Extreme Liquidation

Extreme Liquidation

A Story by Gary Starta

Please see excerpt below...


Weirdness ensues in Extreme Liquidation, the new sci fi novel from Lyrical Press



Extreme Liquidation by Gary Starta

Copyright 2009 Lyrical Press, Inc.

Rivers confirmed she had access to the ledge. Diggs advised her to steer clear of the window until instructed. Gingerly stepping toward the open aperture, Diggs began to speak.

"Gregory Salinger, this is FBI Special Agent Caitlin Diggs. I'm a friend of Assistant Director Dudek. He sent me here to talk to you. Please try to relax."

A tense moment passed before Salinger answered. "My life has been taken away from me, Agent Diggs. I'm sorry we had to meet under such trying circumstances. I consider a friend of Andrew...a friend of mine, but you and I know there isn
t any other way out of this."

"Why do you feel this way?" Diggs fired back the question simply to maintain communication, believing Salinger would elaborate about how he let America down as Homeland Security chief.

His response surprised her. All he could talk about was his wife, Carrie.

"Maybe she could forgive an affair, but Carrie would never condone murder. I can't go back because of what my wife will think of me. I could live with the wrath of the public, do a jail term, maybe even become a dead man walking on death row, but I can't live another moment knowing I foolishly betrayed my Carrie."

Although Diggs could barely see him, she had heard the desperation in his voice. The despicable act he had committed made Salinger realize his marriage meant more than any job. Diggs recalled the powerful emotions she had experienced upon losing McAllister. Theorizing love might send Salinger off the ledge at any moment, she whispered her orders into the phone, instructing Agent Rivers to crawl out on the ledge.

"Director Salinger, I want you to stand very still. Another friend of A.D. Dudek's is coming out to see you. Don't be alarmed. She's here to talk to you."

Rivers cleared the window and froze, unable to rise off her haunches. The throng of people below suddenly reminded her of a collective waterfall, waiting to swallow her and Salinger whole. Her mind raced. Agent Diggs never suggested what she should say. She searched her soul, praying gut instinct might actually give her the right words. Rising from her crouch position, she slowly put a hand on the building's fa
ade to maintain her balance. Salinger stood no more than two meters away from her now. Instinct told her she must act now. She blurted out the first words she could think of.

"I think I know Carrie from how dearly you speak of her, Mr. Salinger. She sounds like quite a woman. You should consider Carrie's feelings. I think she would want to see you again despite your actions. I also believe further investigation might conclude you were coerced into behaving the way you did. People forgive, Mr. Salinger. Women can forgive. Trust my woman's intuition. I think you
ll see living is the best course to take." Rivers bit her lip, forcing her eyes away from the crowd below. Her right palm dug against concrete. She knew with all her soul she would never jump to her death, no matter how bad things got. At the same time, she hoped her impromptu speech hadnt come off like some lines in a movie -- or worse, the stale rhetoric of psychiatry.

Diggs reinforced her partner's plea, leaving Salinger no time to argue.

"Listen to Agent Rivers, sir. She has been in contact with Carrie. She wants you to come inside."

Diggs waited desperately for an acknowledgement. She had lied to Salinger, but believed Carrie would have said the same thing, given the chance.

Outside, Rivers panted for air, fighting a severe case of anxiety.

Salinger turned to her in one surreal motion, the way people seem to move in and out of focus in a dream. Deondra became consumed with this living nightmare, fearing the director might call their bluff and ask to see Carrie personally.

Salinger only mumbled catatonically. "Yes, it
s the best course of action. I now see that." His eyes turned clouded and unfocused. Rivers stretched her arm toward him. From the window, Diggs could see the director was fast becoming incoherent. She spied a pole behind his head.

"Mr. Salinger, please grab the flagpole behind you. Agent Rivers will then assist you so you can come inside, so you can see your wife again."

A scene flashed through Salinger
' mind. He saw himself murdering Alyssa. He heard his rant, how he accused his wife during the struggle. He witnessed the anger taking complete control. And when he saw himself holding Alyssa's severed head in his hand, he heard the voices of paranoia buzz about his brain. He realized he would still have to deal with whoever had set him up. Maybe these people would harm Carrie. He began to stammer, ignoring Diggss command.

s the best course of action for us all. Come with me, Agent Rivers. You'll be safe from them. Forever."

He pulled Rivers's arm as if it were a rope, sweat pouring off his brow despite the frigid temperature. Rivers lurched forward, screaming. Diggs shouted over the roar of the crowd below.

"Agent Rivers, grab the flagpole!"

Rivers right arm swung haphazardly at the protruding iron rod above her. It was within reach, only a half foot away. Her forearm banged against it. Salinger wrapped his hands about her waist in the same instant. A torrential flood of sweat was spilling off Salinger's arms now. With her free hand, Rivers tried to pry his slippery hands off her. Salinger lost his bear-hug-like hold, but only for an instant.

Diggs screamed again for Rivers to take hold of the pole, realizing Salinger was a lost cause to whatever demonic influence had commanded him to murder. She launched herself onto the adjacent ledge while Rivers and Salinger engaged in a precarious dance with death. They swayed back and forth as if the ledge was a ballroom dance floor.

Salinger continued to plead with Rivers. "Come with me. I really don't want to go alone."


© 2010 Gary Starta

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Author's Note

Gary Starta
You may request this book by writing me at [email protected]

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Added on February 25, 2010
Last Updated on February 25, 2010


Gary Starta
Gary Starta


UMASS Journalism/English grad turned writer. Originally newspaper reporter. First novel, What Are You Made Of? New Novel, Blood Web now available details at http://www.garystarta.net First in continu.. more..