‘Suzi’s Saga’ continues… is she getting closer to her goal? Will it get her killed? Where are the others? What sinister forces are still to be revealed? In the last few chapters we have seen Suzi resort to pickpocketing to make an unusual purchase and then get caught, her 15-year-old daughter being ravished in the front seat of a car, her friends in a frantic search and some ‘not so friends’ anxious to see her again. The Fiction Relay is the product of the demented Reclining Gentleman and his collaborators. Catch up with a summary and then read on…
The black and whites hit the parking lot in a fury of sirens and flashing lights, as the Nashville police respond quickly, statutory rape was not taken lightly in Tennessee. Their orders had come from high up, that the tip was more than credible. A fifteen year old girl was involved, and they were to arrest the man in the black Lincoln. The first officers on the scene saw the motorcycle with the lithe figure speed out of the parking lot, but it was the man they were after, so they quickly hemmed in the town car before the driver had a chance to exit.
A furious Spencer shot from the car to confront the cops. “Just what the hell do you think you are doing?”
” Sir, we are placing you under arrest for the rape of a minor. A concerned citizen reported the activity, and apparently caught your act on tape. Knows the girl. Besides, screwing in Hog Heaven’s parking lot is frowned upon.”
“That’s impossible, you can’t even see inside!”, a bug-eyed Spencer protested as the cuffs snapped and grew tighter.
“The windows may be tinted, but the windshield isn’t. You can have your say at the station, I’ll Mirandize you on the way.”
The dirty white van pulled out of the Hog’s lot and headed west to follow the bike. How the girl knew where she was headed they weren’t sure, but the occupants were tasked to protect her… as if Blue needed their help. Turning in pretty-boy Spencer was the best fun they’d had in some time. The Director had not been pleased with him and approved of the lesson, the douche would be out soon anyway.
A thousand miles west, Jose Torres helped a stunned Suzi stow her bags in the bed of a sun-bleached pick-up truck. ‘Sanderson‘… the distant name gave her a chill… ‘this was getting more complicated, but maybe he can help.’
Jose shifted into gear and tipped his stained cowboy hat, “I think you have my wallet. Let’s gas up those cans, and where exactly are we going?”
Two planes touch down at Albuquerque International Sunport. Sam and Ephraim depart the Southwest jet into the air-conditioned terminal. Outside on the shimmering tarmac, a private charter waits to deplane its fare. A determined Melissa helps a shrouded figure down the aisle, the stench overpowering the attendant at the open door… (to be continued)
The Noted Romance Writer, Dawn Rinken at The Mouse’s Soapbox is next to answer some of our questions, and add a few of her own no doubt…
The Fiction Relay continues with a new chapter of Suzi’s ongoing saga… will she ever find happiness?
The throaty rumble of the motorcycle forced Suzi from the dream she had been battling. Wide awake with head pounding excitement, she swung from the bed to an alert stance as danger called her name. The past was a blur, her surroundings unfamiliar. She recalled fleeing her apartment with the man called Sam, but little else. The rich knotty-pine of the cabin should be giving comfort, she thought, but instead seemed to be saying ‘leave quickly’. Gathering her things she slipped out the back and disappeared into the woods, as the front door opened. Suzi had no idea where she was, but surroundings seemed familiar so she knew which way to find the road. ‘It always seemed to come to this’, she thought, ‘running’. But this time I know where I’m going, and what I need to do.’ Her watch told her it was after 2, and probably not much chance of catching a ride till daylight. Recalling the sound of the motorcycle bothered her, as she didn’t know who or what that would mean. She would have to be on careful.
Searching the house was a bust. While the others were busy with that bitch Melissa, Blue thought she could save her mom and finish the job, but now she can’t find her. Suzi was the only one that mattered and The Club would be pissed if she failed to deliver. She could imagine that prig Sanderson in her earpiece now. It had been smart to take her bike from the cave, and Blue decided to head for the highway and see if her sixth-sense could pick up a scent.
Suzi knew she had to head West, the map in her head had clearer focus than ever before. She knew what needed to be done when she got there. It was dark and lonely, but the walking was steeling her resolve as she kept her ears on alert. The fog was good for concealing herself if needed, but made it hard to identify friend or foe. The familiar gurgle of the exhaust put her in the ditch to hide, as the motorcycle slowly passed. Suzi was surprised at the small size of the figure on the bike, tensed in concentration. One thing was sure, she did not want to find out who it was.
The girl on the motorcycle went three miles and stopped, puzzled she had not ‘felt’ her mother. Deciding it was time to deliver the bad newS, she called Sanderson. “She’s disappeared.” ‘What about the others?” “They don’t know she’s gone yet, but they’ll be looking soon.” “Beat them to it, you must find her before she reaches New Mexico.”
Confining Melissa in one of the cells, Sam and Ephraim returned to the cabin. “No Suzi and no Blue. Great!” “Well the cars are still here, so she is either afoot or on the back of her daughter’s bike. We’d best go.” “Which way do you think she’d head, Sam?” “West, I’ve got an idea. What about Melissa?” “We just leave her there to join Raj, that’s what I say.”
The headlights were to high for a car, most likely a semi coming, this being a truck route. Thumb out… the hiss of air brakes. “Where you headed, Sister?” “Whatever way you’re going.” “Hop in.”
The Fiction Relay Started by The Reclining Gentleman, is now up to the 26th chapter of The Story of Suzi. Co-authored by seven writers, it takes many twists and turns, depending on the genre of choice. New voices are always welcome… just say the word and TRG will fit you into the lineup.
To see a summary of the adventure so far… SUZI’S SAGA.
Now it’s KC’s turn…
The Fiction Relay continues with this latest installment of Suzi’s Saga…
“Wait in the van and stay silent, I’ll see if we can get inside the lab.” With a pull on his flask, Raj left the for the underground bunker. The entrance beckoned with a dim flicker of light; Raj slipped inside, feeling his way along the damp rockiness as he entered the cave proper. It had been so long since Elijah was killed, and he had been called Khalid. Anxious sweat permeates his being as the chamber emerges. Moving forward, Raj sees a figure that releases feelings he can no longer control. Slipping his arms around Suzi, he inhales her scent.
Melissa was pissed. Lighting another cigarette, she vented, ‘he is not the boss of me, the fucker, I’m as much a part of this as anyone’. Exiting the van, she made her way to the cave.
Awaking from a darkness, Suzi found herself tied to an examining table in one of the lab rooms. She had underestimated Raj’s telekinetic powers, and now her silken panties were being slipped down to her ankles. Suzi shut her eyes, as Raj unbuckled his pants and mounted her. All she could think was, ‘the snake is out’, as the stench of cheap liquor and sweat assaulted her nostrils. She held her breath and waited.
Cutting deep through the murk of the last dream, Ephraim senses the peril and begins a search. “Where is Suzi, Sam?”
“Isn’t she reading on the porch?”
“She’s gone to the cave”!
A warm viscosity spreading over her face brings Suzi back to reality. The copper taste, forces her eyelids to part, revealing Raj’s lifeless eyes locked on her own. The sight of Melissa, frozen above, brings instant relief, as the scalpel clatters to the floor.
“He always liked you more.”
To be continued…
To see all installments and find how to participate, see The Reclining Gentleman at… Fiction Relay HOMEPAGE
And now Dear Readers, it’s time for another installment of Fiction Relay… The Continuing Saga of Suzi. To see where we last left Suzi and Sam, go to Deliah’s Blog and catch up.
And now, back to the story…
“We need you.”
Their fear permeated the room, and slammed into Ephraim like a freight train full of bad memories. He had not dreamt of this meeting, in fact had not thought of them for some time… until tonight… and sure as hell did not need to ask how they had found him. They had that ability, as did some of the others.
This was not the assured Daniel he remembered, now holding out the photograph with a tremble. And little Suzi, well she wasn’t little anymore.
“Take it, please. They’re coming.”
Ephraim knew the photo was taken at the orphanage Mr. Sanders had founded in Kentucky. One look and the past flooded out of the image. The five pals growing up together. Raised in the restaurant, then split up to work in different areas of the business. Some climbed the corporate ladder, while others like Raj still tended the fryers.
He was correct in his investigation of the crime scene at the diner. It made perfect sense now. Melissa had been in Research and Development at the time. News of the theft had been suppressed those many years ago. They had all suspected, as she would have had access to it, and then she disappeared.
The gristly murder of a little known short order cook had taken a familiar turn when Ephraim found out that Gino had been turning out fantastic tasting, although familiar, fried chicken. A taste of herbs and spices spilled on the counter confirmed it. But, how had a nondescript diner like Maisy’s landed such a talent? The answer hit home like a 100 pound bag of flour when he discovered the identity of the owner. Melissa. She held the secret to Gino’s success with the bird, a secret stolen years ago, and just now surfacing. But where was she? The outline on the floor, was that her? He knew it wasn’t Suzi, for she was standing here before him. With Daniel. Surveillance photos, taken by Corporate, had placed Suzi as a waitress and Daniel, now called Sam, as a much too frequent diner at Maisy’s. Ephraim suspected Sam had been enlisted to track down the stolen secret recipe. So who had it? Melissa, Suzi or Sam? And what of Raj, could he be far behind? These questions raced threw his head as he looked at the photo.
A quiet knock at the door.
In case you would like to start Suzi’s story at the beginning… The Fiction Relay Homepage
Noted romance novelist Dawn is up next…
My turn for the latest installment of… The Reclining Gentleman’s Fiction Relay… To see what went on before, check out… The Fiction Relay Homepage.
Suzi stared at Sam. With his malevolent look, any hope that he was a good guy quickly flickered out.
He didn’t see the man in the Panama hat until too late. “Sam!” Hope flickered back in, but Sam was now in no shape to help her. The Hat put away his sap, and hurried over to Suzi when he heard… “Shut that bitch up!”
Waking in a fog, Suzi could not recall what had happened. Too much discomfort to be dreaming, and it wasn’t at all like the dream she had recently. This one was all wrong, as she seemed to be laying on the cold bare floor of a van, her arms behind her back. Snatches of conversation from the front… “we’ll search her for them” “maybe a map” “be careful”. As the pain in her head subsided, she remembered Sam being bashed in the head, and the guy in the hat tying her hands. Groping her breasts. Raj smirking. The pain in her skull told her The Hat must have used the sap on her also. After a fruitless struggle with her bonds, Suzi decided to wait it out and see what would happen. ‘Damn, shouldn’t have gone back to the apartment, but I couldn’t leave the clues.’ ‘Did Raj look in the bag, does Raj have my bag… God, I hope not’. ‘Poor Melissa, what part she was playing.’ ‘And Sam, what is with this guy?’ Thoughts danced in her head, as she weighed her options. What to do with whoever was in the front of the van.
Blood seemed to be everywhere. His blood. Sam stopped it with a blouse from the floor, and surveyed the bedroom. Blood on the bedspread, where she had been standing when he entered the room. Suzi taken, Raj and the person who cold cocked him from behind, he assumed. Not much in the way of anything in Suzi’s apartment. A few photos and books, wine bottles, it looked more like a cheap motel room. A bag of sorts peeking out from the side of the bed. Inside, an iPad and some thumb drives… those now in his pocket. His gun still there. ‘Let’s see if she still has her phone.’
In need of smokes, the van slowed and swung to a stop behind a gas station. “Check on our passenger.” Playing asleep, Suzi waited for them to open the back door. Only the Panama hat came into view. As he reached in to check her bonds, she unleashed a vicious kick up under the throat, sending him backwards to the asphalt. Springing from the van, Suzi pinned him on the chest with one foot, while shoving his head over to the side, creating a loud snap. “How did you like that trick, mother fucker!” The inert hatless form did not answer. Spinning about, expecting Raj, she found only the empty van. ‘Must be in the store.’ Suzi passed a newspaper stand, the headline…
‘RESTAURANT MASSACRE…COOK FOUND HANGING IN WALK-IN COOLER!
Her stomach sickened. She slid down the street to an alley; where she could break into a run, put some distance, find a place to work on the rope.
Activating the location indicator, Sam saw her iPhone was moving away from Courtland and Winchester streets. A Shell station was noted. Not to far, hoped Suzi was moving with it. Racing to his car… the blue ball slowly moving along the map.
She had run for blocks. Exhausted, she crouched between two cars and tried to cut the ropes on a rusting bumper.
The Jag pulled to a stop, the passenger door opened… “Get in! Now!”
To be continued…
To see what happens to Suzi next… go visit that noted Colorado romance writer Dawn…
I was recently invited to take part in a Fiction Relay, by The Reclining Gentleman. I had come across a chapter on my friend Chantel C’s blog, and liking these sorts of things… (One of my favorite books is Naked Came the Manatee. The first chapter was written by Dave Barry and the last by Carl Hiaasen, with eleven mystery writers in between, each inserting their own hero into the story. It was pretty wild. But I digress)… CC had written part 2, so I clicked on part 1 to see how it started. I had seen The Reclining Gentleman’s avatar (silhouette of a reclining gentleman) before, maybe you have too, and even read a few of his posts, first on Madison Woods’ Friday Fictioneers, I think. I complimented him on the relay idea, and his story, which brought about an invite to take part. After the usual “I’m not really a writer” BS, I decided to try it… and accepted. While I patiently waited, Delilah finished part 3. Here is my part of the ongoing story. You might want to first read the 3 chapters before mine, links at the bottom of the page… feel free to join in… I don’t think TRG will mind, drop him a line.
“What the Hell!” Startled from his rumination, the cigarette flew from Gino’s lips, creating an arc of sparks and ash across the stained tile. He ground it out, sending a glare at the new waitress.
Melissa caught Suzi, to save herself, wondering how Sam had rattled her so quickly.
“Who is this guy?” hissed Suzi.
Melissa uncoiled herself with pats and straightens. “Oh Hon, you’ll get to know him soon enough.”
“But, he knows me, he knows all about me. What does he want?” With hardening face, Melissa told her to fill another cup and finish her tables.
The booth by the window was empty.
After wiping the tables and refilling her station, Suzi got to experience the highlight of servers everywhere… counting tips. ‘This might not be such a bad job after all’ she thought, pocketing her day’s take. For a coffee shop, they added up. ‘Too bad Sam took up a booth all day. What was his deal, anyway?’
Melissa gave her a good-bye peck, “See you in the morning, and don’t you worry about Sam.” Gino just shot a black look, from behind the pass thru.
It was gray out, rain threatening, as Suzi scurried thru the early after work crowd, heading to her subway. It had been a busy day, she should have been exhausted, but her mind was full of questions, fueling an epinephrine release. Wanting to be home in her apartment behind a locked door, Suzi didn’t mind admitting, she was shaken by this Sam guy. Thoughts pounded her brain. ‘They told her she’d be safe coming to a big city, blend in, disappear. So, how does he know her, and what is her special ability? There is no possible way he could know about the Gold Club.’
She picked up a ‘Lean Cuisine’… Butternut Squash Ravioli… for later. Not as good as Gino’s cooking, but it will do, her Microwave du Jour. On top of the ‘Sam Thing’, Suzi could not figure out what she had done to offend the cook. She had been pleasant, complimenting him on his dishes, even tried to flirt a little. Maybe that’s how he treats the new girls. Another question for Melissa. And, after the Sam one, and The Gino one, comes The Uniform One. Thank God she didn’t have to wear it home. She knew it was a diner, but it wasn’t Mel’s Diner for Christ’s sake. Rocky Road ice cream for dessert… she deserved a treat tonight.
A guy, in a battered Panama hat outside the market, seemed to be staring at her. She thought she had seen him on the other side of the street, walking even with her, and thought, ‘you don’t see that kind of hat too much in the big city’. He looked away quickly, and when she exited, he was gone. Laughing it off, ‘I must be getting paranoid, Sam’s henchmen are everywhere’.
The entrance to the subway couldn’t come soon enough… to disappear in the depths with the crowd. Descending the stairs to the platforms below, she scanned her pass and pushed thru the turnstile. Her red hair slapping her face as a train whooshed into the station. Still a thrill, taking the train, nothing like that in Florida. It was then that she saw him.
To be continued…
Fiction Relay -Part One by The Reclining Gentleman
Fiction Relay- Part Two by Discovery
Fiction Relay- Part Three by Woman Who Writes Stuff
Dawn will write Part Five