Sunday, May 27, 2012
THE ACTION IS AT TALLIE'S
Police officer Bernie O'Shea became a legend to the people around Halo. Cleaning up the corrupt police department, quietly helping out neighbors in need, and going head-to-head with bad guys. A bullet may have silenced Bernie, but his LEGACY lives on in the lives and actions of his widow and eight adopted children.
**By the time Claudia realized the crowd wasn't cheering but screaming in fright, Patrick's arm was wrapped securely around her shoulders, sweeping her and the little boy toward his big brown sedan.
The buildings of Halo exploded around them, shaking the ground as pieces of boards blasted past. Then fires erupted and licked greedily at the shards of debris from the old buildings.
As Patrick tucked Claudia into the car, he shouted, "Marly, take the wheel and go to Tallie's."
Terror filled Claudia's senses as the old vehicle rocked with the force of another explosion and the thought of Patrick leaving her. She clutched his arm. "What are you going to do?"
"Save as many as we can."
After Patrick tucked Claudia into the car, he directed people into the big brown sedan until they were packed several deep in both the front and back seats.
With the buildings of Halo exploding around them, people piled into any available vehicle moving out of town. The ground shook as Patrick zigzagged through the streets, dodging fragments of boards blasting through the air while he looked for any stragglers who might have been trapped.
By now, emergency personnel were moving a safe distance away from the center of the blasts as fire crews, including his brother Jeremiah, pumped water from Celestial Creek to control the flames.
...While his brother, Grady, stayed in relative safety, Bomber the robot maneuvered over the deeply gouged holes in what used to be downtown Halo and searched through the debris for explosives that might be lying dormant until some unsuspecting sucker stubbed his toe on them…
Patrick jumped on the bumper of a fire truck and rode to the relative safety of the command post his brother, Collin, had set up on the outskirts of town.
When word came that the man who set off the explosives was at the O'Shea house where the evacuees had been sent, Patrick's heart nearly stopped. He jumped into the deputy's vehicle with Dawson and one of the EMTs. The tense silence as they sped to Tallie's was broken only by the crackle of urgent messages over the radio.
Tallie sighted through the scope of the rifle, zeroing in on a hulking hairy beast that brought the legendary Bigfoot to mind. She pulled the trigger--too late. The sound of an explosion rolled toward them, as splinters of boards from her chicken house flew high into the air. From a nearby field where they had been searching for seeds, her laying hens squawked in protest. Tallie prayed her feathered girls were far enough away to be safe, though they would be roosting in the barn tonight.
Marly muttered an obscenity under her breath as she peered out a nearby window. "We've got to distract him. Pull him away from here."
...In a crouch, Marly zigzagged out the door toward the garage. Several motorbikes sat on one side, including the bike she had ridden as a teenager. Hoping her brothers kept it in running order as they did the others, Marly straddled it and kicked the starter. The little bike sputtered to life. She revved the engine and, after letting it warm up a few seconds, she sped down the old dirt trail she had raced with her brothers innumerable times during her teenaged years.
The sound of another motorbike soon buzzed angrily behind her.
Good, Marly thought. Swaggerty had taken the bait. Now to keep just far enough ahead of him that he was focused on catching her and not watching where they were going--until it was too late...As the brush thinned beside the trail, the dredge loomed directly in front of them.
Adrenaline spurted through Marly's veins. Years had passed since she had successfully pulled off this stunt, but Swaggerty was closing in.
She had one chance to make this work.
With a prayer the baby carrier stuffed with blankets wouldn't throw off her balance too much, Marly revved the motorbike's engine and zipped through the doorway of the wooden, warehouse-like structure. Inside, she maneuvered past huge metal gears that had once moved this giant rock-eater through several miles of landscape to digest the rich deposits of gold. Her focus--and exit--was the stacker that disgorged old tailings of unwanted material. This conveyor belt pointed up, up, up at the back of the dredge.
And ended high over the middle of the pond dug by the dredge years ago.
As she soared out the end of the stacker and over the pond, the bottom dropped out of her stomach as it always did, and kicked up the corners of her mouth in a satisfied grin.
Just like the old days.
**EXCERPTS from LEGACY Series books, copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel.