A Crowdsourced Novel
Read it here – Say what comes next.
Tony read the tail number on the Cessna as it took off—November-9-6-3-6-Victor. A fixed-gear 182—a little utility plane that he particularly liked. It hauled whatever you could fit inside and landed on short, rough strips—perfect for running drugs. That big shed must be a hangar. He looked inside and saw the stolen gravel truck.
Although Tony grew up in the ‘hood, his two years as a grunt in the Air Force taught him a few things. He still knew a contact at the FAA he could squeeze. If they’d filed a flight plan, he’d get their destination.
Driving back to the highway, he considered whether to retrieve Luigi’s gun. He’d watched the older goon wipe it clean and press it into Frank Smith’s bound palm then toss it to the pavement. No, he’d leave it. That way the real Frank Smith would be in trouble with the Feds as well as the Mob. Nowhere to turn. After Uomo Grasso made him a corpse, the killing of the truck driver would seal his identity as alias Frank Speck, alias Tony Ferragamo. Even if the Feds dug deeper and compared prints, it bought Tony time. The important thing was to fool Grasso, not the Feds.
* * *
Frank and Roya lay in a heap in the back of the plane, both securely bound. Pain shot from Frank’s knees, elbows and hips after landing on the gravel in that truck. Blood clotted at Roya’s hairline and ran down her arm from a wound at her shoulder, her skin and clothes dusty from the gravel truck. Frank looked down at his suit. Streaked with filth. A blood stain spread across his trousers at the knee. He couldn’t see his hands and feet but felt sticky blood between his fingers. The roar of the airplane deafened him.
Roya twisted position and her lips brushed his ear. “My hands tingle. That’s a good sign. Thanks for freeing my elbows—that tape felt like a tourniquet.”
Frank wondered again about Roya. Could he trust her? She wasn’t some random motorist whose car broke down. She knew his name. Her identification was forged. She’d been hauling weapons in her vehicle. Whatever she wanted must be big—she was going through hell to get it. One thing—she must see a way out of this mess or she’d never have let herself get trapped.
* * *
Agent Stan Harris sat at his desk in the FBI Chicago Bureau working through a stack of reports. A snitch looking for favors had given a lead on Tony Ferragamo alias Frank Speck. Tony had now slipped away from the witness protection program and assumed the name of Frank Smith. Harris didn’t much care what happened to Tony but he was in charge of the case and a witness gone missing didn’t help his career.
One report was about the shooting of a truck driver outside St. Louis. Something for the local police. He noted that ballistics confirmed the gun at the scene as the murder weapon. But then something peculiar. A search of the prints turned up the name Frank Smith and that brought it to Harris’ desk. That was interesting—those prints came from Census duty. Ferragamo must’ve used that alias a lot of times. Harris pulled out the proper form and filled out a request for the prints of a protected witness. Might as well cover all the bases.
HOW TO PLAY–This is an interactive story based on Nate’s game in my novel. You get to say what comes next:
1.) KEEP IT SHORT – It’s easy to play Nate’s game. Just enter your idea as a comment like, “their jeep drives off a cliff.” Don’t worry about form—just suggest the next step in the story. I’ll pick one, write it, and post it as a scene in serial form.
2.) KEEP IT CLEAN – I hold the veto pen. Since this is an experiment, I get to add rules as we go along.
3.) SHARE – Your posts are a precious gift to me. Maybe you’ll help write my next novel. Maybe we’ll just have a great time. I take you at your word that all ideas are your original thoughts. No criticism. No arguments. No lawsuits allowed. Let’s have some fun.