Frankie Lee and the Missing Tongues by E.A. Lowe

Frankie Lee and the Missing Tongues

byE.A. Lowe

Kobo ebook | September 2, 2016

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A feline runaway brings unorthodox clairvoyant Frankie Lee to genius innovator Lucian Grey’s home, where she spots the ghost of his murdered fiancée, Kristina Moore. Frankie experiences a terrifying vision and convinces Lucian of her unique abilities.

When Lucian tells her that his fiancée is one of the seven victims, who have had their tongues ripped out, Frankie agrees to help Lucian catch the killer–the bounty is more than one million! She engages the services of her best friend, Melissa Brooks, a witch doctor and necromancer, who can raise the dead, if the price is right.

While they are busy hunting down the killer, little does Frankie know she is being hunted too. By an aura leech, a ghost from the past, and a faceless demon. Set in New York, a glittering and crime-hardened city that turns a deaf ear to screams, the streets are filled with more horrors than anyone can imagine. A fantastical read with a wicked twist of humor, Frankie Lee’s adventures will have you flipping the pages eagerly. 

EXCERPT

PROLOGUE
New Jersey. 21 Years Ago.

This was a changeling. Her real baby had died. In replacement, swaddled in a soft pink cotton blanket was an abomination. The devil’s child. It tried to look vulnerable and helpless but she was not deceived. Would not be deceived. Mrs. Gasson refused to look at it.

“Dear, look at our…”

“Get it away from me!” Mrs. Gasson screamed angrily and thrashed her arms hysterically in the air when her husband tried to show her the baby’s wrinkled face. Startled by the racket, the baby screamed shrilly. Her brows furrowed and her creased skin deepened into an ugly mottled red.

Mrs. Gasson crossed herself repeatedly and spitted at the thing her husband was carrying. Alarmed, the flustered doctor quickly motioned Mr. Gasson over, and spoke to him in hushed tones.

“In your wife’s current condition, it’s best to give her some time to recover from the childbirth and surgery. It’s postpartum depression. Try not to agitate her.”

Mr. Gasson nodded his head attentively like a puppet on strings. “What about the baby? She needs to feed.” The small bundle felt feather light in his arms.

“Don’t you worry, the nurses will take good care of her. We have excellent baby formulas in the maternity ward.”

“Poor child,” he sighed heavily. “Papa needs to give you a name.” He rocked the hiccupping baby gently.

When his wife went into labor at home two days ago, what it seemed like an exciting welcome for a new life became a nightmare twenty hours later, when the worried midwife announced anxiously that the baby was stuck in the birth canal. It went downhill after that.

The journey to the nearest hospital was fraught with difficulties–traffic congestion from a serious road accident and a broken-down vehicle obstructing the only road to the hospital. By the time his wife arrived at the hospital, she was hemorrhaging. An ultrasound revealed two babies instead of one.

Unfortunately, the first girl in the birth canal was breech, and help had come too late for the other baby in the womb. The younger twin was already dead by the time the doctors extracted her through an incision.

By day three, Mrs. Gasson was not getting any better. In the grips of a fever that showed no signs of abating, she was incoherent and distraught, raving about the devil’s child, death and forgiveness. She cried harder whenever an exasperated Mr. Gasson tried to introduce their newborn to her.

Five days after Mrs. Gasson was admitted, she suffered a sudden heart attack. An exhausted Mr. Gasson had gone to the restroom after leaving the baby in a cot next to his wife, who was finally asleep after another hysterical outburst.

When he entered the hospital room ten minutes later, his wife was convulsing and clutching her chest. And just like that, she was gone. Her life snuffed out despite the doctor’s efforts to resuscitate her. His daughter had slept through the chaos; Mr. Gasson realized when he checked on the quiet baby.

“Have you decided what to name her?” the doctor asked, jolting Mr. Gasson out of his melancholic thoughts.

Mr. Gasson looked lost for a while before looking down at the baby in his arms. It was the day of discharge. He murmured, “Frances.”

“That’s a pretty name for a pretty baby,” the doctor complimented.

“It means the free one. Free from it all,” Mr. Gasson explained monotonously, as he stared emotionlessly at the unsmiling baby with red hair and startling pale blue eyes. “Hello, Frances Leeann Gasson.”

Chapter 1: Loony meets sane

Brooklyn, New York. Present Day

On the madness scale of one to ten, Frankie Lee probably rated a ten. She was as neurotic as the Mad Hatter with his crazed fashion sense in the movie, except that he did not wear beefsteaks on his green coat. No green for her. It would clash awfully with her hair color, which resembled the shade of carrots. Her foster mom was charmed by its color; she had stroked it lovingly and called it ginger.

Dead meat would dull her vitality and shroud her from the Shadows, who were constantly on the prowl for living energy to feed on. Most people thought they were just fatigued from their hectic schedules. They could not see the ravenous Shadows hanging around and leeching on them with thin, long enveloping arms.

Tonight, she was evading the Shadows so that they would not have a chance to feed off her psychic energy while she searched for Tiffany, her grumpy one-eyed cat. Psychic energy was more addictive than the energy of ordinary people, as it gave the Shadows a buzz akin to a marijuana high.

Her feet hurt like hell even though they were in ballet flats. She had been walking for almost half an hour, past the Brooklyn Bridge. A few minutes more, and she would be in Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhood, Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass, or better known as Dumbo. It was also home to many tech companies and enterprising startups, which gave Dumbo its moniker–the center of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.

Her catnip wand was still twitching, Frankie was dumbfounded by the distance her cat had covered. Maybe she had been catnapped. She was now nearing a park, and her wand yanked her hand towards a row of thick bushes. That seemed right; insecure cats would go for the safety that bushes provide. She stuck her head into the bushes and meowed softly.

A cat meowed back.

“Tiffany! Meow, where are you? Meow?” She parted the bushes, uncaring of the scratchy twigs.

“She’s here.” Someone was talking to her bottom.

She backed out of the bushes and rear-ended a pair of strong, firm legs. Oomph, she huffed and balanced herself with her palms on the moist ground.

“Oh my catnip, you found Tiffany! Thank you. Thank you.” Immensely grateful, she grabbed Tiffany’s tiny face and smacked loud kisses on it. The startled feline responded with hisses and swats. Ungrateful cat. Frankie dodged an angry paw.

The man holding her cat cleared his throat politely.

Frankie looked up and was stunned into speechlessness for seconds. Mouth dry, she took in the perfect image of the most attractive man she had ever seen. And it was not his face. She was less shallow than most women. His aura was stunning.

Most people had weak auras, dulled by years of vices and sins. His was dynamic and brilliant. Every pigment was deep and rich. She tilted her head in different angles to appreciate the vividness and vibrancy of each shade. She needed sunglasses. His brightness was blinding despite the setting sun. Suddenly, that aura dulled. Frankie frowned as she glimpsed a Shadow behind him. It was feeding on his aura.

Her palms were wet, and she wiped them on the seat of her jeans, hoping that the gorgeous man did not notice her non-sanitary action.

“Frankie.” She extended one hand in friendship.

“Is that short for Frankenstein?” He lifted an aristocratic brow at her disheveled ensemble, made up of what it seemed like raw meat and possibly, animal body parts. She looked a fright. He had bumped into a demented woman looking for her cat. Maybe the link between cat ownership and mental illness was not unfounded after all.

She was a few bloody pieces short of Hannibal. A crazy fan of Lady Gaga trying to mimic the famous star’s gory style? His nose wrinkled with distaste. As his hands remained firmly tucked in his pants pockets, Frankie hastily lowered her outstretched hand in embarrassment.

“It’s Frances.” She really could not blame him. She was a mess. “I am incognito,” she excused herself.

“Excuse me?” If it were any possible, his displeasure became more pronounced on his face.

“Err…long story.”

“I don’t have time for a long story. Good day, Madam.” He did a mock salute with two long elegant fingers.

She sneaked a peek at the pavement. The shadowy figure was still there, right smack in the middle of the pavement. He would have walked straight into it. She would not have bothered if not for the fact that he returned her cat minutes ago. Although the Shadow was unlikely to cause him any permanent damage, the feeding would leave him feeling drained and lethargic tonight and perhaps, tomorrow, if it followed him home.

“Wait, Mr… Mr… I didn’t catch your name.”

“I didn’t give it.” He started to walk away from her, towards the Shadow. She screeched.

“What the hell?” He spun around and demanded, “What is it?”

“COCKROACH!” She pointed frantically downwards and made a leap towards him. Acting on sheer instinct, he deftly caught one flailing arm and a struggling cat before both of them struck him in the face. Her legs clasped his waist tightly.

He repressed the urge to swear and do her bodily harm by dumping her unceremoniously onto the hard ground. She was still screeching away, creating an awful racket in the upscale neighborhood. He was temporarily deafened.

“Get a grip of yourself!” He gave her a firm shake with one hand while the other secured the stunned cat. Her arms were gripping the hair on his nape. He wanted to growl like a pissed-off tomcat.

With her long hair covering her face, she could not see if the Shadow was still behind him. She swung her head to the side, attempting to fling her hair away from her eyes. Her hair—greasy from two days of not washing—smacked the man in his face before settling with a soft thud on the side of her head. She saw his enraged expression. Oh no.

At that moment, his face looked more terrifying than the faceless Shadow. She gulped but did not release her dead grasp on him.

“Get off me this instant. You stank.”

That was not polite, she sulked.

“I … er … There’s a huge cockroach.” She tore a steak off her blouse and threw it in the direction of the Shadow. It slithered away before the steak hit the ground.

He scanned the pavement. “It’s gone. Get off now before I throw you off.”

“Thank you for saving me.” She let her legs slide down his muscular legs and thought he visibly shuddered at the contact. What a rude man.

“And my cat,” she added. Peering around him, she was relieved that the Shadow was slinking towards another unsuspecting victim. She sneaked a peek at the man.

His eyes were shut. Perhaps he was trying to calm himself down. “Take deep breaths,” Frankie advised.

“You smell like dead meat,” he choked out and made a gagging noise in his throat.

“You are in need of a long bath.” He glanced down and spotted the red streaks on his white shirt. “So am I. Goodbye,” he said it with finality, and thrust the cat into Frankie’s arms. She hurriedly held on to Tiffany with a grateful smile.

He made his escape deftly before Frankie could say another word. She pouted forlornly, waving at his rear view.

She was in love with his aura.

Title:Frankie Lee and the Missing TonguesFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 2, 2016Publisher:E.A. LoweLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990052158822

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