Word-Slingers – Spotlight on Kashif Ross

I’m happy to welcome back guest Kashif Ross with two more books in his Barcode series. Thanks for coming by, Kashif, to share more of your books! (His interview/first book can be found here)

Kashif Ross was born and raised in the Wild West. Unfortunately, there were no epic chase scenes on horses in his neighborhoods, so he began creating stories that would liven things up a bit. Many would say he allowed his imagination to get the best of him, so he became obsessed with creating stories, but that’s just a fabrication. In reality, he only dedicates half of his life to writing. The rest of his time is spent plotting world domination.
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Kay has a new life and identity, but he can’t stop thinking about the past. The longer he’s away from his abusive mother and Helios, the more he obsesses over them. In order to kill the woman that pitted him against Spencer, Kay re-enrolls at Colt Academy and watches his brother’s every move.

Upon his return, Kay befriends a beautiful warrior that may have the hots for him. Unable to trust her intentions, he keeps his distance like he does with everyone else. Yet, his dark heart leads him back to Angie. Like his plan for Spencer to fight Helios, Kay develops a scheme to strengthen the gladiator princess. And this time, he’s willing to put his life on the line.

Dennis convinces Kay to change his appearance, but it comes at a cost; he becomes half the man he once was. Without his power, Kay must use his intuition to sneak out of deadly situations. There’s a parade of obstacles in his way, including his own fate, which many people know about, but he knows very little.

I’m not only breaking his arm, but wrenching and tearing the muscles.

Geb screams from the pain as I sit up to nail down his other arm with a short blade that Shiva just provided me with. Leaning back I interrogate him by screaming, “Why does Eve want Dennis’ arm? Say it or I’ll do this for hours.”

Not providing him with time to recover or answer, I twist his arm and tighten my legs around his neck. Once I’ve caused just the right amount of pain, I release him and grab the blade. Ferociously, I drag the small sword through the ground and his flesh, which slices his bicep in half.

I convert Shiva into a gun and aim at his legs. Geb cries, “Please. Please. No.” He wants to hold his arms, but neither moves at his command. He wails from the pain. He’s probably never suffered from so much damage; he’s not used to this type of agony. “Please,” he sputters.

I fire four more shots into his legs. “I’m not patient enough for this. Speak through the pain or I’ll keep going until you bleed out.”

“She!” He shouts in a swarm of tears, trying to get any word out that he can. “She wants his arm because his son cut off hers. She and Helios have been working nonstop to get her an arm, but none are strong enough to merge with her body. Helios believes that a really powerful barcode could solve the problem and Dennis has the best one.”

“Where is she?”

“I don’t know.” Shiva omits a humming sound as I provide her with energy. “I don’t know! I don’t! Please stop. Please!”

     “Sure.” I shoot Geb in the head three times. “Let’s go Blue.”
Kode spent four years searching for the HATS, fighting battles that put his team members’ lives in danger. Now, he struggles to pursue his desire to avenge the mother that loved him and kill the one filled with hatred. But he hasn’t gotten any closer to his goals and his ceremonial bandages only make his day to day life more agonizing.

After finding a clue that could finally lead him to the device, Kode and Seth embark on a stealthy mission to challenge Helios’ men. The two run into more than just a few soldiers, but an entire army led by a traitorous Colt Council member.

Given the opportunity, Kode and Seth flee for safety, but they are hunted relentlessly by a plethora of new and old enemies. In order to save the life of his only living son, Blake sends the team to the one place they can find refuge until Kode can remove his bandages. Angie, Jamie, Kode, Richard, and Seth must live in a library located in Helios’ hometown of New York City.

When Kode opens his eyes to the severity of his situation, it’s too late. He’s surrounded by the familiar Swagger, the pretentious Cane, and the beautifully valiant Valerie Death. The codenames are just as mysterious as their omnipotent leader, Minister E.

The time for lies and games cannot last much longer. Angie and Kode’s relationship with Helios will finally be revealed and the team will learn that everything in the dark will be brought to light or dragged to the trenches of Tartarus.

I enter We Fry and stand in line with the other burger patriots. The obese woman ahead of me orders a turkey bacon zebra burger with sweet potato chili cheese fries; it all comes fried naturally. After debating on buying a milk shake, she decided to order a diet soft drink to watch her weight. That’ll help.

When the dieting binge eater rolls out of the way, a young lady with braces drones, “Welcome to We Fry, what can I get you?”

“A cheeseburger, but don’t fry it.”

She snarls, “Why?”

“I’m not really sure how to respond. Throw the meat on a bun and hand it to me. You’ll be surprised to know people eat burgers like that.”


That’s going to get me in trouble. Neighborhoods like this are filled with greasy foods designed to kill low socioeconomic consumers faster than they’re already dying. It seems that high murder rates and toxic mold isn’t enough. Companies produce food for next to nothing and convince shoppers that they’re paying reasonable prices for genetically enhanced heart attacks and strokes. If I tell her where she’d get a healthier burger, it’ll only make things worse.

“You know what, fry that sucker twice and add some gravy with hot sauce. Feed me.”

“Whatever,” she snaps while holding out her hand. I pull my tattoo card from my pocket and pass it to the pale pimple faced kid. Maybe it’d be best to avoid upsetting her anymore. With puberty and her period both striking at once, Ms. Attitude is likely to scream at me until she’s pink.


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