Tag Archives: Technothriller

“Why Are You Just Sitting on the Side of the Road?” — What Will You Die For?

Excerpt from my WIP “What Will You Die For?” by Mary C. Findley

writing policeman

“Two weeks? You can’t tell me anything more – ?” Talia’s phone gave a bloop and she saw the message satellite signal lost flash on the screen before it went dark.

Talia pulled over to the side of the road and sat with her head on the steering wheel, praying with all her might for her aunt and uncle, and for clarity in this craziness. After all, they weren’t involved in some international spy mission. They were just digging holes in the ground! This couldn’t have anything to do with the Testaments, could it?

Talia realized suddenly that he felt really, really hot. She started to roll own her window, but the switch didn’t work with the engine off, of course. She started the car and cranked all the windows open. She pulled at her scarf and yanked down the zipper on her coat, but it didn’t help. Her vision started to blur.

“Ms Rodriguez? Are you okay? Why are you just sitting on the side of the road?”

Talia turned her head, so … so … slowly. Her neck hurt, and it felt so heavy. “”Oh … Clark ..I mean, Officer Johnson. I don’t know. I’ve had this cold, but I just … I feel so weak, and I can’t see straight … “

“Sit right there. I’m calling an ambulance,” Clark exclaimed.

“Oh, no …” Talia’s tongue felt so thick, she could hardly talk.

“No arguments. Don’t you move. We’re seeing lots of these cold things turning into serious cases of pneumonia. It’s nothing to mess around with.”

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Spending the Night at the Principal’s

My Work in Progress — What Will you Die For? — Mary C. Findley

talia

“Hey, not to insult you, but we could run down to the mall and get you some clothes – my treat. You’d have some clean stuff to wear, anyway, sans bubbles. Jo-Jo really soaked you. Sorry.”

“No, I always have extra clothes in my duffle in the car. I was just so tired I didn’t think about how I must look. I’ll go get it …”

“Oh, yeah, the Doomsday Dufflebag.” Keith seemed to be probing to Talia looked up at him and said nothing. He recovered the fumble pretty quickly. “No, please, let me get it. I just want you to know, I haven’t heard Joana laugh like that since she got sick. Dad and I didn’t think about how good it would be for her to have a real friend again. People get so creeped out by how she is. We never hear from her old friends anymore, except she chats with them online sometimes. They don’t come to see her.”

Keith bolted away. Talia started crying again, and barely got herself under control by the time Keith knocked and handed her the duffle. She stretched up and kissed him on the point of his chin. He kissed her back, just a peck, on the top of her head, like he had Joana. “Okay, good night, then,” he stammered, and fled.

The debate within herself didn’t last long. Talia tossed the duffle on the bed and headed into the bathroom, twisting the knobs on the whirlpool. The sound of sweet, tinkling brass camel bells sounded over the rush of water. She hurried back to the bed and dug in the bag for her tablet.

“Hey Talia, where are you? The GPS on the Tesla is showing a location I don’t know.” Talia loved hearing that bear growl voice, but his words made her temper spike.

“Uncle Remmy, you set the GPS to spy on me?”

“I’ve never spied on you, my baby niece, just looked out for you best as I could. What are you doing that would make spying necessary?”

Talia flushed. “Nothing! Some kids from school missed the bus and needed a ride home. One of them lives pretty far away. Another teacher came along, and then the principal invited me for dinner. I’m spending the night at his house.”

“You’re spending the night at the principal’s house? Really? Were you that naughty on the first week of school?”

“Uncle Remmy,” Talia started to giggle. “He has a handicapped daughter, and I helped get her ready for bed. It’s really late, and I’m really tired, so they offered to let me stay.”

“Yeah, it is really late, isn’t it. I’m sorry, Tchatchki. I never know what time it is. Any new information about the Testaments?”

“I keep finding the same stuff over and over again, Popo. It’s like there’s a wall around Spain, hiding everything new.”

“That’s good, though. That means they have something to hide.”

“That’s what I thought, too. I know they’re there. I knw they are. Anyway, how’s the dig going? I didn’t expect you to even have satellite there.”

“Don’t tell the government, but I’m bouncing off one of theirs. It won’t be in position long, so I’ll have to wrap this up. Any problems with that Bible course yet?”

“We just had the first class today. I almost messed it up really bad, Popo, but Keith walked in and fixed everything.”

“Who’s Keith?”

fitness model

“The principal said I had to have a co-teacher. His son, Keith, is the one he picked. It’s good, because he’s really strong in the Science areas. And he’s super-good at discipline, too, which is how he fixed my mess-up. Two kids go saved, Popo! Right after class!”

“Praise God. Praise God. But little one, you will tell me if there’s any trouble, and you know what kind of trouble I mean. We need this trip to Spain. We need it badly. But we need it hiding in plain sight. No one can know the real significance of these Testaments.”

“I understand, Popo. I remember everything we talked about. What I’ve told people makes it sound like they don’t really exist, or we don’t know for sure what they really are, anyway. They have no clue.”

“Peace, perfect peace, Natalia. Get some rest.”

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Snippet from My NaNoWriMo project — The Assembly

remmy

Friday, Principal Bradley arranged a special assembly to have Remmy and Sophia talk about their archaeological finds and some of their experiences abroad. Remmy walked all around the auditorium, alternately terrifying kids and getting them spluttering with laughter. He had so many stories and so many weird artifacts. He showed them  a full five scroll cases hidden in a very ordinary, though very long and deadly-looking lance, which became the scariest part of the whole assembly when he hauled off and threw it over dozens of heads and stuck it in the far wall, where it hung quivering.

“Who’s going to search a soldier for copies of the forbidden Scriptures when he’s got that thing in his hand?” Remmy thundered. “Nobody. Many, many Roman soldiers accepted Christ. Whole legions. Many helped preserve the Word and spread it during horrifying persecutions. Many were martyred for their faith.”

“But isn’t it bad to lie to people?” a young student asked. “You said they hid the Bible in that – spear thing. Wasn’t that lying?”

“My child, come here,” Remmy invited, sitting down on the steps to the platform. The boy didn’t move at first, wide-eyed, probably wondering if the huge, hairy man had more violence in him. After a moment Keith got up and walked over to the boy.

“Doctor Remaliah spent the whole night at my house last night, Den,” Keith said, holding out a hand to the boy. “He won’t hurt you. C’mon.”

Den looked up at Keith. He could swear he saw, ‘Well, yeah, because you’re big,’ written all over the boy’s face, but at last he put his small hand in Keith’s and allowed him to lead him to the steps. Remmy laid his hand on the boy’s head.

“Do you have a sister, my little man?” he asked.

“I have five sisters,” Den said, and heaved a huge sigh.

“Oh, well, then, perhaps this is not a good question to ask you. I may need to find someone else.”

Suddenly Den seemed to find he wasn’t so afraid of the big man who could stick a spear in the gym wall. “You’re not going to find anybody who has more sisters than me,” he protested.

“I am certain that is true!” Remmy laughed. “Well, then, suppose a bad man came to your house and said, ‘Where are your sisters? I want to kill them’. Would you tell him where they are?”

“No. I would tell them to run and hide.” Den puffed out his little chest and clenched his fists.

“Oh, so you would lie to this man? But you just told me lying is bad.”

“Well … well … but he’s bad.”

“Oh, I see. But what if he didn’t seem like such a very bad man? What if he said, ‘You have too many sisters. Give me four of them. I will only kill them, and let the other one alone’?”

Den shook his head violently.

“Then how many of your sisters would you give up? You have so many.”

“He can’t kill any of my sisters,” Den insisted. “I take karate. I would fight him.”

“Why is that, my brave little karate student?”

“I love them,” Den replied.

Remmy walked over to the spear, yanked it out of the wall, and carried it back over to where Keith and Den stood by the steps. He twisted the spear and drew out the papers rolled up inside. “These are my sisters,” he said fervently. “They are my brothers. They are my mother and my father. I love them. The bad men cannot have them. I will lie to them, and I will fight them, and I will die, to save what I love. Do you understand now?”

Den stared at him with huge, solemn eyes. “But it’s just papers,” he said in a little voice.

“Not just papers,” Remmy said. “It is the Word of God. It is truth, love, peace, power – it is the Voice of One who made all things, loved us, died for us, and calls out to us to come to Him.”

Oh,” the little boy breathed. “I didn’t know they were such important papers.”

Remmy tousled the boy’s hair, and Keith took him back to his seat.

As Keith approached the highschoolers, he saw students begin to rise out of their seats, ten, twenty – forty-five strong, the entire Bible as Literature class stood up and started to clap. Then they were cheering, jumping, screaming.

“Yeah! It’s the Word!” They started to chant, something Talia had been repeating in class to teach them the attributes believers were supposed to have to emulate God’s Word.

“Not everybody’s gonna read the Word themselves,” she had exclaimed. “You have to be the Word, so they can see how much they need it. You have to be truth, power, purity, love! Truth, power, purity, love!”

Every voice repeated those words, three times, loud and proud, Keith thought with a grin. Fist pumps and chest bumps broke out around the section. “God’s Word rocks!” they screamed, and quickly sat down.

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