A mystery/thriller filled with twists and turns. Some humor and romance as well.
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Diapers, Bookmarks, and Pipe Dreams
The John Reeves Creed: "Kill them with kindness. Unless you have a gun."
John Reeves, an ex-Marine, drives to Myrtle Beach hoping to repair a damaged relationship with his fiancée. Instead, he finds her unconscious in the hospital, the victim of an unexplained explosion at a local restaurant.
Reeves meets Billy Hitchings, a teenager who knows more about the explosion than he should. Their questions lead to an ancient legacy best left alone.
Pulled into yet another crossfire, John Reeves fights to protect his friends and keep a primeval power from falling into the wrong hands.
Billy’s eyes jerked open. He stood in the middle of a humming city street, steam rose from the manholes, rain splashed on the pavement around him. Cars streamed by, some honking, some with drivers holding up their middle fingers. Headlights bore down from the left. He launched himself away from the oncoming traffic and collided with a trashcan, its contents poured onto the rain-slicked sidewalk.
He rolled to his back and peeled the empty ketchup packets and cigarette butts from his soaked Superman t-shirt. The glowing lights of the building in front of him climbed hundreds of feet toward the rain-filled sky. He scrambled to his feet, staring.
He lowered his eyes and spun in a slow circle, admiring the city’s grandeur. The bark of a hotdog vendor and the mixed aroma of onions and horseradish made his stomach growl. Everything looked familiar, as if he should remember where he was, but his thoughts would not form. Squinting toward the sky, he hoped to see the stars, but the rain, smog and brilliant city lights polluted his view.
Hairs stood up on the back of his neck. Someone was following him. People pushed by, covering their heads with umbrellas or newspapers, shoulders hunched as if it would help. It looked like an ordinary night, but his pursuers were there, closing in. A sense of empowerment washed over him. He felt as if he could hurt them if he wanted to, but he couldn’t remember how.
Turning away from the over-turned trashcan, he found the closest side street—85th according to the sign—and ran. He was supposed to be somewhere. His feet slapped the wet pavement, and clouds of breath poured from his chest.
The rich scent of soil stopped him. So many trees; red oak, American elm, silver linden, they took the place of the soaring skyscrapers that had surrounded him minutes ago. Farther away from the city he ran, down the paved sidewalks and under the illuminated street lamps.
Whoever, or whatever, followed him was still there, bearing down. They want what he has, but it is not theirs to take. Their urgency was as clear as if it were his own. Faster he ran, head swiveling as he tried to catch a glimpse of his pursuers. They were just out of sight. Something urged his eyes toward the cloudy sky. A memory tried to impose, something vital on the edge of consciousness. The thought faded.
The weight on his back swayed in rhythm with his footfalls. The backpack, it was important, its contents the answer to his elusive memory. He slid to a stop on the wet grass next to a field surrounded by park benches, a cement stage to the side. He slid the straps from his shoulders and gently placed the backpack on the muddy grass. He gave the zipper a soft tug. The bag fell open, the contents almost visible. Tilting his head back, he threw his arms in the air and started singing Figaro with a deep, passionate voice; the beautiful Italian words reverberated throughout the park.