Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring!!! It has been like that for the last ten minutes!
Nellie shifted her weight from one foot to the other. She was tall, maybe 5’7”, well developed, hourglass shaped. She was light complexioned with distinguished Latin features.
She wore a tailored black pant suit, a white blouse set off with a big, white bow tied in front.
Over this she had a light tan trench coat, unbuttoned, that flowed from her body in the soft afternoon summer breeze.
A close-up revealed that she was crying, a rivulet of tears found its way down her cheekbones as her eyes narrowed. Her eyes were big and brown surrounded by long black lashes. Her long raven-like black hair reached inches well below her shoulders. She was really good looking.
She was dressed elegantly. The black, tight-fitting business suit was stunning, to say the least.
Ring, ring, ring, ring!!
“Shucks!”, she said under her breath. Why doesn’t he answer?
The phone was in front of a bodega and two young Latinos waited impatiently to use it. They were no more than sixteen or seventeen. Finally, Miguel, the short, dark complexioned lad, had to say something. He wore an extra large fatigue jacket and khaki tee shirt. His pants were baggy and beltless.
His Adidas were sloppy and untied. “Hey babeeeey!”, he hissed, “Yo’ ‘ole man, he ain’t home so let us get to da phone!” Chico felt obliged to chime in. If he ain’t there, honey, we show you a fine time!” .......
The South Bronx. East 138th Street. Streets of teeming tenements. Rows of 3 and 4-story walk-ups. Stone steps with high arching doorways, walk-in basement apartments. Five and six-story buildings, street after street.
The Major Deegan Expressway to the south and west. The Bruckner Expressway to the east. To the west, the Harlem River.
Refuse strewn vacant lots, abandoned cars.
And in the midst, rises these tall colossuses, 15-story walls of bricks called ‘the Projects.” Each floor with sixteen apartments; each apartment with five to ten inhabitants.
A STORM IN KPELLE-BASSA LAND
The C-140 droned in the darkness. The cabin was dark, except for the aux lamps and exit lights. There are 15 military on board, the pilots, and the navigator in the cockpit and a man in plain clothes, holding onto a briefcase as if it were gold. One Captain, one Looey, a Warrant Officer, a couple of sergeants, some in dress, others in fatigues. All clean. He had counted the passengers as he boarded the plane in Frankfurt. And he counted them again as he sized up each one. Medals always tell a story.
Bill Barlow reflected on the past few years.
Three years ago he was at home wondering what his next step in life would be.
He’d been out of the military for six months and wanted to get as far away from soldiering as possible. He’d done it all and seen enough bloodshed and misery for a thousand wars........
Then, out of nowhere, he was recruited by the CIA as a contractor, through a fellow officer he’d been on an assignment in Pakistan which was ok since he really did not want to make this kind of work his life. He went back to Pakistan and Kuwait, then Afghanistan and Iraq. He learned to practice Islam..........
Two days ago, the opposition overran the city. I have…had sources in place…they lost track of Liz. One of my men is also missing. My office received an email. Here!!” Ridgeway pulled the paper from his pocket.......
THE ODELLIAH DAVIS CASE
It’s Friday afternoon about 4:45 pm; almost quitting time. Odelliah sits at her desk dreading the drive home, for it is the dead of winter, 21 degrees outside, wind blowing at 23 miles an hour, seven inches of snow already on the ground and still falling.......
The phone on her desk rings and she answers.
“Veteran’s Association, may we help you?”
“Miss Davis, this is Jeffery Hawthorne”
“How you doin’, Mr. Hawthorne?”
“Miss Davis…I’m stone outta my pills and the drugstore says they’s not gonna bring ‘um today ‘cause o’ the storm.
“Three seconds and everybody is dead!” she says under her breath, as she shoves a shopping bag over the counter, while stepping back to reveal the large handgun in her waistband. Responding to the warning, the teller empties her cash drawer into the bag, without the bait packs.......
Its midnight and Cindi is pacing the floor. “We haven’t heard from Dad yet.“ she says to Anne.
“He called and said he was leaving around six… here it is 12 o’clock. I know it snowed and there a blackout, but he would have called if he got stuck or went back to the office. It’s my birthday today.. I guess!”.........
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