Chapter 19 is live!

Things are heating up in my novel, Sleepers, over at  Go take a look.  You know you want to!  Here’s a bit to get you started…

Bill had entered the bar intending to drag Jack by the ears back to Greenville, but as soon as he had sat next to him, all such thoughts faded like fog on a sunny day.  It had been like turning off a switch, a buzzing in his ear with an abrupt end.  Back in the room, the buzzing had returned with the death of his alcohol buzz, growing in volume and pressuring him to stuff Jack in the trunk of his car and head for home.  It was an imperative he had trouble denying.

He remembered arguing over breakfast, Jack demanding his phone, then a blank spot like a needle skipping on a record.  The next thing Bill knew, Jack was handing his phone back to him in pieces.

And the pressure in his brain was gone.

He still wasn’t convinced he shouldn’t drag Jack back to Greenville, but he no longer felt the imperative to do so.  There was no explanation for his swift change of heart, and that was the most disturbing part of the whole affair.  At some point that needs to be explored, he thought.  Right now there were more immediate concerns.

“So what are our options?” he asked Jack.  The four men sat in the motel room, Jack and Bill on the two chairs, Sohrab and Mason on the beds.  Sohrab was busy flipping through channels on the television bolted to the dresser while Mason munched on a bag of chips.  He had been eating almost non-stop since Bill brought Jack back to the room the previous night.

“Honestly, Bill,” Jack said, “I don’t have a clue.”  Mason snorted, but Jack ignored him.  “Part of me wants to check my mail.”

“You think your pen-pal—”

“Chester,” Jack said.

Really?” Bill asked.  When Jack didn’t respond, he nodded.  “Okay, Chester it is.  Do you think he sent you another letter?”

Jack spread his hands.  “I don’t know, but it’s as good a place to start as any.”

Mason snorted again.  “Why not just go to the CDC and look over Sally’s office while we’re at it,” he said, the condescension dripping from his voice.  “Who here thinks the cops are waiting at either place?”  He raised his hand with a smirk.  After a few seconds, Sohrab shrugged and raised his hand, then returned to flipping the channels.

“Then what’s your idea?” Jack asked Mason.

“Amber’s apartment.”

“I don’t know where it is, and—”

“Doesn’t matter,” Bill said, shaking his head.  “According to your friend, her place has already been tossed by the Feds, and confidence is high there are still eyes on the place.”  He pointed at Mason, and said, “Yours is out for the same reasons.”

Everyone sat in silence until Sohrab started to chuckle, all eyes turning to him.

He shook his head, and said, “Seriously?  All of you forgot the one person in this room no one is looking for?  The one person with any kind of training in these matters?”

Bill snorted.  “Where the hell did you dig this guy up?” he asked, hooking a thumb in Sohrab’s direction.

Mason grinned.  “Ever seen Three Days of the Condor?” he asked Bill, who raised an eyebrow in response.  “Sometimes,” Mason said, “random and lucky go hand in hand.”  To Sohrab, he said, “What did you have in mind?”


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