{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Dris Horton would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Whitewashed Tombs

By Dris Horton All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Scifi

Where the Worm Never Dies

"And you shall look out upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against me, where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched."  -  Jesus rebuking the sanhedrin in the Book of Mark

"....there came a rapping, a tapping at my chamber door....."          -Edgar Allan Poe 

Holes. I can still see the holes, perfectly aligned center pieces of my nightmare. They look as if made by some slinking, omnivorous worm gorging its way through the dimensions, leaving a trace of tell-tale perforations. Or an unseen needle and thread moving in and out of the fabric of things, the thread long since degraded to nothing, leaving only the holes. Connected, black and bottomless. Smoke-filled and many holes.

The holes have a sound, a dull roaring hiss, evil utterances, ancient echoes from the abyss. Gunshots. Screams. Moans and weeping, lots of weeping. Tears for my partner, the late Detective Clint Saucea.

I was killed on September 11, 2001, in New York City when terrorists flew jets into the World Trade Center. My name is James Kraft and I'm an undercover narcotics officer for the New Orleans Police Department, caught in a ten-day time loop that's now lasted fourteen years. 

By the time the first jet hit the North Tower, I'd been in New York ten days looking for Clint's murderer, a Middle-Eastern drug lord called Akar. AKA Drago Negro, The Black Dragon. I'd actually been in the CIA office on the 87th floor of the South Tower, handcuffed to a chair, gaping in disbelief at the second jet as it barreled straight at me.

Just before the first jet struck, four men in black had been attempting to beat an illicit confession out of me. Not only did they say they would frame me for Clint's murder in New Orleans, plus many other murders; they wanted to know how I knew about the attacks and the attacks hadn't even happened yet. All this had been very confusing to me that first time because Akar had been there. He'd killed Clint, and Stryker and Manendez. That bastard also had the others killed. He'd stood by gloating with authority as the men in black beat on me, assuring that I would be held responsible for all these murders.

Then suddenly a loud crash shook the room, and the look on Akar's face changed from one of derision, to fear and confusion. The men in black stopped hitting me and looked at Akar as his eyes scanned the room, wondering what the hell had happened. He pulled out his cell phone and moved to the large plate glass window that overlooked New York Harbor, bits of debris fluttering by. Within seconds the door to the room opened. A man stuck his head in and said that the North Tower had just been hit by a commercial airliner. They suddenly started acting friendly, even Akar, offering a cigarette and a drink of cognac.

"How do you know about Operation Dragonfly?" they asked. "Please tell us again. It's okay, we won't hurt you anymore. Just had to see if you were one of us. Tell us again what Stryker told you."

The cigarette they gave me tasted so good. And the cognac; it reminded me of the day I'd first met Stryker, ten days earlier in New Orleans, when he'd first sent me on this mission to find Akar.

I was trying to talk, but they couldn't understand me; my frigg'n jaw was broke. One of the men in black offered me some kind of pill, a painkiller he said. That's when I noticed the second jet, it's starboard side gleaming silver in the morning sun. Suddenly the words to an old Lead Belly tune came to me.

"Driving ninety I ain't scary s'long as I got my Virgin Mary tell'n me that I want go to hell"

I let out a short, painful chuckle. Then Akar and his four men in black all turned to see what I later learned to be Flight 78, highjacked out of Boston, bound for San Francisco, hauling ass straight at us. In an eerie kind of way, that last split-split second was very cool, a beautiful moment of poetic justice that I've been chasing ever since. The look on Akar's face is now one my favorite memories. Just as the jet's nose broke the glass, even over the roar of its engines, I heard Akar scream.

The pain is incredible, a rush of agony that I can only discribe as volcanic. Every deed of my pathetic life, both good and bad, is relived over and over, seeming to go on and on forever.

497 times I've gone through this hell, and each time I think it's the last and final hell. But instead, I wake up in a cold, DT-induced sweat back where it all started on September 1, 2001: Room 201 of the Burgundy Inn, a crappy motel in New Orleans's French Quarter, just two blocks from Bourbon Street. Once again confronted by the holes, I wait for Stryker to arrive, the old Nazi war criminal still fighting his own demons. He'll soon rap on my chamber door just as I'm about to blow my brains out. He'll question, educate and intrigue me, finance and provoke me, then send me again on the express train Conrad Joe, one-way to New York City. Followed by the holes.


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Sara Grover: When I first started reading, it was a bit slow; though only because it was so information intense and fast-paced in trying to describe how this complex galactic corporation/government like entity controls known space. I would suggest maybe adding a preface to better educate the reader to help av...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...

annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...

Melissa Davis: Interesting book and an enjoyable read. Had something different to it, that made me glad I picked it up.

christylynnr5: This was beyond amazing! I loved this book. The characters seemed so real. It was amazing how the author let Zak and Kaylees personalities slowly change. This story was very sad and eye opening. It could teach some people a very worthy lesson. It was a great combination of romance, mystery, and a...

borkarprasad: Nicely laid story. Needed a little more ghost and Raven conversations. Initially, Had everyone on suspect list but satisfied by the precision to capture the killer. Waiting for more Raven and Cade adventures.

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Laraine Smith: This should be a movie! You are talented! It is that good! Keep it up! It is visual! It grabbed me! Don't give up!

More Recommendations

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

Dina Husseini: It was a great hook. I do not like reading scifi because they end up being like all the rest but this one kept me wanting more.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.