Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract – #Short Stories – The Alternative by Suzanne Burke


Welcome to the new Cafe and Bookstore  New Series 2020 – Share an Extract with an opportunity to show one of your earlier books some love and attention by sharing an extract.. Check out the above link for all the details.

Today Suzanne Burke shares an extract from here collection of short stories –  The Alternative

About the book

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat, that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An extract from the book – Chapter 1. Picasso

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.
The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

It had been a hot day with all the heady invitations of Summer, on May 29th, 1990.

The list of missing girls had totaled twelve at that time. These girls all fell between the ages of twelve and fourteen, and thus far they had disappeared from five different states. The FBI’s presence was mandatory.

Investigations had been extensive and exhausting and had taken the FBI task force that she’d been a member of many weeks of agonizingly slow progress as the list of those taken continued to grow. No trace of any of the girls had been forthcoming. No ransom demands had been made.

All known sex offenders had been scrutinized thoroughly, not one of them had raised any flags.

Meredith had been sent to interview the neighbors of just another person of interest, one of the many that had been reported to them. The incoming calls may well have been engineered by people with ulterior motives, some people seemed to find it amusing to report someone just for the spite of it. Yet each one had to be investigated. The FBI didn’t have the luxury of ignoring any possible lead. These people still needed to be thoroughly checked out and ruled out if necessary.

She recalled every detail of that afternoon.

~~~

One of the reviews for the collection

Author Suzanne Burke tells us at the beginning of this collection of nine dark and powerful short stories what we can expect when we embrace the alternative to Karma as our lives play out.

She writes: “There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat, that believing in Karma riveted hands them so willingly. They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline. Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself. . . .

“Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with . . . These are their stories. The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

Fate has a way of meting out justice and retribution to those who deserve it. Many of the well-developed characters who populate the stories in Suzanne Burke’s tales find that out.

The stories in this 208-page book are page-turners, crafted to keep you riveted.
They take you on a turbulent journey through life that you won’t soon forget. Did I have a favorite? I had a couple, but I don’t want to influence you one way or the other. Suffice it to say, that when you finish these 5-star tales, you will have a couple of favorites also.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Suzanne

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And:Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Suzanne: Goodreads

About Suzanne Burke

Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds- of-miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.

Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.

Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.

Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.

Connect to Suzanne

Twitter: @pursoot
Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Suzanna’s books thanks Sally