Tag Archives: museitup publishing

“A Small Story for Page 3″ by Jack W. Germond

I’m honored today to be spotlighting A Small Story for Page 3 by Jack W. Germond.

A Small Story for Page 3 300dpi

A Small Story for Page 3 is now available in print and eBook by MuseItUp Publishing. Sadly, Mr Germond passed away on the day the eBook released. His wife, Alice Travis Germond has graciously agreed to embark on a blog tour on Jack’s behalf. We are here today to celebrate not only Jack’s first fiction novel, but also his long and stellar career as a political reporter.

Germond had already published two non-fiction books: Fat Man in A Middle Seat and Fat Man Fed Up both with Random House. A Small Story for Page 3 was his first attempt at writing fiction. Drawing on his vast knowledge and experience of the American political scene Jack takes us the behind the scenes into the wrangling and maneuvering that is usually hidden from the public view. Of course, all the characters and situations are fictional, but Jack brings them to life and makes us care what direction their lives will take in relation to the events unfolding in the story.

65600-grey-divider-no-background-hiPlease welcome Alice Germond.

AliceTravisGermondAlice Germond is the Secretary Emeritus of the Democratic National Committee. She was elected Secretary unopposed three times from 2002 to January 2013. Alice also served on the Executive Committee, the Rules and By-Laws Committee and as Secretary for the Democratic National Convention where she called the role of states that determines the Party’s nominee. Alice has participated in every Convention since 1974 when the Party wrote its National Charter. Alice currently is an elected At-Large member of the DNC and serves on the Resolutions Committee.
Active in the Democratic Party for over 45 years, she has held leadership positions in local, state and national campaigns including Political Director for Clinton/Gore in CA, Deputy National Political Director for Michael Dukakis, and Super Delegate Director for Gary Hart. In 1988 Alice moved to Washington DC, and became Director of Political Operations for Ron Brown’s successful election as Chair of the DNC. She was named his Senior Advisor, coordinating DNC Party Programs and was his liaison to the 1992 Convention. From 1993—1996 she was Director of the DNC’s Government and Party Affairs Departments.

A strong advocate for issues and party values, Alice led the historic effort to put Geraldine Ferraro on the Democratic Ticket while Chair of the National Women’s Political Caucus Democratic Task Force. During her tenure as Executive Vice President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Fortune Magazine ranked NARAL as the most effective women’s organization in the nation. Alice also worked for the AFL-CIO’s Women’s Division and for SEIU. One of Alice’s earliest experiences was participating in Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” March on the National Mall.

Alice has broad experience as a speaker and working with the press. Her op-eds have been published by major newspapers and on the internet, and in 1995 CBS hired Alice for their special Convention Coverage Unit. She has spoken at Party Events in 50+ States and for the campaigns, organizations and issues with which she is identified. Her international work includes lectures at Tsinghua University in Beijing, leader of two delegations to Taiwan, presentations in Madrid, London, Barcelona, Toronto, the Virgin Islands and several NDI exchanges including one for the European Parliament.

In 2013 President Barack Obama appointed Alice to the prestigious Commission on White House Fellows where she currently serves. Prior commissions include the CA Council on Criminal Justice (Gov. E G Brown, Jr.) and the LA Olympics Government Affairs Committee.
Alice earned her BA from Bennington College, VT in 1965 where she received a non-resident term scholarship and was Chair of the school legislature. Her MS Degree in Public Administration/Recreation was awarded in 1977 from CA State Un. LA with a 4.0 average.

Now living on a bend of the Shenandoah River in West Virginia, Alice grows vegetables and fruits, goes running with her dog Freddy, and watches the bald eagles who have returned to the region. Coffee on the deck, warm conversation with many friends and visits from six grandchildren are a constant pleasure.

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Meet Jack W. Germond

JackGermond_Ann's Photo-1(Photo Credit Ann Hawthorne)
Jack Germond (January 30, 1928 – August 14, 2013) was a retired newspaper man, columnist and TV pundit. But like a Thoroughbred racehorse, a reporter never actually retires—he just writes about other things. The author brings his vast knowledge and understanding of the press and the business of getting the information to public to bear in his breakout novel, A Small Story for Page 3.

Mr. Germond was nationally known as a bemused liberal and was a regular on The McLaughlin Group as well as appearing on other public affairs TV programs — CNN, Meet The Press and The Today Show among others. He covered ten presidential elections, and with Jules Witcover wrote a book covering each presidential election from 1980 to 1992. Timothy Crouse made Germond a prominent figure in “Boys on the Bus” his acclaimed book on the 1972 presidential election. Mr. Germond has previously published two non-fiction books, his memoir “Fat Man in A Middle Seat” (Random House 2002) and “Fat Man Fed Up” (Random House 2005) a scride on the decline of politics in the United States. Along with Jules Witcover he wrote a syndicated column that ran in 140 papers five days a week from 1977 to 2001.

Chris Farley once spoofed Germond on Saturday Night Live. Germond was known for his no nonsense approach to reporting and his love of good food, good liquor and good friends. He instituted The Germond Rule which two generations of political reporters have adhered to. The rule simply stated that when a group of reporters dined together the tab would be split evenly, no matter who ate or drank more. This caused his many friends to eat and drink defensively when covering stories and enjoying good company.

65600-grey-divider-no-background-hiNow a little about Jack’s novel–A Small Story on Page 3.

Alice was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. I hope you enjoy our brief interview!

Kim:  What is A Small Story on Page 3 about? 

Alice:  Jack’s novel combines his love of journalism with his passion about politics and “how it works” – or doesn’t.  It’s a newspaper/political potboiler.

Kim:  What inspired Jack to write this particular story? 

Alice:  It was churning about in his head for a number of years and the time was right.

Kim: Describe Jack’s writing in three words.

Alice:  Clear, reportorial, fast.

Kim:  Are characters in the book based on anyone Jack knew? 

Alice: There were many characters that grew out of Jack’s experiences covering stories on the road or in the newsroom.  Then they took on lives of their own.

Kim:  Who gets to read Jack’s drafts before they’re published?

Alice: I read the draft, several times, the first time without permission.

Kim:  Where the names of the characters in A Small Story on Page 3” important?

Alice: Jack spent a lot of time mulling names. He had fun with that.

Kim:  Is there anything else you would like to say to Jack’s readers about A Small Story on Page 3?

Alice: It’s a fun read, particularly thinking about the great days of newspaper business and the questionable behavior of politicians.

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Blurb

After Eddie Concannon dies, the ‘nugget’ of information in his unfinished investigation leads ace reporter Harry Fletcher into a nest of scandal and intrigue.

Harry Fletcher can’t for the life of him figure out what exactly the ‘nugget’ of information his colleague, Eddie Concannon, uncovered prior to his death is. Picking his way along the threads of information, Harry soon finds himself at odds with government officials and his own newspaper seems to be involved in the collusion. Join Harry as he deciphers the clues and enjoy a journey into the world of investigative reporting set against a colorful back drop of characters and locations.

65600-grey-divider-no-background-hiRead an Excerpt

“Oddly enough, ladies and gentlemen of the TV audience,” Harry announced in his persona as Larry Largelungs of Action Central News, “the condemned man was smiling and singing as he approached the gallows.”

The mood changed when he arrived at Wear’s office to find the executive editor and the managing editor waiting and somberly reading printouts of the story.

“This thing has to be settled today,” Wear said. “It’s gone on long enough, it’s tied us in knots, and we need to find a solution.”

“I thought we had one,” Harry said. “The story shows he has been sailing under false colors as a corruption fighter by trying to protect one of the targets of the investigation with whom he had a connection, perhaps lucrative, not previously disclosed.”

“We’re not the ones who have to be convinced,” Mike reminded him.

When they walked into Marcotte’s office, it was obvious he was not prepared to be persuaded. The publisher remained behind his huge mahogany desk and with a brusque gesture he seated the others at the small conference table.

“I’ve read the story you people seem to think should run on Page One as soon as possible,” he said, “I think it’s still libelous horseshit, and I intend to spike it, this time for good. You still have no hard evidence that Tyler Bannister resisted Phase Two because of some personal concern. But Tyler denies it flat-out and there’s no quote from him to corroborate it.”
Harry was trying to contain his fury. “The only quote from him in reply was “go fuck yourself.” Do you want to use that?”

“Don’t be flippant, Fletcher, this is a serious question.”

“We all understand that, Dave,” Wear said, stepping in quickly. “If you want a clearer denial in more decorous terms, we can do that.”

“A denial isn’t going to change the fact that we are doing serious damage to Tyler Bannister’s reputation and potentially his political career,” Marcotte said, his voice rising. “I don’t intend to be a party to that.”

“That was never our intention,” Wear said. “We’ve gone where the story has taken us. The truth is that this episode raises serious questions about Bannister’s candidacy.”

“It shows him interceding in behalf of a friend and former business associate in an official investigation,” Harry said with some heat. “That’s a part of the truth about him that we know but our readers do not.”

“Don’t give me that truth and readers crap, Fletcher,” the publisher said. “I remember you calling him a trimmer way back there. You had it in for him from the start. So did Concannon.”

“This story quotes Tom Lawton saying Bannister called him with a warning about being on Carvaggio’s list of targets and it quotes Rudy Myers as confirming that Bannister ordered Lawton’s name stricken from that list once he agreed to retire from the bench.”

“I know what the story says but, as I told you earlier, Fletcher,” Marcotte said, “it is the publisher, not the reporter, who decides what appears in the News and I have made the decision on this one.” After an interminable twenty seconds of silence, he continued, “I think we’re through here, gentlemen. Thanks for coming in.” When the elevator dropped them at the third floor, Wear beckoned them into his office and closed the door on Meg. “I don’t know what we do now,” he said.

“What you and Mike do,” Harry said, “is keep faith with the good people here who depend on you to let them put out a good newspaper and hope for change. What I do, is clean a few things out of my desk and walk out of the building. I don’t have any choice now.”

“What are you going to do about the story,” Mike asked.

“I haven’t thought it through, Mike, but I’m not going to give it to the Trib or some television station. I don’t know if the story is mine to use elsewhere or what. It would take a lot of time and effort for anyone else to duplicate it.”
Wear had a different concern. “What are you going to say when the word gets out that you’ve left the building?” he asked.

“I could just tell the truth—that I have left the News after almost thirty years because of a decision by the publisher to spike a story I wrote. Period.” He laughed. “I’ll leave it to Amy Whiting to fill in the blanks.”

At Wear’s office door, he turned to his two old friends. “Look, this isn’t the end of the world. Let’s all have dinner later in the week, some place public for all to see. Meanwhile, I’ll keep you posted.”

If you would like to find out more about Jack Germond please join Alice on her blog tour to celebrate Jack’s work and his life.

November 14 – Nancy Bell

November 15 – Kay Lalone

November 18 – Penny Estelle

November 19 – Helena Fairfax

November 20 – Sara Durham

November 21 – Barbara Ehrentreu

November 22 – Cyrus Keith

November 25 – Heather Brainerd

November 26 – Victoria Roder

November 28 – Leona Pence

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A Small Story for Page 3 is available at the following retailers:

MuseItUp Publishing Store

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

Thank you Alice for joining us today. I would also like to express my condolences on the passing of this unforgettable man and I look forward to reading A Small Story for Page 3.

**Don’t forget to leave Alice some comments and please feel free to ask any questions you would like.

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Hot Summer Read + Kindle Fire Giveaway!

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REFLECTION
2013 UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner
Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner (2004)
Honourable Mention Calgary’s RWA The Writer’s Voice (2006)

“Action packed from page one…an impressively laid out passionate thrill ride!” -InD’Tale Magazine

“I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” -Quality Reads UK Book Club
On sale for a limited time!
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  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Somthing Year Old Girl
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  8. Author Inger Iverson
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1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7″ HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. **See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire.

Ends 8/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Hot Summer Read $2.99 + Summer Kindle Fire Giveaway!

BIGAD1

REFLECTION
2013 UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner
Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner (2004)
Honourable Mention Calgary’s RWA The Writer’s Voice (2006)

“Action packed from page one…an impressively laid out passionate thrill ride!” -InD’Tale Magazine

“I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” -Quality Reads UK Book Club
Buy Now! On sale for a limited time!
~

Here it is! The Summer Kindle Fire Giveaway!
Ends 8/15/13

Kindle Summer

This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT!

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7″.

Kindle Fire HD 7″ Giveaway

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. New Adult Addiction
  4. Jessabella Reads
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Somthing Year Old Girl
  6. Books Unhinged by StacyHgg
  7. S.A. Larsen – Writer’s Ally
  8. Author Inger Iverson
  9. The Geeky Gamers
  10. annakyss
  11. Everyday Word Magic
  12. Candance’s Book Blog
  13. Page Flipperz
  14. SMI Book Club
  15. Laurie Here
  16. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  17. Phantasmic Reads
  18. The Book Bellas
  19. Please Don’t Remove MarGreat’s Glasses
  20. Author Jennifer Laurens
  21. J.C. Valentine
  22. Holly Hood
  23. Young Adult Novel Reader
  24. Author Heather Bixler
  25. Literary Meanderings
  26. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
  27. Mother Daughter & Son Book Review
  28. Meredith’s Musings
  29. Auggie Talk
  30. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  31. Author Lena Sledge
  32. LoriTheAuthor
  33. Author Dianne Venetta
  34. Curling Up with A Good Book
  35. MyLadyWeb
  36. Fae Books
  37. Bea’s Book Nook
  38. Girls with Books
  39. Ketch’s Book Nook
  40. Turning Pages
  41. Bookhounds
  42. Karey White
  43. My Devotional Thoughts
  44. Author Talia Jager
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Sher A Hart: Written Art
  47. Author MK McClintock
  48. Word to Dreams
  49. Buku-Buku Didi
  50. Tasty Book Tours
  51. Readerlicious
  52. Romance Bookworm’s Reviews

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7″ HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. **See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire.

Ends 8/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

 

Penny Estelle ~ Author of The Wickware Sagas (Middle Grade)

I have a special treat for everyone! Today I’m spotlighting Penny Estelle, author of The Wickware Sagas! If you are looking for a fantastic middle grade series for your kids, make sure you check these books out!

~ ~ ~ ~

Good morning Kim and thanks a million for letting me barge in on your blog!

I would like to tell all your readers about my series for the middle grade kids. It’s called The Wickware Sagas. In a nutshell, Miss Wickware, the 7/8 grade history teacher at Langdon Middle School, has her students draw a name or event from a box. Then those students are to do an oral report on their subject. Somehow, some way, a few of these students have ended up back in time meeting their subjects face to face!

It’s the kids of the twenty-first century, going nose to nose, with historical heroes from years of long ago. There is humor, adventure, a little education, and of course, lots of sarcasm. I love a kid with some sarcasm!!!

Book 1 of the Wickware Sagas, Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare, has Billy headed back to the 14 Century! Who the heck is William Tell?

Billy+Coopers+Awesome+Nightmare+

http://goo.gl/QwMMv – MuseItUp
http://goo.gl/HnfGa Amazon
http://goo.gl/5cEAB Barnes & Noble

Book 2, Ride of a Lifetime, has bully Jim Abernathy, landing in the 18 Century, meeting the female version of Paul Revere. He learns just how brave a young girl can be.

Ride of a Lifetime 200x300

http://goo.gl/HfaMX MuseItUp
http://goo.gl/iqtkS Amazon
http://goo.gl/GJQ9f Barnes & Noble

Book 3, Flash to the Past, (which will be out soon) has the snooty, seventh grader, Kristy Sawyer and the nerdy, Larry Peables, headed back to the 18 century. They end up in the middle of a war!

Flash to the Past 200x300

Coming Soon!

MuseItUp Publishing has made a fabulous author page for me with the three books on it. There will be a total of 5 books by summer’s end. It’s an awesome page they have made for me. Please stop by and check it out!
https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146&Itemid=82

You can find out more about my other kids/adult stories, or myself, at:
http://www.pennystales.com
http://www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5820078.Penny_Estelle

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A reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project places an innocent child in the crosshairs of a master criminal.

Also, watch for another fantastic Kindle Fire giveway coming soon!
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Where to Buy

MuseItUp Publishing | Available in .pdf, epub for Sony and Nook, .prc for Kindle and HTML)

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REFLECTION ~ Hot Summer Read

UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013)

Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner! (2004)

Honourable Mention CARWA’s The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006)

reflection333x500

BLURB

Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big” story.

She found it.

Now it may kill her.

After Whitney receives a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small child, she vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.

When Whitney is nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective—at least not right away.

Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade ago…

Can they save an innocent child before it’s too late?

Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many—Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

A reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project places an innocent child in the crosshairs of a master criminal. 

EXCERPT

WARNING: This book contains graphic language, sexual situations, and violence.

Chapter One
Mason Bailey gulped down his third Glenlivet. “I didn’t kill her.”

How many times had Whitney Steel heard those words? Dozens. But never from the mouth of a United States senator. For all she cared, the man could drink himself to Mars, but not until she got what she’d come for. An exclusive.

Under the awning shading the Pink Flamingo Club’s patio, she took a sip of her lime daiquiri, and couldn’t help notice the way the mid-afternoon sunlight brutally magnified every line on Mason’s tanned face.

“Of all the reporters in Panama City, let alone Florida, why me? We cut our ties years ago.” And our losses, she wanted to say, but didn’t.

“I know I can trust you.” His gaze darted across the street then back to her. “Besides, we were married once. That should count for something.”

Whitney straightened. Anger coiled in the pit of her stomach. “Give me a break. For a year and a half, I thought we were married. Too bad your girlfriends didn’t know about our little legal arrangement.” Especially, your twenty something assistant.

“Damn it, Whitney. I didn’t ask you here to rehash our past.” He yanked a monogrammed handkerchief from his jacket pocket and dabbed the sweat from his forehead. “I need your help. I know why Carmen Lacey was murdered.”

Her eyes widened. Now they were getting somewhere. “You have my full attention. Are we on the record?”

Mason shoved his empty glass aside. “Yes.”

Her heart thumped with anticipation. This story would be the topic du jour for months. Her ratings at WBNN-TV would soar, and finally her colleagues would take notice and treat her with the professional respect she deserved.

For the past twelve years, her colleagues said she’d had a free ride because of her father, an award winning war correspondent, and her ex-husband’s political connections. This time she’d prove them wrong.

She rummaged through her leather bag, placed her digital voice recorder on the table and gave the record button a firm push. “For the record, Senator Bailey, did you kill Carmen Lacey?”

“No.” He leaned back in the chair and loosened his pinstriped tie. “It’s true. I was the last person to see her alive. But there’s more to this than you think.”
Brown eyes that once set her heart hammering now conveyed a chilling,hollow look. Was it guilt? Desperation?

No. Fear.

Uneasiness slid down her spine. She stopped the recorder. “Mason, you’re scaring me. What the hell is going on? It’s been over three years since we last spoke. Then, out of the blue, you beg me to meet with you today. I know the police don’t believe you killed that woman.”

“But do you, Whitney? Do you believe I killed her? I need to know. It’s important.”

Stunned by the urgency in his voice, she answered carefully. “Of course not. You’re many things, but you’re not a killer.”

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.” He reached for his empty glass and tapped his chunky gold ring against the side.

Whitney turned the recorder on again.

“Carmen was a scientist working for a biotech company in Nevada. ShawBioGen. Heard of it?”

“Who hasn’t? They were one of the first to clone animals in the eighties. Caused quite a stir. But I don’t understand. What does that have to do with
Carmen’s death?”

He opened his mouth to answer.

The large window behind them dividing the patio from the main restaurant exploded. A storm of glass rained down, showering the patio.

There was no warning. Everything moved so fast, yet in slow motion as if part of a horrid nightmare.

Screams. Rushed, heavy, thumping footsteps.

A few feet away, a male waiter dropped the two plates of food in his hands. He froze.

“Get down!” Mason yelled.

Whitney dropped. She huddled into a ball under the table and squashed the side of her face against the patio stones. Amid the chaos, a gunshot echoed and the waiter ran for cover.

A bullet ripped through the man’s shoulder and spun him around, the force slamming his body against the restaurant door. He folded to his knees and howled out in pain.

More shots rang out. Debris spewed through the air. Food, glasses, plates. The sickening smell of deep fried food and scorched cordite assaulted her nostrils. She gagged.

Crimson snaked toward her hand. The warm, sticky liquid met her fingertips.

Blood. Lots of blood. But it wasn’t hers.

Her gaze snapped to Mason, lying on his back. Dark red blood pumped from a gaping wound in his chest, soaking his white shirt. She held her breath to keep from screaming.

He raised his arm and reached for her. “I swear—I didn’t kill her. I swear.”

“I believe you.” Whitney kept her head down and inched her body closer. She grasped his hand. “I do. Oh, God.”

Please don’t die. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she couldn’t hear her own words. “You’re bleeding so much. Someone help us!”

Another bullet whizzed through the air and slammed into the bottom of wooden table leg.

Needle-like splinters from the wood slashed through her pants and drilled into her thigh like a hundred slivers. The pain knocked the breath from her. The world twisted and turned yellow. Darkness thickened and threatened to overpower her.

Can’t pass out…help Mason.

He gasped a ragged breath and shoved a key into her bloody palm and curled her fingers closed. “Don’t trust—anyone.”

She clutched the piece of metal. A knot wedged in her throat, one she couldn’t swallow. “I’m going to get help.”

“No—stay.” Blood bubbled at the corners of his mouth and trickled down his jaw. “They cloned…”

His eyelids slid shut.

“What Mason? They cloned what?”

Whitney lowered her head to his chest. “Oh, Mason, no.”

Reflection © 2013 by Kim Cresswell

 

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