The Memory of Mermaids (eBook)

$1.99
130 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 08/21/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-91-8
  • Model: 22266 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 2 Flames

 

After he rescues a mermaid from a sea monster, Max Weiss falls into a world of pirate treasure, dolphin whisperers, murderous mobsters, and a forbidden love.

Problems multiply in the already-troubled life of Max Weiss after he rescues a mermaid from the clutches of a sea monster. Drawn by the allure of the enchanting mermaid, Azzaria, Max agrees to help her find her lost mermaid sister. Max is pulled into a world of missing drug money, pirate treasure, murderous mobsters, dolphin whisperers, and a forbidden love.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

St. Augustine Beach, Florida, April, 2012

The resolve in her voice put Max on edge.

"Max, I'm sorry to do this by phone, but it's time for us to end."

Max's heart slammed into his ribcage. He fumbled for words. "Carolyn, what do you mean, end?"

Carolyn's voice cracked as if she was on the edge of tears. "End, Max, like the end of road. This isn't working."

"Carolyn, I thought we had a good thing going."

"A thing!" She blurted loud enough Max had to hold the phone away from his ear. "Is that all we had...a thing?"

"No, Carolyn, I'm sorry." His brain couldn't engage. "I thought we had something special."

"Max," she huffed, "I'm not going to play word games with you. We aren't on any kind of path of commitment on your part and now you've lost another job."

"Carolyn, there'll be other jobs..."

"Who's going to hire an idealist like you?" Her voice hung at the edge of rage. "All you do is get in fights with your bosses."

"Carolyn, they're lying cheats."

She groaned as if stifling a scream then dropped her volume. "Max, this is hard enough. You're a sweet guy, but I've already got one deadbeat man in my life who doesn't pay child support or visit his daughter. I don't want two."

"Carolyn...I don't know what to say."

"Don't say anything Max. Just walk away. I'm done with you."

Click

"Carolyn," he whispered into the dead line, "I'm sorry."

His mind flashed back to his boyhood when the string on his helium balloon slipped from his hand. He could only watch and weep as his joy floated away.

 

* * * *

 

Max took his misery to his local watering hole, The Matanzas Inn.

"Well Max, don't things usually come in threes?" asked his longtime friend and bartender, Steve "Smitty" Smith, as he slid a fresh beer across the bar. "You've lost mom, you've lost your job, and now you've lost the girl. What's left?"

Max shook his head slowly as if in mourning. "I gotta meet with Ray Brandywine tomorrow to see if I can defer some payments on my condo."

Smitty closed his eyes. "Did I say threes? I meant fours." He mindlessly wiped the bar near Max.

"I did Ray a big favor. He owes me," Max said, feigning an indignant tone.

Smitty's cheery look turned dark. "Ray don't owe anyone shit." Smitty nearly spat. "He doesn't work that way. If you owe him money, he'll fuck you like a bitch."

Max managed a weak smile. "Jeez, Smitty, don't hold back."

Smitty let out a big breath. "Well, he's fucked a lot of people around here and I'm sure he's killed some, too." Smitty paused as if confused. "How did you get involved with scum like him?"

Max licked his lips, took a sip of beer. "He and a group of guys formed a captive insurance operation for the trucking business they own. We front it on Great Global Insurance paper and manage it for them." Max shook his head. "It's like a license to steal and it's all out of reach of the regulators."

Smitty cocked his head sideways. "Max, you know I don't understand one goddamn word of that insurance gibberish."

Max waved his hand in frustration. "Doesn't matter."

"Well, if it's legal, what's the problem?"

"I think they're laundering drug money," said Max.

"Fuck me running," whispered Smitty. "How do you know that?"

Max tapped his fingers on the counter as if punching a ten key. "They are depositing cash into the offshore account."

"So?"

"Way too much cash for the kind of operation they are insuring. Then, they hide it all as reserves."

Smitty snickered. "This is just too good." He rubbed his chin. "But what good is the money offshore?"

"It doesn't stay there," said Max. "The offshore insurance company invests in the local real estate development business...conveniently owned by Ray."

"Fuck me!" said Smitty.

Max winced. "So that's how I came to buy the condo from Ray. His insurance operation was my project at Great Global. We worked together, in a manner of speaking. Then Ray got this condo in foreclosure; he flipped it to me on a contract for deed."

Smitty leaned closer to Max. "So how did all this get you fired?" Smitty paused then brightened when he connected the dots. "You shared your suspicions with your bosses didn't you?"

Max nodded.

"Can you prove this shit?" Smitty asked, looking agitated again.

Max shook his head.

"God, Max, you're dumb sometimes."

Max eyed Smitty with mirth. "Fuck you in the heart."

"Are you going to blow the whistle on them?" Smitty put two fingers in his mouth as if whistling.

"Fuck no! I don't have proof and I'm not suicidal."

Smitty huffed and busied himself for a moment, moving fresh beers into the refrigerator unit beneath the bar. He looked at Max with a sad expression. "I'm sorry about Carolyn. She seemed like a sweet lady."

Max sighed. "She is, but she's got a daughter and a deadbeat ex. She's looking for stability--something in very short supply with me."

"Jeez, Max you are one fucked-up mess. What are you going to do?"

Max raised up in his seat as if trying to pump up his ego. "Great Global gave me a severance for signing a non-disclosure..."

"Buying your silence?"

"Right. I've got a little money from selling some of my mom's antiques." Max ran his finger around the rim of his beer glass. "I'll have more soon when her estate settles." He looked up at Smitty. "I think I'm done with insurance though."

Smitty dropped his bar rag and clapped softly. "Why don't you try going it on your own as a handyman? Nobody on this fucking sand bar can fix things the way you can."

Max cocked his head slightly. "You know, I'll have to give it some thought."

Smitty smirked. "Max, you think took much. That's why you're always getting in trouble. Just do it."

Authors:

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Brenna Lyons- COVER ARTIST:

Other books by Monti Shalosky- EDITOR:

About Spencer Dryden:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Spencer Dryden is a new writer but an old guy on the threshold of draining any reserves left in Medicare and Social Security.

In real life he is a handyman, an at-home dad, inventor and web videographer living a quiet life in the frozen tundra of Minnesota (USA).

Like all writers he has a cat but they don't get along well. He can be found at the usual writer hangouts:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008150288001

Twitter: @SpencerDryden

Email: fictionbyspencer@gmail.com

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Spencer Dryden:

Other books by Brenna Lyons- COVER ARTIST, Monti Shalosky- EDITOR and Spencer Dryden:

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This book was added to our catalog on Friday 10 April, 2015.

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