So, rather than try and force a post, I thought I'd just drop the very early, very rough draft of the beginning of SCIU #3 (no title yet, sadly).
Gavin Culp gazed out over the city of Springfield. The sun was just about to set in Missouri and everything held a soft glow. The autumn trees were alive with color as if lit by a hundred golden fires from within.
“I’ve never been up here,” the woman said from behind him. “You’re so right. It is beautiful.”
Luring her to this place had been so much easier than he had anticipated. And he had already believed this would be his easiest kill yet. Her intellect had always been beneath his own.
“I can’t believe I ran into again after all these years. Small world, eh?”
“Yes,” he said with his back still turned from her. “It is a very small world.” Getting smaller all the time as a matter of fact.
“How did you manage to get access to this roof?”
“A friend has a key. I come here to unwind, so whenever I’m in town, he lets me use it.”
“I can’t imagine a better place to relax.”
Finally, he turned to gaze upon his guest. She hadn’t really changed much in twenty years. Still the fat pig she’d been then. Same mousy brown hair. Same watery blue eyes. Her clothing was of a better quality, but she still wasn’t exactly dressing for success.
“Imagine bumping into you after all these years.”
He had to stop himself from rolling his eyes and telling her she’d already said almost that exact same thing. Pedestrian bitch. She never had imagination. That she had book smarts could never be denied, but her ability to problem solve and think critically had been her ultimate failing. That she’d been so beneath him her ignorance lulled him into a false sense of security back then made him want to put a bullet between her eyes now.
But that wasn’t the plan. That, in itself, would be beneath his intellect as well.
“Meeting you was almost like it had be pre-ordained,” he said with a smile. “But what are you doing standing all the way over there. You’re missing the best part.”
Her plump cheeks reddened. “I’m a little afraid of heights, so if you don’t mind, I’ll just look from over here.”
Gavin laughed like it was the simplest thing in the world to overcome. “I won’t let you fall, Martha. Honest. You don’t want to miss this.”
“It’s a surprise.” He exaggerated a pout and she laughed—just like he’d planned. “Come on. Once the sun drops below the horizon, you’ll miss it.”
The look in her eyes told him she was moving against her better judgment, but she still moved. One step closer. Then another.
He reached out a hand and she placed hers into it. Her sweaty palm made him want to gag, but he grinned. “That’s it. A little closer.”
Stepping to the edge, she sidled up against him for either comfort or to come on to him. He wasn’t certain. Either way, she wouldn’t find what she was looking for. Not from him.
“What did you want to show me?”
“ A little thing I learned from Newton.”
“Newton?” Her eyes crinkled and she laughed. “How funny. I went out of competition because of a question about Newton. Something about his work with the law of gravity.”
“Exactly,” he said.
It was the last word she heard. The only other sound was his laughter mixed with her screaming for the last three point oh five seconds of her pointless life.
It's rough, but there it is. In this, we will see Mackenzie 'Mac' Toliver hunt down someone who's been pushing people off buildings. In keeping with the theme of agents facing their fears to do their jobs, Mac is afraid of heights. Also in this, Frank Carruso of Dying Embers takes his place as the hero of the piece. Yay, Frank. We'll also hear from Director Graham, of course, and Lynn.
In case you missed it, Fertile Ground (SCIU #2) is available for purchase now.