Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts

Friday, January 27, 2017

Crush Or Be Crushed

This is Day 20 of the 2017 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Sydney, Australia. The Saga of Charlie and Alex continues. Please visit the other participants for more adventures.

After a brief reunion, Charlie enlists Adam and Josh to help as FBI consultants on the case. He discusses what they have learned and listens to Adam's ideas. "So are you in?" Both men nod.

"Great, meet me at the field office at noon, and I'll introduce you to my team and we can get started. My guys are champing at the bit. I think Alex just wants to wrap this up so he can go out with the young lady he met on the flight. She is here visiting her cousin."

"That's interesting," said Josh. "My cousin, Nadja, is visiting for a couple weeks."

"Really," said Charlie grinning. "Alex is my partner and he and she were seat mates on the flight. I took a nap and when we landed they were like two peas in a pod." 

Later that day, Alex, Adam, Josh and the other agents met with Charlie to go over the plans. "Based on our intel, there is a major deal going down in two days in the Slasher's territory in Monterey. The cartel has an arrangement with the Slashers for security for a small cut in the profits. They will be meeting with their buyer at the Slasher's warehouse. We believe that Crusher wants a bigger piece of the pie, so to say we anticipate trouble is an understatement."

"Adam, we will need you on surveillance watching the monitors and watching our backs. We will all be on comms so you can communicate with us. Josh, you're on surveillance as well." Charlie caught Josh's frown..."understood?" Josh nodded. "Okay let's go, we're getting an early start tomorrow."

The next morning they rolled into Monterey at breakfast time. "I sure love me some diner food," said Alex. After filling up on eggs, bacon and pancakes, they settle into their temporary command center and begin their final preparations. 

"Okay guys," said Charlie, "It's time. Teams 1 and 2 take the south side. Teams 3 and 4, move up to the rear and hold. Alex you and I will take the East side, Kyle you and Bobby are on the West. Adam can you hear us?"

"Roger, loud and clear."

"SWAT team, ready?" asked Charlie.

"Roger," called the team commander.

As the teams move silently, nearly invisibly, toward positions, Charlie spots an old truck parked half on the sidewalk near the entrance to the dilapidated building used by the Slashers for their business transactions. "Guys, hold up."

Just then a van belonging to the cartel pulls up, stopping just behind the truck. Four guys with AR-15s  get out. "Hector," one man shouted at the door, hanging loosely on it's hinges.

Just as he yells again, the truck explodes sending glass and metal shards flying. Charlie's team was across the street and immediately fell to the ground, more from instinct than the blast. When the debris stopped raining down, they got up guns drawn, only to instantly become targets of gunfire.

"Adam, what can you see," asked Charlie from his precarious position. There was little in the way of real cover, it was modest concealment at best.

"Charlie," responded Adam, "It appears that the blast took out the guys from the van. I can't see the shooters, but I would guess they are Slashers double-crossing the cartel. They probably have either killed Hector or have him tied up in the back."

"SWAT team commander," called Charlie, "move to the front of the building on the north side. Teams 1 and 2 with me. Alex, we're going in behind SWAT. Teams 3 and 4, stay at the back of the building. Kyle you and Bobby find a vantage point. Don't be afraid to take the shot if necessary.

It had only been a few moments since the explosion but it felt like hours and that everything was moving in slow motion.

More shots rang out as the agents descended upon the building. The sagging door splintered as it was breached. 

"Okay," yelled Charlie, "FBI, drop your weapons and come out with your hands up." He always felt foolish saying that. It sounded so scripted, like something off of TV.

"Nah, I don't think so," bellowed a deep voice from inside.

"That you Crusher," shouted Charlie. "Where's Hector?"

"Hector's dead, just like you're gonna be. Just like that guy on the bike. Yeah, I know you been snooping around, setting up camp. You figured you'd just waltz in here and take me down easy. Well easy ain't the way I do things. Boys..."

Suddenly there was a cacophony of gunfire mixed with shouts of exhilaration and screams of pain as bullets tore into flesh. Charlie dove to the side as Crusher came barreling out the door, spraying a hail of machine gun fire at the van which exploded into flames. The gang members left standing at the end of the flurry, dropped their guns, all but Crusher, who was tearing about wildly like a crazed animal, yelling obscenities.

"It's over, Crusher, put it down," said Charlie, keeping his attention while members of SWAT approached from behind. "This will go easier if you just stop now." 

He dropped his gun and for a second his eyes glazed over and it looked like he was going to comply. Then seemingly unhinged, Crusher made a last ditch attempt to carry out his threat. He pulled out a knife and with one last bellow of rage, he charged at Charlie. Within seconds, Crusher was tackled, taken down and lay cuffed at Charlie's feet. "Looks like the Crusher's been crushed."

"Everyone all right?," Charlie asked as he looked around taking a head count. Everything had gone down in a matter of minutes. A chorus of 'yeahs' were music to Charlie's ears, but... "Alex, has anyone seen Alex?"

"I'm over here Charlie, but it looks like I zigged, when I should have zagged," said Alex holding a hand to his bleeding shoulder."

Charlie sighed in relief. There were only minor injuries on his side, plus a few fallen Slashers, along with Hector and the cartel members, and Crusher was finally in custody. They had his confession.

"Good job guys! It turned out that Crusher's plan was to kill Hector and take the money, then when the cartel arrived to make the sale, he would kill them and take the drugs. He almost succeeded, but our grunt work got thugs and drugs off the streets. Let's go get you patched up," he said to Alex. 

"We've been given a few days of R&R before we head back," Charlie told Alex the next day. "You gonna call Nadja and get her to nurse you back to health?"

"Now there's an idea," grinned Alex. "We really seemed to hit it off."

"What about Jenna?"

"Funny you should mention her," said Alex looking a bit bemused. "I got a text from her this morning. It seems she is off to Sydney, Australia to make some Indie film with a producer she met in a coffee shop. Any of that sound familiar?"

"Ha ha," laughed Charlie, "That's an easy out for you, my friend. Speaking of friends, it was good to see Adam and Josh again. I know they are glad to finally get justice for Josh's dad." 

"What do you say we go grab a couple cold ones?" 

Alex nodded gratefully, "I'd say you're reading my mind!"

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Friday, January 20, 2017

No Grunt, No Glory

This is Day 15 of the 2017 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Zurich, SwitzerlandPlease visit the other participants for more adventures.

This is the third part in a continuing story in which I have borrowed some characters and their story from a (never before published) short story I wrote several years ago. If you are interested, you can click the tab called Short Story: My Brother's Son. We pick up the story with Charlie and Alex making their way from Philly to San Francisco via commercial air travel.

"I guess we're kind of spoiled," complained Alex as they wound their way through security at the airport. "I can't believe our jet was unavailable." 

"I know what you mean," agreed Charlie. "I can't remember the last tine I flew commercial. Things have changed a lot over the years. Security...excuse me, ma'am. Like I was saying - oh never mind, we're next."

Having successfully navigated security they found their gate and couple of seats and waited. Alex wasn't long on patience and kept fidgeting with his phone. Charlie pulled out a newspaper and sipped a cup of cooling coffee.

Flight 1650 for San Francisco now boarding. "That's us," Charlie grinned.

As they found their seats, Charlie was seated in 22B and Alex got 22C across the aisle. "I hope nobody has this seat, so I can get a few more winks," blinked Alex. 

"Excuse me, is that 22A?" Alex looked up from his phone with a frown which magically disappeared as he looked into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. 

"Why yes I am...I mean it is. Here allow me," and he steps out into the aisle to let her in. "Let me help you with your bag."

"Thank you! I am finding everyone here so friendly."

Since this was a non-stop flight, he knew she was going to San Francisco as well.

"Hi, my name is Alex." 

"My name is Nadja," replied the beautiful blond seated next to him.

And so the conversation continued for the next five and a half hours, and he totally forgot about taking a nap. Charlie, on the other hand, put on headphones and quickly fell asleep to some quiet jazz.

By the time the plane landed, Alex was totally smitten with his lovely seatmate, who was visiting the U.S. from Switzerland. 

"Charlie, this is Nadja. She's visiting her American cousins here in San Francisco,." said Alex, beaming.

"It's nice to meet you Nadja. I hope you enjoy your visit. San Francisco is a beautiful city. Now if you will please excuse us, Alex and I need to pick up our rental," stated Charlie, refreshed after his cross-country nap.

"I'll call you if I have any free time," said Alex with a sideways glance at Charlie. "Maybe we can get together for a drink."

"I'd like that," smiled the girl with the bluest eyes he'd ever seen.

Charlie wisely refrained from mentioning Jenna. Alex could manage his own personal life...or not.

They arrive at the San Francisco office to be briefed by Agent Rick Morrison. "Glad to see you. You two are really getting around. I hear you just did a week in Philly on this case, and all that hard work got you dragged out here. It seems your perp has his hand in a lot of pots. The most dangerous one being the Slashers. They are a gang that originated in LA about ten years ago and have spread like a wildfire in August. The gang leader, Enrique Hernandez, a.k.a. Crusher, is a major player in the drug trade."

Charlie has that focused look again, "As I recall, the Slashers and the Skulls mixed it up a few years back. Adam Richards and his nephew Josh are friends of mine. Adam's brother was murdered, we suspect, by one of the Slashers. Adam and Josh were up there at the time trying to get some answers. Long story short, there was trouble between the gangs, and Adam was forced to kill one of them who was holding Josh hostage. It all ended well enough for them but no arrest was made. We're hoping this ties in and that case will finally be solved."

Rick took all this in and said "Well, it looks like we've got the right team on this. Maybe we can finally pull the plug on their enterprise, and hopefully bring closure to the family of the man they murdered."

Alex, who had been listening impatiently, agrees, "I certainly hope so. I know we have a guy in custody, and should feel pretty good considering how far-reaching this operation is, but he is still just small potatoes."  It just feels like we have been chasing our tails this past week."

"I know," Charlie agreed, "but catching the bad guys isn't all action and glory, it is a lot of behind the scenes grunt work. As my mom always says...hurry and wait. Unlike kidnappings and missing persons, we have time to set up a good take down. The more of these vermin we can get off the streets, the better."

Charlie turns back to Rick, "Let's set up some surveillance on Crusher and see who he meets with. I'd wager at least one of his associates is part of the Mexican drug cartel. I sure don't like where this is going. We'll bring Kyle and Bobby up to speed when they get here." 

"Rick, how many agents do you have available? Given the multiple factions we're dealing with, there will be no lone wolves. Everyone works in pairs."

"I've got half a dozen agents skilled in gang and drug cases, plus a tactical team if needed," replied Rick. I'll pair them up,  brief them on the case and have them report to you, Charlie."

"Thanks Rick! I'll give Adam a call to see if he's heard anything else that might help."

"Okay Alex, it's time to rock and roll."

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Friday, January 13, 2017

San Francisco Connection

This is Day 10 of the 2017 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is San Francisco. Please visit the other participants for more stories.

The next morning arrives with a jolt when Charlie's cell phone blasts out A Fifth of Beethoven loud enough to wake the dead, which is how they had felt the previous day.

"Yes, I understand. We'll be there soon." Now it was Charlie's turn to groan, "Alex, wake up, "he called from across the room.

"Like I could sleep through that, "Alex complained!

"Sorry, my Dad grew up in the Disco era and he got me hooked on it. I know, kids don't usually like what their parents like, but what can I say, I've got a really hip Dad."

"Anyway back to business, that was an Agent Collins, who wants us to come in as soon as we can," explained Charlie reaching for his steaming cup of coffee. "Thank goodness for in-room coffee stations. Can I fix you a cup?"

"Thanks, I'll take a cup with we have lids?"

Twenty minutes later, they were in their standard black SUV on their way to the field office, where Agent Collins awaited them with an update.

"Hello agents, I hope you slept well, I'm Agent Collins, Sam if you please. Thank you for getting here so fast. I was transferred to this case last night...was told you could use some additional manpower."

"Nice to meet you Sam. I'm Charlie Shore and this is Alex Reynolds. Please bring us up to speed, and we'll fill the rest of the team in when they arrive."

"We have been doing background investigation on our prime suspect, and it turns out he has connections to a crime organization run out of San Francisco, which is also tied to a biker gang a little ways up the coast in Monterey. The gang is called the Slashers and they are hard core into drugs, prostitution, even weapons. So this operation is bigger than we first thought," Sam stated.

"Well that does shed new light on the case," mused Charlie. "Thanks for pitching in with us. As you know, we are on loan from Memphis for a few weeks. It looks like this operation spans the country."

Sam continues, "There's more. There is an unsolved murder from about five years ago. It involved a California man who was shot while on a trip with his son. Local police investigated and initially ruled it an accident until the son and his uncle broke the case and while it's technically unsolved, there is strong evidence that points to the Slashers."

Charlie's eyes widened than narrow as he focuses his attention squarely upon Sam, "What are these guys' names?"

Sam refers to his notepad, "I believe the uncle's name is Adam Richards and his nephew is Josh. Why? Do you know either of these men?"

"Adam and I are friends from our marine days," said Charlie. "He was a career man, and I got out after my tour was up and entered the Academy. I was never involved in the case since it was on the West Coast, but Adam and I did talk about it later." 

Alex had been listening intently to Sam and Charlie's conversation, and asked "so are we now going to San Francisco or Monterey?"


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Friday, January 6, 2017

A Rough Week In Philly

This is Day 5 of the 2017 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Philadelphia. Please visit the other participants for more stories.

Our favorite FBI Agents, Charlie and Alex are back with more adventures. When we last saw them they had just wrapped up a kidnapping in New York City.

"Hey Alex, what's up? asked Charlie.

Alex groaned, "This paperwork is killing me. You know I'd rather be out in the field than sitting here pushing a pencil around."

"You know we have computers for that...and admins," quipped Charlie. "What's the deal?"
"It's just beauracratic BS. Since I knew Jenna from before the last case, and we ended up involved with the mafia and then the kidnapping, they want to make absolutely, positively 100% sure I had no involvement with any of the suspects. Some things just don't die easily. On top of that, we've had dinner a couple of times and that was relayed to the bosses."

"Didn't I suggest that you might let the dust settle a bit before pursuing a relationship," reminded Charlie?

"Ah the voice of reason. You might have mentioned something to that effect," replied a chagrined Alex, "but it will all be sorted out shortly, and they haven't pulled me from active duty, so please tell me we have a case."

"As a matter of fact that is why I was looking for you. The Philadelphia office is a bit shorthanded, since several guys retired and a couple more are out with injuries, so they've ask me to take my team to Philly to help out for a few weeks. I'll clear it with the department chief for you to go, unless there is some particular reason you'd rather not take this assignment," grinned Charlie wickedly.

"Like you said, I should let the dust settle," Alex sighed.  "Jenna is still a little shaky, so some time and space is probably a good idea. She's got my number if she needs anything. When do we leave?"

"Sunday night," Charlie replied, "so we can start pitching in Monday morning. I don't know what we'll be working on, but hopefully it will just be routine. We could use a bit of that after these last few cases. At any rate, we will be assisting, not taking the lead this time. I'll call Kyle and Bobbie and fill them in. I expect they are itching for some action, too."

The team arrives in Philly on Monday to find the place in chaos. "Well, so much for a piece-of-cake assignment," Alex stated matter-of-factly. As it turned out, the lead agent on a big case came down with the flu. 

"Agent Shore, you're the senior agent so you run point and our guys will follow your lead," instructed the local agent.

One week into their two-week relief effort, they slide into a booth at the end of a long day. Day meaning about 36 hours straight of surveillance, intel gathering, search warrants and subsequent searches. "Whew," huffs Alex, "and we thought the Colombian case was bad. This has been a rough week."

"Yeah, maybe that pencil pushing is looking better" grinned Charlie, "but I think we're gonna nail this one shut in a couple days."  To be continued...

Other Adventures of Charlie and Alex:
Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
The Last Laugh
The Morning After

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Murder in the Warehouse

This is Day 15 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Can you hear me? Please visit the other participants for more stories. 

The investigation into Jenna's kidnapping continues.

After being briefed by the local PD, Charlie and Alex checked into the hotel, and even though it was 1 a.m., their minds were thoroughly engaged in the case. Alex got some sodas, chips and candy bars from the vending machine. 

"How's that going to look on the expense report?" chortled Charlie. "Eating junk food in New York."

"Well I'm hungry and it's a little late for room service. Besides it's better than the bar for case work, although maybe I could get some wings to go. What'd ya think?"

"Whatever cranks your tractor" cracked Charlie. "But seriously, let's lay out our plan and then get some sleep so we can hit the streets first thing." 

"According to her cell phone records, her last phone call was made from here," said Alex, pointing to the map laid out across the table. "The security camera showed her heading South along 8th Avenue. I suspect he grabbed her as she was coming out of one of the theaters. It looks like the bulk of the theaters are from 40th and 54th streets between 8th Avenue, and the Avenue of the Americas. That's a lot of ground to cover." 

"The local PD will be helping canvas, and I gave them a stack of photos of Jenna, with our hotline number on them to pass out. Actually the night shift is already on this, asking around in bars and clubs, and basically anyone who might have seen or heard anything." Charlie stretched "That's it for now, let's hit the sack."

"Great!" said Alex, suppressing a yawn. "A few zzz's and I'll be ready to go." His head hit the pillow and two minutes later the snoring started. Charlie sighed. "I hope for Jenna's sake and mine that this case is solved quickly." he muttered, as he pulled a pillow over his head.

A few hours later Charlie's cell phone rang. "Yes, we'll meet you there in 30. C'mon Alex, we just have time to clean up and grab some coffee and danish and get to the precinct."

The sergeant in charge led them to a conference room where he had a map on the wall and the case file open. "We got a tip from one of our CIs who frequents places where the mafia hang out. He hasn't seen Jenna, but he heard someone named Donato talking about locating a 'piece of scum with the brains of a cockroach'. They think he may be holed up in an old warehouse near the generating plant on the other side of the East River between 38th and 40th Avenues. Why is it always a warehouse?" questioned the sergeant rhetorically.

"Okay," said Charlie, "We need to move now. I need two officers with me. "Alex, you and the Sergeant take a couple men and move in from the North, we'll go in from the South. Listen everyone, no sirens or lights. We need to keep a low profile."

At the warehouse they work in pairs to quietly clear the perimeter and check the entrances. There is a broken out window and Alex climbs through, gun drawn and flashlight beaming around the room. Charlie and his crew are working the other side. Alex spots a storage closet and on a gut feeling, tries the knob. Locked. He radios for Charlie and looks around for something to pry the door open. 

"Alex, what's with the closet?" inquired Charlie. "Did you see any signs of our perp?" 

"Nope, I just have a hunch," as he pries the door open. There on the floor on an old blanket was Jenna. She was drugged, but she appeared to be otherwise unharmed. "Call for an ambulance," Alex requested as he tried to wake her.

"Jenna, can you hear me? It's Alex."

They searched the rest of the warehouse and found the kidnapper with a single gunshot wound to the head, execution style. 

"I guess Jenna was fortunate this time. Her kidnapper actually saved her life by knocking her out and locking her in the closet." Charlie grinned. "We all got lucky with that CI's tip. 

"Now do we investigate the murder?"

"Nope, it's a local thing" said Charlie. "The NYPD will be working that case. Let's go home."

For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
The Last Laugh
The Morning After

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Can You See Me Now?

This is Day 12 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Dreaming. Please visit the other participants for a peek into they're dreaming about.

Today we continue Eli's story. The last we knew he was invisible.

Eli left the bar and headed home. He had to walk because a car driving itself would be hard to explain. He knew he had left Paul in a bad spot but there wasn't much he could do. 

"Excuse me," he muttered as he bumped into a fellow pedestrian. The gentleman looked startled. "Really, I have to be more careful and I need to stop talking to myself, I'm in enough trouble as it is. Just got to get home."

Finally he rounds the corner to his house, bolts up the steps, then checks to see if anyone is looking before he opens the door. Safely inside he collapses on the couch. "I must be dreaming. That's it! I'll just lay here and sleep and when I wake up everything will be all right."

Morning dawned bright and sunny, birds chirping, and the paper landed with a thump in the driveway. Eli roused himself from the couch, squinting at the sun streaming in the window. "Why am I on the couch? That must have been some night last night". 

He dragged his groggy butt into the kitchen and made some strong black coffee. "I must have really tied one on. At least it's Sunday so I don't have to go to work. Maybe I'll just get a shower and watch TV all day.

He padded down the hall to the bathroom, gulping down some aspirin with his last swallow of coffee.  He looked in the mirror and then he remembered. Last night he was invisible, and he left his car, not to mention Paul, at the bar. He peered closely at himself. "I look like crap, but at least I'm visible. I guess I was dreaming." 

His shower finished, he pulled on sweatpants and an Aerosmith tee shirt. Suddenly a bird landed on the ledge outside his open window. It was a beautiful bird with a thin gold chain in its beak. The chain fell to the ground as it spoke, "Hear what I say, Eli, you were not dreaming."

Eli's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. "What? A talking bird?  Mother...?"

If you want to catch up on Eli's adventures:
The Princess
Eli and the Redhead 
The Winged Woman

Meet Eli's Mother
Eli, Where Are You?

Edited to add links to previous posts.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Jenna's Misfortune

This is Day 10 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Misfortune. Please visit the other participants for more interesting views on this topic.

Sitting there in the pub, Alex listened quietly as Charlie shared what was known up to that point.

Image Source: Dave Newman
"It seems this photographer took a picture of Jenna during the SWAT rescue and associated her with the mob, and then some whack job gets it in his fool head that she is some sort of mafia princess and kidnapped her. He is holding her for a $1 million ransom. He's obviously not blessed in the brains department. The kicker is that the mob leaders don't know or care who she is or what happens to her. That makes her useless to him if he figures it out, and him a target of the mob just because...they've offed people for less.

"So it seems she had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time...again" stated Alex solemnly. 

"Well" said Charlie, she does have a habit of dating the mafia."

"That could change...when we get her back" replied Alex. "I guess we're off to New York. What was she doing in New York anyway? Wait a minute, she said something about auditioning for a part in a play but I didn't think she was serious. That'll give us a place to start. We'll hit the theaters, show her picture around and see if anyone has seen her."

Charlie agreed and called for the jet. "It's 9:30 now, we can be there in two hours. Do you have your go-bag with you?"

"Always! I'll meet you at the hangar."

"Touchdown at 11:30, Agent Shore" said the pilot as they boarded the plane. 

"Thanks!" Charlie checked his messages and called Kim, their liaison in New York, to get rooms reserved, contact information and a list of all the theaters.

"Hey Charlie, I always figured to go the theater when I was in New York, but this isn't what I had in mind" stated Alex wryly. "So where are we staying?"

"The Hyatt Midtown. It's not The Plaza, but it'll do. I just hope you don't snore this time. This is New York City, we get one room and I've got first dibs on the shower" said Charlie looking over his glasses at Alex.

When they arrived in the city, they had their list of theaters and contacts. "What are the chances we can find anyone to talk to tonight?" questioned Alex, eager to get started.

"I get your impatience, Alex, but the last performances began around 8 p.m. It's almost midnight so the theaters are probably closed now. I got a text from Kim and she has arranged space for us at the Midtown South PD, so we'll go there first and meet with the officer on duty. We want everyone on the same page," said Charlie as they climbed into their standard black SUV rental.

For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
The Last Laugh
The Morning After

If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.

Friday, January 8, 2016


This is Day 5 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is A Fading Memory. Please visit the other participants to find out what has faded from their memory.

The story of Charlie and Alex continues as they are sitting in the pub reminiscing over events of the past year.

"That's another one for the history books" said Charlie, cradling his beer and staring blankly at the TV mounted on the wall.

"Yeah" agreed Alex, "We were nearly murdered by Colombians, but we sure got the last laugh on old Jorge. Then there was the camping fiasco. Poor Bobby! He took a lot of grief about being chased up a tree by a wild turkey. Did you see the Turkey-thug mugshot...the whole bureau was laughing about that."

"I seem to recall you took a fair amount of ribbing over your run-in with SWAT and the girl with mafia ties," remarked Charlie.

Alex grimaced, "That didn't look too good, did it?" Hopefully that's just a fading memory, eh?

"As Richard Fish would say, bygones" quipped Charlie.

"Who? Oh never mind." Alex called for another beer while he waited for Charlie to continue.

At that moment Charlie's phone rings. 

"Charles Shore" answered Charlie. "Yes." Silence as Charlie listens.  "New York. I see. Will do. Yes sir, thank you." 

"Well, we're off and running. That was the Deputy Director. We have a case. It's a kidnapping."

"Okay.  Details?"

"Here's the thing, it's not just another kidnapping. It's Jenna." said Charlie, closely watching Alex for a reaction.

"Oh." said Alex quietly, pushing his beer aside.

"Look, given recent events, if you'd rather not work this case..." The unstated implication was could he work the case objectively, and if there was any doubt he would be temporarily reassigned.

"I get where you're coming from Charlie, but no, I've got this, we're good. What do we know so far?"

For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
The Last Laugh
The Morning After

If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.


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