Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet–The First Six Chapters


Over the last two months, I’ve posted seventeen episodes of my next novel, Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet, which I co-authored with a good friend, Tom Quinn.  This make up the first six chapters of the novel, and now, the first six chapters are free to download, distribute and read by anyone.  The format is PDF, which can be viewed on any PC,  tablet, smart phone or e-book reader.  I fully recognize it can be edited and changed, should someone desire to do so.  I ask that you please do not alter it in any way.  Good, bad or mediocre, it is mine.  Please respect that.

Here is the link to download LIFEIN64-CH1-CH6.PDF

I hope you enjoy it.  I really do.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Seventeen


Episode Seventeen


I was always awkward but had learned to adapt, and by the time I was graduating high school, I was in the top of my class.

“The future rests on our strong and capable shoulders. It will be our generation that will herald in the new age. It will be our generation that will face and resolve the problems of our time.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes.

My speech is so much better. I had written and submitted a speech for this year’s graduation but Mr. Duncan, the principal thought it was “not in keeping with tradition.” I clutched a folded-up copy of the speech and sat quietly.

The audience was made up of the graduating class; a hundred or so students all in maroon caps and gowns, and their friends and their family, of course. My mother is present. Finally, the speech drew to a close.

“Congratulations to you, the class of 2001! The future is what we make of it!”

All of my classmates jumped to their feet. I looked at the response of those around and slowly got to my feet, too.

They all scream, “Hooray!” I just didn’t feel it. Along with the rest of the class, I took off my cap and threw it in the air. It was a unfulfilling event for me, but everyone around me seemed truly excited and caught up in the moment. Proud mothers were dabbing away their tears of joy with white handkerchiefs, proud fathers heartily shaking the hands of their newly emancipated sons. I finally just quit trying to fake it, and as my classmates were doing high-fives, I stepped away from the crowd, wanting to distance myself from them.

It startled me a little when there was a touch on the shoulder. It was my mother.

“I’m so proud of you,” she said with a sweet and reassuring smile. “Your father would have been, too.”

I smiled back, still clutching my speech.

We walked arm in arm toward the car and my mother was beaming with pride. I wasn’t sure what I had done to elicit such a swelling sense of satisfaction in her. There was nothing unique about my academic accomplishments. I had simply shown up, listened, and on test day, I regurgitated what I had heard. Nonetheless, I was glad to see her so happy. As we walked past a trash can at the edge of the parking lot, I tossed my speech into it.

“I know you’re going out with your friends to celebrate, but drive me home first. You can take the car.”

She tossed me the keys. More and more, I noticed that my Mother didn’t want to drive. That’s fine and I didn’t mind, but it was clear she wasn’t comfortable behind the wheel anymore. It was a long drive, almost an hour, and I wasn’t talkative.

“Something the matter, Bobby?” She asked. It had been over ten minutes where neither of us had said anything.

“Just thinking about what’s next.”

“Don’t you worry about that.” My mother’s face still showed distinct pride. “I’ve spoken to Philip Crenshaw, Jonah’s father. He’s agreed to give you an internship in the research department at Trust Media Group. The pay is not much to start, but Trust Media Group is a very big place, with subsidiary companies in lots of other things besides magazines and television. It will get you started. It’s the kind of company you can stick with your entire life, retire from. And they’ve got good benefits.”

They used to call this a grind. Now, it’s obligation. Now, it’s opportunity. Now, it’s life.

“Really,” I said without enthusiasm.

Trust Media Group was a huge media conglomerate, but I knew that Phillip Crenshaw worked for one of its smaller divisions, The Trusted Authority, a weekly tabloid newspaper that is on every supermarket checkout stand. The cover story was often something to do with aliens, subterranean humanoids living in the sewers who snatch babies or maybe just a slice of life from Paris Hilton’s routine. You know, stuff that is hard to believe. It was journalism at its most yellow .

My mother continued, “You’re father had always wanted you to have a good job… a white-collar job. He wanted you to achieve more than he did.”

She wasn’t the sort to come out and say it, but I also knew that she was having a tough time making ends meet. My father’s lingering death and prolonged hospital treatment had left her with more bills than the small insurance policy could cover. If I was earning, I would be able to help her.

Still, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of working for Jonah Crenshaw’s father or TMG. Besides that, I disliked the idea of being an office boy. But this job didn’t have to last forever, maybe just a year or so. That would be enough to help pay off the debts my mother had, but there were other ways to make a living.

“Sounds great. Not,” I said, eyes fixed straight ahead on the road.

In the driveway, I helped my mother from the car and walked her inside and followed her into the kitchen as she put a kettle on for some tea. I stood silently in the kitchen doorway watching her fill the kettle and then place it on the hot stove.

“Mom, I can’t do this, this new job.”

“Trust Media? Of course you can. They have a training program. Orientation, Mr. Crenshaw called it.”

“Not what I mean, Mom. I don’t know what I want to do yet, but this isn’t it. I’ll find something else to do. I would really like to write.”

“Well, you can still write. It’s good to have a hobby.”

I felt annoyed, angry and frustrated, all at once.

“I will not work at TMG!” Tears welled in my eyes.

“You’re a dreamer, just like your father. Look where that got him!” She was upset and her head shook when she spoke. She raised her hands up as if calling on help from above. “You can’t make a living from dreaming. You’ve got to get a real job. It’s time to stop being a child and start being an adult.”

“I’ll pay my way. I’ll find something to get me by, but I’ve got to have time to figure things out. I’m not going to work for TMG, and that’s final. Not you or anyone is going to make me work for TMG! You hear me? No one!”

I braced myself for the anticipated, harsh words I was certain would come but when my mother opened her mouth, nothing came out. She just stood there, statuesque and poised, and then she gasped.

It was a ragged drag on the air, and I noticed the look on her face, now. It wasn’t anger and resentment. It was fear. She stumbled back on the stove, and her outstretched hand clutched her chest.

I moved to catch her and she screamed, shrill and high pitched. Only it wasn’t a scream. It was only the sound of the kettle whistling.


My mother had a stroke. She’d been working too hard since my father died, doing various housecleaning jobs as she could get them. She was also getting older and couldn’t keep up the pace. She recovered, but not fully, and now needed full-time medical care. I went to work at TMG to support her. Years later, I am still at TMG and still supporting her.

I left the cemetery and drove back to the office. I had a full inbox but I didn’t get any work done. I had my performance forms to complete, calls to make, a meeting to go to. I did none of them.



Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Sixteen


Episode Sixteen


I withdrew after my father died.  I was never outgoing but now, I was more introverted than ever. I had a lot of trouble making friends and interacting with others.

I remember Ms. Hall’s 3rd grade class – I would sit at my assigned desk, just like the other children sitting at other desks in the room. We were supposed to draw what we want to be when we grow up; it was supposed to be a fun assignment. I had a manila piece of paper in front of me.

The kids at the desks around me were busy coloring with crayons. Some were drawing guys building houses, driving cars or piloting airplanes. One was drawing a rocket ship. The page in front of me is blank except that I had put my name at the top left corner. ‘Bobby’ in purple crayon, and written at a slight angle.

Ms. Hall, a 40-something school teacher, strolled around, observing the students and nodding with approval at their projects. She came by my desk and stopped, assessing the blank paper in front of me. I didn’t look up, but I felt her presence. After a moment, she sighed and moved on.

They used to call this Art Class. Now, it’s Defamation. Now, it’s Biased Judgment. Now, it’s life.

The other children were engrossed in their creations, so I turned my attention back to the blank paper in front of me. Picking up a green crayon, I put it back down and then got a red one. I started marking on the page.

When art class was almost over, the teacher came back around to me, smiling. Like the other kids, I had finally drawn something. As she approached, her smile faded and her brow creased a bit. The page was covered with words. In fact, the paper was full of words, telling a story about a man in jail. She looked over my shoulder and picked it up. She flipped the page over and noticed that the words continued on the back. She turns the page back over, and scrawled at the top of the paper in red crayon it reads, “Trapped.”

“Bobby,” she said in a deliberate and kind tone, “why don’t you go outside and play with the other children.”

“But I’m not done with my story.”

“That’s ok. You were supposed to draw a picture. We’ll write stories another time,” she urged, looking at the paper with concern.

I got up and left the room, but not before I saw her take my paper and put it in the top drawer of her desk.



Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Fifteen


Episode Fifteen


It took a while to find my father’s grave. It had been a while since I had visited. Odd, the things you choose to remember about people when they are gone.

A frail and withered man lay sleeping in an oxygen tent. His breathing was shallow and uneven, and the medical apparatus in the room had tubes and wires that connected them to the man in the bubble. The machines beeped and clicked.

I was seven years old; looking through the clear, rectangular material at what my father was reduced to being. Were it not for the medication, oxygen tent and the other machines, my father would have died months ago. The tumor had been growing out of control for a while, but this last month had been the worst. The doctors weren’t sure how much longer he would hang on. I looked  at him as he breathed uncomfortably and a tear rolled down my cheek, unhindered.

They used to call it a deathwatch. Now, it’s visiting hours. Now, it’s quality time with Dad. Now, it’s life.

My father looked different, distorted by the plastic sheet of the oxygen tent, so I cautiously bent down and stepped inside the tent, careful not to disturb any of the hoses or wires, practically tiptoeing around them to get a better look, and as I did, my father’s eyes fluttered open to a semi-conscious state.

He pulled a deep breath and strained to say, “Hey there. I got you something, Chief.”

It was a muffled whisper that I barely understood. His hand rose slightly from the bed and he was holding a Rubik’s Cube.

He knew how confining a hospital must be for a kid my age. He had asked a nurse to fetch something from the gift shop to keep me busy and keep my mind on something else other than his condition.

I took the toy, smiled and said, “Thanks Dad.”

He had already slipped back into unconsciousness.

I went back and sat in the chair, the only chair in the room, and focused on the Rubik’s Cube, slowly and deliberately turning the rows of colored cubes. I knew the goal was to get all the same colored cubes on each side, but the distraction of the toy was comforting, and I was really just going through the motions of turning and turning and turning without thinking about it.


The sharp, sustained noise startled me, and I realized the EKG machine connected to my father is showing a flat line. Another machine started a lower-pitch Beep! Beep! Beep! and about twenty seconds pass with the noisy alarms filling the room before anyone came in to the room. I sat there, watching.

Finally, a nurse came in and hurried to the oxygen tent. She checked the tubes and wires. A doctor and another nurse join her, the doctor opening the tent and putting his stethoscope on the man’s chest. They go through the process of trying to revive my father. Preoccupied with their tasks, none of them noticed me, sitting quietly in the chair, watching. Still clutching the Rubik’s Cube, my knuckles were white.



Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Fourteen


Episode Fourteen


I drove around for a while. I didn’t see any point in going back to the office, and I wound up at Rose Hill Cemetery. It just seemed like the right place to be.

On the hill was a gathering of about twenty people. Dressed in black and seated on wooden folding chairs, they stood out in stark contrast to the green grass, perfect rows of granite markers and blue sky. A few cars and a limousine were parked on the nearby street.

It was a burial of course – a graveside memorial. I cocked my head to one side as I watched. The casket was a pewter-colored box on a pedestal or something.

I parked and got out of the car, moving closer – discreet but attentive to the memorial. Someone is saying some kind words about… Whoever. The casket is open and I can see the body inside is that of a middle-aged man. Even from this distance, it’s easy to see that they went too heavy on the rouge, his cheeks almost red on his otherwise pale face.

I realized that I was intruding on a sacred and personal event, and the friends and relatives probably would not appreciate my staring, but no one seemed to notice me, as usual.

When the ceremony ended, they lowered the casket into the ground. I watched as everyone rose from their chairs and filed back toward their cars, in pairs or sometimes alone. One woman stepped to the edge of the grave and tossed in a flower – a rose I think. After a moment, she turned and walked back towards the parked vehicles.

Once everyone had made their way from the grave site, I slowly approached,  stepping to the edge and peering into the hole. At the bottom lay the pewter box with a single white rose resting on its lid.  It looked so serene.

Sitting down on one of the folding chairs, my jacket rode up on one side and something poked me in the ribs. Reaching around, I pulled out the package I had picked up at the post office, still wrapped.

I tore the paper off to reveal a rather plain black book with an elastic band stretched around it. Embossed in gold on the cover it had one word:


I removed the band and opened it. The cover creaked a little with stiffness as I turned to the first page and read it.

“This is the Journal of Jonathan Bocks.”

This was my father’s. I never knew he kept a journal. I flipped a few pages and read the heading:

“Went out for the swim team. Failed.”

Apparently, my father had started keeping this journal on or shortly after his sixteenth birthday. For the first time in longer than I could remember, I was excited about something. I could hardly wait to read the book, not only that it was my father’s journal, but a long time ago, my father, or someone, had arranged to have it sent to me now.

I leafed ahead sixty pages or so and stopped on a page that read, “Today I became a Father.”

“Red and wrinkled, the newborn baby wriggled in the hospital crib under the harsh fluorescent lighting in the ward. Everything is white except his little blue stocking cap. The label on the crib reads, ‘Robert Bokes’ written in black marker. That is my son.

Next to him and all around him are identical cribs with nearly identical little red and wrinkled babies wearing blue or pink stocking caps. The babies all seem so isolated in each little crib, compartmentalized.’

I stopped reading and looked at the grave in front of me. It was hard to see any difference between the beginning and the end.

“Excuse me.”

The voice startled me and I stood up from my seat to see a dark haired woman in her twenties.  I recognized her from the funeral – she dropped the rose in the grave. I was caught off guard and didn’t know what to say. I just stared at her.

“I forgot my umbrella.” She said, pointing down next to the chair I had been sitting in.

I was paralyzed, partly with fear from having been discovered next to a stranger’s open grave and partly because I was always awkward around women, especially women this pretty. Except for Tanner, – she was the one exception, the one woman that I didn’t feel the need to try to be something other than myself.

When I didn’t move, the woman reached down and retrieved the umbrella resting near my feet. “Did you know my father well?” the women asked.

“No, not well.” I replied.

The woman nodded her head.

“Neither did I.”

This seemed a very personal thing to tell a stranger and now I was really unsure of what to do.

“It was a nice ceremony though – very… pretty.” This was all I could think of.

“Yes it was.” The woman looked around the cemetery. “I’ve always liked the fall. The changing colors, it’s so beautiful.”

She picked up a bright red leaf sitting on the chair next to her. She held it by its stem and twirled the leaf by rolling the stem between her finger and thumb. “I wish the leaves always looked like this.”

I was trying to think of something appropriate to say and blurted out the first nearly relevant thing that came to my mind. “They do!”

The women gave me a puzzled look.

“The leaves – they’re always that color. Each leaf is red or yellow or orange, but you just can’t see the color through all the green chlorophyll. When the cold weather starts, the tree prepares for winter by drawing the chlorophyll back in to the trunk, and that exposes the color that was always there.”

The women smiled at me. This time, her smile was not sad.

“Then the leaf… dies, and falls off,” I added, realizing that I should have stopped while I was ahead.

“Well, it’s too bad we don’t get to see its true colors until its life is over.” Her sadness seemed to return, but then she added, “But I’m glad it makes that last effort. It’d be a shame if it died without at least giving us a glimpse.”

After an awkward pause, the woman gestured toward the other guests milling next to their cars and said, “Well, I better get back. Are you going?”

I was enjoying talking to this woman, uncomfortable though it was. I almost forgot that I was in a cemetery. I had forgotten what Dr. Maddox had said. The reality though, was that I had more in common with the residents of the cemetery than with those who attended the service.

“No, there’s someone else here I need to visit.”

“Well it was nice meeting you. And it was very informative,” said the woman, flashing a charming smile.

In a different place, with different circumstances, and if I were a different man, I might have asked her to coffee or dinner.  instead, I smiled and nodded slightly.  She extended the leaf she was holding to me, and I took it.

I looked at the leaf in my hand and then up at her as she walked down the hill toward the waiting group. I absently slid the leaf between the pages of the journal and walked away in the opposite direction.




Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Thirteen


Episode Thirteen


At 3:15, I am finally called from the waiting room to see the doctor. I sat in the chair opposite his desk, putting my hands in my lap to avoid fidgeting.

Dr. Maddox flipped through a file folder. On the top was the paperwork I had filled out.

Dr. Maddox removed his glasses and began cleaning them with a monogrammed handkerchief. He held his glasses up to the light.

“I just can’t keep these things clean!” He complained, wiping the lenses again.

He wasn’t really speaking to me, but I was the only other person in the office. I looked around. A degree from the University of… wherever, hung on the wall, along with other awards and accolades. Pictures of his kids were on the ornate wooden bookshelves, along with a picture of his Porsche and a picture from a deep sea fishing trip. And there were books; lots of books and medical journals.

“So anyway,” Dr. Maddox returned his glasses to his face and continued, “I’m sorry to inform you that I agree 100% with the findings of the four previous neurosurgeons. There’s no way to know exactly how much longer you have. There have been some attempts to remove the malignancy in similar cases, but none have had successful results.”

“I don’t understand.” I looked away from the doctor and down at his hands. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. “I feel fine, just headaches. I spend a lot of time in front of a computer. Causes eye strain… headaches. You’re saying there’s more to this than that?” This has been my routine comment when doctors hit me with the bad news.

“Yes, quite a bit more.”

Dr. Maddox resented this part of the job; having to speak in terms that his patients could understand. He would have to go into what he liked to call talk-down mode. Telling me I was dying was easy. Telling me in layman’s terms was annoying. On top of that, I was expecting him to do something to stave off inevitable death; to cure my illness and save me. This is déjà vu for me.

Dr. Maddox said, “Your brain will be systematically shutting down as the tumor spreads. Considering the location of the tumor, and considering your otherwise good health, you’ll probably be fully functional right up until you are very close to your death.”

I gaped at the doctor. He was going through his routine. I was going through mine.

“Is there nothing you can do? My Father died of a tumor almost 20 years ago. There’s been research… new treatments… there must be something you can do now.”

Dr. Maddox sighed heavily. “A tumor is an unnecessary growth of normal or abnormal cells. Some tumors are treatable and some are not. Tumors are graded on a scale. One, for benign and treatable tumors, to four, for rapidly growing and malignant tumors. The tumor you are afflicted with is a grade four tumor.”

Dr. Maddox took out a prescription pad and scribbled something on it.

“I’m going to give you this for the headaches. As they get worse, you can take this for the pain. I allowed for one refill, in case you need it.”

He tore off the top sheet of the pad and handed it to me. I just stared back at the doctor, blankly, hoping for something. For some sign of hope, some chance that this could all just be a terrible mistake. Like I said, I’ve been through this before and I had my routine.

“You understand Mr. Bokes, there really is no way to tell in these cases. It could be a week, it could be a year. It’s not treatable and it is always terminal.”



Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Twelve


Episode Twelve


As I sat down in the seat of my car, I heard a crumpling sound. I reached under my butt and pulled out a slip of paper.

I had forgotten about this – it’s reminding me to pick up a package at the post office. It required a signature. No idea what this is – I haven’t ordered anything from Amazon or another online retailer lately, but I think I can take care of this and make it to the doctor on time.

The line at the post office moved along slowly. This was taking longer than I expected, and I nervously checked my watch. I didn’t want to be late for my appointment with Dr. Maddox; he might make me reschedule.

Finally I was next in line. After milling around for a few minutes, the man behind the counter at the post office motioned for me to come forward. The patch sewn to his shirt read ‘Ed’.

“This slip was left in my door. It says I have a package waiting.”

I held out the yellow slip of paper and Ed took it, raising it to within inches of his glasses.  He looked it over for at least a minute before moving slowly to a back room and out of sight. He eventually emerged with a small package. He pushed a form across the counter to me.

I looked it over. “So… where do I sign?”

Ed pointed in the direction of the bottom of the page and said, “There, in the box.”

“Right!” I agreed, signing it quickly and handing it back to Ed.

“That’s it,” Ed said, handing me the package and then returning his attention to his portion of the paperwork.

It was a small package wrapped in heavy brown paper. The wrapping was fastened with tape that had turned yellow with age. I took it and looked at the label. Odd. It was apparently mailed almost sixteen years ago, but had instructions that said it was not to be delivered until this month.

“Delivered at 1:52pm,” said Ed recording the time and date on the form.

I looked up from the package. “What did you say?”

“The time. 1:52pm,” said Ed pointing to the form.

I looked at my watch nervously. I was going to be late. I shoved the package in my jacket pocket and hurried out to my car.

I made it to the doctor’s office at 2:05. Not too late. The woman at the front desk slid a square clipboard under the Plexiglas window and I took it.

“Fill out all three pages and sign in the box.”

I looked over the paper work.

“Excuse me, but I filled this out last time I was here.”

“You have to fill out a new one every time so that we’re current.”

She said this without looking away from her computer.

“Look, it was just last week. I had some tests done. I’m just here to get the results.”

“You have to fill a new one out every time.” She spoke more slowly and deliberately now. She glanced at me as if maybe I had a learning disorder and hadn’t understood her the first time. “So that we’re current,” She added.

When I started to say something else, she added, “No exceptions.”

My headache was throbbing and I surrendered. I sat down in the waiting room and filled out the forms. Again.




Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Eleven


Episode Eleven

Later that day, we were trapped in the usual meeting with management to remind us of how insignificant we are. Even the recognition given for accomplishments seemed to underline the fact that we were not important.

Snavely was going through a hand-full of recognition awards for vague things like “cross-teaming” and “customer focus.” Then he announced that the “Research employee of the month” is Tanner Orb.

I tried not to look shocked or disappointed, but how did this happen? Tanner cleared the most articles in the shortest time with the most direct quotes. The award is the employee of the month parking spot. My parking spot.

“Bobby, it looks like your prodigy has usurped your throne,” Snavely said with a smile.

I wanted to punch him in the face. I wanted to punch myself. This award was so stupid, why did it matter to me?

I smiled and shrugged.

“What can I say?”

After the meeting was over, I left the room and headed back to my cube without talking to anyone. I had a terrible headache so I opened the aspirin bottle I keep at my desk, but there was only one pill left. I took the pill and opened a new bottle of 600; I’d been buying aspirin in the big, economy bottles. While I was fumbling with the safety seal on the bottle, Tanner showed up.

“Tough break on the Employee of the month thing, but your streak had to end sometime, Bobby.”

“Right. Don’t worry about it. You earned it but just take good care of my parking spot. I’ll be parking there again next month.” Then I remembered something. “I finished that book you loaned me.” I pulled the book out of my briefcase and gave it to Tanner. “I couldn’t put it down. The author had a real talent for weaving a story that was intricate, yet easy to follow. I felt like I was right there with him, climbing Everest. You were right, it was… inspiring.”

“I know! I loved that book. It’s almost like some incurable disease these guys get – trying to climb Everest. Interesting stuff.”

I noticed that Tanner was carrying another book.

“What’s that?”

Tanner held up the book: The Cream Rises. It was some corporate business book written by an ex-CEO about power lunches or something. “Gotta go! Duty calls.”

As Tanner walked away, I mused over how she had changed; how she had adapted to the Research Analyst role. My thoughts were interrupted by an irritating beep from my computer. It was a reminder from my calendar that I had a doctor’s appointment.




Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet (Web-Novel) Episode Ten


Episode TenLife64-web-novel-banner24_thumb_thum_thumb

Chapter 6


I listened to the alarm and sat up in bed. The clock read 6:30. I smacked the off button  and the shrill sound stopped. Yawning, I started for the bathroom to begin my morning routine.

In the kitchen, I dropped the bread into the toaster and pressed the lever down. On the counter next to the stove sat a small clay pot with several cooking utensils sticking out of it. I absently reached over and pulled out a large wooden fork and placed it next to the toaster.

I looked out the window. Weeds had overtaken my small back yard. Let them, I thought.

The toaster made its loud “chunk!” noise, but as usual, no toast popped up. I picked up the wooden fork and dug around inside the toaster, fishing out two pieces of toast and then sat at the table.

I am going to die, soon. I should do something.

The thought wandered across my mind as it often does. And as it had done each time before, it was pushed out as I began thinking about my workday.

Later that morning, on my way through the office, I stopped by Tanner’s cube to say hi. She had her headset on. Leaning back in her chair, she repeatedly squeezed a spongy stress ball with the TMG logo on it as she spoke to… whoever.

“But you do speak to military personnel regularly, correct?”

This was a common ploy used to manipulate the individual into saying something we could use. Tanner’s eyebrows raised in anticipation of an agreeing statement.

“I see. And what do you talk about with the lieutenant, then?”

Tanner listened for a second then sat forward like a fisherman with a nibble on the line, preparing to set the hook and reel in the fish.

“Uh huh, confidential, I see.”

Tanner scribbled something on the notepad in front of her.

“So, what you’re saying is that in all your conversations with the military they never mentioned the existence of any time machine, right?”

Tanner paused and listened, but you could tell that she had already decided what to say next.

“So it’s safe to say that you can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a time machine being tested by the US military?”

There it was – It was a question but the way Tanner said it, it sounded like a statement.

“Thank you. You’ve been very helpful.”

Tanner spat out the entire sentence almost as one word. She quickly punched the orange release button on the phone, disconnecting the other person.

“Hey, Bobby! Hold on a second and let me get this down.”

Tanner typed the sentence:

Confidential sources in frequent contact with the military say they cannot deny the existence of the time machine.

Tanner closed the file folder on her desk and placed it in the Outbox. The Inbox was a short stack of folders.

“Good morning, Master Baiter,” I said. “I’ll let you get back to your tasks.”

“Sorry so busy. I’ll catch you at lunch, OK?”

I waved and moved on as she pulled another folder from the stack and dialed another number.

“Yes, Mrs. Wheeler?” Tanner scanned the file.

“Hi, I’m calling about the unusual lights you saw in a farm field about 3 weeks ago…”

Tanner picked up the stress ball and started squeezing it rapidly again.

“OK, but even if that did turn out to be the source, wouldn’t you say that it was ‘unusual’ for a farmer to be driving a tractor at night?”

I rounded the corner and went to my cube.




Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet

©Copyright 2015, Mitch Lavender

Rubik’s Cube® used by permission of Rubiks Brand Ltd.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet – An Episodical Novel, Updated Twice a Week

Starting Sunday, March 1, 2015, we will begin releasing pieces of a novel, varying from 1000-2500 words each.  We will continue releasing updates twice a week, on Sundays and Thursdays, until the novel’s end.

What’s it about, you ask?  Check out this book trailer.

Bobby’s adventure starts Sunday, March 1.  I hope you check in on him.

Excerpt 3 From My Novel, “Find my Baby”

This is an excerpt from the first act of my recently published novel, Find My Baby, available on Amazon Kindle and other fine book sellers.

I hope you like it, and if you like it, please share.



The dark room was illuminated by the monitor. The man staring at it was pensive and intense as he read the news story from the Korean text on the screen:

Sentia Solutions Patches BEATTHIS Exploit.

“Sentia Solutions of Dallas, Texas announced today that it has patched the code exploit that caused hundreds of email servers to crash three weeks ago. Zachary Foxborne was credited with leading the team that engineered the patch. Andre Gomez promised the signature update would be available Monday for Sentia Sentinel, the anti-virus software used by millions of computer users.”

He stopped reading there. Leaning back in his chair, he tented his fingers before him and thought. Had only this Ratmir Misko fellow had the diligence to complete his assignment sooner, this would not have mattered. If only Misko had not been so brazen as to demonstrate in such a public forum, this might not have gotten the attention it did that resulted in the patch. As it was, Misko’s code exploit was useless to him now. He only wanted it to deliver the payload rootkit to the South Korean servers, but now, it could be traced. He didn’t dare try it now.

His thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door.


“Excuse me, General, Sir,” the uniformed man said, entering and saluting.

“At ease. What do you want?”

“Your presence is requested in the briefing room.”

“Inform the Chairman I will not be attending.”

The officer paused, not sure what to say.

“I will not attend!” he repeated forcefully.

“Yes Sir. I will tell him, Sir.” And he scurried out the door and closed it softly behind him.

Staring at the screen, he said aloud, “Who are you Zachary Foxborne? You are only a man, are you not?” And he leaned in and opened to do a search on his name.

Wikipedia pulled him up and he read:

Zachary Foxborne (born May 25, 1979) was accused of creating two computer viruses in 1996 that exploited pedophiles and violators of bestiality laws.

The first was a simple macro exploit of Microsoft’s email program. The email, sent with the title, “Nude pictures of Jenny – 14 years old and HOT!!!” containing an attachment that, if clicked, executed a macro that sent emails to the first 100 members of the users address list, replicating the message. It also emailed with a different message, titled “I am a sex offender. Stop me, now!”

The Jenny virus continued to proliferate on The Internet for more than a year before it was stopped. It also led to the investigation and arrest of over 300 suspected sex offenders, 122 who were convicted.”

Fascinating – a vigilante hacker, seeking to exploit the perverse parasites on society. And this was when he was only a boy of seventeen. He read on:

“The macro code for the Jenny Virus was used for multiple other exploits by other, unidentified sources for various means, but Jenny Virus is recognized as the original code.

The second exploit was known as the Chancy McChancy exploit. Using similar code, it replicated itself by a macro, sending to the first 100 addresses in a user’s address list when opened. It also contained a link and the text: See a woman DO IT with a horse!!! It had a link clearly identified as:

If the user clicked the link, they went to a website that displayed their personal information and threatened to send it to contacts in their email list, spouse, employers and legal authorities, saying they ‘like sex with furry animals’ unless they donated $50 through PayPal with the comment, “Donated by Chancy McChancy,” and returned to the site to enter the payment verification information.

The threat to follow through on notifying the parties mentioned was later determined to be invalid, but over 20 thousand dollars was donated to The Humane Society from sources claiming to be, “Chancy McChancy,” during the years of 1996-1997.”

The General laughed at this. The man even protects the sheep in the field, he thought. Animals have no rights, but men who set the bar so low as to have sex with an animal should be killed.

He read on:

“Zachary Foxborne was brought up on charges for the damages done by both of these viruses, estimated at over 2.2 million dollars. He was acquitted in an undisclosed out of court settlement on July of 1998.”

Interesting. The US court system had an opportunity to make an example out of him, punishing him to the full extent of the law, but they didn’t. Why?

The General scrolled the page down to see the rest:

“During his months pending trail in 1997, Zachary Foxborne worked feverishly at translating the arcane text of the Heusel Manuscript. His translation was later confiscated by the NSA and sealed as top secret.”

Now that is interesting, isn’t it? Thought The General. ‘Heusel Manuscript’ had a link to it, and he clicked it:

The Heusel Manuscript is a handwritten book thought to have been written in the early 16th century and comprising about 240 vellum pages, some with illustrations of what is believed to be stars, deserts and constellations. Although many possible authors have been proposed, the author, script, and language remain unknown. It has been described as the world’s most mysterious manuscript.

Generally presumed to be some kind of cipher text, the Heusel Manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British code breakers from both World War I and World War II, yet it has defied all decipherment attempts, becoming a historical cryptology cause célèbre. The mystery surrounding it has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript a subject of both fanciful theories and novels.

In 2009, University of California researchers performed C14 dating on the manuscript’s vellum, which they assert (with 95% confidence) was made between 1404 and 1430. In addition, the McCrane Research Institute in Chicago found that much of the ink was added not long afterwards, confirming that the manuscript is an authentic medieval document.”

Tenting his fingers again, the General wondered why Foxborne’s translation attempt was taken and sealed as top secret. What could it contain that the US government did not want it known? That alone was enough to want it.

He clicked the back button on the web browser twice and looked at the listing from for matches for his search: Zachary Foxborne. Most just looked like old news reports, but there was one for Facebook.

He clicked it, but couldn’t see any information without being a friend. Backing up again, he saw Lucy Foxborne’s Facebook link in the listing. Clicking it he saw her Facebook wall and what was written there. One post by Lucy particularly caught his eye.

“Adoption papers for Ukraine submitted. Now, Zac and I wait.”

“Foxborne,” he said the name aloud. “I want this translation of the manuscript.”

If you are truly born of foxes, then I will need a bloodhound to seek you out. You are going to Ukraine for a child, are you? He stroked his chin and then opened a new email message. “Maybe I still have a use for you, Ratmir Misko.”


“Ah, brother. We will have our revenge.” Ratmir grinned.

Viktor said nothing but looked on. When his brother spoke of ‘we’ he really meant him. He would have his revenge, whatever that might be. Ratmir hated so many people, it would be pointless to guess whom he referred to.

“That prick Foxborne is coming to Ukraine to adopt a child. We will make sure he pays for the problems he caused us! And we will make a pretty coin in the process, getting some manuscript from him.”

Viktor nodded and smiled. He really couldn’t care less. Tonight, he would see his love and that was what kept him going.

Excerpt 2 from my novel, “Find My Baby”

This is an excerpt from the first act of my recently published novel, Find My Baby, available on Amazon Kindle and other fine book sellers.

I hope you like it, and if you like it, please share.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~



“What do you want me to do?”

Zachary’s voice was strained, his arms, crossed.

“Keep loving me!” Lucy said, tears welling in her eyes.

Really? Zachary wondered why Lucy went to extremes like this. Why she would fathom that he did not love her, yet after eight years of marriage, this is what she would bring up again and again. As if he would… as if he could stop loving her! This was a normal cycle of an argument for them, and it was one he knew well.

“I never stop loving you, Lucy.” He put his arms around her waist and pulled her to him. He looked into her deep, green eyes and kissed her gently but passionately. “And of course I am on board with this. We do this together. I want a baby, too.”

“What if I can’t?” Lucy stammered, tears welling up in her eyes. “What if I can’t get pregnant? Or if I lose the baby mid-term again! What if…”

“What if you stop worrying about problems we don’t have. How about that?” Zachary countered. “We’ll handle whatever problem comes up. I promise. Let’s not worry about them now.”

Zachary took the white, plastic stick from Lucy’s hand and held it up. A light blue minus sign showed on in the little display. “This just means, ‘try again.’ And I do love trying,” he said with a coy smile.

Lucy smiled too, blinking away her tears. “I think we need to try right now.”

They kissed and, hand in hand, moved to the bedroom. Sometimes, their love play was passionate and driven. Sometimes, it was gentle and slow. Zachary was completely enamored with the woman he married and it showed in every way he touched her.


Zachary Foxborne watched CNN later than night. The headline ticker read “Global Messaging Hoax.” They were interviewing a network security analyst from Sentia Solutions, Andre Gomez. He was there to address how this could have occurred.

Andre Gomez was distinguished-looking without being old. He was geeky without being uncool. Zachary had met him once and had worked at Sentia long enough to know that Gomez was just regurgitating what he was told to say. Unfortunately, he didn’t say much.

Apparently, the message sourced from just “5l@x0rH@x0r” with no domain name following it; no ‘’ or whatever. The Internet, and email in general, just does not work without domain names, he pointed out. The TCP/IP protocol suite can work on just IP addresses without using domain names, but even this was not evident in this case.

Gomez went into some functionary descriptions of how email servers do spam-checking – checking for what he called “spoofed” email addresses and so on. Apparently, not only was all of this by-passed, it was not even recorded on any server or intermediate network device. Not anywhere on the entire Internet; even servers who only function to track e-mail traffic failed to have any record of it.


That Monday, Zachary had a new meeting on his schedule. It was a short presentation and as the meeting concluded, he learned he was to lead a team at Sentia Solutions in finding the source of the hoax email. This was big, but it was also a cool project, tracking down the source of a high-profile virus or malware was about as cool as it gets for someone in his field. He was excited to not only be part of the team, but to be the lead.

Still, short of overloading a few email servers, the message had not been noted to have done any real harm. Yes, it distracted people and therefore cost businesses productivity as people started speculating on the source or philosophical aspects of the message, but no harm had been noted. That was to be his first step in analyzing the message; what underlying, hidden vulnerability did it expose? Did it plant a backdoor on the computers or devices it infected – something the creator might activate at a later date, or was set to activate at a specific date?

Typically, a virus was a program or computer script that claimed to be one thing, but in fact did another. One of the famous ones was Fireworks23.exe, released in the late 1990’s.

It claimed to be a program that, when run, would do a pretty display of fireworks on the screen. It did do that – the fake fireworks looked cool for the time – but it also stealthily downloaded and installed another program from the Internet that would allow remote connectivity. The program activated and hacked into the user’s email, sending an email to everyone in the user’s address book, telling them this was, “A very fun program!!!! Check it out!!!!”

The link included in the email installed Fireworks23.exe, which proliferated and spread across the Internet, and the more users executed the program, the more vulnerable machines there were. Of course, the average user didn’t even know they were vulnerable. They didn’t know that there computer (and all of the data and files stored on its drives) could be accessed by someone in China, running the client-side of the software that had been unwittingly run on their machine.

Most people thought computer viruses were there to cause instability and crashes. Over recent years, they had far more nefarious purposes, and it was only due to badly written code that they crashed the systems. At least in most cases, this was true.

Trojan Horse viruses like Fireworks23.exe were so-called because the claimed to be a program of one type, but when run, did something compromising or detrimental, just like the Greek soldiers that hid within the wooden horse that was presented as a gift to the city of Troy.

Zachary Foxborne had worked on the team that identified the Allison virus, which struck millions of PCs in 2007. The virus, which hid itself in a .DOC file, exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and would send itself to the first fifty addresses in Outlook’s address book. The subject line of the infected e-mail sent out was: “My Pictures of Username”, where Username was the name to whom the sender’s copy of Microsoft Word was registered.

Much worse was the variant of the virus named ‘Allison B/N’ which would find and destroy Microsoft Excel documents, randomly deleting sets of data from files, or make the files completely useless by applying sets of malicious macro code. To simplify the code, the author has encrypted a vector search pattern in it, so the virus could only delete linear sets of data, usually random rows or columns in a table. It also had a search parameter that made it selectively change unique sets of data, so as to cause more damage.

Still later, a variant of this virus would make backup copies of the destroyed files and then demanded a ransom of $100 to be transferred into an offshore account in return for the files.

Zachary had been instrumental in tracing this back to the originator – a programmer in Russia. Due to a malfunction in the code, the code made copies in about one-percent of cases of infection, and did not proliferate as much as earlier variants.

The virus was rendered obsolete by Sentia Solutions when it was discovered that it leaves visible traces in the registry of the Windows Operating System, providing enough data to ensure its safe removal and the retrieval of the data held hostage in a hidden directory on the local hard drive. Zachary programmed the signature and fix for this variant, preventing an estimated 240 million dollars’ worth of lost data.

Still another version of this virus variant would modify the backed-up data, fooling the user even further. It searched for numeric data inside the files, and then, with the help of a random number generator, slightly modified the data, making it useless.

Identifying such threats and providing remediation through updates to the Sentia SAFE anti-virus program, Sentia had become one of the biggest players in the computer security game, their software being used by many governments, including the United States. Sentia Solutions is considered the foremost authority in identifying malicious programming threats.

Sometimes, hundreds were identified each month in “the wild,” meaning that it was actively proliferating on the Internet. This was big business, and Sentient Solutions saved companies hundreds of millions of dollars every quarter.

They also took the brunt of it when a virus did sneak past. Though a well written disclaimer absolved them of any blame, it wasn’t good for business, and Sentia Solutions took this sort of thing very seriously. Antivirus Investigators and Programmers like Zachary were kept very busy, but Zachary was alright with that. He considered it job security, and he liked being one of the good guys.

This threat was something new – not just a variant or your run-of-the-mill virus, stealthy Trojan horse or even a root kit. Everything before this could had left traces. It wasn’t easy, but they all had a tell-tale sign that could be used to identify their presence, and once detected, it could be removed.

Zachary was confident that this new virus had a signature too – something he could pick up on. All viruses did, and he and his team would find it and remediate the threat. The hunt and chase, Zachary’s favorite part.

Programmers who put out malicious code were infamous for executing it poorly, and this had been their downfall and even lead to arrest, imprisonment, or in Zachary’s case… getting a job working for a company that tracked down said virus’. It also put him on the NSA’s “go to” list, calling on him to assist with an investigation that required his unique capabilities.

When Zachary was seventeen years old and working at a pre-employment screening company, Profiles Unlimited, he took notice of a piece of code that was used to identify the person’s reaction time on each question. He thought this was interesting – determining how long the person contemplated the question factored into the overall score and determining the accuracy. The program also went online and pulled any public information on the candidate, such as marital status, criminal record, credit reports, and current and previous addresses.

He had leveraged this bit of code and put it up as a script on an online website claiming to be a bestiality website called When someone would connect to the site, expecting they would see some perverse images, they were instead greeted with a page that displayed their personal information: Their current IP address, a home address, spouse’s name, and sometimes an employer’s address and phone number. It then threatened to contact the spouses, employers and local newspapers with the information about their interesting browsing habits, unless they donated $50 to Humane Society under the gifting name of Chancy McChancy.

Zachary got the idea to do it after reading an article about a man who was convicted of animal abuse. This man set off firecrackers in the butts of cats. He had twelve accounts of the offense and many of the animals died painful deaths. His fine was a mere $100 and a slap on the wrist. People like that should have more severe punishment, Zachary thought.

The Humane Society received twenty-two thousand dollars donated from Chancy McChancy before Zachary Foxborne was forced to take the web site down. It was a mostly benign form of phishing – one that benefitted a charity, but it was still exploitation and therefore, illegal – a federal offense in the United States.

Because of his age and the fact that the judge thought his ploy was amusing, charges would be dropped if he would accept one hundred hours of community service, assisting in the role as intern for Sentia Solutions, and on call to the NSA as required. After his hundred hours of service, Zachary was offered a full time position and almost three times the salary he made at Profiles Unlimited. Profiles Unlimited fired him after the whole thing became public and even sued him for damages, but they didn’t win. After all, he was the sort of person Profiles Unlimited were supposed to be helping employers avoid, and they had hired him. They didn’t need that kind of press.

The McChancy Phishing Scheme as it came to be called, had gained him credibility in the hacker underground and anti-virus community. It wasn’t particularly brilliant or innovative, but the way he had executed it was. It exploited those who had predatory and perverse fetishes, and it benefited a charity that was exactly counter to that behavior.

Now, he would be leading the team that was investigating the H@x0r’s Hoax. This was the name they used for the “Beat This” messaging ruse.

Key goals of the investigation were:

1. Understand how the message was originated and sent.

2. Understand how it failed to be recorded on any server.

3. Develop a means to prevent such an exploit from being used again.

4. Identify the author who wrote it and identify the person who executed it, if they were not the same person.

5. Keep Andre Gomez apprised of the progress so that he can handle the public-facing side of the investigation.

Estiban Foulk had thought Zachary was a good choice for leading this project. Just like Zachary’s McChancy Phishing Scheme, this hoax was relatively low-threat. This hoax didn’t damage data or open any back-doors to allow remote access. In fact, it didn’t really seem malicious at all. It was probably authored by some high school kid, maybe a college kid.

Kids these days were brilliant when it came to computers and coding, and they often failed to recognize the full consequences of their actions or the tell-tale signatures they leave behind. The internet presented a false sense of security to people who think they are anonymous, just because they were sitting in their own homes, surfing the web.

It couldn’t be farther from the truth. There were certainly means to help disguise an individual’s online presence, if they knew how to use them. Proxy servers on the Internet could be connected to, and then everything the user did seemed to originate from the source of the proxy server, rather than the individual’s unique IP address. Still, proxy servers had records that were recorded, and these could be subpoenaed and reviewed.

The biggest obstacle was obtaining the server’s records, as many proxy servers were set up in parts of the former Soviet Union, the Philippines or China. These places had ‘real problems’ to deal with and didn’t see any value in cooperating with US agencies to track down the source of some malicious activity on the Internet.

Tracking down and nullifying threats despite these obstacles was how Sentia Solutions made a name for themselves as the biggest and most renowned security specialists in the field of computer technology. Neither Foulk, Zachary nor anyone at Sentia Solutions fully understood the gravity of the hoax that was being investigated. Not yet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks for reading this excerpt.  I f you enjoyed it, please share with your friends and check out the full novel on Amazon.


Joe Hinojosa Reviews “Find my Baby”

I’ve come across another review for Find my Baby, this time, from Joe Hinojosa.



“I was intrigued by the level of detail the author put in. Computer terms and explanations into what they meant, helped create the setting…”

“What I liked about the story was that Mitch Lavender displays his knowledge of the IT sector. Write what you know, and he did. “

“I truly believe the author shows promise as a novelist…”


Of course, I have quoted the best of the review. Smile  Read the full review, here.

Review of “Find my Baby” by Daniel Kaye

The reviews of my latest novel, Find My Baby, have been coming in on the Internet, and I’ll share and reblog them as I can (the good and the bad). This one is from Daniel Kaye, an author in Ireland. 

The original post can be found here: Daniel Kay on Blogspot.




“I thought Mitch Lavender superbly crafted this novel and like a snowball slowly rolling down the hill gaining both momentum and mass, this story pulled you in.

Would I recommend it? Definitely.”


There you go.  What’s keeping you from reading Find My Baby?

Soundtrack for FIND MY BABY



When I was writing the first draft of Find My Baby, I created a playlist of music that characterized the scenes I was writing. Sometimes I selected a song for the lyrics, but many times I selected the song for the vibe – the overall feeling it conveyed through the sound.

The original playlist was 37 songs and 2 hours and 51 minutes long. I have shortened that considerably. I hope you enjoy it.


Find My Baby Soundtrack

What’s Going On – Giorgio Moroder\Adam Ant – The Beat This virus surprises the world by messaging all Internet-connected devices.

Free Radicals – Flaming Lips – Ratmir’s theme.

So In Love With You – Texas – Zachary and Lucy’s theme.

This is Not America – David Bowie – Arriving in Ukraine, Zachary and Lucy suffer some degree  of culture shock.

Find My Baby – Moby – I think this one is pretty obvious. Smile

Beautiful Boy – John Lennon – Alexander’s Theme.

Winter Time – Steve miller Band –  Cold in Ukraine in February.

Up Jumped The Devil – Nick Cave – Ratmir has new motives and a new target.

The KKK Took My Baby Away – The Ramones – After finally finding their son, Zachary and Lucy may have lost him forever.

Stranglehold – Ted Nugent – Ratmir has manipulated Zachary into a situation with little choice but to comply.

Don’t Give Up – Peter Gabriel – Time is running out and Zachary has so much to do.  He feels the pressure.

On Your Own – Billy Squire – Viktor faces down Ratmir.

Better Together – Jack Johnson – Finally a family, Zachary, Lucy and Alexander are complete.

Codes and Keys – Death Cab For Cutie –   The Heusel Manuscript translation.


Book Promo–Find My Baby by Mitch Lavender