Excerpt for Touches Electricity by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Touches Electricity

Copyright 2018 by Sean Monaghan

All rights reserved

Cover Art: © Silvae1 | Dreamstime

Published by Triple V Publishing

Author web page

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

About the author

Other Books by Sean Monaghan


Chapter One

The kitchen lights flickered as sixteen-year-old Damian used a knife in an attempt to retrieve jammed wholegrain toast from the stainless steel toaster.

He saw sparks. Felt a tingle. Maybe more than a tingle. Maybe closer to a jolt.

Damian couldn’t quite be sure, because he heard Carina’s strong voice. As if she stood right there in the kitchen with him.

“Is someone there?” she said.

He looked around.

No one.

Damian’s parents had remodeled He wasn’t used to the new sounds yet. The tall, silvery double-doored refrigerator made a different kind of hum. The separate underfloor water heater had another sound.

The builders took weeks to push the back wall out into the yard. The kitchen’s size doubled. Now it boasted an island, a breakfast bar, a television over the benchtop. Who did that? It wasn’t even as if either of his parents cooked that much.

“Carina?” Damian said. He could picture her face. Pretty, slightly too-big nose, slightly crooked teeth. Hazel eyes and dark bangs.

Out in the yard a starling twittered. Damian looked through the French doors and across the wooden deck. It seemed as if every sound caught his attention.

The bird bounced. It pecked at a worm or insect in the over-manicured grass. The wind threw a few more autumn leaves from the shedding plum tree.

Damian’s toast stayed in the toaster. The knife too. It crackled. The toasting handle stayed down. Twin tendrils of smoke rose from a corner of the toaster, curling as if trying to mimic DNA.

The other appliances stood mute. Coffee maker, blender, George Foreman Grill. Neatly arrayed.

Footsteps. For a second Damian thought it was another hallucination, like hearing Carina’s voice. As if he’d fallen into one of those half-fantasy worlds.

“Too many movies,” he whispered to himself.

“Damian!” his mother said from behind. Sharp-voiced. Annoyed. Fresh back from tennis. Smelling as if she’d spent a week cracking rocks at Penn State.

“Mom.” Damian turned.

She came through one of the kitchen’s side doors.

“What are you doing?” she shouted. She ran to the bench. Flicked off the toaster’s switch. Yanked the plug from the socket. The smoke faded.

Turning, plug still in her hand, she stared at him. She wore new white canvas shoes, a short pleated skirt and lemon-yellow polo shirt. The outfit didn’t suit her. Especially with all that make-up.

“Are you trying to burn the place to the ground?” she said.


“You know we just got done fixing the house up.” She lifted her hands in wonder. Stared at the plug as if surprised she still held it. She let it go and it clunked against the bench cupboards.

“Yeah, I know.” Damian’s fingers still sizzled.

“Really? Because you’re not acting like it. Three-year-olds stick knives in toasters. Not adults.”

Damian sighed. Now she was going to lecture him about showing some adult responsibility.

Turning, his mother grabbed the knife from the neutralized toaster. The blade had a tiny divot halfway along. Scorch marks stretched across the face.

“I thought I heard someone,” he said. Carina’s voice had been clear. As if she’d been standing in the room with him.

“This is from a set,” his mother said, staring at the knife. “Eighty-nine dollars. Should I take that from your allowance?”

Damian knew he could pick up a new knife at a thrift store for thirty cents. If that. Maybe not matching exactly, but near enough. He smiled to himself, thinking he should go get one and use that as his special toast-retrieval tool.

“Something funny?”

“No Mom. I’m sorry. I just...”

“Didn’t think?” His mother put the knife on the bench. She wiped her forehead with her wrist. “I need a shower. We can... talk about this when I’ve cooled down.” She walked to the door that led to the back stairs. With a flick of her head she gave him a half-smile. “In more ways than one.”

She vanished. He heard her quietly padding up the stairs.

Damian smiled himself. Maybe he was off the hook. At least a little.

Chapter Two

“You’re hearing voices now?” Ken said. He opened his eyes wide and wriggled his fingers up by his head. Made a cooing, ghostly sound.

They’d ditched track and come up back of the school. Pushing through the scraggy old brush of regrowth elms and oaks with low bracken and blackberry the pair made their way toward the old station. Before Ohio Coal and Gas had built the new ultra-megawatt plant south of Logan, all of Stonewall’s power had come from here.

Leaves crunched underfoot. Ahead, a blackbird flew from the ground, startled. Tracking the bird’s trajectory, Damian saw a ratty nest. Too late in the year for laying eggs, he thought.

“I should never have told you,” Damian said. That moment with the toaster seemed stark. His mother not even knowing what he’d heard.

“Ow,” Ken said. “This blackberry grows faster than my dad’s beard.”

Damian gave him a half-laugh. It wasn’t that funny.

Soon they reached the wire fence. Its faded signs warned Danger. Keep Out.

Damian had been a kid when the station closed. Or been abandoned. It surprised him how quickly it decayed. He wanted the tall concrete pillars and missing windows to remind him of Greek ruins, but it felt more like those pictures of Detroit.

The wire fencing rattled as Ken lifted and scuttled through. Damian followed. Small lakes lay flat and broad in the cracked parking lot.

“Whose voices?” Ken said. He slid down the small bank to the bitumen edge.

Damian continued along a ways. Some rocks formed an almost-stairway. “Carina.” He stepped quickly down to the to Ken.

“Ha. I knew it. You’ve so got a–”

“Go on. Say it. Give me chance to remind you about Petra.” Back in May, lovesick Ken had tried everything to get Petra’s attention. She’d returned home to Finland before anything happened. Damian wasn’t convinced that she’d even known Ken existed.

“All right,” Ken said. “Subject closed.”

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