‘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…
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