Friday, 12 February 2016

Returning Guest Author Katrina Cope

The Scribbler is happy to welcome back Katrina Cope of Queensland, Australia. If you missed her previous visit, go here. She is a published author with the Sanctum Series Books. Discover more by clicking on the links below. The following was taken from her website.
 
I grew up in a small country town with plenty of time to let my creativity run wild. This was fueled with a large amount of time spent traveling to different areas of the world, coming in contact with many different personalities and cultures.

The last eight years has been spent running a small business with my husband and raising three young boys and writing in any spare time.

After finishing my first book, it came to light just how much I love writing and I now write a great deal more. My boys are growing up, approaching the teenage years quickly, allowing me more time to write and asking for the next book
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Taylor’s Plight
 
 

Chapter One

 

The sound of helicopter blades thumped overhead. With the clear blue sky in the background, Kensington City looked picturesque and peaceful as they circled overhead.

Avando leant forward and rubbed his leg through his deep blue suit. The injury he received the day he lost his wife Atasha and daughter Tamara throbbed. With the massage complete he leant back and stretched his legs. His grey-speckled, dark hair a contrast in the tan leather seat in the luxurious interior of the helicopter. He clasped the warm coffee cup off the small mahogany table, sipping its contents and welcoming the effect caffeine had on his body.

The pocket inside his suit jacket began to vibrate with the ring tone following not far behind. He reached his thin, aged hand into his pocket and glanced at the screen noting that the hidden caller ID. Frowning over his large bumpy nose, he slid his thumb across the screen to answer the call.

“Avando speaking.”

“I warned you,” hissed the distorted animated voice on the other end of the line. “I told you not to interfere."

Avando sat forward. “Who is this?”

“You know who I am. Because you and your little brats defied me, I am going a step further.” The animated voice continued. “I'll be attacking more people. More will pay, and you are to blame for their demise.”

“What are you talking about? What do you mean?” Avando asked with his voice panicked. Dread filled him causing his heart rate to rise to an unhealthy level.

“Your first deed to be thanked for will be happening in the middle of Kensington City,” the voice hissed. “Be prepared for the iconic building in the middle of the city to be turned into rubble in ten minutes. Congratulations on your achievement.” The phone went silent.

Avando felt his olive-skinned face turn white. Innocent people were about to die.

He pressed the button on the speaker to the pilot and called, “Charlie?”

The response was almost instant, “Yes, Avando?”

“What would you class as the most iconic building in Kensington City?”

“Well, that would have to be the glass walk bridge that crosses the Dyson River. Made completely of glass, even the bottom where people walk, and it gets thousands of tourists as well as locals on it every year. There is a day care near there too, called ‘Baby Bots.’ But they are not street kids. Why? Do you want to go?”

“Yes, get me there pronto. I think it is about to be blown up.”

“What?” Charlie’s concerned voice sounded over the speaker.

“I just received an anonymous phone call stating that they were about to flatten it. I need to get there.”

“But that would be dangerous and what would you even look for?”

“Just get me there, now!” Avando demanded. “They said it was my fault. Get me there. I am ringing the police to let them know.” He let go of the speaker button. He still had his phone in his hand and rang the emergency number.

“You have dialled the emergency hotline. Your call is being connected, please wait.” The recorded lady’s voice sounded over the line.

Avando silently waited with his feet fidgeting.

“What emergency service did you require, Police, Fire or Ambulance?” A lady’s monotone voice spoke at the other end.

“Police.” Avando’s impatience rose.

“Please hold.”

Nervously he waited as the helicopter descended to land.

“Kensington Police Department, Please state your name, number and your emergency.” An official male voice sounded on the line.

“I have just received an anonymous call stating an iconic building, which I'm assuming is the glass bridge over the Dyson River, is about to be made into rubble. You need to get a bomb squad down there immediately. I was told we have eight minutes left." Avando was formal and straight to the point.

“Thank you, sir. I need your name and number sir, in case—”Avando hung up and unbuckled his seatbelt.

Charlie had landed the helicopter. There was no time to waste. Avando pushed out of the seat and climbed onto the grass.

~~~~~

Liam Honeywell and his dad John were spending the day together. It was the extended school holidays before the start of a new year. John had decided to spend time with Liam down to the middle of the city to have some father and son time. The weather couldn’t be nicer. They were mixing up the events, and sightseeing between the science museum for Liam and mini putt-putt golf for John.

John was very proud of his son’s achievement in getting a scholarship at the Ernest State College, the school for geniuses where it was impossible for paid entry. Although considered as an intelligent person, and he was privileged to have two children going to this school, he did not have the genius brain. This shortcoming did not bother him, as he saw his children’s achievement as his own.

They had started the day with the science museum and had finished their mini golf. Now it was time for a break before heading to the iconic glass bridge.

They sat at the outside a small café near the bridge, ordered lunch and relaxed, waiting for it to arrive. Excited screams sounded from the nearby day care centre.

“So, how’s everything at school?” John’s serious grey eyes bored into Liam’s.

“Good. Why?” Liam asked inquisitive over the change of tone.

John ran his hand through his dark greying hair. “Are you okay? You didn’t seem quite yourself the last time you were home. So, your mum and I are concerned about your happiness.” His handsomely aging face was serious as he studied his son.

“Oh,” Liam said, while fiddling with the salt satchels on the table, “I am happy if that is what you are asking.”

John nodded, “And what about stress levels?”

“What about them?” A river breeze ruffled his brown hair, and he straightened it with his hand.

“Are you coping alright?”

“Don’t my marks tell you this?” Liam stopped fiddling with the salt and sat back in his chair. He wasn’t enjoying the conversation. He had a little suspicion that it had something to do with him being involved with the underground section of the school he was invited to join with his friends last year. It was top secret, and he wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. Not even his parents or family. He was glad that his best friends at the school, Hayley, Dryden and Brendan, were able to join with him. This way at least he was able to discuss it with them to let some of the pressure off his chest.

“Yes, your marks are very good,” his dad continued. “But we are concerned about your emotional health and dealing with the pressures also.”

“I’m fine dad.” Liam tried his best convincing voice. In truth he was fine and yes, he did have a lot on his mind and at times he was very concerned about the evil happenings in the world. He would love to blurt it all out all the secret information he held, but he wasn’t allowed. If he told him, he would not only get himself in trouble with the government, but also his family.

“Okay!” His dad raised his hands in resignation. “But just to remind you, your Mum and I are here to talk to if anything is bothering you.”

Liam smiled at his dad and inwardly cheered that the conversation ended. “Thanks, I know.”

“Good, because we mean it,” he said studying Liam a genuine gaze. He got up, reached over and grabbed a newspaper that lay on the bench in the café close to their seat. Sitting back down at their table, he flicked through the pages. “So, have you met any nice girls at the school?” he asked cocking an eyebrow while peering over the top of the paper.

“I've met lots of nice girls dad. Hayley still hangs around with our group too.”

John flicked through a couple more pages of the newspaper. "You know what I mean.”

Liam smiled cheekily. “Not a clue, what do you mean?”

Giving his son a playful disapproving glare, he continued, “If you had a nice girlfriend you might learn to relax a little.”

“I’m not interested in girls, dad. I have too much to do.”

“See, there is your problem.” He flicked through some more pages of the newspaper. “It's amazing what they class as news these days.” He shook his head while still peering through the pages of the paper. He flicked back to the front page quickly to prove a point. “Front cover, ‘Ashley Simmons winner of the bikini contest’. I mean really. They call this news?” He flicked through a few more pages, “Page four, ‘winner of the doughnut eating competition’.” He looked up. Sarcasm seeped from his voice. “I don't know what I would have done without that information.”

Liam smiled in agreement.

John flicked through a few more pages. “Then, after all these ads you have, ‘Mysterious elderly man with cane kicks butt while stealing homeless kids. Homeless guy reports to authorities.’” He huffed half a laugh. “As if! What’s he been taking?” He shook his head. “What man would do that, let alone an old man with a cane kicking butt? What’s he going to do with all those kids anyway? Unless he is some kind of sick deviate.” His body shook with revulsion at the possibility of truth.

The waitress approached the table with their food. “Okay, we have a steak sandwich with chips.”

John answered her while folding the newspaper up and placing it on a spare chair at the table.
 

“And a hamburger with extra chips,” she added as she placed it in front of Liam. His plate was overflowing. She wiped her hands on her black apron, which she wore over her above knee length black straight skirt, finished with a white blouse. John could see slight food stains on her shirt that she must have accumulated throughout her long shift. “Do you need anything else?”

“Could I please have an ice chocolate?” Liam asked.

“Certainly, and you sir?” she turned to John, who was shaking his head while looking at Liam in disbelief. “Sure. Enjoy your meals,” she added as she wandered off.

“I am so glad I do not have to pay for your food while you are at school,” John said while observing the mountain of food almost falling off the plate. “I don’t know where you teens place all that food. I mean, look at you; you don’t exercise unless you have to, you are as skinny as a rake, and you are not as big as your peers. Where does it go?”

Liam shrugged while starting to stuff the food into his mouth. He turned his head mid mouthful to look at the quick movement he saw in his side vision. Ironically, it was a thin elderly man with dark brown wavy hair finished with streaks of grey. Dressed in a deep blue business suit, he walked in almost a run while holding a cane. He made record pace towards the glass bridge while at the same time yelling out to the people as they passed.

Liam looked harder and then chuckled with his mouth full of burger. He tapped his dad on the arm indicating the man. “Maybe that's the man they were talking about in the paper.”

John turned his head to look at the man. “Maybe,” he chortled shaking his head. “I wonder what he is saying.”

They watched as the man hurried across a few more paces then they turned back to their lunch.

A short time later a loud scream of sirens hastily approached their way. Four police cars flew around the corners then screeched to a halt not far from the café. Two police officers jumped out of each car, and one started screeching through a Dictaphone at the crowds. “You must immediately leave the area. I repeat, you must immediately leave the area.”

John and Liam looked at each other puzzled. Liam observed the remainder of his lunch sitting on the table, pouting at the thought of not being able to finish it. He grabbed the rest of the burger and chips and shoved them in a napkin, taking while they fled the area. As they ran, a loud bang and then a whoosh washed over them, pushing them forward, followed by shards of glass. When he hit the ground, Liam felt his leftover lunch flying from his hand as his body was rudely used as a glass pincushion and his head thumped the concrete ground.

~~~~~

Avando ran as fast, if not faster than a man his age should run. Even with his cane aggravatingly slowing him down, he kept a good pace. Charlie luckily found a park nearby to land his helicopter safely.
Right after they had landed, Avando flung open the door and raced onto the grassy plain. He heard Charlie calling out to him while he followed behind him, but he ignored him knowing that every second was important in order to save lives.

He didn't know what to look for, but he was going to do his best. How anyone could blame him and make him responsible for the death of innocents, including children. He couldn't let this happen. He searched through the crowd hoping to spot the right face or at least be able to pick up suspicious actions to stop the terrorists in the act.

He looked at his watch — only a few more minutes remaining. He had to hurry. He passed a small cafe full of people and hoped that they would be far enough away from the blast if it happened. He could see the entrance of the bridge not too far away from where he stood now. He felt puffed and out of breath but refused to give up. The screech of police sirens sounded in the distance. A small amount of relief passed through his body knowing his call succeeded.

Risking the possibility of being perceived as a madman, he started to screech at the nearby people, "Quick you need to leave.” A couple of weird looks came his way, but he continued. “You need to leave. You are in danger; you need to leave.” When he received disbelieving stares, he continued, "A terrorist threat has endangers this building; you need to leave for your own safety.”

This time the looks remained condescending, but people started to move in the opposite direction of the bridge — just in case the madman was right. But it was too little too late! A loud blast sounded, and Avando watched while both sides of the glass bridge exploded, and the glass middle came crashing down and down, dropping screaming horrified people trapped inside into the river below.

Avando slammed backwards as flying shards of glass sliced his skin. His head smacked something hard, and his vision went black.





Thank you Katrina for sharing your captivating stories.

Check out the following links to discover more about Katrina.
http://katrenee11.wix.com/katrina-cope-author
http://www.amazon.com/Katrina-Cope/e/B00F00JF9M/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7265107.Katrina_Cope
https://twitter.com/K_CopeFunRead
https://www.facebook.com/Author.Katrina.Cope





Next week you will read the opening chapter from Paul White's latest novel, Tales of Crime & Violence.

 

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