Saturday, November 5, 2016

Excerpt from Time of Death

If Alex could ever get a damn paper, she’d read the ads. What was happening in the world? Why did their newspaper disappear every day. Mr. Foley’s son swore he left it every morning. An idea dawned, and she smacked herself in the forehead, then grabbed the phone book.
“Mr. Foley, what time does your son deliver the paper to Isobel Devore?” She’d see what happened to it for herself. “Thanks.”
Oleander

In the morning, she’d be there watching. A thick stand of waxmyrtle and palmetto would hide her, and she’d catch the thief with his hand in the box. It couldn’t be an animal, had to be human—or maybe Neanderthal. She wondered if Neanderthals read or if they used newspaper for something less appealing. Dismissing the mental picture, she locked the door and hurried to the car. At least she had a plan.
Her meeting with Tucker worried her. The drawings were coming with increasing frequency. What if something happened while she was off-guard. He wasn’t going to be receptive, she could tell.
She crossed into Mt. Pleasant and turned on Johnnie Dodd Boulevard. At least she could read the papers at the library.
A flash of dull red in a filling station caught her eye. She slammed on the brakes and whipped into the parking area, leaving an angry driver hitting his horn.
An old Land Rover sat to one side, a small For Sale sign in the window. “Yes!” Chelsea leapt from the VW and ran as quickly as her stiff body would allow to the window. Wiping away a layer of dust, she peered inside the car, testing the handle with her other hand. It opened. Stains and a couple of rips marked the cloth seats. She climbed in and sat down, bouncing in spite of her bruises. 
“You interested in this baby?”
The voice at the window surprised her. A young man in jeans and a plaid shirt stood with his hands in his back pockets, his head tilted to one side.
“Yes. What year is it?”
Alex's Defender
“Nineteen ninety Defender. The real thing. She’s a little dirty right now, but she drives good, got some new parts.” He straightened and pulled a single key from his pocket. “Think you can drive it?”
“Of course.” She looked at the heavy gear in the floorboard. “Well, maybe a few pointers would be good.” She smiled at him. This was her car. She could feel it. A Land Rover! “Is it yours?”

“Yep. I’m the mechanic here. I bought it four years ago. I wouldn’t give it up, but me and my wife are about to have a baby, and she wants a more regular car.” He pushed long strands of hair out of his eyes. “Want to go for a ride?”

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Audio sample