Friends With Shadows – Chapter 14

Writer’s Note: Happy Thursday! It’s my Friday! I hope you’re ready to enjoy some delicious story-telling! We’re on to Chapter 14, and we’re going to start seeing more of the overall plot develop! Booyah! Follow me on this experiment and read the book before it’s published! C’mon you hipsters – read something cool before it’s cool! Enjoy todays Chapter 14 rough draft! Almost done with the work week! Enjoy!

Chapter 14

When I stepped through the door, I expected my life to change. I expected to have an epiphany. I expected to feel different. The bright light accentuated all of these new feelings. The bright light was an old halogen light stand illuminating the hallway. Instead of a new perspective, I was greeted by a girl in her early twenties with hair pulled back very tight. She appears to have had a hell of a day, judging by the perky yet exhausted demeanor and frizzy fly away hairs that escaped the rubber band holding her hair back.

“Oh goodness, you’re awake!” Her voice sounded like she was trying to maintain a jovial tone despite the contrary. She grabbed ahold of my shoulders and shook them, giving me the type of examination a school nurse with no bedside manners would deliver. She completed her examination, “Looks good! Ok, Cherie is waiting for you two floors up whenever you’re ready.”

“Where am I? What happened? What’s your name?” I rapid fired the questions.

“Just relax. I’m sure Cherie can answer your questions,” she turned back down the hallway and paused, “Oh, but my name is Laney. Nice to meet you, er, what’s your name?”

“I’m – ”

Laney held her hand up to me, placed another hand on her ear, “Hold on. Yes. Yes. I’m on my way,” She looked back to me, “Sorry, I’ve gotta go. I’ll catch up with you later to make sure you’re still doing well. Bye!” And with that this wearied but energetic Laney disappeared beyond the halogen light.

As for me, I turned and held my hand up to block the bright light, looking for a sign for stairs or an elevator. An arrow pointing toward the stairs gave me direction. Two floors up, I see a more active level than the one I had just left. Several people were zipping down the hall. I slide in behind a taller gentleman that seems to know where he is going. I’m more curious at this point and not interesting in finding Cherie.

What is this place?

The tall gentleman went into a room as I continued straight. I see one window I run towards – the view is bland – the brick wall of the next building over and a dark alley. But, to my left I see the hallway opens up into a large room filled with people and computers.

Where am I? What does any of this have to do with me? Where is Big Rich?

…to be continued….


Friends With Shadows – Chapter 13 (…continued….)

Writer’s Note: For you new readers that just happened to stumble across this… This book is being written as you’re reading it. It’s an experiment. I don’t think a book has been written this way with the ultimate goal of being published. Upside, you can participate, share, and comment on what I’ve written. I do read your feedback and I do take your comments/criticisms seriously. Downside: this is a rough draft, so you’re going to get bad grammar at times, punctuation mishaps, and a plot hole here and there. By the time this book is done being written, I’ll have a completed piece of literature that you can be like a hipster about and say, “I read the book when it was a blog.” Cool, right! So, here is the continuation of Chapter 13! Get reading, my friends!

Chapter 13 (continued)

Again, irritated at having to look after this guy while Big Rich takes a siesta, she shoves his body back into the car and does her best to lift Big Rich’s hulking carcass onto the seat next him. A brief pause to catch her breath and she moves to the other side using the vehicle as a crutch. Cherie falls into the driver’s seat and starts up the 383 cubic inches of old fashioned Detroit steel, hits the gas and drives off to rendezvous with Command.

Arriving at an unsuspecting building, Cherie makes a call on her phone and gives todays code word with the all clear signal. She makes contact with the Security Chief and requests assistance with the two men in the backseat that behave like trash bags full of water in their unconscious state. The Security Chief sends out a half of a dozen armed guards to keep watch and assist with the two men in the car.

As the three of them entering to the building, a young girl with hair pulled back and dozens of frizzy fly-aways, gives a quick visual analysis and takes vitals to ensure they are relatively healthy.

Cherie shoos off the young girl repeatedly telling her, “I’m fine. Worry about them.”

The girl stops the caravan inside the main building hallway facing Cherie, closes her eyes and then starts reciting medical vernacular. Cherie is hypnotized and amused watching her eyes move behind the closed eyelids as if she were reading a book. The girl continues to recite medical words and facility policy with eyebrows raised and hands at stomach level palms facing out in a “stop” position. Cherie yields and tells her to make the check-up quickly, she has more important items to deal with.

The girl with the textbook behind her eyelids tells the guards to take Big Rich and the new guy to the second floor, room 207 and 208. The guards, not used to taking orders from anyone but their direct commander, looked at each other and at the tiny lady snapping off directives, not moving. Two of the bigger guards flinched when she lurched forward at them with her shoulders raised, feet arches flexed on her toes, and voice lowered but forceful, “Now!”

Cherie smirked, “You heard her, gentlemen!”

The guards starting moving, double-time, as if they had a flashback to boot camp. The young girl, clearly proud of herself, smiled and fixed one of the frizzy fly-aways unaware there were dozens more that need attention. Cherie patted the girl’s should and then took a set of stairs going to debrief with the Commanding Officer.


Friends With Shadows – Chapter 13

Writer’s Note: Ok, so I decided to move on to Chapter 13 after a good amount of the dreaded and very real writer’s block. I can always go back and fix and add later, right? I think you’re in for a real treat, this chapter is developing the character “Cherie” – we’re going to see more into her personality and who she is what she does and how she handles business. Enjoy the beginning of Chapter 13 my avid readers and generally curious audience!

Chapter 13

Cherie dumped the useless pile of flesh into the backseat of her 1964 Chrysler New Yorker; she still wasn’t certain why Big Rich believed this guy could be of use. Annoyed she has to be the caretaker, she slammed the trunk of the car, she racked the slide of her vintage M4 Colt Commando. Clearing the entrance of the warehouse she stayed in the shadows looking for Big Rich, cautious the attackers were nearby.
She saw a target at the far end of the warehouse and began firing. Cherie pulled out her phone and sent a message to her contact requesting an evacuation. Bullet fragments flew by her face, peppering the area – there must be another unseen target. She stepped closer firing suppression rounds and using the remaining crates and pallets that were standing as cover. She realized her only cover lead her into the light making her an obvious target for the second shooter – and also where Big Rich was lying, moving, but unconscious. Checking for a pulse, Big Rich appeared alright. Cherie moved the boards and splintered wood that were on top of him and began dragging him back to a more secure position – aware the other shooter could be moving in.

Response came back from her contact advising evacuation personnel are en route and had been dispatched before she made contact. Contact advised there was a shooter on the roof that will be neutralized as priority as long as she can maintain her position on the ground. Cherie advised that there were unknown number of assailants, two that she was aware of but she’s not sure if there are more. Contact notified her they just completed a scan and the rooftop assailant has been removed as a threat and there is only one left. Cherie began to back away from her position towards the front of the warehouse. More shots were fired from the shooter aimed at her last known position. Standing behind a pillar, Contact let her know she was clear for exit and stepped out into the street, dragging Big Rich, headed for her New Yorker.

Cherie didn’t look back to see what happened next but could feel the heat at her back and the splinters from the building zip by her face. She closed her eyes for a moment, praying a stray piece of shrapnel doesn’t find itself embedded in a lethal place against her skin. She opened her eyes in time to see the snitch had got out of the car and then slam his head from the force against the frame of the car door leaving a dent in her otherwise pristine vehicle. Cherie and Big Rich both received an extra stumbling push from the explosion, moving them closer to the vehicle.

Friends With Shadows – Chapter 11 (As Promised!)

Writer’s Note: Chapter 11 is here! For some reason, it feels like a milestone, to be celebrated! Woohoo! For my new readers and followers, I’m writing this book as an experiment – I’m basically writing the rough draft online for everyone to read. The upside is that you can comment and participate in the writing process. The downside, is that while I do try to edit before I post, I don’t catch everything so, you’re getting the chapters in a raw format. Anyhow, enjoy Chapter 11! Happy reading!

Chapter 11

When do I get to know? When do I get to find out how this ends?

A clearing, a misty meadow. Maybe early morning, maybe late evening. The green of the treeline is still visible. The sweet smell of the blooms. For a moment, I forget where I’m at. For a moment, I forget that my body aches. For a moment, I take in the view and the smell one last time.

Where is everyone?

Looking down, my t-shirt is painted in Rorschach. Is that my blood? Is that mud?

Surrounded by rusted gray walls, I sit up on the make-shift table. A short woman walks in. Her appearance, comical, her hair is pulled tight while dozens of individual curly strands are sprouting all over her head. She has had a rough week apparetly, I almost can’t believe she’s a real person – the type of character that you would only see on a comedy series. Smiling, she uses her middle knuckle to push her glasses up onto the bridge of her nose, “Oh hey! I’m glad to see you awake. How are you feeling?’ Her obvious exhaustion betrays her otherwise chipper demeanor.

The smile I return is painful.

“That bad, huh? Don’t worry, I’ve got some stuff that will make you better. Take two of these green pills,” she runs her hand on my sternum as part of some kind of medical exam and I let out a painful grunt, “…better make it three of the green ones.”

She hands me a fresh set of clothes, still warm from the dryer, she tells me to get changed and come outside when I’m done. She leaves, her alfalfa sprouts flying around her head like tiny bobble heads.

Peeling off the Rorschach of my mother yelling at me, my abdomen reveals new stitches and gauze. Disbelief overcomes my thoughts – only a few days ago I was delivering mail for Dean, and now, I’m literally stitched together. Wearing the clean clothes the apparent nurse gave me, I linger in the room for another moment. Taking in the peace, the quiet, and a deep relaxed breath, one last time. Something has changed. I don’t know what I will do or what is going to happen but, I know whatever I was doing before is over. I need to talk to Big Rich.

I step through the door, the light is the brightest I’ve known.

…to be continued….

Friends With Shadows – Chapter 9 (continued, yes, CONTINUED!)

Writer’s Note: You’ll have to forgive me, I’m watching the Golden State vs LeBron James game…I’m mildly distracted – Go Golden State Warriors!! But, anyway, it’s Monday!!! Yay! Putting the positive spin on Monday, that means we’re only a few days away from the WEEKEND!!!! So, to help pass the time between now and Friday, read a few chapters and enjoy the rest of the week!

As always, like, comment, and share. It helps my ego motivates me to write more. Read on, my friends.

“You’re already dead. You don’t have to work for Dean anymore. The hospital had filed the certificate of your death before you woke up. The opportunity for a new life, one free of the system you’ve been placed in, that had been predetermined,” his words resonated.

I am dead.

Big Rich told me that there is not a lot of time for my decisions. What waits for me? I’m already dead according the hospital. To the rest of the system, I’m just somebody that existed in a phone book somewhere.

I see the face of Big Rich and Cherie start to distort. Like they were punched by an Olympic boxer. Ripples flowing across what was a perfect human face, less than a moment ago. Coming towards us was some kind of bubble. A blue tinge outlined the bubble causing a disruption in visual reality – a lensing effect. Everything was slow. I realized what had happened though I hadn’t understood why. The bright white flash followed shortly after the blue distortion, then the heat. The bodies of Cherie and Big Rich soar across the warehouse, rag dolls.

That heat, singed hair, stitches straining under force of the blast, my body is being pulled apart trying to expose my organs again. My clothes smell like they were in the dryer for too long with the heat too high. Spontaneous combustion, nuclear radiation, cooked from the inside. What does it matter? I’m already dead.