A Crowdsourced Novel
Read it here – Say what comes next.
“Roya, they’re pulling onto the expressway. Should I follow?”
“Naturally.” Roya’s climbed over the console into the front passenger seat of the big SUV. “Don’t lose them.”
When the Cadillac turned onto the ramp, Frank followed, closer than before. Soon they accelerated to highway speed under the glare of halogen lights. Strange, just how vacant the Eisenhower expressway could be that time of the morning.
Roya leaned across to the instrument panel. “Fifty five—they’re playing coy. Close on them. Now! Let them know somebody’s on their tail. Closer—ride their bumper. Go ahead and tap them.”
Frank glanced at Roya and then did as she asked. As soon as their bumper made contact, the Cadillac picked up speed. Frank glanced down. Seventy five. Eighty. The car ahead still pulled away. “They must be doing 90 by now.”
“Lay back, Frank.”
He dropped to 55.
Within a mile, a squad car appeared, its lights flashing. Even at that distance, Frank could hear the siren. The Cadillac and the flashing cherries gained more speed and disappeared around a bend. Frank flinched as two more police cruisers raced by him on each side, sirens blaring, lights flashing. He judged they moved at double his own speed.
Roya graced him with a smile. “Now we see what happens.”
In a few minutes, they slowed for a construction zone. Ahead, a ball of fire. A burning car, crushed hard against a huge bulldozer. Squad cars, stopped amid the construction, their lights making the scene into a carnival. As Frank cruised by, the car disappeared into a blinding eruption of flame lighting the scene like a summer noon and he felt the heat of it through the tinted glass of Tatiana’s SUV. Then it was behind them.
He drove in silence, stunned.
“Don’t let it trouble you Frank. That Nick killed, many times, with no conscience, no pity. His partner, Pete did it for pleasure.”
“We murdered them.”
“Frank, I’m surprised at you. I told you of the leak in their brake line. And that gas tank…ugh” She laughed lightly.
“You created that situation.”
“I did not. How was I to know they would stake out Delores’ house? Count your blessings, Frank. They were looking for Ferragamo, just as we were. Uomo Grasso knows nothing of you. He is hunting his own hit man.”
“So you arranged their deaths.”
She inspected her nails. “Do you really think I plan to meet with Don Grasso before I take down his organization?”
* * *
“No, Uncle Uomo—this is the first I heard.”
The crime lord’s low rumble came across Desi’s cell phone, angry, threatening. “I now have lost four of my best men. Four men I could depend on. Nicklaus and Petro served me well for many years. Would you step into their shoes?”
“Uncle Uomo, I wasn’t there. I was asleep—”
Uomo raised his voice. “You learn exactly how they died and who did this thing. Bring me proof if you do not want to be held responsible.” He paused, then shouted. “And when you do, you will find it is this Ferragamo behind it. Or Speck. Or Smith. Or whatever that man calls himself.” Three heavy breaths, then the low rumbling voice again. “This–this happened near his sister’s home?”
The connection went dead.
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. In general, if it wouldn’t fly in an old 60’s Bond movie, then it’s out. 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. If so, I’ll list your name prominently as a contributor. If not, then 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.