Welcome to sneak peek, If I Should Die, Chapter 6. This is the sixth (Duh) installment of sneak peeks at my WIP (work-in-progress). If you’ve already read chapters 1-5, skip the synopsis and recap and go to the section labeled chapter 6.
Miranda has built a successful Safe Harbor rescue system across the inland waters of the United States. Refugees from the religious oppression of the Fellowship find safety and freedom aboard the Safe Harbor boats. But now her brother needs rescued so he can complete his mission. She’s committed to helping him, but she’s a peace-loving woman. Will she resort to violence and save lives or stick to her principles and sacrifice many?
Chapter One: Miranda pilots her yacht, the Lady Angelfish, up the Missouri River to rescue her brother, but the U.S. Coast Guard and a Second Sphere agent stop her for a “routine” inspection. You can read a brief sample or watch me read the entire Chapter One.
Chapter Two: Irene, Miranda’s sister, can’t believe she’s the wife of the newly appointed Prophet. Nor can she believe she’s at the White House sitting with President Joseph Kennedy Jr. But there are drawbacks to being the Prophet’s wife. When she’s offered a role in a new “secret” project, she’s more than intrigued. You can watch me read the entire Chapter Two or read a brief sample.
Chapter Three: As a nighttime thunderstorm rages, Beryl tries to persuade Miranda to wait. But Miranda insists she must go ashore to find her brother. And since Beryl has sworn to protect Miranda, she must go too. But when someone sneaks up on them, Beryl’s hesitation to shoot endangers them. You can watch me read the entire Chapter Three or read a brief sample.
Chapter Four: After Miranda rescues her brother, he insists she’s in danger because his refugee claims that the Azrael are being reborn. Beryl reminds him that they destroyed the island with all the equipment and records for how to clone Azrael. Miranda can’t help but believe that since they had a Second Sphere agent on board, the Lady Angelfish earlier in the day and he didn’t recognize them, they are safe.You can watch me read the entire Chapter Four or read a brief sample.
Chapter Five: Irene is enjoying a day out with her daughters. Their visit to an ice cream parlor erupts into pandemonium when a car bomb explodes nearby. Life interrupted and delayed the YouTube video of this reading, but it should appear soon. Or you can read a brief sample.
If I Should Die, Chapter 6
By Lynette M. Burrows ©2020
Beryl gripped the pilot’s wheel tighter. She had a bad feeling about this trip. And so far she’d been right. Everything had gone wrong.
Submerged rocks and snags, the rock jetties that lined the shores, and the river’s rapid current made the Missouri a navigation nightmare under normal circumstances. Now they also had a river littered with debris from the storm. Silent projectiles and snags that lay in wait for them. How did Miranda avoid scuttling the Lady last night? In the dark with the storm stirred water, there’s no way she could have seen everything. Luck? More than luck?
Beryl had delayed launch because of the early morning fog. Finally, when the sun had burned off the fog and warmed the air, she launched. Only a half-hour upriver debris foul the props and before she’d caught on to the problem, flooded and overheated the engines. Somehow Wanda cleared the props and the flooded engines in a little less than an hour. Once bitten, Beryl didn’t let her attention waiver.
She slowed the engines and guided the boat around whatever sunken object lay beneath another bump in the water. Got the boat back into the travel lane. The slap of water on rocks made a percussion counterpoint to the burble of the engines.
Behind the trees to port, a car zoomed up a county road that twisted away from the river. She couldn’t keep from smiling. Ever since she’d escaped Redemption, she couldn’t get enough of the sights and sounds of the land.
She spotted the next mile marker buoy. Only 71? Damn. Good thing the meet isn’t until nine o’clock tonight. Might take us that long to get there.
A glance at the chart confirmed what she knew. They would reach the staunch Fellowship town of Jefferson City about noon. Not the greatest timing. Only one of the challenges this trip entailed.
So reckless to take the Lady halfway to Kansas City, but that was Miranda’s decision. Beryl snorted. So glad to not make those kinds of decisions anymore. And as long as the weather held, no slow traffic got in the way, and Murphy’s Law stayed away—they’d deliver their passengers on time. Not soon enough, but at least it was a relatively short trip.
Birds chirped. A soft, warm breeze caressed her skin. She inhaled the fresh scent of damp earth. One could almost imagine the Fellowship didn’t exist.
“Good morning,” an unfamiliar female voice called.
Beryl spared a quick glance behind her.
The girl refugee, Leslie, stood on the main deck close to the doors to the salon.
Attention back on the water, Beryl remembered her manners. “Good morning.” What is the refugee doing outside? Does she want to be seen? Or does she plan to argue about the Azrael again? “Living dangerously?”
“Wanda said it was safe to come out now. She said I could hang some wet things on the clothesline.”
“Sure.” Beryl guided the boat past yet another rock jetty. “But we’ve got less than ten minutes before we pass the next Fellowship town.”
“I’ll hurry.” The girl noisily clambered up onto the locker.
The squeal of the retractable clothesline sounded. Soon, clothes snapped and popped in the breeze and the girl’s footsteps retreated into the salon.
That was okay with Beryl. She wasn’t much of a conversationalist. In fact, she wasn’t much of a people person either. Ten years in Redemption’s isolation cells had seen to that.
Flap-flap. Redemption also had made her acutely aware of sounds. She glanced over her shoulder. Two pairs of blue jeans, two shirts, and two jackets fluttered in the breeze. His and hers?
The boat pitched against waves. She concentrated, scanned the waters over and over. The miles passed slow and steady.
Honk-honk-honk. Honk-honk. A flock of geese flew over them. Headed south.
She couldn’t fault Miranda for helping her brother. But we damn sure shouldn’t be here. We should be headed south too. Headed to their winter hideaway on Isla Mujeres’s carefree beaches. Trouble waited for them upriver. She could feel it.
The current crisis notwithstanding, my hope—my plan—is to publish If I Should Die in the late fall. If you would like to stay up-to-date on my progress and be part of my advanced readers team, please sign up for Burrows Insiders.
What’s Your Vote?
If I Should Die, chapter 6 is as far as I had planned to take these sneak peeks. I had hoped the need to shelter at home would have passed by now. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is here to stay awhile. As always, I wish safety and health for you and your loved ones. Please take a moment and vote in the comments below. Should I continue sneak peeks with If I Should Die? Yes or No?