Idris Sinclair lives a rather typical life; helping his family run their cherished diner. However, all the normalness he knows in life is about to go straight out the window when he happens to break into an abandoned van in the restaurant’s parking lot. He discovers a small weapon’s stockpile and various files, involving affairs foreign to him.
As night begins to set in, the family is involved in one of our government’s most heinous and dastardly secrets involving entities, not of this world.
It walks among us. It could be anyone—or anything. Suspect everyone you know, or you pass on the street. There is nowhere where you are safe. Run all you want; it will only make you taste more delicious to it.
Suicide, depression, anxiety, bullying, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and more. These are all the abnormal side effects of life. We have warning labels on just about anything nowadays. Almost…but life.
“Abnormal Side Effects” is an anthology written by Robert J. S. T. McCartney. Society prefers to drown out many of these as a lesser matter of concern. Instead, they push the lives of celebrities in our faces, promote unhealthy habits, demoralize and desensitize us. Some people encourage others that are in need of help and are suicidal, that “they should just kill themselves,” and more absurdities.
Many of the following stories take into account depression, family issues, trauma, bullying, and other subjects that go on every day in our lives. While these matters may be taboo to people on the street, society typically turns a blind eye, and even goes so far as to further shame and shun those that break from the definition of what we regard as normal.
Each tale offers a unique vision to the reader. You will explore just an inkling of the many side effects one experiences in life. Something that so many people do, on a daily basis. Through the highs and the lows; some tellings may be more disturbing than others, but rest assured, this is just a clinical study. There are no consequences of your actions here.
“All life is a gamble . . . We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”
Demons. Sorcery. Magical playing cards. It’s anything but a fairy tale. Armed with her choice deck, her beloved book, Hoyle’s Guide to Poker and Parlor Tricks, and the skill that led her to throw away her college fund, Lilah gambles with her life—and with the lives of those around her.
Elsewhere, other players have a different idea of the rules of the game. And investigating the bizarre chain of events is Middleton PD’s finest, Detectives Dana Deupree and Walter Conway.
It’s anyone’s game. The cards have been shuffled and the stakes are high. The call has gone around the table. Others may fold, but not Lilah. She plays for keeps.
What will you wager? Will you call? Stand? Or will you fold?