering in the distance.

“You know I can hear you.”

And with that, the lights went out.

“Funny.”

“Is it,” he said from behind.

“SHIT—you just about gave me a heart attack.”

“What if I had been Montresor and chained you to the wall? How would you escape this old fool you took to be unread?”

“Scream like hell, you crazy bastard.”

“Really? That’s what you want me to tell Karen when I drop you off. ‘Yep, said he would scream like a girl.”‘

“You make the “Girl” reference, and we’re both going to be in trouble.”

“You got a point, but seriously, what would you do?”

“I don’t know?”

“If you were Fortunato chained tightly to the wall, you would be screwed, But you’re not. You’re a shifter with survival skills and the ability to switch from thick to thin. So scream like a girl if you will, but your hands will slip free.”

I felt like a fool standing there in silence. Jeff was right, and I needed to start thinking like a shifter. “Lesson learned, my friend.”

“Then we shall have a glass of wine?”

“Wine?”

Okay, maybe not wine,” he said, pouring from a flask. “But the day is long, and our nerves need calming.”

“You think?”

Continue to scene thirty


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – The Hiding Place

Continued from scene twenty-six


Chapter Six

“Mrs. Wilcox tells me I won’t get to go trick-or-treating this year. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”

“I’m afraid so, Jeff, and send my apologies to Olivia.”

“Are you kidding? She lives for weddings. I’m not sure if you know it, but she’s president of the Elysian Woman’s Club. On top of that, she bakes and apparently, has plans for a colossal cake with a Halloween theme.”

“I’m sure it’ll be beautiful, so send her a big thank you.”

“I’ll do it, now climb on. We’ve got a tour to complete.”

“I haven’t ridden on a tractor fender in quite some time.”

“Well, hold on, so you don’t fall off. I’d hate to tell the Chief I ran over her fiance.

Our first stop was the old farmhouse where Jeff hurt his foot. Inside we descended steps into the basement, where I stopped halfway, expecting them to move like the ones at Doc’s house. Who, by the way, has taken to his new nickname quite nicely, as most everyone has started to refer to him in that way.

“Were not fancy over here, son. You’re going to have to keep walking.”

I watched as Jeff turned over a rusty can of screws. One of which he placed in a hole between two blocks until I heard a click.

“Put some pressure right there, Christian.”

As I did, a section of wall swung open, and we stepped into a small ten by ten room. The back wall was full of liquor bottles, and two shot glasses stood ready at the bar.

“This is your labyrinth?”

He chuckled. “Nonsense, this is where I come to get away from Olivia.”

“You old drunk, no wonder you hurt your foot.”

After pouring me a few rounds, he said, “follow me.” Which I did, watching out for nails, of course, as we crossed over boards fallen from the collapsed floor above. And just as before, he worked a small hole in the wall, revealing another doorway.

Continue to scene twenty-eight


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – The Window

Continued from scene twenty-five


“Why did you choose Isabella?”

“She was my friend, and we had a pact stating the other could use our body as a verifiable should we die at home. It’s not uncommon. Shifters do it all the time, and it’s the only way to get a verifiable body as the death is never reported. In other words, there is no doppelgänger problem.

“What happened?”

“Pneumonia, three years ago. It caught us all off guard. She was the picture of health, as you can see.”

I grinned at that.

“Do her parents know?”

“Horace does. Her mother Nelly was killed in a car accident.”

“His name sounds familiar.”

“It should. Remember the laughs he got from his reptilian joke the night you fainted.”

“Horace Turbeville, the old jokester himself.”

“He meant no harm, and he thinks the world of you. Laughter helps him cope. He fell into a deep depression after Isabella died. It was over a year before I saw him smile again. I can’t say as I smiled much either that year.”

“It must be weird for him to see you in her body.”

“On the contrary, our families were very close. And Horace and I are the only ones left. Mom, Dad, and Ethan Wright, Isabella’s husband, were also in the car the night Nelly died. Ethan volunteered to take them home after an Elysian meeting while Horace, Isabella, and I cleaned up. Dad was Chief back then.

“Thanks for telling me. It means a lot to have you finally open up.”

“You’re welcome. Now we need to get off this emotional roller coaster. I have a wedding to plan.”

I took her place by the window as she picked up the phone.

“Linda, we’ve moved the wedding up to Halloween. Can my maid of honor pull off a miracle?”

I don’t know what Linda said, but the laughter coming from Karen was music to my ears. As they talked, I looked out the window and I saw two white crosses nestled inside the tree line. I’m not sure how I missed seeing them before.

Continue to sene twenty-seven


Shift is an online work of fiction.

This is the first draft of my mauscript Shift – Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am writing it online in sections as I go. So feel free to comment, good or bad. If you see mistakes, point them out.

The story centers around shapeshifting.

I’m currently working on chapter seven.

Shift – Isabella

Continued from scene twenty-four


“Christian, come stand by me.”

“What’s wrong?” I asked, as I placed my hand on her shoulder.

“Our baby won’t look like me,” she said, tears in her eyes.

“Of course, it will.”

No, it won’t. I got pregnant in Isabella’s body. That’s why Keith called the day we moved. He told me what I already knew, but I was hoping—.”

“Hoping what?”

“That he would tell me I was wrong, that if I shifted early in the pregnancy, everything would be okay.

“I should have never gotten pregnant. I knew the risk, but wanted to be with you. So I convinced myself to use my own birth control pills in her body. A mistake I can’t take back.”

“What are you saying? Do you want an abortion?”

She looked up sharply. “Never, The baby will be of me. But the physical traits will be Isabella’s. l’ll just have to live with that.”

“I’m so used to seeing you in this body it never crossed my mind that the baby would not look like you. I’ll see you in our baby’s face regardless. Remember what you told me the first time we made love?”

She paused, then said, “I do,” in a standing embrace. “And thank you for reminding me; you could not have chosen better words. You’re going to be a great father, you know that?”

“Husband too. And we should probably move up the wedding. Don’t you think?”

“How about October 31st? I can’t wait any longer.”

“My favorite month and a halloween wedding. I’m in.”

“I need to call Linda. We have a wedding to plan,” she said excitedly.

“I imagine shifters have sex all the time in different bodies. What happens if they get pregnant and shift?”

“The baby would cease to exist. And to answer your actual question. You would have never known, but I could not bear the thought of losing the gift of our first union.”

Continue to scene twenty-six

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