Authors: Allan Leverone
Kindle edition copyright ©2012 by Allan Leverone
All rights reserved as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. No part of this publication may be used, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the author, except where permitted by law, or in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is unintended and entirely coincidental.
First eBook edition: 2012
No one exists on an island, but everyone needs a rock. My rock is my family: My wife, Sue, twenty-eight years and counting. My children, Stefanie, Kristin and Craig, three wonderful young adults who represent a legacy far better than any I could ever have dreamed of leaving. And my granddaughter, Arianna, for whom the future is limitless.
Special thanks to Neil Jackson, cover artist extraordinaire and a true gentleman.
Praise for Allan Leverone
“Suspenseful and well-written,
The Lonely Mile
shows how far a father will go to save his child.”
—Debbi Mack, New York Times bestselling author of
“Written with edge-of-your-seat suspense and precise detail…The successor to Michael Crichton has landed. And his name is Allan Leverone.”
—Vincent Zandri, Amazon bestselling author of
“Allan Leverone delivers a taut crime drama full of twists and conspiracy. A serial killer thriller with a heart.”
—Scott Nicholson, Amazon bestselling author of
“Allan Leverone raises the stakes with every turn of the page…”
—Sophie Littlefield, Anthony Award-winning author of
A Bad Day for Sorry
“Thriller fans will enjoy Allan Leverone’s new book,
The Lonely Mile,
which will carry readers along as a daughter is stolen by a vengeful serial killer.”
—Dave Zeltserman, author of
“A dark and creepy chiller!”
—Ron Malfi, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of
“Fast-paced and eerily seductive,
is a well-told and atmospheric tale of loss and obsession, of madness and revenge. Allan Leverone is a terrific writer with a bright future…”
—Mark Edward Hall, author of
The Lost Village
“I was floored by the great writing…this book is a steal for anyone that is a fan of a good crime thriller.”
“…a chillingly realistic suspense thriller that will have you holding on for the ride of your life.”
—Life in Review
“…this story drew me in, grabbed my attention and would let go until the very surprising and climactic ending…one hell of a roller coaster ride…”
—Café of Dreams Book Reviews
“…the suspense never stops…an intense thriller…”
“From page one to the end you will be breathless with suspense…simply an entertaining and enjoyable and intense story…This is one of the things that I love about book blogging—finding new authors from smaller presses that are true gems.”
—My Reading Room
“…a must have for anyone looking for a great page turner with mystery and mayhem”
“If you enjoy thrillers…this is a great option. It’s a fast-moving storyline…and you’ll find you care about the main characters…”
—My Book Retreat
“…feels like I’m watching an episode of
There is not a dull moment, and absolutely no lag time…The characters are well developed, and I find the plot easily believable and very easy to get absorbed in.”
—Southern Fiber Reads
“…a high suspense thrill ride…”
—Derry (NH) News
“…keeps you on the edge of your seat, reading pages as fast as you can…I highly recommend that you read this book…you will not be disappointed.”
—Two Ends of the Pen
“…absolutely fantastic…The story moves along at a good pace, dripping with atmosphere…The frights come at you hard and fast…A great story, believable characters, tension, atmosphere, frights galore, blood, and a nice twist at the end…”
“…the storyline was haunting and creepy…I would recommend
to anyone who enjoys a really nightmarish tale.”
—Horrornews.net Book Reviews
Books by Allan Leverone
Novellas by Allan Leverone
Short Story Collection
Three months ago
Don Running Bear’s brakes screeched out a complaint as he pulled to a stop at the end of his dusty driveway. He shut down the engine and his ancient Chevy pickup kicked and bucked like a temperamental stallion, eventually giving up the ghost and wheezing into silence.
He sat in the cab and mopped his face with a well-worn handkerchief. Faded renderings of sacred Navajo animals covered the light cotton, dulled by the passage of time from white to a sickly greyish-brown. The hankie had been a gift from his grandfather and was now threadbare and clearly past the end of its useful life. Don knew he should take some action to preserve it, maybe store it between the pages of a book or something, but he had used the damn thing for as long as he could remember and could not imagine going through even a single day without being able to touch the only remaining link to the man he so admired.
The temperature outside the pickup had soared to well over one hundred degrees, which meant inside the truck it was probably close to one-forty, but Don was in no hurry to get into his house, despite the fact the air conditioning would provide a welcome respite from this blast-furnace heat. Don needed to think, and to do that he had to be alone. So he sat in his truck, barely noticing the sweat running down his weathered copper face.
Don Running Bear was worried. He hadn’t been sleeping well, being assaulted nightly by dreams filled with violence and bloodshed, nightmares which were clearly meant as a sign. And worse, the problem was not that he didn’t understand the significance of his terrible dreams, but rather that he feared he did. In these visions, all of them disturbingly similar, a beautiful young Navajo girl wrought death and destruction, murdering strangers and cracking open their cold corpses, plunging her tiny hand inside their chests, ripping out the hearts of her victims, then turning to dust and disappearing.
In these horrifying dreams, the identity of the young girl refused to reveal itself to Don, although she seemed strangely familiar and he knew he should recognize her. Each morning he awoke trembling, drenched in sweat, certain that with just a little extra effort he might be able to identify the girl, and maybe then begin to decipher the meaning of the nightmares. But so far, her face had remained elusive.
Don wished he could turn back time and salvage a few hours with his grandfather. Niyol Running Bear had died more than a decade ago, and with his passing, so too had many of the mystical secrets of the tribal medicine man been lost. Niyol had adamantly refused to share his wisdom and knowledge with his son, Nastas—Don’s father—saying only that the knowledge was explosive and dangerous and he would not involve his family in any more of it than necessary.
Nastas had died young, killed in a horrific car crash driving drunk at a high rate of speed on the reservation, leaving only Don and his grandfather, and when Niyol had become seriously ill, he had reluctantly entrusted a very valuable relic—a stone—to Don, telling him only that it was to be hidden and protected at all costs, that it was sacred, imbued with ungodly power, magical and fearsome and terrible.
Don had been thinking a lot recently of both his grandfather and the stone. He wondered if the nightmares he had begun experiencing were somehow related to one or both of them. He suspected they were, but since his grandfather had never gone into specifics regarding the danger the stone represented or its awesome power, Don could do no more than guess. But the very fact he associated his dreams with the stone after Niyol had been gone a decade illustrated the impression the old man had made.
Don Running Bear sighed and stepped out of his truck. Dwelling on the dreams and their possible relation to the sacred stone, long tucked securely away, was pointless without further information, and he had no way of acquiring that information. He vowed to let it go, to forget about the damned stone, but he had made that vow hundreds of times, probably thousands, and knew he would never be able to follow through on it. The hot, dry wind which seemed to blow endlessly across the plains raised little eddies of dust around his shoes as he trudged across the front yard.
He stepped through the front door into the cool stillness of his small home, distracted and upset. He made it two full steps inside the house and then froze in confusion and fear. Seated directly across the room, facing the door so there was no way Don could miss the sight of them, were his wife and teenage daughter. They had been fastened to matching kitchen chairs placed side by side, immobilized by thick strips of shiny silver duct tape wound around their wrists and ankles. Don regarded his family in surprise and they stared back in terror, eyes bulging, utterly silent despite the fact they had not been gagged.
Behind the two women, looming over them in a stool taken from the breakfast bar in the kitchen, was a middle-aged man Don had never seen before. The silver haired intruder displayed a long, curved knife, holding it above Eagle Wing’s and Kai’s heads, turning it slowly in the air so that the sunlight pouring through the window winked and glittered off the polished blade’s surface. If the man was trying to get Don’s attention, his efforts had been terrifyingly successful.
For a long moment no one moved. Time seemed to stretch into infinity. The stranger lowered the knife blade so that its razor-sharp point pressed against the soft skin of his younger captive’s throat.
Eagle Wing gasped softly and Don finally spoke. “What’s going on here?” He worked hard to keep his voice strong and calm, fearing he knew the answer to the question but asking it anyway. Sometimes life’s little dramas must play out according to a script written by fate. He forced himself to direct his full attention at the man, not because he wanted to, but because he suspected that to do otherwise would be consigning his family to death.
“It’s very simple,” the stranger said, maintaining a steady pressure with the knife-blade at Eagle Wing’s throat. “An item of great value was entrusted to your care many years ago. You’re going to give it to me.”
Don had an instant to decide how to respond. What were the odds the man with the knife was talking about anything other than the sacred Navajo stone? Essentially nil. But for the heavy weight of responsibility his grandfather had laid on his shoulders, Don Running Bear was an ordinary Native American man living an ordinary life. He was the proprietor of the reservation’s General Store, a nearly invisible forty year old man who owned nothing of monetary value, certainly nothing worth breaking into his home and threatening murder to get.
Nothing except the stone.