TIME SPENT: Prologue

(Note: TIME SPENT is the second volume in a story called “313”. The first volume, MISSING TIME, is available to buy in eBook and Print editions! Go to the Super Handy Links Page to link to the Prologue for a free look and links to buy the book! Also, for a recap of the characters and plot of MISSING TIME, go here!)

Prologue

“You don’t forget the end of the world.”

Sugary sweet pop music floated down from the speaker on the ceiling above: Taylor Swift breaking up with yet another boyfriend, and singing to the world about it.

Becca cringed internally.

The nail technician applying polish to her toes was droning on about something: baby daddy drama of some utterly ridiculous kind. Becca resisted the urge to reach out with her mind and silence the woman. Cindy? Candy? She had forgotten her name.

She feigned listening, but her mind was elsewhere. She risked only quick, furtive glances toward the door to the salon. Her quarry was late.

“Hang tight, Miller, we have a possible target incoming,” said a voice over the earbud in her right ear. It was connected to the device on her back by a slim cord, hidden by the long blonde hair which hung down over her ear.

“Mm-hmm,” she said quietly.

“I know right??” said Cindy / Candy, assuming Becca was speaking to her. “He’s such a douchebag, I swear!”

“Sounds like a winner,” Becca said.

The door to the salon opened.

A man walked in, his face concealed by the shadow of the gray hoodie he wore. He had dark brown skin, she could tell from his hands, medium height and build. He stopped just inside the door as the little chime sounded. The door swung slowly closed as he stepped forward and looked around.

“Is it him, Miller?”

Becca didn’t reply. Again, she resisted the impulse to take over the man’s body and force him to lift his hood.

“Hello,” the salon manager, a slim Asian woman in her mid-forties, greeted him, “can I help you, sir?”

“Miller, is it our guy or not?”

“No, thanks,” he said. His voice was familiar somehow. “I’m looking for….”

He spotted Becca at the back of the salon. He pushed past the manager and walked toward her quickly.

“Shit,” Becca said, recognizing him. “What the fuck is he doing here?”

“Go! All units, go!” said the voice in her ear.

“No, wait!” Becca said, jumping to her feet, but it was too late.

Agents burst in the front and back doors, turned around from where they had been sitting at nail stations, hair stations, stood from the waiting area. All drew their weapons and surrounded the man in the hoodie.

The man calmly raised his hands. “Hello, Becca,” he said. “Long time no see.”

She reached across him and yanked the hood back, revealing Kevin’s bald head, clean shaven face and penetrating brown eyes.

“Not long enough,” she said.

Kevin put his hands down. The agents tensed, but held their fire.

“These men,” Kevin said, “Are you using your powers on them?”

Becca grinned. “They’re with me!” She took out her badge and showed it to him. Kevin nodded.

One of the agents, who had come in the back door to the salon, approached Becca from her right. “Powers? What’s going on, Miller? Who is this and what is he talking about?”

Kevin was silent, waiting for her to answer.

“Someone I really hoped I’d never have to look at again,” she said, putting her badge away.

“I didn’t think you would,” Kevin said. “But it’s important. You remember the last time I saw you?”

Becca rolled her eyes. “You’re kidding, right? Um, yeah. You don’t forget the end of the world.”

“It’s worse. Everything’s worse.”

“End of the what?” the agent asked.

“The world,” Kevin said. “And it’s closer than you think.”

Becca reached into her purse. “Sorry, I’m gonna need a cig if I have to deal with this.”

“You smoke now?” Kevin asked.

She raised an eyebrow. “Seriously? That’s the part of all this that bothers you?”

Kevin sighed, glancing around at the armed agents who surrounded them. She had a point.

“Do you think you could get them to lower their guns?” he asked.

“Cigarette first,” Becca said, holding it between her lips and raising her lighter to it.

“There’s kind of a time factor here,” he said.

“Isn’t there always?” she asked in a nasal voice as she held back, then released a billow of smoke. Once she was satisfied, she nodded to one of the men. They lowered their guns, but stared warily at Kevin.

“Okay, now why the fuck are you here? After what happened,” her thoughts turned to the rooftop, the crack in the sky, but she quickly pushed aside the image, “you said it was dangerous for us to be together.”

“It is,” he said. “But I didn’t have a choice. I need your help.”

Becca rolled her eyes. “What else is new?”

“I can feel you in there, you know,” Kevin said, “scrabbling around in my head. You know that doesn’t work. Nothing works on me.”

Becca gave him an odd look. “You what? I’m not doing anything.”

Kevin’s eyes widened. “Oh no.”

“What oh no? Oh no what?”

Kevin raised a hand to his throat, and made a choking sound. He looked around the salon, at Becca, the agents who surrounded them, then behind them through the plate glass window.

“What the fuck?” Becca asked.

Kevin turned back to her, a terrified look on his face. “She’s here.”

“She?”

Kevin convulsed, a terrible dry heave emerging from his mouth. He heaved again, and again, and then collapsed backward.

“Jesus!” Becca said, her cigarette slipping from her mouth.

Two of the agents stepped forward, kneeling over Kevin as his body continued to convulse on the floor. Suddenly, Kevin’s mouth yawned wide, and first one, then another tiny form emerged:

Bees.

Candy screamed.

More and more poured forth, emerging in a dark funnel. The sound of their buzzing began to fill the salon, and men and women swatted at them, backing away from Kevin. Some ran out the front, some out the back. Some cowered in fear at their hair and nail stations.

Becca backed up as the bees spread out. Soon they filled the room, they were getting in her nose and ears. She moved back into a small room with chairs whose backs leaned into wall-mounted sinks. There was a door with a glass window separating the two rooms.

“Miller,” the agent who had spoken before, Michaels, called. She looked back to see he was swarmed with bees, they were clogging his mouth and covering his eyes. Becca reached out to grab his hand but he fell to his knees, then flopped onto his face. His back was a writhing, buzzing mountain.

She slammed the door and watched as the last of the agents ran from the salon, swatting at the massive swarm that clogged the air.

Becca sat on one of the shampoo station chairs, and casually pulled another cigarette from her pack. She held the cigarette between her lips and lit it, as the glass door grew opaque with the writhing forms of the bees.

“Beautiful,” she said, “fucking beautiful.”

End Prologue

TIME SPENT is now available to purchase in eBook ($4.99) and print ($13.99) versions!

“If you leave me here, you won’t like what happens next!”  The mystery of MISSING TIME is over.  Now, the passengers of school bus 313 must deal with an even greater threat, as dangerously powerful foes are unleashed in their world.  Even worse, they are plagued by memories of an event they don’t fully understand.  They must piece together the threads of what happened: the rooftop, the cracks in the sky, and a strange otherworldly being.  Is the bus driver’s prophecy coming true?  The end is closer than you think. TIME SPENT

 Kindle Edition:

http://tinyurl.com/k9j9yxa

 Available in all digital eBook formats at Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/367067

 Available in Print at CreateSpace (PREFERRED):

https://www.createspace.com/4440531

 

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2 Comments

  1. Susan said,

    February 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Nice work, as usual. 🙂


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