Ex-CIA agent Drew Corrigan never imagined that after leaving a life of fighting crime he would enter a life of killing…in his dreams. Each night Drew faces playing a game of ‘kill or be killed’, all while sleeping. Given only a gun and a watch that counts down his lives, he has no choice but to go against his better judgment and kill in order to save himself. Every night he plays he loses a life, if he is killed another life will be lost, but if he kills he earns a life. Drew must avoid reaching zero lives or he will die in real life. If he makes it to 100 lives he will win…but what is the prize? As he plays this dangerous game, he realizes that the people he meets in the game are just as real as he is in the waking world. Can he figure out how to stop this game from taking more lives including his own? Dreaming has never been more dangerous.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A dream I had months ago. In the dream, I am running away from battles, there are fighting all around me. I woke up when I encounter the boss of the ‘game’, a big robot.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
They are someone from the dream or put there by me to make the story more interesting.
Five years ago, CIA Agent Drew Corrigan never would have imagined that he’d be sitting at a desk doing anything, let alone “customer service”. Once a Special Agent, tasked with the most secret of missions, Drew lived for the constant excitement of his job; never knowing exactly where it would bring him or how far he’d have to go to get things done. That all changed when a mission he was sent on went terribly wrong and people died.
After four years of simply going through the motions, Drew decided that it was time to move on and do something different with his life. Retirement hadn’t been all it was cracked up to be and a big change was needed. So, he picked a city, applied for jobs online and found an apartment to rent. All was in place.
“Chicago, here I come!” When Drew said it, he almost sounded genuinely excited.
Now, the 6’, 250 lb., muscle bound former agent simply sat in a cubicle, performing mundane tasks as a customer service agent for a security alarm service. Retirement from the CIA brought him the satisfaction of knowing he would not have to put anyone in harm’s way again, but it also brought with it a sense of failure and of boredom.
A few weeks after moving to Chicago, Drew decided the time was now. He had to start enjoying the city he lived in. It was time to become part of this city that so many loved.
On his way to work, he stopped at ‘The Bean’, a local coffee shop. It was right around the corner from his apartment and steps away from the “L” platform he would need to be standing on in an hour’s time in order to catch the train that would dump him off two blocks from work.
Stepping inside, The Bean was just as he had hoped. There were smiling people behind the counter, a handful of tables closely grouped in the center of the room, and comfortable couches situated close to the window where people could gather and enjoy each other’s company. Drew walked up to the counter, hoping that the coffee was just as comforting as the ambience of ‘The Bean’.
“What can I get for you?” The guy behind the counter asked. He was a short, blonde haired, wiry guy. His tag said, “My name is Adam.”
“Large coffee, black,” Drew replied out of habit.
“Black? We have some great additions to black coffee. You sure you don’t want to add some flavor?”
“I like it black.”
“Okay, black it is.”
While Adam got the coffee, Drew looked down the counter and saw the variety of muffins and other pastries lined neatly on trays at the opposite end. He made a mental note of that since muffins are a weakness of his.
“Here you go, Sir. We are about to do our weekly raffle, would you like to throw in a ticket? All you need to do is join our coffee club. It’s free.”
“Sure, what the heck. You only live once, right?” Drew filled out the card and handed it back to Adam. Adam then neatly folded the card in half, and then in half again. With a quick toss, the card landed in the big jug with the rest of the entries. “What’s the prize?” Drew asked as Adam shook the jug.
“An alarm clock; that way, you can set it for the perfect time to come to The Bean and have a great cup of coffee!”
Adam made an announcement to the people sitting at tables, letting them know that the raffle was about to start. For something so small and silly, the patrons sure did seem excited as they jumped out of their seats and gathered at the counter.
“And the winner is…Drew Corrigan! Wow! First day in the jug and already a winner!” Adam seemed overly happy that Drew had won.
“Huh. Thanks,” a surprised Drew replied.
“Here is your very own The Bean alarm clock! Enjoy your prize, and I hope you keep stopping by!” Adam almost sounded like he was expecting Drew to leave now, so with that, Drew accepted his new alarm clock, paid for his coffee and headed out the door.
Up on the “L” platform, Drew sipped his coffee as he waited for his train. I guess things could be worse, he thought as he eyed his new clock. It was shaped like a coffee bean, of course, with the coffee shop logo on the top.
Once at work, Drew’s newfound smile was replaced by the dull look all of the cubicle dwellers wore. Eight hours of nothing but, “I’ll be glad to help you, Sir,” and, “Of course, Ma’am, you are right.” The days around the office always seemed to drag, and today would be no exception.
About an hour before quitting time, Drew began to plan out in his mind what he would have for dinner. Nothing fancy, but he always took care to eat a balanced meal; he liked to stay healthy and fit.
When he ended his last call of the day, he turned off his phone and removed his headset. Five minutes was spent meticulously arranging his desk for the next day, and then he was on his way back to the train.
Drew always spent the fifteen minutes on the train watching all of the people. The way they went about their lives, not knowing that someone was looking at them, or perhaps not caring, fascinated him. They talked on their cell phones, read books or newspapers, chatted with friends or just stared blankly out the windows at the city passing by.
When Drew’s stop was called, he stood up and headed for the door. As he stepped out he could hear the sounds of the cars rushing by underneath him on the street below. Drew missed driving, but he hated the traffic and parking was a nightmare in the city, so he settled for the train.
Drew walked around the corner and smiled as he saw his building. He loved his apartment. It was on a quiet street…well, except for the sound of the train, which never seemed to bother him…and it was a beautiful Greystone. He climbed the stairs to the second story, breathing in the smells of the family dinner being cooked in the first floor apartment.
After eating dinner, Drew took a shower and plopped down on the couch to watch the evening news. He found himself wondering why nothing good was ever in the news. Just then the weather forecast came up on the screen and he changed his tune. Beautiful, sunny and temperatures in the 70’s were being forecast for the next five days.
When the news was over, he turned the channel to Survivor and enjoyed the hour episode. He was always embarrassed that he watched the show, and would never admit it to anyone, but after the missions he has been on with the CIA, it was fun for him to watch all of the whiny, bratty young adults complain about their situation. It also added a little bit of comedy and drama to his life.
Chuckling about the outcome of his show, he turned off the TV, put the remote control in its proper place and turned off the lamp on the end table. Drew then slid the chain into the lock on his door, flipped the light-switch on in the hall and made his way to the master bedroom.
Feeling slightly silly, he plugged in his new alarm clock and set it. As he slipped into bed, he began thinking about the nice weather to come. He slowly drifted off to sleep with a slight smile on his face, as if the weather was already there.
Drew couldn’t have been asleep very long when his eyes popped open. As he looked around he realized he was no longer in his bedroom, but where was he? He didn’t recognize the dark and empty room. He was on the floor, slumped up against the wall. All that was in the room with him was a flat screen TV mounted on the wall opposite him.
He stood up, brushed himself off a bit and took a few steps closer to the TV. Next to the television was a very small sign posted on the wall that simply read, “Turn on TV for instructions.” Hesitantly, Drew reached out and touched the power button. As a voice began to come from the speakers, the words that were spoken were simply running across the screen.
“Hello. I am glad you are here. You have been chosen to take part in a game like no other. The number of players is slowly increasing, and the action you will encounter will be like nothing you have ever experienced. This game is not for the weak, but for the strong-willed. You will learn what kind of person you really are, as the game will test your mind, body and soul.”
“The rules are simple. Kill or be killed. On your right wrist you will find what appears to be a watch. Please look at it now.”
Drew lifted his right hand and saw the watch. The only thing on the screen was the number 50. Confused, he looked back to the screen on the wall. Just then the voice began again.
“That number signifies the number of lives you have. For every kill you make, the number will go up by one. For every time you are killed, the number will go down by one. You will also lose one life every day.”
Drew listened carefully, not saying a word. This is so weird. Do I even want to play this game? He thought to himself. The voice on the TV paused as if it knew that Drew was lost in thought.
“On the wall just outside the door to your left, you will find your gun. You only get the ammunition that is already in the gun, so chose your targets carefully. Once you are out of bullets, you will be on your own.”
Cool, I get a gun! Living in Chicago has its drawbacks and not being legally allowed to carry a handgun was one of those. Of course, being former CIA, there are some allowances made, but in the grand scheme of things, Drew found himself having to leave his gun behind an awful lot.
“Go now. You may go anywhere the tunnels take you, but there is no way out except back at this room. I must warn you, though, you are not the only one who knows where this door is, so there may be others waiting for you to return. Oh, just a note, the game ends when you hit 100 or 0.”
Drew shrugged, “Whatever.”
He walked over to the door and slowly opened it. Right there on the wall, as the voice said, there was a gun. It was nothing spectacular, but it was all he had, so he gladly lifted it off the wall and slipped it into the waistband of his jeans.
Drew slowly crept down the hall. With no clear objective or target to set his sights on, he felt uncomfortable at the thought of just killing random people. Maybe tonight he would just try to do a little exploring and hopefully he wouldn’t have to use his gun.
The tunnels were dark, but because of Drew’s specialized training, he was able to take a mental note of each turn he made. His skills were still strong and he knew he would have no problem making his way back to the room where he began.
Some corridors were very narrow, and the soft green glow seemed much brighter in those areas. Other corridors were wider causing the green glow to appear much dimmer. The green light almost caused a night vision effect, which was also something that Drew was very familiar with.
As he inched his way through the tunnels, he felt as though there may not be much to this game because he encountered no other players. Just as that thought entered his head, he heard footsteps and ducked around a corner. His instincts told him to stay flat against the wall and hope he had not been seen.
In the distance, Drew heard gunfire as it echoed in the darkness. All of his senses were on high alert, and since this was his first day in the game, he decided it may be best to sneak back to the door and leave. As he slid along the wall, a large man, skin as dark as night, ran past him. He turned and glanced at Drew but quickly looked back up the corridor. Whew, that was close. I guess I wasn’t the kill he was looking for! Drew was surprised at how shaken he was and decided that maybe after some rest he would feel better about this game and give it another go.
Quickly, but on high alert, he made his way back to the area where he first started. He poked his head around the corner, gun drawn, and looked toward the door. As far as he could see, there was not a soul around. He made his move and lunged for the door, flinging it open, diving inside the room and slamming it shut all in one swift motion.
Drew wanted to stand up but realized that he was now safely tucked under the sheets of his king size bed. Slightly out of breath, he sat up and looked around. The sun was glowing through the blue curtains and the alarm clock was softly buzzing. It was a dream, he thought to himself.
He felt weird for a short time as he dragged himself out of bed and got ready for work. The dream left him feeling as though it was real. Shaking off the odd sensation, Drew grabbed his wallet and keys and decides to forego coffee today and grabbed a soda out of the refrigerator as he headed for the door.
Stepping onto the train fifteen minutes later, Drew had already put the dream out of his mind. Now, as he prepared himself for another long and boring day of, “No Ma’am,” and, “Yes, Sir,” he watched the people taking the ride with him and wondered how many of them felt the same way about their jobs.
Born in 1978 and raised in Singapore, Author Magus Tor is a Freelance Medical Doctor (M.D.) by day, and a witty, thought provoking writer and game designer by night. It was by a strange, mysterious happenstance that he began writing, as he always despised the very thing he does so well.
Magus began writing when he realized he needed an outlet for the images and ideas crammed inside his overcrowded mind, it was then that his first book, New Dawn, was written in 2007 and published in 2008 by way of iUniverse.
After a writing hiatus spanning over the course of a few years due to working on game development, Magus emerged back onto the writing scene with a vengeance, publishing yet another work of art–‘D-Nine: Protectors of the Crown’, after working on a card game called Dragon Nine Playing Cards. It is within real life and dreams that Magus Tor finds the inspiration for his most famous and thrilling novels, which can be a blessing…or a curse.
With other releases such as Life Bank, The Phantom of Misery Sea, Dream Killing and other must read novels available in Paperback and eBook format, Magus Tor is only just beginning. The works of Magus Tor can be found available for purchase on Amazon.
Although writing for Magus is a Love/Hate relationship, Magus Tor writes all of his stories and novels to keep you on the edge of your seat gripped with suspense, and dying to know what the next page holds.
So, hang on to your seats and grab a Tor classic – it’s about to be a bumpy ride.
Author Interview on BookGoodies
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