Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The New Auroras -- Adam's new novel

Hi Leaders,

A very brief snapshot from my novel, THE NEW AURORAS.

This is in the words of Lieutenant Herbert "Koz" Kozlowski. From the night he learned he was Koz no longer...becoming known as..CODENAME: TRIPOUT.

It was my wife Beatrix who suspected me all the while. Think she believed I was out there night after night cheating on her. God knows I spent all that time on streets -- if it was me, I would’ve thought the same damn thing.

She followed me that night. One of the biggest drug busts of the century, and she’s down near the docks watching the exchange. Guess it all looked stink. There I was, dressed in a suit and tie, hair slicked back, ready to make the handover, and soon their limo shows.

Out steps their ‘delivery girl.’

I didn’t know whether I wanted to take her or what, but damn those boys are practiced, I’ll tell you. You’ll never get a chance to touch ‘em directly. That takes forever, and with the spate of botched busts that had gone rotten up and down along the Eastern Seaboard, most of the big honchos weren’t going to make a personal appearance and take a chance being left holding the bag. So they’d send out emissaries. People to do their bidding.

And here waltzes out this babe with every possible nip and tuck that can be visited on a body. She’s got an envelope she hands to me, and then stands there, watching for my response.

What happens after this is a total haze. My mind draws a blank, so pardon me, see, if the memories are patchy. Ever since then, so’s been the rest of my life. But the head shrinkers tell me this is good for me, so let’s make ‘em happy, shall we?

Way it looked to me was that Beatrix was getting out of the car to shout a message. Like I said, if I were in her shoes, probably might’ve done the exact same thing. What was contained in that yell -- primal as it was -- probably contained the sum of all the frustrations of a woman who not-so-proudly called herself a ‘cop’s wife.’

Everything went into that.

All her fears, anxieties, and wishes for the future. But her cries were drowned out by the sound of sub-machine gun fire coming from the open windows of the limo. Bullets flying everywhere, those bastards took out their delivery girl. Their primary target was my poor Beattie. Guess they figured the deal was raw, and we were going to pay for it going south. I took two hits somewhere in my shoulder and my chest, they tell me, but I say to you now I don’t feel a thing, would you believe me?

Doubt it.

But I didn’t feel a thing. It was like another part of me took over, like another source of strength was inside me, and was commanding me what to do.

As I remember it -- and lemme tell you this is hurting me just to bring it back to paper -- the first shot did in my Beattie. Most human beings would be hard-pressed to take one in the gut from any sort of gun, but these scumbags were packing some major artillery. I’m seeing her from across the open divide, convulsing, propped up against the wheelbase of our car, choking blood all over her white top, a sopping bloody mess. And suddenly I just make a run for it.

Bullets are flying all around me, but I’m charging in a straight line for Beatrix, oblivious to my surroundings (funny how the Port Authority’s police weren’t alerted to the situation - someone must’ve paid ‘em off to stay the hell away). I’m darting for her, like a madman, but not a single bullet hits me. (Again, this is all in the words of the guy I didn’t waste, so if there are some details missing you understand why.)

Picture this - it’s like time’s slowed down, and you’re seeing everything in super slow-mo. This is what it felt like to me later, when I learned to harness this power. You feel like you can pick the rounds out of the air like almonds, and throw them back in the other direction. That’s the ‘power’ I’m talking about.

My particular power.

So I’m running along, dodging everything, leaping through the air, and I’d be a damned fool if I told you I didn’t make that last huge leap from at least twenty yards out. It carried me clear to Beattie’s car, and I landed hard next to her - but still, scrapes and all, and having lost teeth in the exchange, I’m still not feeling any pain. I’m bleeding heavily from the shoulder as well -- gushing, actually -- But still not feeling an ounce of pain (doctors told me afterward someone who’d sustained my sorts of injuries would’ve blacked out from the first impact. They even called me a ‘freak of nature.’) I put my fingers to Beattie’s neck, or so it was told, but by then she didn’t have a pulse.

I pat my holster to see if my gun’s still with me, but on the mad dash between my car to Beatrix’s I lost it. I scan the horizon, they said, noticed it lying like ten feet from my car, and -- you won’t believe me, still -- but I can make out fine details from a distance of over a hundred feet, and that probably explains why I was able to see it from so far out.

But back to the story.

Meanwhile there’s this huge Lincoln bearing down on me with thunderous speed (I read that police report about two hundred times, so I know it off-by-heart), and from what I’d read, I had about a couple of seconds to jump the hell out of the way.

It was too late.

The limo comes crashing into Beatrix’s car, and the force of her car then hitting me sends me flying through the air.

I come landing on the tarmac with a thud. Wait, though, ‘cause it gets better.