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The Hitcher

A Novel

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The Hitcher returns to Chicago after years of combat as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan. The killing and the dying haunts him. He has become a violent man quick to anger and strike out with his hard fists. He is studying to be a Doctor of Neuroscience at the U. of Chicago, wanting to use that knowledge to heal himself of his violent urges, and to help the many veterans whose minds have been warped by combat. He earns his living by brutal bare knuckle fighting in the iron cages on the Chicago waterfront, and as the peace-keeper (bouncer) at the tough Bank Vault Club in South Chicago.

Dan rescues Ethan, a crippled veteran, from muggers, and joins him in a dream session with Colonel Granville. The colonel received a severe head wound during combat. By some strange twist of fate, the injury has given him the ability to see human auras, and the power to lead scores of injured veterans into dream sessions. In the dreams, the crippled vet can run, the blind can see, all can make love with beautiful women. During the dreams, the colonel works to heal the damaged minds of the vets. They call him Colonel Dreamer Maker.

Granville sees Dan's aura showing the conflict within him, and his violent nature and also his desire not to be violent. He hires Dan to find and stop the man stalking him, the multiple killer Anubis. Dan is thrust into deadly danger between Granville and the killer.

Kristin Childs, a Marine veteran, accidentally shot and killed a woman and her little daughter during a fire fight in Baghdad. In hellish nightmares, she shoots the two over and over again. She becomes trapped in Dan’s deadly battle with the killer Anubis and must fight for her life.

From: The Hitcher Visible to Dan was a young woman, in her mid twenties he judged, wearing a Marine fatigue jacket over black slacks. She was placing a strip of rug on the floor just inside the door of the veterans' hall in preparation to participate in the coming dream session with Colonel Granville. She appeared weary, her face pale and holding a drawn, haunted expression with the skin tight over the bones beneath.

Dan turned to the colonel who was staring out at the crowd of veterans. The colonel called out in a gentle voice, “Young woman there in the back. Would you please leave?”

“No, I won’t leave,” said the woman in a firm voice and straightened to stand very erect. “I’m a vet and I’ve seen combat. I’ve heard about you and I could use some help to stop my headaches and bad dreams.”

“I can see that you’re a vet,” replied the colonel, “but this session is for men and wouldn’t be proper for you.”

“Let me be the judge of that,” the woman said, her tone even more unyielding.

“I would like to do that.” The colonel’s voice held a patient tone. “But the men will ask for dreams that I know wouldn't be acceptable to a woman.”

A vet jumped up from his blanket near Kristin and grabbed her by the shoulder. “You’re wasting our time,” he said angrily. “Get out like the colonel said.”

The man spun the woman around and shoved her toward the door. She jerked free and thrust the man away.

“I’m not leaving,” she cried out angrily. “Now keep your damn hands off me.”

“You sure as hell are,” said the man, and moved to take hold of the woman again.

Dan exploded up from his blanket on the floor and stepped in between the man and woman. He stiff armed the man and stopped him dead in his tracks.

“Easy, fellow. No rough stuff with the girl.”

The man swung a quick fist at Dan. Who blocked the blow and glared threateningly at the man.

“You try that again and I’ll knock your face to the back of your head.”

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