Publisher’s Note: I have been working on a novel this year and this will be the first excerpt I will release. My first attempt at long form fiction. Writing fiction is incredibly hard and I have suffered a steep learning curve in mastering the craft and am a long way from doing it with ease. I find writing non-fiction to be much easier so this is a whole new venture to create characters and narratives from whole cloth, string them together and most importantly, keep readers interested.
This is not the first chapter but an intermediate chapter that sets the new sequence rolling in the novel after the main protagonists are introduced.
In essence, The Cancer Club is about four terminally ill widowers caught in the net of the growing American police state and their decision to go down fighting. This particular chapter sets the narrative on an accelerated course. The novel takes place mostly in Tucson, Arizona in the near future as a representative built-up area for the backdrop to the story.
So I accept all the constructive criticism you can throw at me, I may publish other chapters in the future for your delectation.
This goes to the editor on 1 November and I have already delayed two months for various reasons including my laziness in writing.
My next book project this year will be easier for me as a writer. I will be analyzing and commenting on all of Lysander Spooner’s published work (six volumes and 2700 pages). I think he may be one of the least recognized and most influential intellectually of the individualist abolitionists in American literature. There is a tremendous dearth of study of his work in the mainstream. Certainly not a project to make me rich but a worthy windmill to tilt at.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please be sure to email me or post comments. -BB
Chapter Fourteen: A New World
The industrial park was dark again and the car drove to the large block building in the cul-de-sac at the end of the complex. Timothy glided to the front entrance and stopped in the handicapped space. He slipped out and clicked the fob to lock the car. The BMW beeped back and he strolled through the front office.
“Good evening, Mr. Henry.”
“Evening, Janice, Harry in?”
“I’ll buzz you in.” She smiled and pressed the button to release the door lock.
Timothy proceeded through the entry and went down a corridor and saw the light under the last door on the left. He paused to brush some lint off the fabric of his Gieves and Hawkes suit jacket, he shot his cuffs and knocked lightly as he pushed it in.
“Evening, Harry, everything on schedule?” pronouncing the last word in the odd English quirk common to his Received Pronunciation, common to American ears that tuned into the BBC.
Harry’s office was neat as a pin with whiteboards and maps bedecking the walls around a Spartan desk with a computer monitor and a few stacks of paper. Timothy walked to the largest map on the wall and touched it. His fingers traced invisible lines across the surface and settled at the very point he was standing at right now. Five digital atomic clocks glowed above the map in a console. Two industrial shredders were against the opposite wall.
“Everything’s on schedule, some paperwork difficulties in Boston but everything is set. Countdown is at D-47 hours right now.” Less than two days until a multi-city simultaneous event that will rock the country to its core.
“We need to get the electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) synchronized across the entire fleet. The Feds want to eliminate paper logs but they want the electronic journal slaved to the on-board computers of the discrete trucks. Once that’s complete, we’ll be able to do it.”
“How many cloverleafs are mapped?”
“Interchanges in DC, Boston, New York City, Miami, Charlotte, Chicago and Seattle and LA on the west coast. The west coast events will take place the morning following the events on the east coast.
“As you know, the DoD lost accountability for 36 Javelin Command Launch Units in 2003, we have managed over a period of time to procure 24 of those along with the associated missiles. Six of those have been expended in training overseas and two are inop leaving us a total of 16. Half of those are presently in the LA area being pre-positioned for D-Day. There are two Liquified Gas Cargo Carriers or LNGs in the basin in the next few days.”
“Let’s confirm timelines.”
“East Coast is the fulcrum at 1630 on Tuesday, Chicago will be 1730 CST and the freeway interchanges in California at 1930 PST. The Long Beach Terminal targets at 0915 PST the next day.”
“E&E in place for all the agents? At least the ones that survive.” Timothy winked and sported a toothy grin like a shark..
“Yeah, still tying loose ends in Chicago but the Canadian ratline is active now and we have a waterborne exfil in LA.”
Timothy stretched his lanky frame and yawned. “Alright, send the green-light in 24 hours, we are a go and Godspeed to all the targeteers.”
Harry smiled and leaned back in his chair, drawling in a thick Mississippi accent. “So far, everything is cyber-bleached to the extent we can and Janice and I will be destroying and shredding and burning all the docs over the next twenty hours. What little there is. Remember, we are simply the catalyst for the whole process, we’ll simply finish what Al Qaeda started. A little over five years to get here…long road traveled. The next time we see each other will be on the other side of the world.”
Timothy turned to the door. “See you on the other side, brother.”
Tuesday 1610 on DC Beltway
John beat the steering wheel in his car as he heard the latest update on traffic snarls on 495 near 267. Bumper to bumper and he had to piss like a racehorse, he was probably a good thirty minutes out from his favorite gas station to stop and use.
I hope Helen has something good waiting when I get home. She works evening shift tonight but at least I can heat it up and fall asleep in front of the TV. These two-hour commutes are brutal.
He looked around at his fellow inmates on the freeway and noticed a large semi pulled over at the overpass with safety cones and markers surrounding it and the hood tilted forward. The windows were tinted so he couldn’t see anybody inside. He noticed an ambulance coming down the roadway under the overpass perpendicular to his direction of travel. The ambulance picked up a man in a paramedic uniform at the bottom and drove on the shoulder. Funny, the paramedic hopped in and they sped off light on and siren blasting.
Jesus, wish I had lights and a siren to pass all these folks up…
Without warning, 10,600 gallons of liquid propane with a 1000 gallon pony sheath of welding gas and oxygen ignited in the semi parked on the shoulder and blew outwards in a firestorm that engulfed the entire interchange at the junction of the Dulles Toll Road and Capital Beltway. John was quite simply, vaporized. Later investigation would reveal the remnants of the propane container to be in a ten-foot deep crater a half-mile from the initial blast. The sound blast knocked out windows a distance of ten miles away and the resulting firestorm ignited and cooked off thousands of cars and trucks in vicinity to the blast.