I am doing this for many different reasons, such as the fact that I don’t have access to my computer at the moment.  But my loss is your gain.  I present an excerpt from my current work-in-progress, While Rome Burns.


Daniels cursed under his breath.  How had that kid conned him into this?  He drew his service pistol and thumbed the release.  The clip slid free and he counted the bullets he had left.


Six fucking bullets and at least a baker’s dozen worth of bad guys down the hall.  He peaked around the corner of the hallway and saw the stairwell door shut with a click as Nathan disappeared upstairs.  Turning back around, he slammed the clip home.  What the hell was he going to do?

Daniels slid away from the wall and stood on tired feet.  What he would’ve given for a soft bed or a comfortable armchair at that moment.  Instead, he was here preparing to take out a gaggle of well-armed men and women with violence on their minds.  Not a place anyone—let alone an overweight cop close to retirement—wanted to be.

The first several doors he tried on either side of the hallway were locked, the glass beside them dark.  He’d made it around into another hallway before he found one unlocked.  This one didn’t have any glass beside it, and it opened into a walk-in broom closet.  Looking both ways, Daniels stepped inside and closed the door before flipping on the light.

Shelving lined two walls, cleaning chemicals warring with toilet paper for space.  A mop and bucket sat in one corner, an industrial sink in the other.  Several broken brooms hung from hooks on the wall.

Eyes flitting over the shelves for anything useful, Daniels cursed again.  He wished he’d paid better attention in high school chemistry.  There had to be something flammable here.  That or something that would blow up if he looked at it weird.  But in his experience, office buildings seldom held anything like nitro glycerin or TNT.

A couple of the upper shelves were out of reach and he was contemplating finding a chair to stand on when he heard a noise from the hallway and froze.  The noise came again, and Daniels recognized it as glass breaking.  Mumbling words reached his ears before the sounds of more glass breaking.  Someone must be breaking into the offices to look for—well, Daniels didn’t know what, but there must be a reason.

Sounds of breaking glass came again, and Daniels flicked off the light switch.  If they were searching each room, then they’d find him eventually.  Best not to give them a warning that he was there.  Reaching behind him, he fumbled one of the broken brooms off the wall.  His fingers scraped against the rough wood as he braced it against the wall, snapping it in half at the same time the glass in the office next door shattered.  Nervous fingers felt along the break, stripping away the wood and creating as much of a point as was possible.

A bullet where there shouldn’t be one would alert the rest of the gunmen; he had to do this fast and silent.  One or two, he thought he could handle.  If he moved fast enough.  Three gunmen, or more, and he might be in trouble.  He could always go for his pistol if he had to, but—

The doorknob turned and the door creaked open.  A hand appeared, fumbling for the light switch as the thumped against the wall to reveal two men.

As the light hit him, Daniels sprang forward the best he could, broomstick outstretched.  The point took the nearest gunman in the throat.  Blood, crimson against the white hallway walls, sprayed everywhere.  Daniels withdrew his makeshift spear, thrusting forward again with the tip as the first gunman collapsed at his feet.

Shock and surprise on his face, the second gunman staggered backwards.  The spear point just missed him, throwing Daniels off balance.  Daniels attempted to recover, but the first gunman’s hands latched onto his leg, dragging the police lieutenant down on top of him.

Air rushed out of Daniels’s lungs as he collapsed.  The man below him thrashed in throws of agony as Daniels attempted to get free.  But instead of righting himself, Daniels received a knee to the solarplexus.  What little air he’d recovered left him again.  Daniels tried to inhale, but couldn’t.  Panic flared in his head as he rolled over.  He had to breathe again, he had to.

But it seemed impossible.  Felt impossible.  His eyes rolled upward and Daniels saw the other gunman advancing, a bare knife in hand.  Hate, raw and hard, shone in his wide eyes.


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