Opening Up A Sequel
I’VE BEEN HEMMING AND HAWING about writing a sequel to my novel, “And Pull The Hole In After You.” It has been a couple of years and, after writing about 30K words that just didn’t work, I’m trying again.
Here is an opening to the new story. I need you to read it and tell me if it works. Does it grab your interest or just confuse you? Is there too much backstory too soon?
I really need some feedback on this, and then I promise that on Monday this blog will return to its usual nonsense.
Time moves at a different pace in winter, after the tourists have gone and quiet comes to the lakeshore. It seems that the rest of the world is a million miles away on the other side of the snow covered mountains that won’t be crossed until spring. Sounds are muffled and less intrusive. The universe is whispering, “You’re safe here.”
It’s a lie.
“We’ve found them.”
“Where are they?” asked the well groomed man seated behind the antique desk. He was inspecting his manicure as his underling reported.
They’re in Idaho of all places – near some lake town with a French name. The guy’s name popped up on the DMV database when he got an Idaho driver’s license. We find him – we find her.”
“Very good – it took long enough, but progress is progress. Send a couple of our boys out there to get her and bring her back here – at once. This all has taken much too long.”
“What about the guy?”
The man got up from behind the desk, crossed to the closet, and slid his vicuna top coat from its hanger.
“Him I don’t care about. It’s her I want. She is the tool I need. Grab her and if he gets in the way – well, perish the thought. Now, I have to go talk to her father,” he said as he slipped into his coat and reached for his hat.
“I’ll take care of it, Sir. I’ll fly two men out and we’ll have her here before the week is out. You have my word on it, Sir.”
“Yes, I do.”
Close to two years had passed since the chaos in San Diego and the heart-pounding flight into the night – two years since the blood and the dead bodies – Two years since the end of Beverly Deltino and the unheralded arrival of Laura Lovejoy – born in the headlong dash across the country and deep into the criminal underworlds of San Diego and Tijuana. She’d had to fight for her life while evading the pursuit of both her husband, who wanted her dead, and the FBI who wanted her for a murder she didn’t commit.
Her escape was complicated enough, but it became even more so when she met Davis Lovejoy, a man who had left behind his own past and then gave up everything he had to be with her. That choice turned them both into targets and made them do things to survive they had never dreamed of in their worst nightmares.
For most of the first year that Laura and Davis were in Idaho they lived like they were the smallest edible creatures in a forest filled with hungry predators. They jumped at every sound, at every meeting with someone new. For the first six weeks they took turns sleeping, needing to be instantly ready to fend off any attack. The terror of the previous months had turned up their radar and every blip was seen as an incoming potential enemy.
In time their constant state of alarm exhausted them and the failure of any attack to materialize started to inch them toward a more normal life. Not entirely normal. They were still wary and kept to themselves. They maintained two “bug-out bags” – one by the front door and another by the back. Each bag contained everything that they might need to survive completely on their own for at least 72 hours: water and energy bars, warm clothing, weapons and extra ammunition, a hand-crank radio, a map of the surrounding states, and cash – lots of cash. Each duffel bag held at least twenty-five thousand dollars. In a red, pocket file, next to the money, was the fake identity papers used to create the fictional Laura Lovejoy.
Growing up as the privileged daughter of the head of one of New York’s Five Mafia Families had instilled in her a tough instinct for survival and a motivation to live her life by her own rules. When she decided to leave Dominic, her abusive “enforcer” husband, rebelling against centuries of Family tradition and unspoken law, her instincts and life experiences were put to a deadly test.
With their time in Idaho giving them a sense of security, they thought they had finally broken away from their pursuers and found refuge. Weeks, then months passed and they relaxed, but the bug-out bags stayed by the doors. Each weapon stayed loaded – with the safety off.
They should have known better.
It’s never that simple.