An excerpt from a work in progress.
Chapter 1: Discovery
Sunrise hit the loft flooding the make shift living room. Light bounced off the plain white walls until taken over by the glow of a small table top television. The clock on the wall read just about 7:45am, the long hand was just about at the nine. Noises could be heard from the lower part of the city as traffic moved through town. Morning commuters would be all that filled the streets in a matter of minutes. The locals would be walking to work or college in about an hour. A fresh morning breeze blew lightly through the lower portion of the waterfront. Ocean seagulls could be heard gawking, scavenging for breakfast- first catch of the day. The waves must have been picking up as a draft hit the higher side of the complex, but would not be enough to disturb even a single piece of paper.
The television flickered with a faint line of static across the screen. Flashing imagery hit the back of the room casting a reflection on the windows. A local news reporter was covering a story that-
“…up next, a string of deaths possibly linked as eight university professors pass in their sleep. In another report, a college age student passes mysteriously in the night… Could this be some strange coincidence? More up next.”
“You mean to tell me that a normal twenty something year old is expected to hold the same level of education as eight of the world’s most prevalent college professors?” exclaimed Jason, as he yelled at the television set from the breakfast table. “Really? Conspiracy theory journalism at it’s best…”
James overheard the conversation his brother was having with the television from the back room as he made his way to the kitchen. “Does this help? I mean, you are getting your aggression out, but do you think Mr. Ryarson hears you through the television?”
“Seriously?” asked Jason. “Do you see how far fetched the news has become?”
“It’s not like this is the first time this kind of thing was glamorized for television. Remember that show about the kid doctor. Or what about that linked phenomenon study on the knowledge channel?” James replied.
“This is different, this is the news!” Jason exclaimed. “Are we expected to take our news like the evening celebrity gossip shows or some television drama? No, it’s principal. The ideas these goons come up with, to think someone would have known and targeted them.”
“I suppose anything is possible. What of this lone survivor?” James replied.
“Lone survivor?” said a surprised Jason. “Where is this coming from?”
“Yeah, he is number nine or ten. They haven’t quite figured it all out yet.” James said.
“I never believe the stories directly. I have been such a raw news junkie over the years I have my ways.”
“You have… an informant?” questioned Jason.
“You could say that.” James replied. “Hey see what you can find in public circles on this, the newsstand, library or even the guys across town at the center. See if you can pull it apart.” Grabbing the daily paper he pushed it across the table to his brother. “You might want checkout section C8 he’s something of a theorist. He speaks indirectly for his own good.”
Jason immediately jumped to the bit about downtown, “The center!? What do we need with them?”
“That’s a good question. I guess it might sound a little odd without explanation.” Moving the pencil to a horizontal position James began to explain. “I believe we have a couple of retired scholars downtown at the retirement community, that may have crossed paths with one of the locals.” Turning the pencil over eraser to the table he began to correct a mistake in the crossword puzzle. “It’s a simple suggestion lead, it might be nothing. The news always gets the room fired up in a volunteer environment it’s an easy conversation starter.”
Jason flipped to section C8 to find the film critic, “What is this? You mentioned some insight?”
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