Six-year-old James was excited. He was at a giant amusement park with a fascinating complex modular domes. He tried to rush past his parents but his Dad grasped James’ hand firmly.
They entered the first dome and there was a huge race track inside. James squeeled while driving with his Dad in a go-kart. The next dome had a mini-golf course. Half-way through the course James decided he was bored and that it was time for his adventure alone; he crept off when his Dad was putting.
He spent his day playing in a giant indoor playground and then went outside to where there were rides for kids to go on. He made friends with another boy named Paul whose parents thought James had permission to ride rides with them.
After a while James felt sick because he hadn’t eaten. He returned to the mini-golf course to wait for his Dad. He sat there for hours but he never saw his parents. He thought they had decided they didn’t want him.
Then he heard his Mom’s angry voice: “JamesWilliam, where have you been?” He hugged his Mom and cried into his Dad’s shoulder when he picked James up. It appeared his adventure alone was more than James had bargained for.
Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I’m pleased to introduce to you today an interview with dog enthusiast, thoughtful, and entertaining writer,Colin Chappell. He is often accompanied by his friendly and energetic dogRay. In fact, Ray is one of Colin’sfavorite topics. You can visit Colin on his blog: A Dogs Life? (Stories of Me and Him).
1. Please Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?
My name is Colin Chappell. When I was born, my parents were expecting a girl so, when I arrived, they showed great initiative by thumbing through the BBC Radio Times looking for male names. If Colin Yearsley (a classical pianist) had a second name, I would have probably had a second name also; my older sister did. I am originally from Peterborough (U.K.), and now live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada (on the outskirts of Toronto).
I was born immediately after WWII and moved around the U.K. a lot when I was young because both my parents were in the theater. My Dad designed and painted scenery, while my Mum worked in the costumes area.
The introduction of television decimated the demand for theater and my parents had to make some major decisions. Growing up, my Mum held down multiple jobs and my Dad came home only on weekends. He was working approximately one-hundred-miles away from where we lived. My Dad eventually decided to build his own house. He learned how to do this successfully from library books, visiting construction sites, and asking a ton of questions.
2. What Kind of Affect Has Your Childhood Had On You?
I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.
I wanted to be a locomotive driver, but was told that I couldn’t do this job by my Dad. I went to college to pursue a career as ‘Master’ of a cargo ship. I achieved a 2nd Class Honors Certificate and was welcomed into the Blue Star Line. I was ready to join ‘Scottish Star’ in Glasgow; however, I failed a medical exam which blocked my first chosen career path. This was my welcome to the world of adulthood and the realities of the world.
“I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.” – Collin Chappell
3. When Did You Being Writing and Blogging?
I have always enjoyed writing short pieces and songs, but they were always private and I rarely shared my work. I cannot recall how I discovered blogging. But I had already been adopted by my dog Ray and wanted to share our experiences. It was also an opportunity to write publicly which was appealing to me. My blog was officially launched in October, 2014.
Later, my desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray.He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!
4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You? Why Do You Write?
Writing is rewarding for many reasons. It allows me to express myself, to be as creative as I can, and to have some tangible evidence of my creativity and expression. No doubt there are psychological benefits to writing also. Poetry is a natural extension of writing because of my earlier days song writing; however, my blog is also my vehicle to present my poetry to the world.
Blogging is the corner stone of my literary endeavors because not only can I now share with the world, but I can receive feedback. I have access to links to bloggers and writers with similar interests and concepts. As well, I am generally able to create a worldwide network of wonderful people. Over time I have developed friends around the world of all ages, cultures, religious beliefs (etc.) Now I have the pleasure of knowing many details about friends which go well beyond mere blogging.
” . . . [M]y desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!” – Colin Chappell
5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Is There A Time of Day You Most Enjoy Writing?
Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.
Ray is also hugely inspiring.He is unlike any dog I have ever known. Just by watching him (which I do a lot) I’m invariably provided with the basis for a blog post. I also inspire and motivate myself.I am retired so have the luxury of as much time as I wish to allocate to blogging and writing but I do have many other interests.
There isn’t a particular time of day I enjoy writing more. Although, mornings and late evenings tend to be my most productive times. This is due more to convenience relative to other day to day activities. It’s not that I feel more particularly creative during these times.
7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?
I have two active projects at the moment:
My first priority is promoting my book: Who Said I was up for Adoption?All profits from this book go to theHumane Societywhom rescued my beloved Ray. It’s hard to make the whole world aware of a book without investing large sums of money to market it.Self-promoting is more financially feasible, but a difficult and time consuming job.
My second priority is publishing a book of my poems. It is tentatively titled: Tina andOtherStories and could be available Spring 2017. My poetry book is ready to be published but some financial decisions have to be made.
I am uncomfortable making these choices until I have a better grasp of how Ray’s book is selling. Hopefully, I can make a decision within the next six to eight-weeks. I also have various other similar projects ‘on the back burner,’ but they will have to wait.
“Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.” – Colin Chappell
You can purchase Colin’s book from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Indigo, Google Play, Nook, and IBooks. Here’s another link to Colin’s page where you can find links to all book sellers noted: HERE.
9. Can You Briefly Describe Your Publishing Process? Will You Continue With the Same Process in the Future?
I researched a number of leads before publishing and just as life in general — you get what you pay for. The inexpensive route (a relative term) dictated I take responsibility for areas of publishing I knew nothing about.
If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world becausedog loversexistin every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’sHumane Society.
My compromise was to have a contract with FriesenPress. They provided their expertise in cover design, book layout, proofreading, overall suggestions, legalities, and ensuring Ray’s book was available to all major book retailers. Regrets? I have none, although, what I learned during this publishing process will reduce the cost of publishing my poetry book!
10. Do You Have A Particular Writing Process?
Blogging – I write from heart to keyboard, and then read, re-read, re-read, fine tuning the piece. Sometimes I will leave a post for a few hours and then read it again to get a fresh perspective. I like to plan to create ahead of time, but more often I end up creating immediately prior to posting. I will not hit the ‘Publish’ button unless I am absolutely happy with my post.
Book Writing– I use exactly the same process, especially with poetry.Reading a poem can often draw attention to a bad line or difficult rhythm. My intended book of poetry is being reviewed, although, it was completed well over six-months ago.Who Said I was up forAdoption? was completed over a nine-month period, but took an additional eighteen-months to polish well enough to publish.
“If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world becausedog loversexist in everycountry. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’sHumane Society.” – Colin Chappell
11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas or Genres of Reading and Writing?
I have little time for reading fiction — JRR Tolkein being the exception. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fiction, but more that I want to understand more about people and the real world. I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need torelate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with fiction.
12. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers?
Write… write… write.
Be honest to yourself.
Write… write… write.
Use blogging as much as you can because there is so much support out there in the blogging world for novice writers.
Write… write… write.
If you are pleased with what you write, then what other people think of it is secondary.
Write… write… write.
If you are not pleased with what you write, you need to spend time finding why you are unhappy with it. Once you have identified the problem, you can start working on the solution — Very logical!
“I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with a fictional piece of writing.” – Colin Chappell
13. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Writing?
I have volunteered in numerous diverse places over the years, and every position I held was valuable education for me. It was valuable both because of the work involved and in the learning it provided me.
I support a number of charitable organizations which help people regain their self-respect and of course, I support animal rescue organizations.Life has been and still is, a wonderful education; however, one must always participate in life to see any results.
14. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like to Follow? What Do You Like About Them?
I really do not have favorite blogs, but I do enjoy more philosophical blogs as they are thought provoking.Dog related blogs are interesting simply because I can relate to the topics presented. Any post I read that promotes a positive mental attitude maintains my attention. In a world which seems to celebrate negativity, we need as many positive vibes as possible!
15. Here is a Piece From Colin’s Blog, One of His Favorite Poetic Verse Posts:
Thanks so much to Colin for sharing with us his book, poetry, love for Ray, and his experience in life and writing. I loved discovering he both searches inside himself to find the right answers and also engages with the world to learn and discover the things he needs to know. His love of learning and passion for volunteering is something we can all aspire to.
If you would like to be featured as a writer and blogger in my bi-weekly interview series please reach-out to me on my contact page. Thanks for reading and see you in two-weeks!
“Madam, you and your children need to come with me,” a police officer stated. He was from the police nationale.
Mom gazed up at him and asked: “Why, what have we done? We’ve only been sightseeing here on vacation. We have our passports and travel Visas.”
“If you come with me, right now, this will be much easier,” the officer said. I shivered at his cold impersonal accented tone.
My Mom attempted to speak but the officer squeezed her arm tightly and picking her up, deposited her in the back if his police car.
My sisters and I peered up at the officer scared spitless. “We didn’t do anything,” I said. “I’m twelve and my two sisters are ten-years old twins. We aren’t bad kids.”
The officer nodded at me. I could hear my Mom crying and banging her hands against the window in the police car. My sisters Paige and Monique were crying silently.
“What’s your name Cher?” The officer asked me. His French accent was thick when he spoke English.
“I’m Brianne, what did my Mom do?” The officer didn’t say anything, but he nodded to one of his fellow officers.
“We need to talk to your Mom about some things for a while. This is officer Carson, he’s going to take you back to your hotel. You girls can watch movies and swim in the pool. Don’t leave and always ask Carson when you want to do something. He’ll take you for repas du soir later on,” the officer said. He smiled at me and I could tell his smile was forced.
“But our Mom . . .” Paige and Monique whined. It was no use. Officer Carson herded us into his vehicle and drove us back to the hotel we were staying with our Mom.
We played in the pool, pretending we enjoyed it. We watched three movies on pay-per-view and then some cartoons on TV. We played on our Mom’s tablet, emailing our Uncle Reese and asking what we should do. The message always came back to Mom’s email, saying the email address was wrong, but we knew better.
At 4:00 pm Officer Carson came back from the gift shop with chips, popcorn, pop, and chocolate bars. Paige and Monique were happy to eat what they could; mom didn’t let us have much junk food, even on vacation. I had a square of delicious Belgian chocolate and almost threw-up.
Later around 8:00 pm, Carson told us to put on nice clothes for dinner. We dined at a trendy restaurant and the food was magnifique. By this time the smell of the delicious food in the restaurant and my hunger had surpassed the twisted and nauseous feeling in my stomach.
“My Mom, what if she can’t afford all this?” I asked Carson referring to all we’d done so far. Our family had scrounged and saved to travel to a few countries in Europe this year. Mom thought it was vital for us to have the experience traveling to see history, and other cultures.
Officer Carson appeared thoughtful. “It’s okay Brianne. Ne tu inquites pas. We’ll take care of things until your Mom returns. I nodded. I didn’t know what else to say.
That night we went to bed sleeping fitfully. The next morning Carson awoke us and told us we would be sightseeing today. He told us about various places we could visit and let us choose a couple of them to see. We went to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. We didn’t have to wait in line at all; we immediately were able to see what we wanted first.
The four of us continued site seeing for the next week, never seeing our Mom. We always went out to dinner at a different restaurant each night to dine. Carson enjoyed eating well.
One day, Carson even took us to H&M and some clothing stores for girls our age and let us each have one-hundred-and-fifty Euros to shop. We didn’t question Carson on this, even though it was a lot of money to us. We decided to spend eighty Euros and save the rest of the money for emergency.
Caron seemed to know, “Vous etes des files intelligences pour economiser de l’argent. Bon les files.” He smiled at us, a rare occurence. We understood a bit of French from school and found ourselves picking it more with Carson. He brought us back to the hotel to spend the rest of the day watching movies and swimming.
Three-weeks later our Mom returned. We cried when we saw her. I thought I’d never see her again and I gathered Paige and Monique thought the same.
Mom appeared awful, unkept, and waif thin. She immediately went to bed, waking up in the middle of the night to shower. A wardrobe of various designer clothes and shoes was later delivered to her that week and Carson handed her a cheque for a large amount of money. My Mom’s eyes nearly popped out of her head.
“For all your troubles Madam,” Carson told her and disappeared; we never saw him again.
After Mom recovered for a couple of weeks, she decided we should continue to travel. A Doctor which had come to see her every two-days declared her fit and well.
“Now that we have the money, we can travel throughout Europe and see many countries, not only three,” Mom told us. She smiled almost like her old-self and arranged for us to go everywhere we wanted and stay in nice hotels.
Later I thought back to this and realized Mom was running from the demons chasing her inside, from her nightmares, and her flashbacks.
On a beach in Grenada, Spain, Mom finally said: “Girls I suppose it’s time we go home, you’ve missed a month of school already.”
We didn’t want to leave. We were worried about or Mom. She hadn’t been the same person since the police first took her away.
I’d given her space and only asked once or twice what happened to her. She ignored me. She wouldn’t talk to Paige or Monique either.
” I can’t tell you. That’s why we’ve so much money now Brianne,” she finally said to me.
Years later, I’m thirty-six and visiting my Mom. She is paging through a scrapbook of our European vacation.
“You never said,” I began,”You never told me or anyone what happened to you in France. I know the memories give you nightmares still. What did the French police do to you Mom?”
To my surprise she answered me. “Your Dad, you never knew him. I divorced him when you were only three-years-old and the twins one-years-old. He was a bad person, involved in things even in Europe which were awful and illegal.” A tear slipped out my Mom’s eye.
“When we came through France, they thought I was there to see your Dad. They promised they wouldn’t hurt my daughters but treat them well, if I told them everything I knew about your Dad. I told them I hadn’t seen him in almost ten-years that he was a terrible low-life, wanted across the North America.”
“They wanted more. The police thought I had to be in contact with him. They were sure I was here to see him. For a week they tortured me, wouldn’t let me sleep, and other worse things. Eventually, they believed me and promised to let me go if I helped catch your Dad and draw him out from hiding so they could arrest him. Their plan worked, your Dad’s locked up forever,” my Mom said.
“Mom, how could you not say anything all these years? How did you manage to travel around Europe after being . . .”
She cut me off. “Money Brianne. Millions and millions in US funds. Enough to send my three daughters to the best universities and give you everything I couldn’t before. Enough money to wipe out the misery of thattime in my life.”
“Did it work? I asked my Mom.
She sighed tears forming, “It’s money Brianne. It makes things better and hides the truth. But in the end, the truth of what I went through is always there behind my eyes when I close them. I’m thankful Carson took care of you Brianne and Paige and Monique. He treated you well as the police promised he would. Above all, I was grateful and am grateful for that.”
Mom closed her eyes and the tears continued to streak down her cheeks.
Friday Frictioneer’s is a Flash Fiction photo prompt, completed in 100 words.
Addison felt she never had a place to call home. Her Mom abandoned her family. Her Dad an oil worker, sent his three children enough money to pay rent, some food, some water, and some electricity each month; he never visited.
She paid bills online in the school library; her family had a tight budget. Providing clothes or school supplies for herself and her siblings was difficult. Addison lied about her age and waitressed at a fancy restaurant. When she was nineteen, the state took away Addison’s siblings.
She began dating a wealthy businessman. Addison had money to pay tuition, money to party on weekends, money to shop, and her own BMW; she even lived in a modern loft.
She wasn’t content, “No place has been home but one,” she told me.
We drove to a storage facility and walked to her unit. Opening the door she showed me a well designed and comfortable suite hidden in the unit.
“I stay her a lot,” she said sniffling and sat on the bed, crying. I tried to comfort Addison.
It’s only, some people never receive out of life, what they truly need.
Time stood still as Garig ran his hunter’s knife against Chad’s throat. He waited for the moment it would finally slice through his skin, but the moment never came.
Garig was hit multiple times in the back whith bullets and Chad watched as Garig’s albino eyes went wide with shock.
Then there was blood on Garig and on the bedding around Chad. He watched Garig gaze at his hands covered in his own blood and then turn his head to see both Tom and Sam holding large guns, ready to shoot again; there was no need, Garig fell forward on Chad dead.
“Get him off me, get him off me.” Chad yelled.
This time the blood soaking into Chad’s bedding and even dripping on his face didn’t disturb him. He’d become indifferent to this monster who had made his life and his family’s life a hell.
“It’s alright,” both Sam and Tom told Chad.
They removed Garig from him, as he still lay in bed. Chad didn’t waste anytime getting up, although, due to his recent surgery, he moved carefully.
“Whose house is this?” He asked.
“It’s Marrion’s Chad. She’s been taking care of you. We’ve had guards posted at her house. I don’t know how Garig snuck past them,” Sam said.
“He’s a deceptive B$&@(?d; Garig was a terrible man. He’s the reason I’ve been stuck in Russia your whole life. I know you thought I was your Dad.” Tom said.
Chad smiled, “It’s okay Uncle Tom. I never knew you as Dad so calling you UncleTom isn’t a stretch.”
“Uncle Tom, Garig told me he’d been in touch with Mom all these years, but that he murdered her.”
Tom’s eyes went dark. “I’m sorry Chad. We’ll both miss her. I’ve known for a while Mona’s been tipping Garig off. I communicated with Mona often. Garig had her tricked; but she always loved you.”
A stray tear leaked down Chad’s cheek.”Is Marrion okay? I’d like to thank her. I think she likes you Sam, er Dad.”
” She was out when Garig came, thank god. I like her too Chad. I have the time to be with her now if that’s okay with you?”
” It’s great Sam . . . I’m not sure I’ll get used to calling you Dad.” Chad said and Sam chuckled.
“What’s next?” Chad asked.
“Well, this term, you won’t be able to start university but I think in the winter term you can go to school.” Sam said and Tom nodded.
Marrion came into the bedroom checking Chad’s wound, “Your healing fast,” she said. She got up and snuggled under Sam’s arm to his surprise.
Matt never talked about the shed in his yard. In the past he’d been rude about it, if I asked him. But I’d never seen the shed door half-open before.
He gazed at me steadily as he often did now. One day five-months ago I caught him staring at me and he blushed.
Now, he’s trying to tame the wisps of hair from my face, but neither of us had made a real move.
“Why is the shed half-open?” I asked.
“The basket in the shed door, it’s for us. We’re going on a fall picnic,” Matt said proudly.
I blushed, “Where are we going to have the picnic Matt?”
“In the shed, Aubrey.”
“But we’re not allowed in there remember? Your Dad said never.” I reminded him.
“It was one of my Dad and my Mom’s favourite places when Mom was alive. I told my Dad I was taking you on a picnic and he told me to clean up the shed for you; Grandma helped with the decore.”
The shed was rustic-sheek, painted in soft ocean-toned colours. There was a loft up top with a queen mattress, thick white cotton sheets, a navy duvet, and several accent pillows.
There was a huge white window with a navy cushion to read on. The shed even had a small kitchen with mini- appliances and a metal and wood island for two, along with a washroom with a matching tiled shower.
I gazed at the ash wood floor as the sun danced across it and back to Matt.”This is amazing! You did all this for me?” I asked overwhelmed, tears slipping down my cheeks.
That’s when Matt took my chin in his hand and kissed me. It was the first of a lifetime of kisses and memories in our unshedlike hideaway.
My apologies. I think this piece is a bit long, but I can’t seem to cut more right now.
Ah! My apologies this is so late! I’ve never written any continuous thrillers, it’s hard!
“Chad, off the medical table and on the floor!” Uncle Sam yelled as gunfire grew closer.
“I don’t know how he found us Sam.” Marrion said.
“I need to know the truth about my tattoo,” Chad yelled frustrated.
“Secrets are dangerous Chad. They can expose you, crush you like a flower.” Marrion said, gazing between Chad and Sam.”Chad might be safer if . . .”
Sam squeezed Marrion’s hand, “Please, tell Chad what you know.”
“Tom isn’t dead. He wasn’t undercover; he is and was the enemy, has been for nineteen-years.”
“Tom isn’t your Dad; Sam’s your Dad, Chad. Sam and Mona had a drunken night after they thought Tom died.” Marrion admitted.
She peered at Sam, “You should’ve told Chad you were his real Dad. Your name is hidden within Chad’s cartoon seal tattoo. You gave Chad the tattoo as a baby to keep track of him and keep him safe. Chad should also know, you’ve been running from Tom recently, not Garig; Garig is Tom’s lackey.”
Sam sighed, hands shaking. “I kept it secret because if Tom thinks Chad’s his son, he won’t kill him.”
“I was the reason Tom disappeared. My twin brother almost ended up in military prison, sentenced to death.”Sam said regretfully. “What choice did I have? Tom was a traitor and wasn’t the onlyone undercover; I was undercover to bring him down.”
“There’s more Sam,” Marrion said.”Chad’s tattoo has twomore codes. Tom added his own code to track Chad along with a trigger code. I had to be careful when I scanned Chad’s tattoo because of the trigger code.”
“Why?” Sam said afraid.
“Chad is a walking weapon of mass destruction. If anything reads a special encrypted trigger code on his tattoo — Chad explodes. This boat explodes and the water for miles and miles in the ocean will be full of radiation, which will cycle into oceans around the world. There will be great casualties.”
Chad was about to speak. He felt sick again.
Then, a stray bullet bit him; he felt a sharp stinging pain.
A familiar voice shouted loudly, in Russian, as Chad passed-out.
Chad, Bastion, and Uncle Sam, had taken a flight to Amsterdam after the house in the mountainside of Switzerland, turned out to be a death trap. After finding one of Bastions ‘safe’ houses, Bastion slipped away to do business.
Sam had ruffled Chad’s hair. “You’ve still got your gun on you? Just in case, keep it close.”
They began to walk on the opposite side of the street, away from a flower market. When Chad’s Uncle paid for two tickets to the medieval torture museum, Chad begged, “Please not in there. . .”
“It’s for secrecy and privacy Chad. I’m going to answer your questions about your Dad.” Sam said chuckling.
They walked into a room showcasing a few racks. Uncle Sam and Chad pretended to look at the torture devises.
“There was fight between your Dad’s squadron and an enemy squadron. Tom was undercover and to most of his fellow marines, it appeared as if one of their own had turned. Tom wasn’t expecting to run into his own squad.” Uncle Sam said softly.
“Your Dad was loyal. Only a few marines who ranked with him, knew he was undercover. Bastion knew and so did a man named Garig; the three were close friends in school.”
“Somehow, Tom was shot; it took the rest of his squadron too long to figure out, he wasn’t the enemy. Your Dad knew who among his squad was actually working for the enemy before the encounter.”
“So who was it?” Chad asked.
“Well, Tom talked to me a day or two before he was sent undercover. He was sure he knew who the traitor was then; he had proof.”
” It’s not Bastion,” Sam said quickly. “Tom suspected Gerig because he had been disappearing for long periods of time. Gerig had also been jealous about your Dad marrying Mona; Gerig was in love with your Mom. He also had other information he couldn’t tell me . . .”
” Tom said he had proof Gerig was the enemy, that he was betraying his friends and squad.”
“How could Dad know? And why is Gerig chasing us?” Chad mumbled.
“What Gerig was involved in . .. It’s on your body and proves his guilt.” Uncle Sam said.
“Well, yeah. Who gets their kid a tattoo at six-months-old, Chad?” Uncle Sam whispered.
“It’s a Bambi cartoon of an actual seal; I hated it in gym.” Chad muttered.
“You have to read it the right way to retrieve the information. Only, the right technology can read it.”
“Like 3D glasses?” Chad asked.
“No, I’m afraid not . . ” Sam couldn’t finish his sentence; he heard screams and people talking noisily.
Running towards the clammer, Chad and Uncle Sam gazed up horrified, as the body of Bastion hung from the noose of a medieval execution scene.
Chad shivered. “It’s Garig. He knows.” He turned around in a circle, wondering if Garig was here.
The palest eyes, nearly white, stared through the crowd at Chad.
Uncle Sam dragged him away, “The pale-eyed man, it’s him. Chad wake-up. Do you want to die?”
Chad narrowed his eyes at Garig but inside, his stomach began to twist.
Before they had taken their first flight, Uncle Sam had asked Chad for the calligraphy written letter. They had stopped at a courier and he had the letter sent quickly to a friend.
After weeks travelling, the final leg of their journey ended in the mountains of Switzerland. They traveled by Gondola, before following a path to a sheltered stone doorway in the mountain. Chad had seen windows barely visible on the mountain side.
A man greeted Uncle Sam as they arrived at surprisingly luxurious hide-away.
“Sam, you scared me. I got your letter two-weeks ago.”
“Bastian, this is Chad. We were in New Haven to visit Yale, but the situation escalated quickly. We’re being tracked; the Navy is after us.”
“It has to do with Tom, doesn’t it?”
” It’s why I wrote you Bastian. You were in the Marine’s with Tom. You were there that awful night.” Sam said.
“There was a critical reason Tom had to tell me about it; he had to protect Chad and Mona. She was sent into hiding as you promised, Bastian?”
Chad had to say something: “Mona, My Mom, Mona?”
Bastian scrutinized Chad.”Your Mom is fine Chad. I’ve friends keeping her safe. You know, you look a lot like your Dad.”
“What exactly did my Dad do?” Chad demanded turning to his Uncle.”Back at the hotel in New Haven you promised to tell me everything.I deserve to know what happened.”
Uncle Sam opened his mouth, then the windows exploded. Men in black clothing and masks came in on ropes into the house.
Bastian tossed Chad a gun. “You know how to use this right?”
Chad nodded, running for cover behind the kitchen island. Bullets dinged off metal and splintered wood. He had to shoot one man who came around the island.
When Chad saw the body drop, blood dripping from a bullet hole in the man’s masked forehead, his stomach knotted.
He watched, rapt, as Uncle Sam and Bastian killed eleven other men.