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Justin Murphy

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Dothan
by Justin Murphy   

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Books by Justin Murphy
· The Young South
· Everyone Loves A Scandal
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Category: 

Sept 11, 2001

Type: 


Fiction


A small Alabama town reacts to the tragedy of 9/11.

A wrestling promoter and soap opera writer fall in love while a college professor is upset over his son going to war. A young from the poor side of town is looking for a long lost relative he has not seen in since he was a small infant. A rash of murders also sweep the town with no understanding of why this is taking place.

Excerpt
Chapter 1

A retired wrestling promoter named Leo Wexler watched in horror as two planes crashed into The World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 while at a bar in the small town of Dothan, Alabama. He was alarmed to get a phone call from his old girlfriend Aggie Thurston, a legendary soap opera writer working and living in New York as these tragic events were unfolding.
''Hi honey, did you see what’s going on at The World Trade Center? Are you alright? Is everything ok?''
''Yeah, they shut down the airport for a few days because of what’s just happened, but it’ll be re-opened soon. But they’ve also stopped taping at the studio until further notice. What am I gonna do?''
''Just book a flight down here once they re-open the airport, and come back to Dothan so you can stay with me for awhile until they’re ready to resume taping your soap opera. Sound alright, darlin’?''
''Alright, it’s good to hear your voice at a horrible time such as this.''
''You too sugar, see you then.''
Sometime afterwards, Shelby Harcourt, a college professor who’d just been fired from Troy State University, and his wife Melissa were crying and hugging their son Greg who was getting ready to go off and fight in The Middle East which had spawned a war with the United States as a result of the recent tragedy at The World Trade Center. They were all upset Greg had made this choice, but they understood it was his decision and stood behind him.
''When your over there in the battlefield, please remember how much we love you.''
''I will.''
''Look, we want you to come back home safe, I’ll be damned if I lose my son to some stupid war.''
''But this is something I feel I gotta do, I wanna do this.''
''We know and we’ll love you and support you no matter what.''
Greg got on the bus while Shelby and Melissa waved as they stood there at the old Rose Hill Bus Stop as tears streamed down their faces. They were heartbroken to see their son go off to war. They just couldn’t stand it, but they couldn’t do anything to stop him, those were his beliefs. They just hoped he’d come back safe.
A group of shadowy figures maneuvered through a dark alley where they encountered a homeless man. As the homeless man tried to slide away from them, these four individuals, just got closer. This bum living out of a cardboard box was drunk and half asleep, and they could sense the fear on his breath.
''I don’t have any money''
''We don’t care.''
One of the shadowy figures pulled out a knife, and slit the homeless man’s throat! The four dark individuals just watched as this bum on the streets laid there dying as his throat gushed with blood. They acted as if they were a pack of wild animals, attacked their victims, and watched their prey as they die. No humanity whatsoever.
Eileen Laurence, a woman living in one of the Southeast Alabama Medical Center-Terrace apartments on the poor side of town, is watching a newscast on WTVY profiling the events of September 11th, the recent murder, and the upcoming city council election. Her nephew Todd however, is going through an old scrapbook containing photos and newspaper clippings from The Dothan Eagle featuring a masked wrestler who was popular in the 1970's.
''Who is this?''
''Just some distant relative of ours.''
''Is it true he was a big star in the wrestling business?''
''Yeah, over 30 years ago.''
''Tell me more about him.''
''He had reputation for not ever being pinned and drew huge crowds at The Farm Center every Saturday night. He ain’t seen you since you were tiny.''
''How can we get a hold of him?''
''Here’s his phone number.''
She handed Todd a piece of paper with his phone number on it, he dialed the number. As the phone kept ringing and ringing and ringing, he wondered if this distant relative would remember him. But then he got a busy signal, and hung up the phone. Todd didn’t get through this time around, but he knew he could always try again later. But the main thing on his mind was having a distant relative who was famous! He was determined to find him, and nothing was gonna get in his way!
Aggie Thurston entered an old coffee shop in historic Downtown Dothan, she saw Leo, her old boyfriend who had just gotten more handsome with age. They kissed and soon started dancing and remembering the old days of their youth. A female jazz singer performed ‘’At Last’‘ by Etta James. Leo and Aggie held each other tight as if this night was an endless summer of love tailor made just for them. When all of a sudden, the lights went out, and several gunshots fired. The lights came back on, and several people were dying in pools of their own blood, including the jazz singer and her band! Leo and Aggie look on in disbelief at the carnage which lay before them as people were rushing out and screaming in fear while police rushed in to get things in order and WTVY and The Dothan Eagle rushed in to get the latest news story. The next thing Leo and Aggie knew, local reporters were asking them questions. God, it was almost as if things in Dothan had turned upside down since the fall of The World Trade Center.
''How do you respond to the tragedy here tonight?''
''Why are you asking us all this shit? Don’t you see what just happened all around you?''
The next day, Shelby Harcourt and many college students were holding a protest at Troy State University. Shelby was leading an entire group of people holding up signs which read messages which slammed the war in The Middle East. Yet again, WTVY and The Dothan Eagle were using this as an attempt to cover yet another big story.
''Could you please tell us and the people of Dothan why your holding this protest?''
''My son is fighting a senseless war in The Middle East, and I just wanna bring him home before its too late.''
Various police officers barged in and attempted to disrupt the protest. Then a large group of the students began to attack some of the police officers, and started a riot! The campus of Troy State University had now become a battlefield all its own. Almost as intense as the war in The Middle East itself!




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