It's an excerpt from my novel: The Shadow. The first few chapters are there on my port.
|Chapter 5 Part 1:
It was 3 am. Sara’s ringing cell phone woke her up. She had trained herself to respond to calls quickly. She couldn’t afford to be late in receiving calls. And she knew that very well. With her eyes closed, she searched the bed-side table with her hand, and picked the phone up.
“Hello Sara. Why it took you so long to answer?” a strict, low-pitched voice asked from the other end.
The voice was enough to shake Sara from head to toe. She sat up immediately, and her mind started functioning at full pace. It was her mysterious chief TH-1 on the phone.
“Sir…actually I…I was sleeping” Sara’s voice quivered with fear and nervousness.
“Hmm. Sara, I want all the members of SSS at the headquarters, at eight a.m. Inform other members”, came the low-pitched voice. Something in it seemed to suck the life out of Sara.
“Okay Sir” She acknowledged, trying to keep her voice steady.
And the call was dropped from the other end.
She sat there, staring at the cell phone in her hand. Wiping the sweat from her forehead, she took deep breaths to calm herself. Although it was not the first time that she had talked to her mysterious chief on phone, rising suddenly from the slumber didn’t allow preparing herself, mentally and emotionally.
She switched the lights on and went to the kitchen to get a glass of cold water. Why the hell I chose to join the Special Services Squad (SSS), she thought unpleasantly. It had been seven months since Sara Jefferson had received the envelope that contained the offer to join an elite team of secret agents. She would have taken it as some sort of a prank, had there been only that offer letter in the envelope. But there was more – a lot more. It contained information that she thought of as her private. From her college photos to the details of her relatives, the information within the envelope was enough for anyone to write her biography. However, the main strike was made by the record of her late father, Colonel Jefferson, who had died five years back in Afghanistan, in a suicide bomb attack.
Sara was only four when her mother passed away due to blood cancer. Since then, Colonel Jefferson had tried to be as close to her as possible. Although his military service hadn’t allowed him much time to spend with her, he would talk to her frequently on phone. And she had always respected her father’s continuous efforts to be there for her. She loved him a lot – he was her entire family. The news of his death had hit her like a missile. She had felt being broken into numerous insignificant pieces. It had taken her a while to recollect herself and get back to life. But she had had this big void inside her, which had been created because of the sudden death of the only person she had been close to.
When she saw her dad’s photos, some of them being group photos with other military men, she felt that void grow even bigger. She had been thinking about how her dad had spent most of his lifetime, during military service. Since Colonel’s death, she had wondered many times how his dad would have felt during his last moments. And then suddenly that offer had appeared to her as a way to get in the circle her dad had belonged to. May be that is the only link I could create to dad, she had thought. So it was then that she had decided to quit her marketing job which she hadn’t really liked anyway, and to accept the mysterious yet alluring offer.
It had been mentioned in the offer letter that she would receive a call at five a.m. She still remembered how anxiously she had waited for that phone call. And then at five a.m. sharp, she had heard the cold, low-pitched voice of the SSS’s chief, The Hidden One (TH-1), for the first time.
He is not from this world, Sara thought. She dragged a chair and seated herself, thinking about TH-1. Nobody had seen his face. Nobody knew who he really was. Even though the members of SSS feared him, even though they would sometimes hate the tough and tiring tasks he would make them do, they revered him. They would trust him with their lives. He had proven to be up to the mark. There had been times when one or more of the SSS members would get stuck in some critical situation, and suddenly help would arrive, as if TH-1 had been watching. To them, he was like a shadow; a shadow they felt with them all the time. He had control over their lives to such an extent that they wouldn’t even dare to think against him. They couldn’t bear his unique punishments.
Sara had tried to rebel initially. She hadn’t known him well enough. So, she had once ignored his instructions and the next day when she had woken up, she had realized that she had not been on her bed. Instead, she had been lying in a public park. And then she had noticed a few people looking at her in amusement. Some of them had been giggling. Instinctively, she had sat up and tried to run fingers through her hair and cover her face with the other hand. She had screamed when one of her hands had returned with grease on it and the other one with black polish. Her face had been shinning with black polish, while her hair had been smeared with grease. It still made her shiver to think about how she had managed to reach her apartment.
“Oh God” she suddenly recalled that she had to inform others too. She picked up her cell and called Aisha, Major Daniel, Lieutenant Usman, Major Ajay, and DoDo (Fahad). After conveying to them the instructions of TH-1, she set the alarm for 6:30 a.m., and switched the lights off.