Monday, November 17, 2008

24 Hours With Spencer Field - #NaNoWriMo

Here is just a teaser of my 2008 novel for National Novel Writing Month, 24 Hours With Spencer Field. The book is going strong so far, at 60% of the 50,000 word goal at the time of this posting. The book will likely exceed the NaNo goal of 50,000 words. My next goal: 40,000 words by Wednesday evening.

You can follow my WriMo progress, as well as read the novel as it unfolds, by requesting access, then pointing your browser to NaNoWriMo Joe and subscribing.

Cosmos Court, Atlanta, Georgia

8:30 AM

The twenty-four hour deadline was half gone, and Spence felt that he hadn't made much progress. He thought he knew where to find the birth certificate of Santos Dominick Menge – expecting it to be at the Bureau of Vital Statistics on Skyland Drive, where he had left the watcher locked in the truck of his own car – but there was no guarantee when he got into the files at the Skyland office that he would find Menge's birth certificate. In fact, looking back on the course of events over the past twelve hours, Spence wasn't sure how he had come to the conclusion that Menge's certificate was at the Skyland office, in the first place. Relying mostly on his own instinct – which had served him quite well over the years – Spence had headed straight for the Skyland area on his search. He now could do nothing but hope that his instincts would prove correct. And get himself in gear, because he had just over twelve hours left.

Spence pulled the car from the curb and taxied slowly down Cosmos Court toward the house at the end of the cul de sac – the house that promised to restore communications with the Handler; the house that had once belonged to Martino Agg; the house where ...

...the first person to stumble out of the van was a child, barely twelve years old, by Spence's best guess. A little girl with blonde hair pulled back into pig tails on either side of her head. Wearing a pink dress and a white sweater, the little girl stumbled out of the van, falling hard to the ground.

Spence sat bolt upright, the anger and desperation boiling in his veins. Fear for the little girl that now lie on the ground beneath the doors of the van. Fear of what she had been through. Fear of what she might go through once they locked her away inside that house of sin. Even greater fear of what might happen when she was finally taken out of that house and shipped off to some far away land, to become someone's property.

A young woman jumped out of the van behind the little girl, nudged her in the side with her foot – not quite a kick, but then for a fragile little girl such as this, a not quite kick could prove quite painful – and dragged her by the arm trying to pull her to her feet.

Don't damage the goods,” said a male voice from within the van. “You stupid nit! She's worth nothing if we deliver her bruised and broken!”

You worry about yourself, you hear?” the young woman called back. “I'll take care of this little thing.”

Three more children came tumbling out of the back of the van: a boy and two girls. All similar in size and age to the first, and all just as disoriented and out of touch with what was happening to them, and what was very likely to happen to them in the days and weeks that lie ahead. All of them seemed to have spent some time in tears.

Desperately concerned for what might happen to the four children if they were taken into the house, Spence began to make his move. Grabbing his Weatherby Threat Response Rifle and his Smith and Wesson Compact nine millimeter handgun, Spence slipped out a side door, keeping the children in his sight and, more importantly, the man and woman who had escorted them on their ride to the house that would become their hell if Spence didn't intervene.

Quickly scanning the street for signs of Martino or his thugs, Spence crossed quickly and silently in attack posture, ready to come up firing at the first indication he had been spotted. As the children were slowly escorted – pushed, dragged, or by other means – toward the front of the house, Spence darted along the tree line in front of the Agg hideout and took a position beside the van, away from the house and out of sight of the kids and their escorts.

Pausing only briefly to catch his breath, Spence wished for backup to help him extract the kids after eliminating their escorts. He was about to violate everything he had been taught by the Agency. He was about to scrap the entire mission, abandon the assignment of seizing drug evidence and eliminating Agg and his thugs, even abandon the hope of rescuing any children that might already be in the house, just to save those four young souls. His blood was boiling, and he had to take action.

Spence stepped silently from behind the van, raised the rifle to his shoulder, and sighted on the one he perceived to be the greater threat: the man.

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