Blondie in the Hurricane Prologue to my Upcoming Novel Stealing Time
To give you a taste of my novel, Stealing Time, I am including the prologue in this blog post. It's a short piece that sets the tone for the novel. I am currently finishing up the novel and hope to have it out soon. I appreciate all of the encouragement you have given me so far and would love your feedback in the form of a comment or tweet.
To get you in the proper frame of mind, I've included a brief video taken during Hurricane Charley in Captiva, Island, Florida.
Stealing Time By KJ Waters
Friday, August 13, 2004, Punta Gorda, Florida
It was three o’clock in the afternoon but day had turned to night. The hurricane’s grayish-black fingers descended—reaching, clawing, and greedily devouring the land.
The plan hatched in Scott's mind had been helped along by a little too much vodka. If he took a video of the hurricane and sold it to a news station he could make his Florida gig last a little longer. Scott had graduated from college in June and managed to spend most of the summer hanging out at the beach, waiting tables, and clubbing every night.
His mom's biting comment from their morning phone conversation still replayed in his head, "Scott, all your friends are starting jobs and you're down there partying like a high school loser on spring break!" She didn't understand. With work to look forward to the rest of his life, why not have a bitchin’ summer first?
With luck, he could catch the eye of the storm by setting up in the apartment pool house to record the second half of the hurricane. It was a once in a lifetime chance. Charley was making a direct hit at nearby Captiva Island with 140 mile-an-hour winds. Here, only a half an hour from Captiva, the winds were whipping around pretty bad, but couldn’t possibly be anywhere close to 140, could they?
Power and cell service had been out for the last few hours but luckily his iPod still worked. He switched between the news and jammin' out to the Black Eyed Peas’ "Let's Get It Started."
A loud crash rattled the front window and caused him to spill vodka on his pants. "Damn it!" He stood up and yanked open the blinds. His neighbor’s white plastic lawn chair clung to the window at an odd angle. It was crazy—he had seen the guy sitting in it only a few hours ago.
The chair fell off and tumbled away. The rain still came down in torrents but the trees flailed around less than before, weren’t they? Maybe the eye was approaching!
Hurricane Charley sported 140 mph winds http://www.livewxradar.com/modules/WeatherPhotos/album26/c57
He flipped the iPod to radio to catch the latest weather report. "The eye of the storm is approaching southeastern Punta Gorda. The outer eyewall of the storm has the most severe winds so be prepared for more intensity as the center of Charley approaches. The eye may only last a few minutes so don't be …" Scott pulled the earphones off and dropped the iPod on his chair.
"Woooo hoooo!" he yelled, trying to psych himself up. It was now or never. He crossed the tiny living room, snatched his video camera from the kitchen counter, and shoved it in a Ziploc bag and into his cargo shorts pocket.
He grabbed his Detroit Lions windbreaker off the edge of the couch, put it on, and walked outside. The jacket soaked through in seconds but the hood protected his eyes from the driving rain.
Surprisingly, the wind was relatively calm outside the door—maybe the eye was here! Scott continued along the ground floor towards the side of the building closest to the pool.
As he turned the corner, the wind caught him full on, almost throwing him to the ground. Adrenaline coursed through his body and made his legs shake. Why was it windy again? It was supposed to be the eye of the storm. Fear began to worm its way past the booze and made his stomach clench.
He looked towards the parking lot where the rain blew at an impossible angle. He swore that it went upwards at times. The palm trees bent nearly to the ground with the stronger gusts as if a giant gorilla shook them. Buffeted by the wind he inched his way towards the pool. A section of metal roof as long as his apartment flew across the road and smashed into a car. The battering wind held it in place. Scott jumped at the noise that echoed in his mind like his mom's shrill voice. Fear weighed him down. He looked back towards his apartment. Don’t wuss out!
The fence separating the parking lot from the pool kept him steady as he pulled himself along. A huge palm frond smacked him in the face and blew away. He touched his forehead and his fingers came away bloody. “Shit, back off Charley!” The storm threw the first punch, but it was just a scratch.
A loud crack sounded overhead. Scott covered his head in reflex and let go of the fence. The wind threw him to the ground and shoved his face in the mud. “Aaaaaagghhhh!” he screamed. A palm tree smashed down inches from his legs where it crushed the fence he had been holding.
Heart racing he looked back at the apartment building again. His brain screamed—STOP, GO BACK! His heart said—You're almost there! Rolling over, he crawled towards the pool house in a fight against the wind that wanted to fling him into oblivion. He grabbed a light post to pull himself upright.
All he needed was a few more feet to the overhang and through the door to get to the safety of the pool house. A red blur from the parking lot caught his eye. He turned in time to watch it slam into his chest. Pain punctured the vodka haze as the metal pierced his flesh. He tried to put a name to the red horror that trapped him, pinning his body against the pool house. Scott worked it out in his mind just before everything went blank,
"Fucking stop sign!"
Scott's brain screamed STOP, GO BACK!
Connect With Me
When I'm not working on Stealing Time you can find me on my social media at the links below. I hope to have my novel available for presale on Amazon in November with book two close behind.