(Obscurité de Floride Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Suspense
From Tropea, Italy to Michigan and Florida, the thieves Molly and April Danser are on the run, trying to escape from an enraged ex-US Marshal. He is hell bent on stopping them once and for all, his twisted black heart fired up for revenge and their total destruction. Will the sisters elude his blood-soaked hunt? They have their smarts and resource but have never faced a pursuit like this.
Can they somehow put an end to his blood lust?
A Day to Do
April woke at first light, seeing she had slept on top of the bed instead of climbing in under the blankets. After putting the coffee percolator on the burner, she went and checked the boat’s position at the lower helm. Starting the engines, she steered southeast in the northward Gulf Stream and watched the blue swells until the boat was pretty much in the same location as the day before.
“At least eat,” she instructed herself, it being twenty-four hours or more since her last meal. Opening a can of stew, she ate it cold with a spoon while sipping coffee. Looking at the closed laptop at her elbow, she hesitated to reach for it.
“Only one way to deal with fear.” She opened the lid and started the computer.
Her fingers unsteady above the keys, the vision from the previous day’s nightmare came fully into view. The big dark doorway at Klave’s. Her imagination ran with and gave her the rolling door crashing down and up fast like steel teeth chomping, chewing.
“Back off.” Her shoulders shuddered, and she barked at the vignette.
Opening a secure internet browser, she launched the messaging application.
After addressing an email to Allison, she froze for a minute, her fingertips quivering. The three hardest words she ever typed displayed.
April: Did she die?
Hitting send, she stared at those three words, waiting for the reply that she couldn’t will Allison to answer.
Sometime later, she opened a browser alongside the messaging application where her question to Allison still floated without an answer. The local television stations had previously recorded ‘on scene’ footage ripe with frightful images of Klave’s with the breathless voices of newscasters. There were no details of any worth.
Opening the online Daytona Beach News-Journal, the story was in the banner.
Three Killed in a Possible Attempted Robbery
April read that David Klave was declared dead on the scene. She learned that Molly’s pal, Dennis, was also murdered, evidence suggesting that he was trying to cover and protect another victim. No other names were offered, pending notification of next to kin. One man had been shot twice and was expected to survive. He was being attended to in the ICU at Memorial Medical Hospital. There was nothing about the third victim. No mention of Molly or her status.
She saw her own name given as one of the ‘persons of interest.’
Klave’s employees were quoted as saying that the suspect had a long face that was injured. He had driven off in a late model red Corvette, heading north.
She read three more news reports in the Ormond Beach, Orlando, and St. Augustine newspapers, the body count making the story a headliner. There was no additional information, only a recap and worthless commentary.
She closed the browser and looked to the messaging application.
No reply from Allison.
She sent the text again and waited ten long and painful minutes.
Leaving the table for the flying bridge, she grabbed a bottle of water and a package of the saltines she had seen her sister snacking on. The light went out over the middle of the galley as she left, and she made a mental note to put in a fresh bulb.
Up top, the breeze was sweeping away the heat of the day. She checked her location, fired the engines, and spent the next hour staring at the ocean until she had the boat back in place.
Climbing down the ladder, she went inside and saw that Allison had not replied.
“My beautiful Molly…” she held her eyes closed, “… I’m still hoping.”
She spent the rest of that day at the lower helm, getting up every half hour to look for a message from Allison.
As the sun set at her back, she went inside to look again. The darkening galley reminded her to find a package of light bulbs and a step-ladder. She found both in the click-lock supply closet and had the dead bulb out and was poised to twist in the new one when it slipped from her fingers. It shattered, and she got a new one from the closet, along with the dustpan and broom. The second bulb went in easily, and she climbed down to sweep up the aluminum cone and shards.
The messaging application pinged.
Instead of hurrying to it, she stalled, fearful of the news. She finished up the sweeping and stepped to the table, the ball of her right foot landing on a stabbing missed piece of glass.
“Brilliant.” She felt the deep cut as she swung around on the bench and looked to the message screen.
April: Did she die?
Ali: Don’t know.
April: Find out.
Ali: I’m on it. It is a fuck storm here. Wasn’t here when it happened. Parts store.
April: You learn anything?
Ali: Yes, of course.
Greg Jolley (also published under Gregory French) earned a master of art in writing from the University of San Francisco. He is the author of sixteen novels and one collection about the fictional, film industry-based Danser family. He currently lives in the Very Small town of Ormond Beach, Florida