Candice M. Hughes, award-winning poet and essayist, is former Poetry Editor for the MHC literary journal. She has authored a wide variety of creative and nonfiction works. Her debut technothriller was Death on a Thin Horse. Her newest novel is Dead Evil, a paranormal thriller with an intriguing romance, from which an excerpt appears below. She is published in The Allegheny Review, The Lyon Review, and Pegasus among others. She is a recipient of the Ida F. Snell Poetry Prize and a Pen Works Honorable Mention for Creative Nonfiction. Other books include the Small Business Rocket Fuel nonfiction series. Candice is founder of a health game company developing games for teens with ADHD, a biotech consultant and professional medical writer. She holds a PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology and an MBA in general business management with a focus on strategy and technology innovation.
Thickening smoke and ash cut visibility from twilight to moonless black night as sure as a Nor’easter rolling in from the Atlantic. Detective Gabe Bennett’s radio crackled a three alarm-fire alert a quarter mile from his location. He knew the place well. It was eight houses down from his own. He edged his Ford pick-up truck to the curb as a Ferrara tanker ripped past, racing to his neighbor Rebecca Howland’s flame-ravaged colonial. His boss’ phone was sure to light up what with Rebecca being one of Plymouth, Massachusetts’ last blue bloods, Mayflower pedigree and America’s royalty.
He pulled back onto the road, navigating through the chaos of flashing lights, cruisers and tankers. He’d left work hoping for an early night, but work had found him after all.