Squire’s Isle Created by Geonn Cannon

Gemini: Next of Kin

Next of Kin

To whet your appetite for my new novel Gemini, here’s a sneak peek at a bonus scene. This takes place just before the novel begins, so it can be considered a prologue to the novel.

The driveway curled around the small estate, ending at an eave-shaded delivery entrance with a suitably wide door. Two men stood at the edge of the overhang, watching the street that ran in front of the building. Aside from their identical black suits, the men were studies in opposites; one white, the other black, one a full head taller than the other.

The taller, black man was Isaiah Lincoln. His head was shaven and a thin goatee clung to his chin. James Rausch was the shorter of the two and the owner of the funeral home. The only other difference between the two was the chain that ran across Rausch’s torso. He tugged gently on the chain and withdrew a small gold pocket watch. He had just clicked it open when a black hearse pulled into view.

Isaiah reached out and lightly touched Rausch’s hand. Rausch looked up and spotted the car. “Cutting it close,” he said as he replaced the watch in his pocket. Isaiah nodded and Rausch stepped forward, Isaiah following behind. The two men watched as the car pulled under the overhang and parked next to the entrance.

A driver in a white shirt unbuttoned at the collar emerged and walked to the back of the car. Rausch extended a slender hand and introduced himself and his partner. “Kinda outta the way,” the driver said. He mopped his brow with a handkerchief and opened the back door.

“Can’t risk offending the tourists,” Isaiah said.

Rausch muttered, “Isaiah.” Isaiah pressed his lips together. Rausch smiled at the driver. “Welcome to Squire’s Isle.” He walked with the driver to the back of the hearse and took a moment to admire the car; the back door opened on a side hinge, rather than at the bottom like some he had seen.

With Isaiah and the driver’s help, he withdrew the casket from the back of the hearse onto a gurney. The driver produced a clipboard and Rausch signed it to confirm delivery. The driver handed Rausch a plastic dry-cleaner’s bag and a small box of the deceased woman’s jewelry. “These were provided.”

Rausch handed the materials to Isaiah, who took them inside to check the inventory they received from Montana. Rausch signed the driver’s work order and was saying good-bye as Isaiah exited the building. He propped the door open with a small wooden wedge and moved back to Rausch’s side.

Rausch and Isaiah watched as the sedan drove around the back of the house and then returned to the street. Once it was out of sight, Rausch moved to the head of the gurney and pushed the casket through the door. He glanced down at the sheet lying atop the wooden lid and read the name of the deceased: April Page, with a date of death two days previous. He lifted the top flap to look for the next of kin.

“Looks like we have a phone call to make.”

Isaiah nodded and guided the casket into the building.


Gemini is now available to purchase. Read more…

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