Sneak Peek: If I Should Die Chapter Three

I hope you enjoy this Friday’s Sneak Peek If I Should Die Chapter Three. If I Should Die is my current primary WIP (work-in-progress). This sneak peek is part of a six-week project in which I share parts of this story. I look forward to your comments and reactions.

This yacht looks similar to Miranda’s. It is for sale in Portland.

What’s the Book About?

Miranda has built a successful Freedom Waterway across the inland waters of the United States. Refugees from the religious oppression of the Fellowship find safety and freedom aboard her 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.

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.

Fellowship symbol rendered by Lynette M. Burrows © Robert Burrows this is part of a Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three of the Fellowship Dystopia Series...

Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three

By Lynette M. Burrows © 2020

Dark thunderclouds and rain blanked out the world beyond the Lady Angelfish, except when a burst of lightning cracked. Beryl did a practiced two-and-a-half step timed with the rock and sway of the boat and followed Miranda out onto the deck. A gust blew the rain slicker’s hood off Beryl’s head. Drenched in seconds, the wind blew and glued a wisp of hair to her face. She smiled. What happened to her didn’t matter. Miranda, on the other hand….

“You will get yourself captured or killed.” Beryl shouted over the torrent of rain drumming on the deck.

“He’s my brother. I can’t leave him out there,” Miranda’s shout cut through the wind that whistled around the Lady’s cabin.

“He hasn’t signaled. Maybe he was delayed.”

“Or captured, or in danger, or—his batteries died while waiting for us.”

“Maybe he’s hunkered down until the storm passes.”

Miranda looked up from the swim platform to Beryl. “You got somewhere else to be?”

She answered with a smile. I won’t leave you, Miranda. Not like she did her daughter. You want your brother? We’ll get your brother. She gripped the rain-slicked safety rails and descended the three steps to the swim platform. Waves broke over the platform. Flooded her deck shoes. Chilled her feet.

Miranda untethered the dinghy from the edge of the Lady. The little boat swung in the wind, held only by the crane-like davit. She punched the davit’s control and lowered the dinghy into the water.

Beryl grabbed the closest edge, the boat’s gunwale, pulled it close to the platform.

Miranda climbed in and struggled against the wind to detach the boat from the davit’s lifting harness.

The dinghy’s a large target. “It’d be safer to swim or walk across.” Beryl side-eyed the shore less than fifteen feet away. Too dark to see what waited there. “Anchor a little closer—”

“I will not risk taking the Lady closer to an unknown shore. The current’s strong, but you and I could swim it… and I know David is a strong enough swimmer. But are you prepared to carry the refugee through this current?”

Beryl screwed her mouth to the side, acknowledged Miranda’s point.

Miranda released the lifting harness, then grabbed the swim platform railing to hold the dinghy in place.

Beryl climbed aboard.

The wind buffeted them and the little boat bounced unnaturally. Thunder rumbled long and loud. And the rain drilled them and sizzled on the gurgling river water. It tested Beryl. Her smile faded and she white-knuckled the gunwales.

Miranda grinned and guided the boat toward shore. The little boat’s trolling motor fought the chop and slowly crossed the water.

Beryl had never grown to love life on the boat, not the way Miranda did. But Beryl tolerated it, would continue to tolerate it, for Miranda.

Three feet from shore, Beryl took her pistol out of her holster to keep it dry. Hopped into knee deep water. She gasped. Chill bumps raced along her skin. Determined, she sucked in air and pulled the dinghy behind her. In three strides, the waves lapped her ankles. She gave the boat a mighty tug and beached it. Hand up to Miranda for “stay put.” Pistol safety off, trigger finger alongside the trigger guard, she stepped further inland—barrel first.

A Work-in-Progress

What you read here is a work-in-progress, meaning it’s an early draft. It has not had the final edits and polish that the published version will have. Some things may end up on the “editing floor” and not appear in the book at all. If you missed the earlier chapter, you can catch up. Chapter 1. Chapter two


Originally, I had intended that this series of posts would be an adjunct to videos of me reading these chapters aloud. As you know, my video production came to a screeching halt on the first week because of technical issues. The good news? I overcame the technical issues. Video one is out. I hope to “catch-up” the recordings in short order.

In video one I read the entire first chapter of If I Should Die.

Stay Tuned

I hope Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three brought you a little break from the fear and difficulties surrounding the C-19 virus crisis. Please stay aware of how stressed you are. Take breaks from the 24-hour news. Use the telephone or internet to stay connected to your friends and loved ones. Find a small pleasure and a moment of gratitude every day.

I take pleasure in my morning cup of coffee, in the comic antics of my dogs, and in communicating with my friends and loved ones. Thank you for coming by—for reading—for listening.

In these trying times, one can’t predict what will happen next. The plan is that If I Should Die will be published in the late fall of 2020. Stay tuned here for reports on my writing progress. The sneak peek at chapter four will posted here next Friday. Please leave a comment to let me know how you are doing.


  1. Still working the day job, and trying to figure out the WIP, so not much has changed for me. Glad to see you’re continuing to make progress! I enjoyed the preview, and am looking forward to reading the book!

    1. I understand. My greatest change (and sorrow) is that I don’t get to see my grandkids. Otherwise it’s situation normal here. Thanks for reading and commenting, Jennette.

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