Roya FetovaRoya Fetova

A Crowdsourced Novel

Read it here – Say what comes next.

Tony Ferragamo drove north along the Fox River to Batavia. He spotted a pickup truck idling outside a busy convenience store, parked his stolen car, jumped in the truck and took off. He glanced in the rear-view mirror. Nobody. Tony grinned. He couldn’t keep this ride for long but such a sweet truck. F-150. All the perks. Clean.

He’d take it as far as Lake Geneva—not far past the border in Wisconsin. Used to be a popular hideout for legends like Dillinger. Why not him; why not now? Should be far enough from Uomo’s territory to stay away from informers. He’d have just enough time to get there and ditch the truck before the owner could fill out a police report.

Tony turned west, heading for old Rt. 47. Nobody would look for him there. He’d travel invisible on a road loaded with other trucks and make a straight run to his destination. Find a cheap hotel. Lay low a couple days.

* * *

Frank and Roya sat at the breakfast table with Tatiana. While the girls talked, Frank sipped his second cup of coffee and tried to clear his head, thinking about Roya’s advances the previous night, the flaming wreck with the two dead men, the men they killed on the plane, the man hunt underway by the FBI, the Mob, and a hit man—all gunning for him.


He didn’t respond, just looked at his hands.


He jerked his head up toward Roya.

“You haven’t had a chance to get to know my sister.”

For the first time, Frank studied Tatiana. Taller than Roya. Older. Smiling wrinkles at the corners of her eyes. Tennis muscles. Dark hair. Then he realized he hadn’t met Mr. Tatiana. He didn’t even know her last name. He’d barely talked to her. He stumbled out an apology.

Roya laughed. “I was about to say, ‘And you’re not going to.’ I want to keep her out of our trouble.”

He nodded. His hostess reminded him of his ex-wife. Now his mind swarmed with conflicting thoughts and he slurped more hot coffee, burning his mouth, spilling it down his shirt.

Tatiana dabbed him with a kitchen towel. “No matter. I have plans for the day. Roya, why don’t you take Frank for a country drive up to Lake Geneva? You can walk around the lake and have a nice meal at one of those quaint restaurants. The change will do you good.”

Frank thought about the surreal life he’d lived the past few days. Now this gal suggested taking a vacation? Yeah, she sure sounded like Peggy. It was all he could do to hang onto reality while Tatiana poured him a fresh cup of coffee.

Roya: “Yes. It’ll be safe there. Some relaxation—that’s just what we need to stay sharp.”

Frank finally found his tongue. “I thought you wanted to find Ferragamo and make a deal. Why’d we break away and follow those thugs?”

She cocked her head and looked at him. “The guy wasn’t there, right? Another opportunity came up. That’s how it works, Frank. Anyway, there’s no hurry and I’d rather not discuss it in front of my sister.”

Tatiana: “Take the Mercedes. I need the boat for a shopping trip.”

Roya kissed her on the cheek.

In his dazed state, it took Frank a minute to register that “the boat” meant her SUV.

* * *

With Roya at the wheel, they arrived in Lake Geneva late morning and parked the white Mercedes close to the lake. They decided to take a walk before looking for a place to eat. Both of them steered around the events of the past few days and what Roya planned to do next. Just small talk. Learning a little more about each other. But questions about Roya’s past brought out evasive responses.

They found a small café, sat next to the window and continued their small talk over a meal. As they enjoyed a glass of wine with dessert, Roya stared out the window.   “Frank, I think we just found your double. Look.”

Frank glanced casually outside, then looked again hard.   A man sat on a bench across the street.  It was like seeing a tough version of himself.

Roya placed a small hand on Frank’s clenched fist. “Relax, he didn’t follow us, I’m sure. Just one of those things.” Then she went silent for a long time.

Frank turned and saw her in a state of concentration. “You’re thinking about how to take advantage of this, aren’t you? How to move forward with your crazy goal to kill that mob boss.”

She broke her concentration and smiled.

What happens next? TAKE YOUR TURN [click here]

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.


Filed under Interactive Story, Living Novel

5 responses to “ROYA FETOVA – 18

  1. So what will Roya do about Ferragamo, now that she’s finally found him? Try to get him on her side, like she planned? Something else?

    Let me repeat my question from the last chapter: Have any of you reading this wondered who Tony Ferragamo was hired to kill? Why didn’t he fulfill the contract? How could it be worth so much money to Uomo Grasso, a Chicago mobster? Why is Uomo so set on killing Ferragamo? It’s got to be something big.

  2. Lee Jantzen

    Episode 19

    Uomo Grassi was in Las Vegas meeting with several peers in the murky world of organized crime. Don Grassi ran some small time gambling endeavors back in Chicago—but he was envious of the huge take realized by casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. He itched to bring a casino or two to Cook County. He had worked hard and useed bribes and blackmail to buy the support of city and county officials. The roadblock had been the Governor. He was as hard-nosed as Uomo and demanded a cut of the action from any future casinos. Uomo put out a hit on the Governor—and that traitor Tony Ferragamo took the up-front bonus and failed to deliver. He would eventually have his revenge. For now he was swallowing his pride and seeking a partnersip with the Gionelli Family. This action was counter to everything that he swore on his Mother’s grave that he would not do.

    Agent Harris was afraid the trail of Frank Smith and Roya Fetova was cooling quickly. Knowing there was some type connection between these two fugitives and Uomo Grassi, he had put a couple of extra agents on watching the local mob. He had just learned Uomo was at some type Pow-Wow in Sin City. He doubted the FBI would learn much about the meeting—but he was sure of one thing, two mob families add up to no good.

    Roya told Frank that he was about to get a crash course in enhanced interrogation techniques. When Tony stood up to walk back to his economy hotel, Roya and Frank strolled slowly a half block back holding hands and glancing into shop windows. Finally, Roya noted the room Tony entered. She told Frank to watch the room. She turned around and walked several blocks back to a hardware store they had passed. She had already formulated a list in her mind of what she needed.

  3. Lee Jantzen

    Sorry for the duplicate posts. Take the last one.

  4. I changed the title. Been meaning to for a long time. The story isn’t told in her point-of-view, but Roya is a key character and the centerpiece of the novel as it has developed so far.

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