I AM CALM VOICE
Hi. I'm Robert E Kreig and I make stuff up.
It's been a while since I posted anything, and so I thought it was about time that I introduced you to my new novel which will be made available on e-book later this year.
I Am Calm Voice is a dark psychological novel surrounding the actions of one girl on a fateful morning in April, 2017. Kristin Matthews is fed up with her life, her oppressive parents, and her bullying schoolmates. She is compelled by a soothing voice thrumming in her head to seek revenge on those who have wronged her. At the top of her list is a trio of girls who have taunted her to breaking point. After careful planning, she embarks on a deadly rampage through Edwards Hill State High School, bent on destroying all her pain one final time. What follows is a haunting description of the day’s events, culminating in an ending no one will expect. Below is the opening chapter from I Am Calm Voice.
View the book trailer here.
For more information about I Am Calm Voice, and other works by Robert E Kreig, visit www.robertekreig.com.
THE KILLARNEY FACTOR
SATURDAY MAY 13 2017
The room was lit more brightly than he had believed it to be. It looked a lot darker when he watched the show on his television at home. The set appeared simple, consisting of two black chairs upon a raised platform. Between them was a glass coffee table with a pitcher of water and two freshly filled glasses.
The backdrop was a large black curtain with the words, THE KILLARNEY FACTOR hanging from a drop-down sign attached to something far above them. The studio lights, shining from directly above, out in front and off to each side, were blinding. He didn’t know how people on television did this every day without eventually losing their eyesight.
Perhaps they did.
Sitting in the chair left of screen, he squirmed nervously as he reached for the glass closest to him. He took a quick sip, wishing it was something stronger.
“Take your time,” Bill Killarney, the gracious host, told him.
His eyes moved across the three cameras with their lenses directed towards the two men on the platform.
Placing the glass gingerly on the table, he cleared his throat and moved his gaze back to the other man.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m a little nervous. First time on TV.”
“It’s all right,” Killarney replied. “This isn’t live. We’ll edit this pretty tight for time’s sake. I know that doesn’t sit well, considering the context. It should be me apologizing to you for making you relive this.”
“The wife thinks it might help it I was to talk about it,” the man replied. “I was thinking more along the lines of a therapist or someone like that.”
“I can recommend one I’ve used from time to time after my time reporting from war zones,” the other suggested. “It seems stupid, but they do really help.”
“I might take you up on that.”
“Are you ready to continue, Mister Ramus?”
The man nodded. “I think so.”
“Okay,” Killarney fixed his tie. “Mister Ramus, in your time as Chief Inspector for the Texas Forensics Science Commission, have you encountered a crime scene in any way similar to that which was found at Edwards Hill State High School?”
“Never,” Ramus replied, taking a deep breath afterwards.
“Could you elaborate?”
“You need to understand that this is an ongoing investigation,” he answered. “To all involved, it would appear an open and shut case. But life isn’t that simple. And what we saw in there was anything but a simple homicide or mass shooting for that matter.”
“You’re still referring to this case as a ‘mass shooting’?” Killarney wrote something on a clipboard that was positioned on his lap.
“We don’t know what to call this,” the other said, shaking his head. “Many of the victims were shot. Some were…”
“Are you all right?” Killarney glanced to someone behind the cameras. “Do you want to stop?”
“No,” Ramus replied instantly. “I’d like to continue, please.”
“You were saying?” The host nodded.
“I was saying that most were shot, but there were others who were murdered in more creative ways.” He took another deep breath as he considered the words he had just spoken. “Creative isn’t the right word. But it’s the most appropriate that I can think of at the moment.”
“Talk us through what you encountered,” Killarney suggested. “Keeping in mind that this is an ongoing case.”
“Well,” Ramus reached for the glass of water again. After taking a long sip and swallowing hard, he placed the glass back upon the table. It clunked a little loudly. “Sorry.”
“It’s all right,” the other assured him. “Please continue.”
“We arrived after everything had unfolded,” he said. “It was roughly seven-thirty and already quite dark. Someone had placed a couple of floodlights hooked up to generators around the outside of the building on the front lawn and had them pointing towards the ground. There were two bodies out there. I guess someone watched too many cop shows and decided the lights were needed for our team or something.”
“Where should they have been?”
“We didn’t need them at all,” answered Ramus. “We always bring our own equipment. I mean, it didn’t matter. The power was on and most of the external and internal lights were still working, even after the sprinkler system had been triggered. They weren’t necessary. But, being a small town, maybe someone got a bit zealous and decided to get all the toys out. I don’t know.”
“So you went inside?”
“Yes. We entered at the side of the building through the emergency exit from the school cafeteria. We then split the team up and took different sections of the building. We hoped to process the scene a little quicker by doing this. As I said, it all appeared as an open and shut case.”
“How many were in your team?”
“We had a large team,” Ramus replied. “Eighteen. We were told that there were a lot of victims and that we would need numbers to process the scene.”
“What would a usual number on a forensics team be?”
“Well, that depends upon the scene,” he answered. “I would usually work with a team of three to five. But there have been times when I’ve worked with as many as twenty-five. The truth of the matter is that eighteen was all we could fit into the vehicles with the equipment we brought with us. That, and not too many wanted to go for a ride all the way from Houston to Edwards Hill.”
“What happened next?”
“We split into sub-teams of three. My sub-team moved upstairs where we took the center hallway. The first victims were murdered there. I think it’s safe to say that we found three youths and five adults all with fatal gunshot wounds. One was a police officer and four were teachers employed at the school.”
“Safe to say?” Killarney interjected.
“Sorry?” Ramus moved his eyes to the presenter. His expression appeared as if he didn’t understand the question.
“You said, ‘safe to say’. What do you mean by that?”
“I was referring to the fact that this is still an open case,” Ramus replied. “I know I can’t give names for the time being. I may not be able to discuss gender either. But so much has already been announced in the media, including the victims’ identities, that I feel that I must give some clarification. That’s why I said that I think it’s safe to say these things.”
“Of course.” The host nodded, jotting something else down on his clipboard. “Please.”
“Well, we processed the scene. Put tags down. Took photos and video. Measured what blood spatter hadn’t been washed away, distances of shell casings from the deceased. Nothing all that exciting.
“We then moved into the northern corridor and what we saw were bodies piled upon bodies. It was a complete and utter bloodbath. We spent nearly two hours in that hallway with the assistance of three other sub-teams.
“That was where the bulk of the massacre occurred.” He paused to take another sip of water. Hs eyes were beginning to glisten with moisture. “I had seen blood before. But not that much. Even then, something inside of me told me that I wasn’t going to walk away from this one without some scarring inside my psyche. But there was more.
“It was when we returned downstairs and were summoned by our colleagues to see what was in the gymnasium that caused my stomach to turn. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life and never want to see anything like it ever again.”
“You’re referring to the burnt bodies?”
“Burnt?” George Ramus, resigned Chief Inspector for the Texas Forensics Science Commission felt his throat tighten. His eyes welled with tears. “They were children. Little children that were no older than fourteen at best. I mean, the vast majority of victims were only kids. But I’ve never seen anything like that. Not in my whole thirty-eight years in service with the Forensics Science Commission.”
“And this is what sparked your resignation?” Killarney queried. “It was too much? You didn’t want to see anything like that again?”
“She took their innards,” Ramus blurted. “She arranged their guts along the floor to form four Latin words.”
“What words?” Killarney sat forward, intrigued. He flipped through the papers on his clipboard for notes about such a thing but found nothing. This information was new.
“Jesus,” Ramus started to cry. “What sort of person does that?”
“What were the words, Mister Ramus?”
“You wouldn’t have guessed that someone like her would be capable of doing such things. She killed seventy-three in that school and took the time to leave a message.”
“What was the message she left?”
Ramus didn’t seem to hear the interviewer. The words seemed to simply dribble out of him as he became more and more upset.
“She looked like any other normal kid. But she ripped their stomachs open and took their intestines out.” He was a blubbering mess. His cheeks were wet. His nose was running over his lips in thick strips of mucus.
“They were only burnt on the outside, you see,” he explained. “But inside was still raw. Still raw.”
“What message, Mister Ramus?” Killarney pressed.
“I think that’s enough,” called a voice from behind the cameras.
“Mister Ramus…” Killarney reached over and put his hand on George Ramus’ knee. “What was the message she left?”
Ramus started hyperventilating. His breathing became erratic and snot sprayed across the floor at his feet.
“Cut,” the voice from the darkness called. “Cut. The interview is over, Bill.”
“Mister Ramus,” Killarney stood to his feet and placed his hand on Ramus’ shoulder. “I apologize for pushing. Mister Ramus?”
The resigned chief inspector lowered his head towards his knees.
“Oh God,” he wheezed. “Oh God. Oh God.”
Author Robert E. Kreig has done it again...
Love might be too strong a word for a work of terror and destruction, but just in case it isn’t, I am going to go ahead and say that I loved I Am Calm Voice. Author Robert E. Kreig has done it again in this work; he has written a book that is simply un-put-down-able. I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to read some of the other fine books by author Kreig, those in his Woodmyst series, but Calm Voice is really little like those. In my opinion, it’s even better. I was downright frightened by some scenes, and that almost never happens to me when reading a book, even by some of the most recognizable names in horror-based fiction. It is easy for me to give this book my highest recommendation, and to say that I simply cannot wait to read more from the extremely talented (and dare I say, perhaps somewhat twisted) author, Robert E. Kreig, as soon as he has something available!
Tracy A. Fischer
author of 'The Sort of Life of Julie Winterfeldt (The Julie Winterfeldt Series)'
One of the more intense, haunting novels I have read...
I really enjoyed I Am Calm Voice. This is certainly one of the more intense, haunting novels I have read in recent memory. Mr. Kreig takes us into the minds of not only Kristin, but her victims as well. The feelings of fear and worry are palpable, not just from the people involved, but the community as well. I Am Calm Voice is almost shocking in the way Kristin coldly takes lives, compelled by her inner demons. Mr. Kreig almost suggests the ‘Calm Voice’ is an otherworldly entity, coaxing people to kill and playing on their innermost insecurities. It’s a fascinating metaphor for psychosis and psychopathy, and makes one wonder what does go through the heads of people who plan murder on a massive scale. I highly recommend this novel.
author of 'Rae Hatting Mysteries (series)'
I Am Calm Voice by Robert E Kreig is a masterful blend of crime fiction and thriller, a compelling work that features an unusual serial killer.
Robert E. Kreig is a gifted writer who knows how to hook readers from the very beginning. The story opens with a televised interview of a former member of the forensic team, an opening that immediately introduces the reader to the powerful conflict that will permeate every layer of the plot. The author combines the power of vivid descriptions and plot-driven dialogue with the gift of storytelling to create a world where readers feel anxious but excited to navigate. As I read this intriguing story, I couldn’t help but think of this author together with James Patterson. I loved the way the protagonist is crafted, a complex character with a psychological problem called The Calm Voice, something she identifies with. I Am Calm Voice will entertain and shock readers and they won’t be able to put it aside.
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