Read Do Not Go Gentle Online

Authors: James W. Jorgensen

Tags: #Speculative Fiction Suspense, #9781629290072, #supernatural, #Suspense, #paranormal, #thriller, #James W Jorgensen, #Eternal Press, #gentle, #Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, #CFS, #fatigue, #exhaustion, #headaches, #migraines, #magic, #detective, #evil, #good, #Celtic, #depression, #grief, #loss, #suicide, #nightmare

Do Not Go Gentle

Do Not Go Gentle
By
James W. Jorgensen

Eternal Press
A division of Damnation Books, LLC.
P.O. Box 3931
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-9998

www.eternalpress.biz

Do Not Go Gentle
by James W. Jorgensen

“Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” was written by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, originally published in the journal
Botteghe Oscure
in 1951.

Digital ISBN: 978-1-62929-007-2

Print ISBN: 978-1-62929-008-9

Cover art by: Amanda Kelsey
Edited by: Kim Coghlan

Copyright 2013 James W. Jorgensen

Printed in the United States of America
Worldwide Electronic & Digital Rights
Worldwide English Language Print Rights

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 —Dylan Thomas

 

For Kathleen, my light against that 
good night.

Dedication page

In addition to the unbelievable support and love from my wife, Kathleen, this book would not have been possible without similar love and support from my three daughters, Sarah-Enid, Carlyn and Kaiti Anne, my son-in-law, Michael Proulx, and my parents, William and Shirley Jorgensen. I have also had the support of several good friends, including Robin Taylor, Bill and Roxanne Murphy, and the entire Murphy clan. I was also privileged to have the support and belief of two outstanding physicians: Doctor Gerald Suchomski and Doctor Sharon Stake.

Finally, I would like to thank Maggie Smith, the attorney who won my long-term private disability case, which allowed us to start rebuilding our lives.  In this book, I have seriously compressed the timeframes involved in disability cases: my own private disability case took nearly two years and my Social Security disability case over three years.

You can learn more about this devastating and mysterious disease from the following websites:

http://www.cfids.org/

http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002224/

Chapter One

In the “zone,” Kris Taylor listened to upbeat music on her iPod, enjoying the endorphin high from her morning run. It was the pre-dawn hours of a late summer morning—cool and foggy, but with a promise of heat later in the day. Single and approaching her thirtieth birthday, Kris heard her mother's voice intruding on her music.
You're not getting any younger, Kristin. You need to find a man, Kristin.
Kris wasn't sure which she hated worse—her mother calling her “Kristin” or her saying that she needed to “find a man.” She'd like to say,
I haven't made up my mind, which I like better—men or women, Mother.
The thought made her smile, but she shook her head.
Yeah,
that's
not gonna happen anytime soon. I
really
don't need the argument that revelation would produce.

Her brown hair was short, cut in a brutal manner, putting functionality over style. She was dressed in a light blue jogging suit with a dark blue headband. She was tall and slender. Kris's regular morning run was about six miles, which she tried to make each day, but at best succeeded on three or four days per week.

Kris was coming to the favorite part of her morning run: cutting through the cemetery. While it might sound morbid to some, Kris loved the trees and quiet of the cemetery. It provided a welcome counterpoint to the furor of her daily life. The fog curled through the cemetery like cotton candy, winding itself around headstones and mausoleums, shrouding the stands of trees, and making her feel more like she was in London than Boston.

Kris reached a stand of trees lining both sides of the road at the north edge of the cemetery, on her way toward the main entrance. Alone, the music and her mental gyrations of daily activities and work fully engaged her. Kris failed to notice two men, dressed all in black, with nylons pulled over their faces, stepping out of the fog from some of the trees she had just passed. The men looked around them to make sure no one else was in sight and ran up behind her. One of the men grabbed Kris from behind, his strong, thick arms encircling her. At the same time, the other man slapped a chloroformed cloth over her mouth and nose, holding her head with his other hand.

Unable to scream, Kris Taylor succumbed, unnoticed and unheard, in seconds to the chloroform. The men waited a few moments, making sure that she was unconscious. Then they hoisted her with quick and efficient movements between them and disappeared back into the foggy trees from which they had just emerged. As they reached the street beside the cemetery, they trotted with the unconscious woman to an unmarked white cargo van. A third man in black threw the side door open, then slid forward into the driver's seat. The two men carrying Kris Taylor tossed her into the open door, looked around once more at the empty street, followed her into the van, slammed the door, and then cruised at a slow speed out of sight into the dense, packed fog.

* * * *

Jamie Griffin froze before a decaying wooden bridge, which spanned an inky abyss, black night coiling itself about him. He was unable to see the other side through the shrouded darkness. Jamie felt the iron tendrils of fear ensnare him, and as they did, he knew he was dreaming. A nightmare, yet Jamie could not force himself to wake. He did not know why, but the last thing in the world Jamie wanted to do was cross that bridge. Yet the tendrils held him firm and unyielding in their grasp, and they forced him forward, staggering step by unwilling step. Jamie had no idea what lay on the other side of the bridge. He just knew that if he crossed to the other side, his life would change forever.

A profound melancholy, a deep sense of loss, permeated Jamie as he was frog-marched to the other side. Jamie tried to wake up, desperate and hoping against hope that if he could force himself awake, he could avert this fate. He could not awaken, and the unseen force behind him continued to compel him toward the still obscured destination. Jamie struggled, but to no avail. He sweated and swore, threatening his captors, pleading, bargaining, sometimes screaming incoherent sounds at them.

As they neared the other side, Jamie felt the entire bridge shudder, as if the fist of God had hammered it. In one abrupt moment, he was freed from his bonds, but as he turned to race back to where he began, Jamie heard loud cracks and snapping, like the sound of automatic weapon fire. He could see that where he had first crossed, the bridge was collapsing into the abyss. The wooden planks were exploding into sawdust, the trusses, the beams, the entire superstructure disintegrating as the bridge crumpled.

Jamie turned back toward the other side, the side where he did not wish to go, which held an unknown and ominous destination. He felt the destruction racing to catch him and faced with choosing the abyss or the unknown, Jamie turned in the direction of the hidden side. He ran as fast as he could, but the other side crawled toward him while the destruction of the bridge pursued him like a jungle cat. Jamie felt the planks right behind him explode, but he could not afford to turn and look. The other side was in clear view at last: a gray landscape that was devoid of the colors, sounds, smells, and joys of the side he had come from. Even this gray landscape was preferable to oblivion, so Jamie threw himself forward with every ounce of his strength. As the remaining boards crumbled, he flailed, arms and legs wind milling in an all-out, desperate attempt to reach the other side. Jamie's heart was pounding, his breath ragged, and he stretched out every inch of his six foot, one inch frame, scrabbling for any purchase he could use to pull himself across to safety. His hands reached out, and he grasped something, but he felt the iron tendrils seeking him again, trying to force him into the abyss. Jamie screamed, struggled and….

Jamie Griffin jerked awake, sitting upright in bed beside his wife, Eileen. He hadn't felt fear like that in over twenty years as a cop, and he'd felt his share of fear in that time. He was trembling, and it took a few moments, sitting on the edge of their platform bed, to get himself under control.
Jaysus, it was just a dream boyo. Shake it off.
Still, Jamie was not prone to remembering his dreams, let alone nightmares, and this one had been far too realistic and threatening. He looked at the clock. It was 4:30 a.m., about half an hour earlier than his usual waking time.
Might as well get up-I'll not go back to sleep after that.
He was sweating and felt like crap.

Eileen turned toward him and mumbled something in her sleep. Her long blonde hair haloed about her head in disarray.

“What's that, beautiful?” Jamie asked.

Eileen managed to speak more clearly, even though she was still half-asleep. “Wassa matter? Y'okay?”

Jamie brushed the errant strands of hair back into place as he caressed Eileen's head. “Yeah, I'm fine. Just a bad dream, baby. Time for me to get up anyway. You go back to sleep for a while.”

“Kay.” Eileen turned back over and returned to sleep.

Jamie rubbed her back for a few moments, then got out of bed and paused before the full-length mirror. At 6'1” and 215 pounds, Jamie was in great physical shape. He worked out every day to keep that shape. His short, red hair was mussed, but his gray eyes were keen.
Not bad for a 42-year-old cop,
he thought.
Time to get to work if you're going to keep it that way.

Jamie paused at the top of the stairway and listened for any sounds. He did not hear either of his daughters, which meant Caitlin and Riona were still asleep. However, Finn MacCool, their five-year-old Irish terrier, trotted up the steps to greet him, tail wagging. “Good morning, boy,” Jamie said. “Let's head outside to do our business.”

Jamie led the dog down the stairs and watched as Finn trotted out through the pet door in the back door. Jamie walked through the ground floor of their three-story house to the front door. He opened it and walked out onto the porch, which ran the length of the front of the house and wrapped around one side. Finn barked, and Jamie looked at him in the front yard. Chain link fencing enclosed the yard from the front to the side and around to the back yard, making a nice enclosure which had been great for his daughters when they were young and for a mischievous dog now. He was standing at attention, giving Jamie a familiar look. “Okay, okay. Meet me inside and I'll feed you, chow hound.” The terrier turned and streaked toward the back door.

With the ease of familiar habit, Jamie and Finn went through their morning routine: after letting Finn out, Jamie fed the dog, started the coffee, and then headed back upstairs to workout. The Griffin house, built in 1923 by his Uncle Jimmy, had several architectural quirks in addition to cedar shake siding, which ran in wide, alternating strips of light and dark pink. From an apparent closet in the master suite, a set of stairs led up to the third floor. Originally, just storage space, Jamie had converted one end of the third floor to a home workout space, which contained an elliptical cross-trainer and home gym. It was his day to run—he alternated running with weight lifting, so Jamie ran five miles while watching CNN Headline News—listening on wireless headphones so he wouldn't wake Eileen or the girls. Jamie would not admit it within the hearing of his dear wife, but he enjoyed watching Robin Meade.
I can't think of any more pleasurable way for a man to catch up on the events of this old world than watching Robin Meade.

However, even watching Robin deliver the news and interact with her team did not distract Jamie from the impending sense of doom lingering from his nightmare. He threw himself with a furor into the last mile of his five-mile run, hoping to sweat the last of the nightmare out of his system. As Jamie cooled down, he found that not only had the effort not dispelled the remnants of his nightmare, it had made him feel worse. He had a headache—a rare occurrence for him, an upset stomach, and an overall achiness that went far beyond the normal aches and pains of his daily workout.
Ah
sweet Jaysus on a bicycle,
he swore to himself.
Feels like the feckin' flu. Great, just great.
While it was a rare occasion for Jamie to be sick, like anyone else, he succumbed to a cold or the flu from time to time.

Jamie dragged himself downstairs, shadowed by Finn MacCool as he went to the front porch and brought in the paper. Walking back to the table, Jamie looked at the dog and said, “Look, buddy. You know the drill. You've had your breakfast. That's all you're going to get.” Even so, the terrier parked himself on Jamie's feet when he sat at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee to read the Globe. Jamie drank his coffee “black as midnight and strong as sin,” but this morning, it tasted bad to him. Jamie's stomach rolled again.
Okay, coffee may not be such a good idea. What about some food?
The responding wave of nausea told Jamie that food was a bad idea as well.
Alright then. I'll just read until it's time to roust Eileen and the girls.

At 6:30, Jamie went to the bottom of the stairs and paused. A few seconds later, he could hear the buzzing and music of three different alarm clocks upstairs. He waited in silent patience for each one to quit chiming, and then he called out in a booming, cheery voice, “Gooooood morning, Ms. Griffins. This is your 6:30 wakeup call, and it's another beautiful day here in Boston. In the event that I do not hear appropriate morning sounds in the next five minutes, I will grant Finn MacCool total access to all sleeping accommodations. As always, we greatly appreciate your business.” Jamie looked at the dog standing at his feet, an expectant look on his face. “Not yet, Finn. Wait until I tell you.” The terrier sat back down but stared up the stairs and quivered.

Jamie went back to the table and his paper. He always woke his ladies with some humorous announcement on days they had to get up—none of them was morning people. Jamie's heart wasn't into it today, however. Minutes later, he heard the sounds of morning ablutions in the upstairs bathrooms, and he released the hound. Finn charged upstairs, looking for victims. In a house with four women—when Brigid was younger or home from Notre Dame, Jamie had spent significant money to expand the number of bathrooms in the house from one full and one three-quarters to two full and two half. In his opinion, these were not home improvements: they were survival measures.

Jamie prepared a cup of coffee for Eileen: one sugar substitute, fat-free half-and-half—an oxymoron in Jamie's opinion, and French vanilla creamer.
Jaysus, Mary & Joseph, woman, have some coffee with your cream and sugar.
Moments later, Eileen came trudging down the stairs in her bathrobe. “Someday, laddie, one of us is going to murder you over your bedeviled morning cheerfulness, and no jury of our peers would ever convict us.”

“I love you too, darlin.” Jamie handed her the cup of coffee he'd made.

She sat, took a sip, and then said, “Ah, well, this might mitigate your crime.”

“I live to serve, madam.”

After another couple of sips, Eileen asked, “You got up early, yes? Do I remember you having a nightmare? Something made you jump.”

Jamie shrugged. “Yeah, no big deal. Once I woke up, I had to get up. You know me.”

“Indeed. My very own ‘Energizer Bunny.'” While Eileen was industrious, she was not a morning person. His wife and daughters, on the other hand, mocked Jamie, for his high energy level all day, every day and his inability to relax.

“Not today, love. I feel crappy—headache, stomach ache—just generally crappy.”

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