While I am behind the scenes prepping for the release of Fireworks on the 4th – which is any day now, here is a tiny excerpt to hopefully keep you enticed. As you can see, Sydney is as snarky as ever…
“Is this blindfold really necessary?” I whined to General Harry Wells, the mysterious man who walked into my hospital room a few weeks ago claiming to have information regarding my Father – the man I had been searching for my entire life.
I was seated in the passenger seat of a Chevy Suburban, blindfolded, and on my way to a secret location where I was told I would be meeting him. The only negative was I had to agree to come alone, which meant Detective Carter, and my childhood pals, Cody and Jaden, couldn’t tag along.
Who knew that the Google search I did on my laptop of Jake Logan – the name given to me by Detective Carter when I asked him to search for the identity of my father – would be the reason General Wells deemed it necessary to pay me a visit. At the time, I was in the hospital recuperating from wounds I received when Cody and I tried to bring down a criminal enterprise operating inside The Devil’s Door. The fact that the head honcho of the group was still at large, irked me to the core, but that was a matter for another day. Today, I was focused on meeting the father I never knew.
“Yes, it is necessary,” General Wells said interrupting my thoughts and bringing me back to the present. “As I informed you, your father requested your presence. However, his location is better left unknown.”
“If it’s top secret,” I said in a snide manner, “why take me to see him, at all? It’s not like he has been in a rush to see me in, oh like the last eighteen years.”
Noticing the hostile sarcasm in my voice, General Wells took a deep breath before speaking. He obviously wasn’t used to dealing with tempermental young women. “It was becoming abundantly clear from your creative attempts to locate your father through the years, that you were not going to let up until you achieved success. Absolutely amazing the two of you have never spent any time together…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
It was my turn to take a deep breath. I repeated the statement to myself. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. Was he implying I was a lot like my father? Could my childhood suspicions of the ailment I often referred to as my adventure-itus, finally be confirmed as a family trait?
“Obstinate, defiant, defies authority … the list goes on,” General Wells said while shaking his head.
Interesting, I thought. How many times had my mother called me those things through the years?
The car slowed to a stop; then turned onto what felt like a dirt and pebble road, by the way the tires moved over the surface. “You may remove the blindfold, now. There’s not much to see from this point on that would give away the location.”
Without wasting a second, I yanked the blindfold over my head, and stared out at the wall of trees that surrounded us. We were in the woods, somewhere, following a dirt road that seemed to go on for miles with nothing on the horizon that I could see. The car contnued a ways until we reached a rusted gate that was locked by a heavy duty chain and steel padlock.
“Wait here,” General Wells ordered. He stepped out of the suburban, and nonchalantly perused the area as he walked toward the gate. He retrieved a large key from his pants pocket, slid it into the lock and turned. When the latch released, he hefted the heavy duty chain off, and pushed the gate open. Back in the driver’s seat, we drove for another couple miles before we were greeted by the snarls and growls of two huge German Shephards. The sharp fangs of their teeth showed, as the dogs separated and took a position outside each vehicle door.
“Holy cow!” I said. “They look like they’re ready to rip our heads off.”
“They were highly trained to protect the property from unwanted predators,” General Wells responded. He pulled the car over to the side of the dirt road, and turned off the ignition. “We’ll walk from here.”
My eyes went wide. I glanced at the dog salivating outside the passenger door waiting for the bait. “You can’t honestly think I’m getting out of this car?”
His lips curled into a lop-sided grin. “They won’t hurt you. You’re family. Just let them smell your scent.”
To prove his point, he stepped from the Suburban and put his hand out so the dog on the driver’s side could get a whiff of him. The dog obviously thought the General didn’t pose a threat. He immediately bounded over next to his partner on the passenger side of the car, where I was still cowering inside.
I peered out at the General, and he gave me a reassuring nod urging me forward. I wasn’t so confident, but I opened the door and slowly stepped out, leaving it open in case I had to dive back in. I stood still, but slowly eased my hand out so the dogs could smell. Oddly enough, they didn’t have me for lunch, but instead their tails started to wag and they lathered me with wet, juicy kisses. Within seconds, I was lapping up the attention, and responded by petting them behind the ears. That’s when I noticed the names engraved on their silver-plated dog tags: Anna and Syd.
The dogs were named after my mom and me.