Broken Pieces

#SummerOfGreed - Excerpt from FATAL GREED by @JWMefford #Thriller #Giveaway

The deserted, ranch-style house looked to be forty years old, give or take. The yard was laced with wiry weeds, some as high as my waist. Window panes had been broken, and two boards were nailed across the front door in an “X.” Rust-colored bricks from the collapsed chimney cluttered a patched roof.
The gas well crouched to the right of the driveway. I walked the paces, one hundred twenty-two of them, to reach the barbed wire fence.
I didn’t see or smell anything odd, only an incessant humming sound felt like it was searing into my brain. With each step, I lifted my knees to make my way through the giant weeds that encircled the ten-foot barrier. A rusted sign warned passersby to stay out of the fenced area. I ran my fingers across the bumps of the black bold letters where it spelled out the name of the company, Tomball Gas. Under it, in smaller print read: a wholly owned subsidiary of OG, LLC.
“OG, Omaha Gas, right in her backyard.”
I thought about knocking on nearby doors to inquire about the health of Rosemary’s former neighbors. But I didn’t want to announce to the world what I was doing. And I wasn’t some ambulance-chasing lawyer looking for suckers to join a class-action suit that might net them a couple hundred dollars. I took a half dozen snapshots, then hit the highway for the trip back home. I thought about veering west and surprising Pop at his farm just north of Lone Grove. Instead, I called him.
“Hi there, Pop. If you look east, you might see me driving by.”
“Feel free to drop in, if you have time. I can throw in another micro meal for dinner.”
We both laughed. He asked why I was in Oklahoma. I gave him a high-level answer, not wanting him to worry about my connection to a murder investigation.
“Pop, what do you know about Omaha Gas?” I asked.
“I’ve known a few folks who’ve worked for them over the years,” he said.
“Have they been in the news for anything you can recall?”
“Hmmm, can’t say I do. Nothing stands out. You lookin’ at a possible investment? I know, none of my business.”
“I’m just trying to learn more about the gas business in general.” I heard three dings from a microwave finishing its cycle.
“I’ve seen some of their wells around but don’t know much about the company,” he said.
I caught a glimpse of a dead armadillo in the middle of the road and veered the car right to straddle it.
“That makes me think about a saying your granddaddy told me when I was young,” he said.
Pop could always find something wise or at least memorable to add flavor to a conversation. “What’s that?”
“He just said, ‘You know land, they don’t make that anymore.’ It didn’t make much sense back then, but looking at the ridiculous real estate prices and companies that make money off the Earth the good Lord made, I can see where your granddaddy was coming from. I get it now.”
We said goodbye. I gazed at the sun clinging to the rim of the barren western horizon and thought some more about the last two days, ending with Pop’s message. Something clicked in my head.

Behind the fa├žade of every corporate takeover executives pull levers this way and that, squeezing the last profitable nickel out of the deal. But no one knows the true intent of every so-called merger. 

No one knows the secret bonds that exist. 

An Indian technology giant swallows up another private company that has deep roots in North Texas. For one unassuming man the thought of layoffs, of losing his own job to a bunch of arrogant assholes feels like a kick to the jewels. 

Until the day Michael’s life changes forever.   

Perverse alliances. An affair of the heart. A grisly murder. A spiraling string of events thrusts Michael into a life-or-death fight to save a tortured soul and hunt down a brutal killer…one who lurks closer than he ever imagined. 

Greed knows no boundaries.
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Genre – Suspense, Thriller
Rating – R
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