My ears felt like they were about to pop—stinging, cold, spindly fingers shaped like delicate daggers piercing right into my eardrums. I focused hard, but in vain, to move my thoughts elsewhere—anywhere but this torment.
Sometimes that worked, letting one’s mind wander on other things, trying to lessen the pain through ignorance and concentrated thought.
But not today.
Even the first Irish whiskey, or the second, or however many more it was that I had consumed, hadn’t helped to eve slightly numb this headache; maybe even having made it worse. I had hoped to be passed out by the time the airplane descended, it usually was what worked.
But not today.
The speaker had chirped with the cold mechanical voice of a flight attendant, asking everyone to return to their seats and buckle up because of turbulence. I had been dreaming my horrible dream until she had spoken, the speaker probably turned up louder than I was used to. Either way, it had saved me from any further torture that the nightmare had been sure to bring.
I’d had the dream before—same faces, same places. It had been repeating itself over and over for four years now, destroying my sleep at random times; always with the same horrible result and always taking me unaware.
Leaning forward, I held my splitting head in my hands and sighed. This always happened when I was in a plane. The jet ascends or descends, changing cabin pressure, and my senses go bonkers.
Every time, it hurt beyond words.
I should start travelling by boat, I thought. The only problem is that I hated water, and I couldn’t swim. So if the ship pulled a Titanic, then I was screwed. Of course, with this line of thinking, I suppose taking a plane was just as stupid for me to do, as I also couldn’t fly.
Shakily I reached for my cup, the rocks having completely melted, watering down what little was left of my whiskey. It tasted like liquid smoke, the bad kind, but my dry mouth didn’t care. Setting the cup back into the holder, I wiped my mouth and steeled my nerves to wait out the pain.
“Excuse me, sir?” a well-accented, female voice asked. “Are you well, sir? Do you require a bag?”
I waved my hand. “No, it’s fine. I just have a massive headache. Get one every time I fly.”
“Would you like an aspirin, sir?” she asked kindly.
“No, it’s fine. I already took some pain meds. Aspirin wouldn’t help anyway.” I groaned.
“Well, sir, if you need anything at all, please push your attendant call button.”
“Yeah, okay, no problem.”
The flight attendant gracefully slid away.
I had seen her before, a pretty little Latina. They always had pretty attendants on this airline; well, at least they had the pretty ones working first class. That’s not the reason I flew first class, but it was a perk, along with the unlimited drink supply and cushy leather seats.
I leaned back into my chair and sighed heavily, my fingernails digging into the armrest. Finally, a question of deep interest surfaced into my squeezed head.
What the hell had happened in Mexico City?
Not three days past, a strange old priest had said words of extreme discomfort and confusion to me. The words had chilled me to the bone, disquiet taking the place of complacency as my chief emotion.
How had he known so much about me?
A second unanswered question hung over my mind with even more ominous tension.
How had he known my name?
The Traveler’s Wake, by J.P. Moynahan
Genre: literary fiction, crime-thriller
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: July 31, 2014
Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design
Wesley Rourke is a mouthy, Irish-lucky millionaire, trotting the globe in search of the perfect place to kill his most hated enemy, himself. Blowing his money on charity, and booze as he zooms from city to city, he lays his course towards Lima, Peru.
Once he arrives, he sets about his grisly task only to be inconvenienced by the lure of a pretty young tourist, the daughter of a prominent British lawmaker.
A few days after their first date, he awakens in a hospital to find her missing and he himself embroiled in a media blitz and massive manhunt. With time running out, and wracked withhorrifying night-terrors, Wesley is forced to face his past cowardice and wade into the bowels of a pitiless underworld in search of his one ray of hope.
The city of Lima awaits him.
Find The Traveler’s Wake Online:
About J.P. Moynahan:
I’m a wilderness guide and mountaineer, musician and poet. I’ve climbed all over North and South America, and played my music throughout. From mission’s work in Mexico, to clinking beers with toothless Canadians, and onto climbing an Andean glacier, I enjoy whatever comes my way.
I’m a mouthy sort with a quick tongue and an even quicker grin. Most folks hate me for the first seven minutes, then fall right in love with my winning personality and straight-toothed smile.
Though I harbor a strong sense of independence, I believe in the strength of a supportive community and tight knit family. I enjoy working with youth and young adults and showing them that staying out of jail isn’t so hard and can even be fun. But I’m not a goody-two-shoes, my head isn’t anywhere near my ass, much less in it.