18th GREEN


A gathering of heroes on a Texas summer morning. A celebration that turned into a target.

From my recently released novel, GROUND EFFECT:

“My God, Sam. Look at this,” Eileen said. They were in the living room and the kids had been watching cartoons on television when the network broke in with helicopter shots of bodies and pieces of tent scattered over the green grass of a San Antonio golf course. Eileen had a freshly diapered Billy in her arms and he was squirming to get out and get back down to play with Katie and Vinny.

Ozzie came through the sliding glass door from the deck balancing a bottle of beer and a heaping plate of the Cuban food from the buffet. “Wow, this smells good…” Ozzie stopped next to Sam and stared at the carnage on the television.

Sam turned and said, “Okay kids, everybody outside, water balloon fight.”

Then to Ozzie, “Is Calvin here yet?”

Ozzie rolled his eyes and said, “I think he and Katrina had a stop to make. Adams just pulled in.” Tim Adams was only on The Job for a little over five years but worked himself out of uniform and into the crime room by being smarter than the average trooper. Broad shouldered and thick necked from the heavy weights he lifted in his off time, the muscles coupled with his quick mind made him an asset. Now he was in Sam’s unit and trying to keep up with his partner, Calvin.

Eileen let out a laugh before she caught herself. Then Sam said, “Call him and have him get on the computer, wherever he is.”

Ozzie worked his way into the kitchen and got the plate and beer on the counter before spilling any and then pulled out his cell phone. The writing across the bottom of the television screen called this a gas explosion and the chopper shot began to zoom in.

“Oh, God, they’re disabled. Look at the metal legs and the…” Eileen threw her hand to her mouth as the camera quickly pulled back out from the shot of a severed head next to an overturned table.


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