The Friday House Audiobook

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The Friday House Audiobook 
This is a chapter from my novel The Friday House. The protagonist is returning to work at the FBI after six months of recuperating from a gun shot wound.

The character is an african-american female.

Please find the copy below and let me know your terms.
2007-08-02 13:54:24 GMT
2007-08-08 13:00:00 (GMT -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 
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Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 50 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 27 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.

Project Parameters

The Voice Actor should be located in:
Flexible Price - USD 100 to USD 200
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English - USA and Canada
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Middle Age Female
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There are no special pre-, post-, or production requirements for this project.
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Script Details

Los Angeles, California
October 17th
7:45 a.m.

After six excruciating months of acute physical rehab, Special Agent Jamaica Kurtz was ready to return to work. Six months ago she almost died in the line of duty. A dirty Missouri police detective had shot her in the skull and left her for dead. If local area FBI agents had not found her soon afterwards, Jamaica was sure she would be dead. Although grateful to be alive, it came with a price.
She had been hearing strange voices in her head and seeing ghostly images that she could only interpret as being premonitions of some sort. FBI psychologist, Darlene Hamilton had been examining her since she regained consciousness following her injuries. The doctor explained it away, believing the lodged bullet trapped in her brain, damaged her temporal lobe resulting in her hallucinations and mysterious voices.
At the beginning of their sessions, Jamaica had argued with the doctor about her premonitions. However, in the past couple of months, she was of the same mind as Dr. Hamilton and went as far as to say that she no longer suffered from the symptoms. Jamaica herself was a student of psychology; she knew very well that the mind could make even the most bizarre situations seem real. She had to be careful of what she allowed herself to believe. Damage to her temporal lobe not only could cause a disturbance to her auditory sensation and perception, it could also alter her behavior and cause severe paranoia. All of which would be frowned upon by the FBI. Rather than risk her career, Jamaica decided that these phenomenon were nothing more than a product of her own mind.
When she entered the Los Angeles Regional Office building, security was at high alert after the shooting incident three days earlier in its lobby. The FBI so far had kept the name of the shooter away from the media. Rumors of the shooter ran rampant, ranging from O. J. Simpson to the Pope. She did not place stock in any of them. Besides it really wasn’t her problem, it would be the job of other agents to iron out fact from fiction. Reaching the first security checkpoint, a familiar face greeted her--it was Henry Stark head of building security.
“Well if it isn’t the miracle lady,” he said as a smile stretched across his thin face.
Jamaica grinned and said, “Hello handsome.”
He examined her forehead for a long time before speaking. “Looks more like a birthmark than a bullet wound.”
“Thank God for that. I would hate to have to wear a baseball cap to hide it.”
His smile disappeared. “Seriously. How are you doing, Agent Kurtz?”
“I’m fine, except for an occasional headache.” And strange visions, she did not add. “So what’s the scoop? What happened here, Henry?”
“Some nut job walks in and starts shooting up the place. No questions asked. When security surrounds her, she ups and shoots herself just like that,” he explained. Pausing, he ran a hand through his hair. “I tried to talk some sense into her. She wasn’t having it. One moment, she had a face…the next, it was gone.” He shook his head mournfully.
Jamaica shifted her gaze across the lobby. Not far from the restrooms, she spotted the yellow tape cordoning off where some of the victims had died. “How did she get a gun through the metal detectors and x-rays?”
He grimaced. “She had one of those plastic pop-guns, like in the movies, disassembled in her purse. It didn’t appear as a weapon when scanned through the x-ray machine.” His eyes drifted toward the women’s bathroom. “Bradley is dead. She shot him in the john.”
Bradley had worked here as long as Henry. They were close. She had liked him as well. The media had said that the attack was a terrorist act but no group had claimed responsibility. She had her doubts about that, however. A gun shooting just did not carry the media impact that radical groups crave. The train that was bombed on the same day fit the bill—a large body count and global media attention. Just like the incident in the federal building no group was claiming the action.
Jamaica put her hand on Henry’s shoulder. “He’ll be missed. Bradley was a good man.”
He nodded averting his eyes. She thought he might be crying. Rather than embarrass him further she told him she would see him later and headed to the elevators. She stopped near the restrooms looking down at the spot where the shooter killed herself. The area wiped cleaned, no longer showing evidence that there had been a shooting except for the police tape. Perhaps because of Bradley’s death, she felt compelled to move closer to the spot.
Standing over the tape she wondered what was going through the shooter’s mind as she pulled the trigger, killing herself. Henry mentioned a plastic gun. To her recollection, she never actually worked a case where anyone used one. In fact, a technical colleague once told her they didn’t exist. Dropping to one knee, she examined the scene closely. Even without knowing the killer, she could almost picture the woman lying on the floor.
Without warning, a sharp jab erupted inside her skull. She was having one of her headaches--a drawback of surviving her head wound. Squinting in pain, she cried out, “Shit!”
Jamaica brought a palm to her left temple. When the pain finally subsided, she opened her eyes. The space before her was no longer filled with the image of the dead woman. In her place was a young girl no more than five years old. She supine stiffly on the floor, positioned in the same fashion as the shooter. Her eyes open although with no life behind them.
Jamaica looked around to see if anyone else could see the child. Most of the early morning crowd stared at her including Henry Stark and his security team, who’s gaze was the most condemning of all--filled with concern about her current mental state. People moved by her wordlessly but watchfully, perhaps a fear of invoking another incident. She shrugged off their stares. She did not bother returning her gaze to the little girl; Jamaica knew she would no longer be there. Instead, she stood, turned and walked to the bank of elevators.
Several minutes later she exited, heading not in the direction of her cubicle, but toward the office of the Assistant Director in Charge, Webster Finder. He called her at home personally and requested an early morning meeting before she began her workday. The impromptu appointment made her nervous. The ADIC gave no explanation. Had Dr. Hamilton said something to make Finder worry about her return from medical leave?
There was no point in glossing over the question again. She would find out the answer in the next couple of minutes. Jamaica entered the ADIC office. The administrative assistant, Jill Winters, greeted her with a smile. Walking around a red oak desk, Jill threw elated arms around her.
“Hello, Agent Kurtz. How are you feeling?” Jill asked taking a step back. The question was innocent enough but under the circumstances Jamaica was suspicious of everyone’s motives about her health.
“I’m fine.” Her words sounded artificial as she forced a smile. Jamaica sat in one of the empty seats near Jill’s desk. “Is he in?”
“He’s always in. I don’t think he ever goes home.” The admin pressed a button on her intercom. “Sir, your appointment is here.”
Jamaica listened to Webster Finder’s response. His graveled voice could wake the dead. “Send her in.”
Before rising from her seat, she leaned closer to Jill. “Am I in trouble? Do you know why he wants to see me?” The ADIC telling her she is to remain on medical leave filled her thoughts.
She winked an eye at the question. “Don’t let the Assistant Director scare you. He’s a pussycat.”
Standing, Jamaica walked to his door, knocked once and entered the inner office. In a corner of the room, he was preparing a cup of coffee. Webster Finder was in his early sixties but looked a decade older. If she did not know him, his strikingly handsome features would express a gentle soul. He always reminded her of a brown-eyed Paul Newman. He pointed to an empty chair in front of his desk. She sat in the seat. Neither of them spoke. The ill at ease silence unnerved her even more.
Taking a sip of the hot coffee, he nodded his approval to himself.
“Would you like a cup, Agent Kurtz?” he asked.
“No sir.” She lied. She had been craving strong java the moment she opened her eyes this morning.
“That’s too bad. I’ve been told that I make the world’s best coffee.” It was his attempt at being genial. He took a seat behind the desk. “You’re probably anxious to know the reason for this meeting.”
“Yes, sir. I am.”
“I spoke with Dr. Hamilton about your psychological condition--” She suspected as much. Jamaica guessed that he wanted to deliver the bad news to her personally. Either she would be returned to medical leave or released from the FBI effective immediately.
He continued, “The doctor was obligated not to go into details about your health but she assured me that you are fit for duty.”
Jamaica blinked with surprise. Finder had not called her into his office with bad news. Her eyes narrowed. “I’m fit as a fiddle, sir. Why exactly have you asked for me?”
He took another sip of his coffee before speaking. “Two reasons. The first one is, since you were promoted during your rehabilitation you’re being moved into Agent Mitchell’s old office.
Do you have a problem with that?”
She did, in fact. Thomas Mitchell had been her senior partner for three years. The primary reason she was even promoted was because of his high recommendation. Mitchell had died mysteriously in the line of duty the same day she was shot, over six months ago. When she found out about his death after waking from a month long coma, she was devastated. Part of her died that day. Although they were not lovers, they had shared more than a casual bond.
“No, sir. I don’t have a problem with it,” she lied.
“Excellent. The second point. I want you to oversee the investigation of the shooting that occurred downstairs.”
“Sir—” The ADIC held up a hand.
“In my opinion, you are the best profiler in the bureau. You’re not aware of this but the dead shooter was Margaret Crane—a NASA Assistant Director.”
Jamaica shrugged. She knew there were plenty of Supervisory Special Agents in the Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico that were much more qualified. The notion that he believed she was the best profiler in the bureau was preposterous. She kept silent. When the ADIC spoke it was best not to interrupt him until he finished.
“The White House has personally asked that we give this matter extra attention. The President wants to know why patriotic citizens would suddenly be turning to violence of a terrorist nature.”
“Citizens, as in more than one?” The question slipped from her mouth.
Finder frowned at the interruption. “There’s another unrelated case. I’m sure you heard about it on the news for the past several days. The train bombing was also by an American. A fellow FBI agent in fact—Special Agent Darrin Davenport.” He stood then rested his palms on the desk. His brown eyes locked onto hers. “You will also be looking into that matter as well. The paperwork is on your new desk.”
His eyes switched away, his attention turned to other concerns; he obviously had nothing further to say. She stood and headed for the exit. Before leaving she turned to him. He was back in his seat sipping coffee. “Sir. Is there another reason why I have been selected for this case?”
“That will be all, Agent Kurtz,” the ADIC said frostily.

When Jamaica entered Thomas Mitchell’s office, which was now her office, she saw her old partner’s personal effects had been removed. In their place were items from her cubicle. Everything was dust free as though recently wiped clean. Finder had obviously authorized this move once Dr. Hamilton sanctioned her to return to work. The furniture had been rearranged in the office. It felt unnatural. A poor attempt on the Bureau’s part to make her feel better about taking Mitchell’s space.
The room still carried his smell. She recognized it immediately--a hint of Balenciaga’s cologne, Cristobal. Jamaica had bought him a bottle for his birthday from her trip to England, over a year ago. She knew the fragrance could be nothing more than her imagination. After six months it would have dissipated long ago. She felt out of place. As the reality of the circumstances came to light, a sudden grief grew within her like a malignant growth.
Closing the door, she allowed herself to cry for the first time since learning of his death. A part of her blamed herself for not seeing the truth about Detective Gerald Harmon in time—the man who tried to killed her. If she had—she might have been able to protect her partner. She almost wished Harmon had murdered her. Death seemed more agreeable rather than carrying this guilt.
She did not know how long she stood in the middle of the office crying. The weeping made her feel better however. Dr. Hamilton said this would occur, because bottled up emotions were unhealthy. One day, she said, without warning, Jamaica would be compelled to let out these emotions, whether it be rage, guilt or this sorrow.
I guess that day had come, doc.
As Finder had promised, two folders sat atop her desk. She sat in one of the chairs reserved for visitors. She was not ready to sit in Mitchell’s chair—not yet. Not until she earned it. Snatching one of the folders, she scanned through its contents. It was the file on the FBI agent. The man who blew himself up aboard a train filled with people. Stapled against the inside flap of the folder was a photograph. She studied it for a long time, eager for the face to reveal some hidden secret.
What she saw was a Caucasian male in his late thirties, fair nut-brown hair, a strong chin, and intensely beautiful green eyes. His muscular features indicated someone who took care of himself. His hair showed a hint of gray but he did not try to hide it with coloring. His eyes sparkled like two gems—a man who adored life. As confident as she was about that last part she never jumped to snap conclusions. However, she was sure that when she reviewed his file further it would indicate as much.
Flipping the document closed, she reached for Margaret Crane’s folder. Like the previous file, she found a photograph inserted inside. Taken aback by the woman’s beauty, a shade of jealousy overcame her. Then she remembered what Margaret Crane had done to herself. With a single bullet, her beauty was gone forever. Examining the picture, she noticed something right away.
Margaret Crane, too, had green eyes. 
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