Progress in completing the manuscript of the new adventure novel REBOUNCE was disappointing these two past weeks. Other obligations took time and effort: the marketing of TWO JOURNEYS (available e.g. as eBook $2.99, you can find it for instance at Apple Books) and FIELDS OF FIRE (available e.g. as paperback $19.99, for instance at amazon.com), needed urgent attention. In addition, I have been looking at ways to identify a publishing house and a literary agent; both of which take time. And I had a lot of other things to do too… taken together, all these distraction didn’t help to focus on corrections of the manuscript’s storyline. It still needs work; the flow and the action have to be smooth like silk.
So I have set up a rigid schedule, with specific times each a day (also weekends) dedicated to finalizing the corrections. After all, the aim is to publish five books in considerably less than five years… and that, to say it bluntly, is a challenge.
In any case, below is another tasty snippet from the new manuscript. Enjoy!
++++++++++REBOUNCE+++Draft+++Copyright+Clemens P. Suter+++++++++
We crossed the Swiss border and passed into the town of Basel. The road was four-lane, but soon we came to a traffic jam that disappeared into a tunnel underneath the northern site of the city. Like so many other tunnels, it had flooded with water shortly after the power-stations had shut down; most tunnels depended on continuously running pumps to stay dry. We had no other option than to maneuver through the narrow streets of the town, across the Rhine bridge, past the old city hall with its characteristic red façade, and from there in the direction of the railway station and the highway beyond. Francois insisted on getting some quality Swiss chocolate, so I parked the truck in an alleyway leading up to the Munster cathedral, a landmark of the town. I stood guard with the dogs, machine gun in my hand, pistols in my belt. Although the city seemed to be deserted, I still felt edgy and listened for sounds constantly.
Finally, Francois appeared again. I couldn’t help smiling, as he was lugging a cardboard box so heavy that the sweat was running down his face. “If I had known you were such a Luculus, we should have stayed in France.” He looked at me vacantly, clearly oblivious of the Roman dignitary famous for organizing lavish banquets. We boarded and continued towards the main station.
The curvy street had allowed only a single file of cars and only in one direction. Parked cars stood on the sides, many blocking the view of the sidewalks and the shops. I was driving slowly and both of us were checking our surroundings intently.
Suddenly a man appeared in the middle of the road. He wore army gear and a machine gun and raised his hand. I saw a couple of other men crouching down behind the parked cars. Although we had been expecting this to happen, we were still surprised, and Francois cursed underneath his breath.
With the bored air of a commanding officer, the man stepped up to our car and signaled me to lower the window. Francois and I had gone over possible scenarios, so it came as no surprise to see Francois steadying his machine gun towards the window. I quickly glanced back at the three dogs.
“Je dois vous demander de sortir de la voiture.” Get out of the car, the man said.
“We have important information for your boss,” I said in English, “tell us where we can find him so that we can speak to him.”
“First get out of ze car. Leave your gunze in ze car.”
“I am not going to discuss this. We are not getting out of this vehicle, and we won’t disarm.” I looked ahead, pretending disinterest.
He seemed slightly astonished and considered his options. After a few seconds he spoke again. “Wher’ ar’ you ‘eading?”
“To your boss. Show us the way and we will talk to him.”
Silence followed. Without speaking, he turned around.
“There will shooting,” I said, “he seems to be in command, there is nobody he is going to ask for advice or commands. He will try to get us out of the truck.” Francois nodded. I checked the gas; the engine was still running. The officer withdrew behind the parked cars. We couldn’t see him or his companions. Somebody shouted. ”Get out of ze car, now!” To emphasize these words, one of the men fired a few shots at us, which cracked the windscreen. I would have been dead if the glass hadn’t been bulletproof. I opened the car door and grabbed Bo by the skin of his neck. “Show us what you can do, boy. Get them! Go! Go!” Enthusiastically, Bo clawed his way over my lap, his claws scratching my bare skin, and jumped to the ground. I didn’t have to say anything to the other two dogs, who immediately followed their leader. With their ears in their necks and low to the ground, the three dogs stormed forward and disappeared between the cars, silent and deadly like ghosts in the night. Francois and I jumped out of the vehicle too, and staying low to the ground we quickly moved forward, one of us on one side of the street. A few shots were fired in our direction, but soon, shortly after a horrible growl, the shooting stopped.
Within seconds, we came upon the officer and two soldiers. The dogs had them pinned to the ground, snarling, holding their arms and necks. The officer tried to go for his pistol, but Lex released the man’s throat and went for his hand, his fangs closing on the man’s fingers. The officer’s face contorted from pain and panic. “Get him off, get him off!” he shrieked with an unnatural high-pitched voice.
Francois and I removed their guns and kicked them underneath the parked cars. I called the dogs back. Immediately they retreated and sat down beside me, liking their jowls. The officer held his bleeding hand close to his chest. “Wat ‘ave you dunn?” I kneeled next to him and took his hand. “You will need to get that hand taken care of, and your colleagues also need medical attention. Is there a doctor in your unit?”
“Get into your car and bring us to your medical staff.”
I helped him up, while Francois kept us covered with his gun. One of the men was still able to drive, and we put him in the driver’s seat of a small jeep they had parked around the corner. Francois got into the back with the officer. I took the dogs to our armored car.
A few minutes later we arrived at a hotel opposite of the central station. It was a stuffy, old fashioned place, with a guard just inside the door. He jumped to attention as I stepped in, and when he realized that I wasn’t a member of the staff, he attempted to raise his gun. I pulled the officer forward and the guard lowered his gun again, but he stared at the injuries of his comrades with considerable shock.
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