Saturday, November 07, 2009

Snippet Saturday: Weaponry

Today's Snippet Saturday excerpts are about weaponry. I haven't seen 
the other authors' excerpts for today as I post this, but I imagine
most of their "weaponry" are classic like swords and guns.
My weaponry is a bit...different. Read on, you'll see.
This is an excerpt from my romantica comedy "Purrfect Justice
available at Ellora's Cave
“Officers in trouble at Commercial and 44th!” Cole’s voice barked from the scanner. Gunshots ricocheted in the background. “Need immediate assistance! Send backup! Sniper on roof!”
Haley almost fell off her chair. Oh, God. Her stomach flip-flopped as she stared at the little black box crackling with static. Why did Cole have to keep getting into these dangerous situations? Did he have a death wish? Or maybe she just worried about him more than the others, and so it seemed that way?
She could help him again. A thrill shot through her as she recalled the previous evening’s escapades. She’d enjoyed thwarting the bad guy and saving a handsome man.
But she didn’t have the authority to interfere. She didn’t have a badge, and she never would. Neither Superman nor Batman had ever had a badge, nor any of a host of other superheroes. Not that she was a superhero—just a concerned citizen. When she got right down to it, Superman and Batman were just glorified concerned citizens, right? No one had ever denied their help. Why should they deny hers? Cole had seemed grateful the night before. Surely he’d be grateful again.
She studied herself critically in her bedroom mirror, turning this way and that, pulling faces. She stuck her tongue out at herself. Would he recognize her in this get-up? Could she get away with it again? Should she change back into her Catwoman suit?
“Car 85 is on the way. Estimated arrival is ten minutes.” Sheila’s voice vibrated over the radio. Haley would recognize her nasal voice anywhere.
Cole swore. She knew that he knew he couldn’t swear over the police airwaves, but his voice was distant as if he’d covered the radio. “We’ll be mincemeat in ten minutes! Get someone here sooner!”
“Will try.” An edge sliced through Sheila’s professional tones.
Haley lived right around the corner. She could make it sooner if she went as she was. She’d pray he wouldn’t recognize her wearing the wig in the dark. She’d stick to the shadows. Stopping only to grab her keys, not even her purse or identification, she ran to her car. But the stupid thing coughed and spluttered. “Don’t you dare throw a hissy-fit now, Missy,” she ordered, slamming the flat of her hand on the steering wheel. She cranked the engine again, encouraging it to work. “Cole’s depending on us! You can do it.”
But Missy either wasn’t listening or didn’t care. Or maybe she was afraid of doing a little police work. Missy backfired and died. A plume of smoke curled up from the grill that smelled oily, gagging Haley.
“What now?” Cole needed her.
She spied Sher’s motorcycle. Did she dare borrow it? Would her friend let her use it? Haley had learned how to ride one in her academy training. She ran back to Sher’s apartment and banged on the door.
Haley cut Sher off when she opened her mouth. “”Keys now! I need your wheels. It’s life and death.” She held her hand out, palm up under her friend’s nose. “I know how to ride a cycle. I promise I won’t put a scratch on her.” She crossed her toes, hoping neither she nor the bike got caught in crossfire. “I’ll owe you big time.”
Sher cleared her throat. “You already owe me big time. So who’s dying?”
“No time. I’ll fill you in later. Thanks!” She snatched the keys and raced away, praying her impulsive friend wouldn’t follow her. That’s all she needed was for her to get in the way or stop her. She jumped on the cycle, and it purred to life as soon as she turned the key in the ignition, thank God.
A few revs of the engine later, and she closed in on Cole and Brad. It was another moonless night, so she could barely make out their shapes huddled behind their unmarked brown sedan. At least she presumed it was the cops and not the robbers. She stopped and hid the bike in a grove of palm trees, and then slunk along the sides of the buildings so as not to be seen, so she could scope out the situation.
Someone had barbecued in one of the nearby apartments and the scent lingered on the muggy air. It mingled with the odor of several fast food restaurants dotting Commercial Boulevard, almost nauseating her. The oil from the burger joints almost clogged her pores it was so thick. She covered her nose and breathed through her mouth.
Gunfire rang out, and she stopped dead, not daring to breathe. The flash of flame had burst forth from the roof of the mall. It was only a one-story structure, and she had a good view of the man from her position. His focus was on the cops, and he hadn’t glanced her way even once. She could sneak up on his rear and startle him long enough for Cole and his partner to get the drop on him. Then she could sneak away, and Cole wouldn’t even know she’d been there.
Crouching low, she wound her way through the maze of buildings until she came up on the sniper’s rear in the alley sandwiched between the strip mall and a dark, eerie canal. Moonlight glinted off a hubcap, beckoning to her. Even though it lay in a circle of light, she chanced retrieving it. It could serve many useful purposes—a shield, a weapon, or a noisemaker to distract the gunman.
“Throw down your guns and come out with your hands up,” a strange voice commanded, followed by an evil laugh that cut straight through Haley. It wasn’t a voice she recognized, so it had to belong to the shooter. “Do it now, or I’ll shoot! I have you in my sights.”
Heavy metal clanged on the asphalt. Then the sound repeated.
Oh, no. Both Cole and Brad must have followed orders and were now at the criminal’s mercy. She didn’t trust the man not to shoot now that he had the men at his mercy. Time was up. She had to do something.
An idea popped into her head. She banged the hubcap on the ground so that it sounded like a cymbal, and then shouted, “Drop your weapon! We have you surrounded!” When she got him in her sights, she flung the hubcap like a Frisbee with all her might. It knocked the gun out of his hand as the bullet exploded in her direction.
She ducked and felt the bullet whiz by her temple. Seconds later, she heard the gun clatter to the pavement, followed by pounding footsteps and men’s urgent voices.
“Get him!” Cole shouted as footsteps hammered the ground closer and closer to her. He rounded the corner, and she knew how a deer trapped in headlights felt. She froze for a split second before panic propelled her to run.
“Hey, you! Stop!”
She’d sooner be kidnapped by aliens than have him capture her. Adrenaline burst through her, catapulting her forward.
“Halt! By order of the police!”
 Haley’s heart was about to burst, but she kept going. She dragged the bike out of the bushes, hopped on, kick started it, and sped off, kicking dust and rocks behind her.
"Purrfect Justice" is available at Ellora's Cave.
Anya Bast
Vivian Arend
Ashley Ladd
Leah Braemel
Jaci Burton
Taige Crenshaw
Shelley Munro
Sasha White
Jody Wallace 
TJ Michaels
Victoria Janssen
Elisabeth Naughton

1 comment:

Regina Carlysle said...

Love this scene, Ash! Gotta love ingenuity.

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