Midnight Black



Intellectual Thriller

Date Published: 04-14-2021

Publisher: Indies United Publishing House

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When plunder becomes a way of life for men, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

Frederic Bastiat, French Economist. 1801-1850

Fifteen years following his imprisonment for committing a brutal revenge murder, former top DEA Agent Billy Russell is paroled five-years early to a world controlled by autocratic billionaires. Armed only with his wits, Billy returns to find a society fighting for its very survival and soon finds himself embroiled in the wildest conspiracy he could have ever imagined.


Winner of the Author’s Circle Novel of Excellence for Fiction, The International Review of Books for Fiction, the Literary Titan award for Excellence in Fiction.



There’s no turning back now from what I came to do… what I am compelled to do… consequences be damned… Lady Justice doesn’t get her hands on this one… this one is mine… I’ve been sitting in my car now for ten minutes staring at the house… I’ve checked and rechecked the address… this is it, a gray two-story four-unit tenement with three ground floor entry doors… I assume the middle one leads upstairs… the one to the left, that’s the correct number… this is it, it’s now or never… screwing on the silencer to my Glock-22, I approach the door and knock… no response… I strike the door againthis time a voice responds.

“Who is it?”

“I have a package for Mister Jack Kerfoot. It requires a signature.”

“I’m not expecting a package. Who’s it from?”

“Amazon, sir.”

“I’m not expecting a package from Amazon.”

“If you’ll just open the door and take a look, Mister Kerfoot.”

A couple of seconds pass before a lock is released… the door slowly opens about a foot and Kerfoot peers out. Immediately, I kick at it… it swings open hitting Kerfoot’s right shoulder and knocking him back… stepping in, I stick my gun in his face.

“Hey! Who the hell are you?”

“Your worst nightmare.”

“Get out of here, I’m calling the cops!”

“Go ahead, piss ant, call them.”

The last thing this lying son-of-a-bitch wants is the police to show up… not with what he’s done… Jesus, he can’t be over twenty-five or twenty-six years old, thin face, dirty-blond hair, blue-green eyes… he’s short… five-eight if he’s lucky… coming face-to-face with him only increases my rage. 

“What the hell do you want, man?”

“You, Jack Kerfoot, you.”

“Me? What for? Get the hell out of my house!”

Watch his right hand, Billy… why is it behind his back? His hand whips around… shit, the fool’s got a gun… instinctively, my right arm swings up and out the Glock smashing against his left ear just as he pulls his trigger… the bullet whizzing within inches of my left ear slamming into the wall behind me… blood’s gushing from his ear… his hand goes to it… he squeals like a wounded animal… his gun slips from his hand to the floor… he turns and quick-steps down the hall through a door slamming it behind him like the repulsive rodent he is… hey, jerk off, that’s not gonna save you… kicking the door with a flat right foot, it swings open on the first try… it’s an oversized closet… the feral pig is on his ass behind a couple of large boxes and hanging clothes, legs bent to his chest, arms wrapped around his knees, fingers intertwined tight, eyes shut like maybe if he doesn’t see me I’m not really here and won’t do what I’ve come to do. 

“You know why I’m here, Kerfoot?” 

No answer. 

“Open your eyes, look at me.” 

His eyelids slowly open, his gaze going first to my gun then up to meet mine… here it comes, the prick is gonna plead for his miserable life, but I’m not offering options here… forget it creep, they’ll be no negotiations on this your last day sucking air.

“Who are you… what do you want!”

“Does the name Russell ring a bell?”

“I don’t know no Russell. You got the wrong guy.”

The hell I have… aiming for his right knee, I squeeze the trigger… the silencer muffles the sound of the exploding bullet… the shell strikes peeling away his kneecap… he’s howling like a squealing pig… his body’s oscillating like an electric toothbrush. My second shot is to his left kneecap ripping away flesh, cartilage, and bone… his mouth flaps open wide… out comes another chilling scream. Go ahead, you pussy, make all the noise you want, nobody’s coming to your rescue… look at me, asshole, look at me before your lights go out and you come face to face with your maker… whoever the hell that is… Satan, maybe.

 “Just in case you didn’t know her name, it was Diedre.”


“Diedre, her name was Diedre.” 

He’s shaking badly, breathing hard, and having trouble putting one word in front of the other.

“I… don’t… know… any … Diedre!”

Enough chitchat… do it, do it now, Billy… I squeeze the trigger… the bullet’s racing down the barrel at twenty-five-hundred feet per second striking his forehead just above and between his eyes leaving not a neat hole but tearing away the top of his skull splattering flesh, bone, blood and gray matter over boxes, clothes and walls… Lucifer’s bastard son is dead… it felt right and righteous and all the other words in the English lexicon that justifies what I’ve done in Diedre’s name… now get out of here, Billy. Whoa, wait! What the hell was that? An earsplitting horn-blast! Jesus, it sounds like it’s coming from inside this closet… there it is again, only louder… a sharp stab to the middle of my back… zap, zap… an electrical charge is surging through me doubling me over… someone’s in my face yelling. 

“Get up, get your lazy ass up!”


“You heard me 556, get your miserable ass out of that bunk now.”

That voice… that accent… it can’t be… its Quasi. 

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“I’m everywhere, 556, always watching and waiting for you to screw up. Now get your goddamn criminal ass up.” 



About the Author

During his film and television career, Robert J. Emery, who writes novels under the pen name, R. J. Eastwood, has written, produced, and directed feature motion pictures, television documentaries, national television commercials, political campaigns, and industrial films. Some of the highlights of his career include the award-winning ninety-one-episode television series The Directors for Starz/Encore, the award-winning four-part mini-series, The Genocide Factor for PBS, the award-winning documentary For God & Country: A Marine Sniper's Story for MSNBC, and the award-winning motion picture, Swimming Upstream, for the Lifetime Television Network.


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