Is someone out to get you? Maybe. Read on and decide for yourself.
|Frank juggled a pair of hot coffees while trying to find the receiver dial in the dark interior of the patrol jeep. Damn but he felt like an idiot. It wasn't like this was his first time in the jeep and he knew there were cup holders somewhere on his side of the dash. He also knew Ted would just call him a useless (insert explicative) rookie if he had to turn on the cab lights to call HQ and ask for directions to the house. Frank had landed the detective assignment about a month ago and was still in his probationary period. Ted had shown him the ropes in his easy, laid-back manner, but they had only been on call nights for three days and this was their first actual call. Of course this was his first time to be shotgun in the department jeep at night and he couldn't quite find anything.
Why they were going out to this lakehouse in the middle of the night was not clear. Not to Frank anyway. He would sound like a fool for doing it, but it would be better to ask now and know what was what.
"Say, Ted. Why the rush? I mean, what's the deal with this...writer that we're going clear out past Booker at this hour?"
"Some guy, typical reclusive writer type. Supposedly he's writing some sort of fantasy epic with these other two guys and his deadline has come and gone more than once. Hasn't been heard from. One of the guys has a friend who is a friend of mine, so I told him I'd take a look. He thinks there must be foul play."
"No kiddin? Think somebody offed him or sumthing?"
"Dunno. That's what we're gonna find out. My friend, he says the manuscript must contain some pretty heady material. I mean, this is an epic for Chirst's sake. Somebody wants to keep this stuff quiet; that's what he figures. Maybe a foriegn gov, maybe our guys. Who knows."
"No way. You don't think the feds would bust up a story writin ring, do ya?"
Meanwhile, at a small, rustic, lakefront writer's cottage on Lake Tranquility a tense drama comes to a close.
A very tall, painfully thin man takes off a blue wool derby and places it on a writing table, obscuring a mess of broken glass where a computer monitor has been shattered. The face revealed is that of a gaunt man, aged beyond his years. The sharp features are taken in at a glance, but it is the cold, grey eyes which attract notice. There is a grim determination there. This is a business to be seen through to the end, however bitter the cost.
"My dear fellow. You didn't really think you would be allowed to get away with it did you?"
A lump struggles on the ground at his feet.
"I mean really. This is epic fantasy here. Intrigue of the highest order. A veritable madrigal of plotlines. Heroes laying bare all the grand principles of heroism. Villains, vile to the core, yet layered with the most endearing of humanizing qualities, which makes their diabolical mischief so compelling. A web, no, a symphony of fiction; the harmonics ringing out the endgame with tones of such pure clarity the reader weeps at the truth finally laid bare. This, this Promethean gift, cannot be allowed the people. It is my solemn duty to prevent any such occurrence."
One hundred and seventy-five seconds later, the house is consumed by an explosion which wakes the neighbors on the opposite shore of the lake.
There have been only five occasions on the blue-hatted man's watch requiring such extreme measures.
The pager beeped to let me know that there was traffic on channel 51. I had no idea what agency used that channel, but had been intrigued by what I'd heard the few times I'd picked anything up. Yeah, the wireless scanner can be a reporter's best friend sometimes. Get's you the scoop on stuff the authorities like to keep hushed. Of course it's illegal to own one, but hey, I'm a reporter.
"Agent Nickson to 451 Inspiration Lane. Code Teal. We have a probable E6 in progress."
"Repeating. A probable category six epic in progress. Code Teal. Terminal force authorized and containment procedure Butterfly in effect."
"Code Teal. Confirmed. Nickson out."
Why do you think there are eight parts to the Friday the Thirteenth franchise? How come they made a sequel to The Gate for Chisakes? Ever ask yourself how come no one ever just said "enough" and put a bullet in the head of Danielle Steele? It's all cotton-candy cinema and soda-pulp fiction, son. Sugar coated crap. And that's just the way We intend to keep it. There's already too much heavy stuff out there. I mean the real deep lit, son. Dostoevsky, Salinger, Steinbeck and all the other real writers with truth and passion burning up their guts. Well We know how to deal with those idea guys now. That's what the Bureau is all about. Nip'n in the bud. That's what We do. This was an out-and-out epic in the offing and that's just about as bad as this type of threat gets.
Just keep it light, son. No one else needs to get hurt.