The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

Friday, July 31, 2015

Quote of the day 7-31

I don't pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about

Arthur C. Clarke

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quote of the day 7-30

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Minute Mystery Monday! A Deadly Decision





A man is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms, only one of which may insure his survival. 

The first room is full of raging fires, while the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Being an astute observer, he picks one of the doors...and lives.


What did the man know that lead to his decision?

Find the answer HERE!

Quote of the day 7-27

I know not age, nor weariness nor defeat

Rose Kennedy

Friday, July 24, 2015

Murmansk Chapters 38, 39, & 40

As promised, here are some more chapters from my new International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday!

Available now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble (See links at the bottom)





Chapter 38
December 12, 2000

Patrick McGruder watched the clouds pass below. Puffy and white, the blue sky surrounding them reminded him of a cool pool of water even as they reflected the magnificent sun of the day. McGruder sighed…if only his outlook could be so bright.
“You ok?” Michael Montana asked quietly.
McGruder turned to his old friend, a tight smile forming on his lips.
“Yes Montana, I’m just not so used to being on this side of the equation I guess.”
Michael nodded in understanding. “It can happen to any of us Patrick…nature of the beast.”
Returning his eyes to the front, Michael smiled at the sight that met him.
A very sexy Beth Montoya, his Forensic Accountant/Field Operative was leaning over Joe Bright’s seat. Joe was the other operative that he had brought along on this mission.
Two of only three in his inner circle, Michael had brought the best of the best along for this particular mission. But it wasn’t Beth’s work in the field he was thinking about at that moment.
Having had an on and off sexual relationship with her over the last couple of years, his mind was absorbed on a past exploit in the bedroom.
Catching himself, he cleared his throat before turning back toward McGruder. “You’ve made the right choice today Patrick, this will give us an edge when we get on the ground.”
“Indeed,” McGruder nodded, “One which I hope we can take full advantage of if everything goes according to plan.”
“It will,” Michael grinned, “It was thought up by two of the best in the business.” A movement in the aisle claimed his attention again; Joe Bright and Beth were now moving toward him.
A hulk of a man, Joe came off as fat in his usual tacky jacket and slacks, but Michael knew better. Having met Joe on the very first day of Michael’s first operation, they had been together ever since. An ex detective, Joe was a chain-smoking, uncouth individual that always got results.
“Pilot says two hours,” Joe mumbled as he approached Michael’s seat, “Bethy and me’s gonna break out the gear and set it up.”
Michael smiled at Beth’s grimace; Joe always called her Bethy, much to her dismay.
“Good idea,” Michael responded. “Don’t catch anything on fire.”
He knew part of the reason that Joe was volunteering to go to the cargo hold was his need for a nicotine infusion.
Fucking pissant,” Joe muttered under his breath before raising his voice, “If I do, I guess you’ll be one of the first people to know.”
Beth rolled her eyes as she followed Joe into the rear of the plane.
“It’s good to see Joe again,” McGruder observed when they had passed. “A good guy…although I think you may be the only man that he could ever hope to work for…at least for any length of time.”
Michael had to laugh at Patrick’s observation. “You may be right about that…it takes a mind with a certain bent to handle Joe’s….”
“Peculiarities?” McGruder finished Michael’s sentence. “Yes, I suppose it would. Still, I’m overjoyed that he is here, as well as you and Beth.”
McGruder’s smile turned to sadness again before he turned his face once again toward the window.
Michael noticed.
“If they are as good as you say they are Patrick, they will come out of this fine.”
McGruder turned again toward Michael. “I hope they are as good as I think they are too,” he responded before turning back toward the window.
“I hope to hell they are good enough.”

Chapter 39
December 12, 2000

“Here you go buddy, just a little sip.”
I had Preacher’s head in my hand, raising it slightly while trying to feed him some powdered soup I had found in the supplies.
My return trek had been yet another nightmare.
Burdened with the additional weight of the sled, I sunk down ever farther into the snow with every step back. My legs now felt like they would never work properly again.
Around half way back to the shack, I lost all sense of my previous trail. Stopping and taking numerous sightings on the North Star as I traveled, it could have only been God’s hand that had allowed me to finally step back into the relative warmth of the shack.
God’s…or Betty’s…or maybe both.
Either way, I was exceedingly thankful to have made it back, especially with the small load of supplies that gave us a fighting chance at survival!
The first thing I had noted upon my return was that the portable heater had stopped working. Grabbing one of the new propane tanks, I quickly exchanged it for the old and lit it with a kitchen match. Turning it up all of the way, I set the snow I had collected earlier on it and proceeded to dig through the sled’s contents. I had brought the sled inside with me earlier, and I moved it closer to the fire to look through it.
My teeth were chattering so bad I wasn’t sure that they would ever stop, but it felt like I wouldn’t be able to move from the stove for at least several hours.
Finding a box of instant soup, I immediately poured two packets into the warming water before examining the rest of the stash.
In the sled I found 6 canisters of propane, one of which I had already utilized. The box of soup had contained ten individual serving packets, of which I had already used two, so four more meals there. Eight if I stretched it.
There were also two arctic sleeping bags, four Russian Army surplus canned meals, and six batteries for the flashlights.
I sat back on my haunches and did some math in my head. If we were ultra-conservative, we could probably hope to live here comfortably for three days…if we stretched it a little further…maybe five.
I glanced over at Preacher, who was resting more comfortably with the added heat and the food in his belly. But he still needed help sooner than later, and five days was way longer than I could risk his life for.
We needed a plan of escape! And I would start on that immediately…as soon as I got some rest. I wasn’t even sure that I had the energy left to pull myself into a sleeping bag, but I was determined to give it a try. I had to get some sleep, and some rest for my extremely overworked…old muscles.
With numb fingers, I worked at untying the straps that held the sleeping bag. When I finally got them released, I pulled off my boots and parka and crawled into the bag, pulling the zipper up as far as it would go.
In that moment I worried over the fate of Abby, as well as concern for May. I was sure that she was at the very least worried about us by now just from the delay of our return, even if she didn’t know of our abduction yet.
That, however was the last conscious thought I could claim as my heavy eyes slid down and a fitful sleep overtook me.
It was the sleep of the dead, and I could only hope that it wouldn’t be my last.

Chapter 40
December 12, 2000

“What the hell!” Abby gasped as she pushed Gregor away.
“Chto na tebya nashio mudak?” she yelled at the man. (What’s gotten into you, asshole?)
“Vy seychas moi malen’kaya printsessa,” the fat man exclaimed in a slur, obviously sloshed. “Vy poluchili dlya menya.”  (You are mine now little princess…you have been given to me.)
Abby’s eyes closed to slits. “Like hell I have,” she shouted while bringing her foot up into Gregor’s crotch.
Howling in pain, Gregor bent over at the waist. Planting her hands on his greasy hair and pushing down, Abby quickly brought her knee up into his face, grinning at the resounding crack when his nose broke.
Screaming now, Gregor swung his meaty hand around and caught Abby in the side of her head, knocking her onto the cot, dazed.
Barely able to stand straight and bleeding profusely, Gregor still grinned as he removed his apron, his teeth now stained with blood.
“YA poshel na khuy seychas,” he uttered as Abby moaned on the cot, “Vy budete blagodarit’ menya, kogda vse zakonchitsya!” (I will fuck you now…you will thank me when it’s over!)
Dropping his pants, he waddled over to Abby’s position, his dirty slacks still bunched around his ankles. Abby’s eyes were closed as another moan escaped her unconscious lips.
Reaching down, Gregor started working on her pants, getting both jeans and underwear down to her knees before stepping back. Tugging off her shoes, he then worked at sliding each pant leg past her feet before letting the jeans fall to the floor.
Hard with excitement, he reached down and effortlessly pulled Abby up off of the cot by her shirt before turning and throwing her over the sink on the opposite wall.
“Suka!” he exclaimed as he aimed himself at her. “Mozhet byt’, ya trakhat’ svoyu zadnitsu pervym!” (Bitch! Maybe I fuck your ass first!)
Leaning in toward her, he was unprepared for the back kick that suddenly landed on his flabby stomach. Flailing backwards, he looked up in time to see Abby turn and quickly jab her hand at his face. Before he knew what was happening, Abby’s fingers had entered his eye sockets, damaging at least one eyeball beyond repair
Howling in pain again, Gregor continued to stumble backwards when the heel of her foot landed on his jaw from a hard side-kick. Falling to the floor, his head bounced off of the greasy concrete.
Abby was on him in a rage, landing on his chest with both knees and knocking the wind out of him before pummeling him over and over with her fists. Screaming obscenities in Vietnamese, she continued to pound on her ugly attacker until her mind was lost to her.

***

When the red world of rage finally cleared from her vision, she found herself straddling the dead man, naked from the waist down, her fists cut and bleeding.
Seeing the bloody pulp of what was left of Gregor’s face, she quickly stood and raced for the sink, retching the contents of her stomach into it until there was nothing left.
Tears streaming down her face, she found the closest thing to a clean rag she could find and ran it under the water. Grinding a bar of soap into it while sobbing loudly, she started washing herself…scrubbing hard at her skin…trying to erase any trace of the man that had attacked her.
After twenty minutes of endless scrubbing…she finally stopped. She had no more tears left to cry, and not enough energy to waste on feeling sorry for herself. Dropping the cloth to the floor, she stepped over to her jeans and pulled them up, leaving the underwear on the floor. Sitting on the side of the cot, she pulled her shoes toward her and inserted her feet into them.
Then she sat…staring at the opposite wall…unsure of what to do next…unsure if she wanted to do anything at all.
Slowly, her head turned to what was left of Gregor. Revulsion of the man worked its way up from her stomach before she once again looked away.
She didn’t know what to do next…she had never felt so alone.
Jumping up suddenly, she reached down for Gregor’s discarded apron and pulled it loose from under his cooling body. Grimacing, she reached into the pocket and extracted the wad of Russian bills she knew would be there.
Pushing them into her pocket, she then stepped over the body and moved into the bar area. Ducking behind the scarred wooden structure of the bar itself, she first went to the cash register and opened it, taking all of the paper money available there. That done, she turned to the mirrored shelves behind the bar before pulling down two bottles of the best vodka in the house. Hugging them to her chest, she turned once again toward the back room.
Grabbing one of the lit candles from off one of the tables as she passed, she entered the back room without looking down at the dead man. Setting the candle aside, she uncapped the first bottle and started pouring the contents over the body. Stepping over the body, she then grabbed her Parka and shrugged into it, slowly bringing up the zipper as she stared at the man again.
Uncorking the second bottle of Vodka, she started pouring the bottle over the cot before moving around the room, dousing anything that would burn. When she was done with that, she stepped over the body one more time and lifted the candle in her hand before turning around. She spent a few moments staring at the man…the man that had imprisoned her…the man that had violated her.
She wanted to scream at him, to curse him in every language at her disposal…to kick at the dead flesh…
But she had no energy left…her emotions drained away to nothing.
Sighing, she then tossed the candle toward the floor. Landing next to the body, the glass around the candle immediately broke, the flame easily catching the high-proof vodka aflame.
Staying only long enough to make sure that the fire took, Abby turned and made her way through the kitchen, grabbing a sharp, six-inch knife off of the counter before letting herself out the back door and into the alley.
Shivering from the cold, she pulled the zipper of her coat the rest of the way up as she looked around. Not knowing where exactly in the city she was…or even what city for sure, she determined that it really didn’t matter.
She just needed to go!
Still clasping the knife in her hand, she inserted it into her right coat pocket.
Turning to the left, she walked quietly away from the bar, staying to the shadows as much as she could.
It would be a long time before she let go of the knife again.


Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

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Quote of the day 7-24

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story

Orson Welles

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quote of the day 7-23

Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.

 

Mark Twain

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Quote of the day 7-21

I've found that there is always some beauty left -- in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.

Anne Frank

Monday, July 20, 2015

Taking Time Out For Dad

For those of you that have been anxiously waiting for either Minute Mystery Monday or continuing chapters of Murmansk, I must apologize. 

During the last two weeks, my dad suffered a series of strokes which led to hospital stays, a stint in a nursing home, and then back to the hospital. On Thursday, July 16th, he passed from this world.

As you can imagine, posting new material was the last thing on my mind during this time of high stress, but there were some positives that came out of the experience. 

For one, we became closer as a family, and worked with each other to make sure that mom always had someone with her. And we told some stories of things long forgotten as well as some more current memories.

But there were two big things that I got to experience that have left me at least somewhat content.

On Tuesday night after his last stroke he couldn't speak, but he could still communicate somewhat. Before most of the family left, he said goodbye to each and every one of us. Taking our hand in his, he looked at us as we told him we loved him, and then nodded his head before pointing to mom.

The message was clear...Take Care Of Mom!

Although he lived two more days, he didn't communicate much, and I will be forever thankful for our chance to say goodbye.

The second thing I am thankful for is spending the night with him on Tuesday night. While mom settled close by on a cot, I sat by his bed.

It was a restless night. Although he indicated that he wasn't in pain, he was at the very least uncomfortable...at most a little afraid of what was to come.

I held his hand most of that night, which seemed to comfort him as it did me. I guess I'll never know if I really helped him or not, but spending that time with him helped me. Being next to him that night couldn't ever come close to evening the balance sheet for everything that he has given me in this life, but I hope it helped is his way to the next one. 

He was a great man that never gave a second thought to helping others, and it showed on the faces of those coming to say their last respects at the funeral.

I can only hope to try my best to help fill the void left by this great man.



Richard Thomas 'Dick' Lewis

September 22, 1932 - July 16, 2015

Following is his eulogy.

A Glimpse Into The Life of Richard Lewis

O Captain! my Captain! Our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  From which he’d always led

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! Dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen from where you led

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm…he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  From which he’d always led

As we sat in that dark hospital room, watching a part of the foundation of our family drifting away from us, the words of Walt Whitman’s epic poem kept flashing through my mind.
O Captain, My Captain!
I wondered about it at the time, this incessant verse that would not cease. I wondered what our dad, mom’s husband, would think if I shouted it out.
O Captain, My Captain!
At another time in his life, he would have probably just glanced up over his glasses quietly, his message clear:
Don’t take yourself so seriously!
But no more will we hear his quiet wisdom, no more that meaningful look.
With wrenched heart I watched as the ravages of time overtook him, all of us wanting just another week…another day…another hour with him before he left us.
O Captain, My Captain!
Truth be known, I wasn’t quite sure what the poem was about, only that it reflected the grieving of the crew for the loss of their Captain, which certainly fit our circumstances.
But I’ve came to see that it speaks of so much more.
The Captain has led his crew through the trials and tribulations of a difficult voyage, showing the wisdom and courage to spur them on to the end. And although the Captain has shown exemplary skills in leading his crew all the way back to port…he doesn’t quite make it to the end.
O Captain, My Captain!
It is hard enough to put into words what makes a life worth living…harder still to put a finger on the makings of an exemplary one. But this is what one does in these situations when one has too much time to dwell as we did.
So I thought about what made my dad the man he was to all of us. I thought about the makeup of an exemplary man.
Richard Thomas Lewis, Dick to friends and family, was born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana in the midst of the Great Depression on September 22, 1932.
I think he took pleasure in the fact that he wasn’t born at the beginning of the Depression…that way no one could blame it on him.
While the house of his birth was small, the family inside wasn’t. As one of eight siblings, he soon learned the value of asserting himself…especially around the dinner table!
In 1948 he and his family moved to Guilford, Indiana… on the banks of the meandering Tanner’s Creek. And it was while attending school at this truly back-creek town that his life in fact started to change.
To hear mom tell it…she fell in love with him at first sight when she passed dad in a doorway that first year.
True to form however, dad held his own emotions close to the cuff. Coyness was a skill to be honed, and even at that age he was sharpening those skills.
Be that as it may, they did start dating in high school, even attending the prom before he graduated.
After graduation however, things went unexplainably off kilter. While Dick went off to work and eventually the Army, Clara finished school and then also joined the workforce.
It seemed like it was not to be.
On a day in 1954 however, a friend called up Clara out of the blue and asked her if she would be willing to go on a blind date. Agreeing to the setup, she was surprised by who turned up…Dick had once again entered her life.
Once they had found each other again, they never let go.
They quickly started working at making a life together, marrying in 1956 and starting production on a family soon after. In a matter of a few short years they had a new house, four kids, and a mortgage.
They were living the American dream.
Throughout our childhood, dad and mom were involved in almost every facet of our lives. Not one to sit on the sidelines, dad became in turn a baseball coach, a 4-H leader, a Soap Box Derby car designer, and a Scoutmaster.
While most men his age were starting to lay back and take it a little easier, dad would lead us on a thirty mile hike. When at our first camporee our troop came through it with a lackluster showing, he worked with us and our equipment for months so that we could give a good presentation of ourselves.
And we did. In fact mom now has a basement full of awards our troop won over the years…dad’s troop. Dad continued to mentor scouts until there were no more scouts to mentor, and I think back fondly on those days when he was with us wherever we roamed.
Dedicated to his family, dad was always available to help out whenever something went awry in our lives, or if we just needed something done. There are four houses and a barn on our combined properties, and dad had a hand in each and every one. His work ethic was enviable, his energy astonishing.
But while the labor of life happened around him: work, kids, houses and barns…he still danced.
We all remember mom and dad going out to dance from earliest memory. And when they came home, they were always smiling after spending the night together.
Country and Western by the way…none of that new age country they are trying to pass off nowadays.
Dancing is not, however, something that they passed on to their kids.
Not that they wouldn’t have enjoyed us being around them on the dance floor, it just wasn’t part of our generation. It harkened back to an earlier time…it wasn’t cool.
But they didn’t really care, because it was what they enjoyed. Even when health problems started to plague him, they still went when they could.
Unlike most couples I know, mom and dad always did everything together. If the car had a bench seat, they sat beside each other when they drove anywhere. They were made for each other you see, and they worked to make sure nothing came between them.
As their kids grew, got married and started having their our own kids, our busy lives sometimes precluded seeing them as often. But this did not keep them from coming to every family event, and making sure that they talked to everyone there.
If they couldn’t see their family often, they made sure that they saw them at every available opportunity.
Their love and commitment to each other has been an inspiration to us, as well as to others.
When dad started experiencing physical changes these last few months however, he began to worry about the future, a future that seemed not to include him. Always a man of quiet faith, I think he did a lot more talking to God during those months, because he needed to know that the love of his life would be ok…that mom would be ok.
 The true test of this came on the last night we could communicate with him. He said goodbye to all of us one at a time as we huddled around the bed. And although he couldn’t speak, he made one thought abundantly clear to those that were gathered around the room.
Take care of mom!
O Captain, My Captain!
Faced with the uncertain, he still made sure he had everything done before he left us…certain that we were heading to port before releasing the wheel.
Oh Captain, My Captain!
And now we must continue without him at our backs, but he would want us to move on. He has given us all the skills we need to accomplish the voyage we must all take… this thing we call life. He has helped fill our hearts with love and caring…if not the ability to dance.
O Captain! My Captain!
Dick Lewis loved life, his children and their children. And he loved mom. His smile was genuine…his voice soft-spoken. He led an exemplary life, and seldom met someone that didn’t call him friend once they had met him. There are few people in this life that have made such an impression on so many.
Although our Captain did not make it to the end of the voyage, he made it as far as he could. While we mourn his loss, he certainly didn’t leave us rudderless. And as we grab the wheel of the ship of life, we have but one thought in our head.
It is our turn now.

Oh Captain, do not fear, for we have got this now,
Your skills at leading our ship through life have passed to us and how,
The storms that come when next we sail we can weather because of you,
The treasure we seek is love and life and we will claim it too;
                           Exult O shores, and Ring O bells!
                              For now we do not dread
                                 We take the helm and face the storm
                                      From where you always led

Quote of the day 7-20

The noblest search is the search for excellence

 

Lyndon B. Johnson

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Quote of the day 7-16

If people are not laughing at your goals your goals are too small.

 

Azim Prem Ji

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Quote of the day 7-14

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.

 

Robert Frost

Monday, July 13, 2015

Quote of the day 7-13

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else

Judy Garland

Friday, July 10, 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Quote of the day 7-8

When it comes to life, we spin our own yarn, and where we end up is really, in fact, where we always intended to be.

Julia Glass

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Monday, July 6, 2015

Quote of the day 7-6

A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over

 

Benjamin Franklin

 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Murmansk Chapters 35, 36, & 37

As promised, here are some more chapters from my new, upcoming International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday!

Available at a savings on pre-order now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble (See links at the bottom)


Chapter 35
December 11, 2000

The man sat up in his cot, noticing some unusual movement on the monitors. Swinging his stocking-clad feet onto the floor, he rose from the cot and shuffled across the floor unsteadily.
He had been deeply asleep and was having a hard time getting the buzzing in his head to clear.
Plopping into his chair, he tried to focus on what was going on in front of him. Expanding the kitchen camera’s image, he pulled the headphones down over his ears.
“I have contacts all over the world…I’m pretty sure I can find someone that knows where she is,” the dark-haired man muttered as he punched in some numbers on the phone.
“What’s going on,” the man thought to himself as he watched what was happening in real time. He would need to roll back the footage when he got the chance in order to put this conversation in perspective.
But he could tell by the looks of everyone in the room that it wasn’t good.
“Our biggest problem is that Noon Byrk is the most ruthless bitch I’ve ever come across,” the dark-haired visitor continued before connecting with someone on the phone.
As the scene continued to unfold, the observer was further confused by the other man’s sudden use of Italian on the phone.
Sighing loudly, he leaned back in his chair. This was an unusual development…whatever it was. Once he had a chance to look at the footage, he knew he would have to place a call to his handler.
He was pretty sure this would be something he would be interested in!
Taking the headphones off, he rose from the chair and turned toward the stairs. It was starting to look like it was going to be a long night…a night that would require more than just a bit of coffee.

Chapter 36
December 11, 2000

My legs were burning as I trudged through the deepening snow. I had no idea how far I had gone at that point, but it felt like at least five miles. Even though I had my face covered with a scarf, I could no longer feel the ice and snow pelting me.
Visions of the dream I had had a couple of days before were now haunting my thoughts.
Had it only been a couple of days?
To tell the truth, what with being on the other side of the world and being ensconced in total darkness…I wasn’t even sure what day it was!
Some shit don’t matter…
In spite of everything, I couldn’t help but smile when the saying struck me. It was one of Frank’s…my old partner. He had a stable of eclectic sayings to fit every need, always delivered in his dry, unemotional voice that I suddenly missed very much.
“Not that I’d wish you were stuck in this hell with me,” I mumbled to Frank’s spirit, “But sometimes I really wish you were still around.”
Frank had been murdered a couple of years ago now, when he had gotten too close to the truth on a series of murders. I had been gone at the time…out of the country…trying to get my head on straight after the death of my wife.
I still felt a pang of guilt when I thought about him…dying alone without backup…if I’d only been around…
My self-inflicted guilt came to a sudden end when my foot caught on something and I unceremoniously tripped, my face plowing into a bank of snow.
“Shit!”
Crawling slowly out of the pile, I turned to see what I had stumbled over. Unable to discern anything, I was ready to continue my trek when my mind finally kicked in.
You are looking for something that might be buried by now…idiot!
Falling to my knees, I started scooping away snow from whatever had caught my foot. It wasn’t long before my hand scrapped against something solid. Tugging at it, I realized that it was a small tank of propane!
With renewed energy, I started digging deeper…a real chore since the blowing winds quickly refilled the holes almost as fast as I could dig them. Finally realizing I was getting nowhere, I started throwing the scoops of snow into the wind and letting the breeze scatter it farther away.
After about twenty minutes, I was able to make out the frame of a sled. About six feet long, it had an assortment of supplies that would make our internment a little more hospitable.
I sat back to catch my breath, still amazed that the voice on the phone had been telling the truth. Finding a strap attached to the front of the sled, I slowly stood and trudged toward the front of it, readying myself to pull at it and try to free the sled from its frozen crypt.
I ended up having to tug one way and then the other to wiggle it enough to release it from its icy grip. Finally pulling it to the top of the snow, I dropped to my knees to catch my breath. As I breathed in the frigid air, I glanced around at my surroundings.
Nothing!
A barren plane of dimly lit ice and snow with no discernable point of reference to anything.
How the hell had I even found it? I asked myself as I stiffly stood and faced the way that I had come.
My heart sank when I realized that my footprints from the trek here were now almost totally obliterated.
And if those were disappearing…what about the earlier ones?
My eyes turned toward the heavens. “I hope you are with me Betty,” I mumbled before lowering my head and taking the first step back to the shack, “Because if you aren’t…”

Chapter 37
December 12, 2000


Noon Byrk tensed when the big Russian started speaking.
“English!” she barked over her shoulder from her spot in front of the window.
In a good mood when he had entered her office, the rebuke put Ivan on edge.
“My apologies moy Rukovoditel, but my excitement over the current…how you say…success of the operation has left my mouth detached from my brain I thinks.”
If only you had a brain for your mouth to attach to, Noon thought to herself before turning to face her hired hand.
“Everything is as planned then?” she questioned the man before smelling the vodka on him.
He reeked of it!
She had a hard time keeping her revulsion from showing.
Ivan nodded in reply, his greasy hair now spread across his forehead like so many dirty fingers.
“The two men are stashed in the outpost, the little girl is with Magda, and the woman…Gregor thanks you for the help.
A sly grin crossed his pockmarked face before he spoke again. “He would like to discuss with you the possibility of keeping her on full time. He says his business has never been better…plus I tinks he wants to have deti with her.” (babies)
Noon smiled in spite of her company. Gregor had been a good friend over the years…was this so much to ask?
“Tell him I don’t care what he does with her…for now. I will leave the possibility open as to him keeping her longer.”
Ivan proffered an unsteady bow. “As you wish moy Rukovoditel.”
Noon turned away from the drunken sot, staring out once again at her icy prison.
“You have confirmed McGruder’s flight?”
“V opredelennom smysle…how you say…in your senses?”
Noon sighed, “Do you mean, in a sense?”
“Da!” Ivan grinned. “McGruder did not use my friend’s charter service, but he was able to track him on another one…they took off an hour ago.”
Noon nodded, excitement tingling her spine at the thought.
“Good!”
Turning to Ivan once again, “I have made a decision. Since his operatives are a part of McGruder’s organization, we will dispose of them in time. Gregor may keep the girl; you can leave the other two to freeze to death. After I have had my fun with the little man, I will renegotiate with the little girl’s father for yet another ransom.”
Her proclamation done, she turned to her desk, stopping only when Ivan cleared his throat.
“You have something else to say?” she asked in a warning tone of voice.
“Alexie and I could easily dispose of the men,” Ivan responded.
“No,” Noon replied succinctly, “I need you here for McGruder’s arrival.”
“What of after moy Rukovoditel? Alexie is young…he has yet to draw his first blood. It would be a great honor for him to do this.”
Bloody Slavic’s! Noon thought as she continued to her desk and sat down.
“After,” she finally spoke. “After I have secured McGruder and have him under my thumb…then you can take your man-child out to give him his much needed practice.”
“As you wish,” Ivan responded before turning to leave the room.
Many things will be different after I have McGruder,” Noon called out as he reached for the door.
Thoughts of the white-haired bitch taking it while he leaned her over the desk came to his thoughts. A sneer formed on his lips at the thought.
“Da,” he uttered as he turned the doorknob, “I can see that they will.”


Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

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Quote of the day 7-3

 

Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.

 

Muhammad Ali

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Quote of the day 7-2

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

Lao Tzu

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Quote of the day 7-1

Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.

Penelope Lively