One year and many more to come

Nearly one year ago I went on a road trip with a friend who is a journalist and we got to talking about writing and how I wished there was some way for me to find an audience for my writings and my poetry. He said to me, “have you ever thought of blogging?” I hadn’t, in fact the word never crossed my mind and I never envisioned the great authors and poets  blogging. What would Hemingway’s blog look like or Tolstoy, or Woolf or Whitman. Would e.e. Cummings have a blog about his culinary adventures during his time in Paris. I thought not. But the more I got to thinking about it the more I realized that I wasn’t them and now wasn’t then.

Today’s market is different than theirs and for me the main goal of a writer is to be read, because without that what is the point. I believe I have achieved that goal because I have made several friends and meant hundreds of people throughout my year here and I am grateful for each and every one. With out that little grain of an idea planted into my head by a dear friend that grew into a nearly 200 post blog I don’t believe I would be where I am today. I owe a lot to him. Granted I still don’t have a million dollar contract but I am happy writing everyday and sharing my crazy world with all of you other crazy people.

I have a lot going on and a lot planned for this blog so hope that people stick with me. In honor of my one year anniversary I am going to challenge myself with the A-to-Z challenge more than likely it will be a poetry challenge for me because I have focused recently on my fiction, primarily The Perfect 200 series and the Pine Bluff Mystery Series.

I hope to see you all for at least another year,
Hughie

Here is the link the challenge if anyone else is interested in joining me.

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Batting a Thousand, a Screenplay Act II part III

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Fade to:

Shawn at first base and the ball is hit to him and he tags the

base.

Another batter comes up and the pitcher throws a pitch that is

hit into left field where it is caught by the outfielder.

Fade to:

One of Shawn’s teammates at the plate and he hit’s a base

hit.

Shawn steps up to the plate and the pitcher throws a ball

way outside.

The catcher is standing up, they’re pitching around him.

Fade to:

Shawn stands on first and the batter hit’s a ball to the shortstop

and they throw a double play.

Fade to:

A Yankees player stands at home plate and the pitcher throws

a pitch down the middle.

The batter hits it out of the park.

Fade to:

Shawn at the plate looking at the score board, Senators 0,

Yankees 1.

Bottom of the ninth, two outs. Shawn looks in front of him

and sees a teammate on second base.

The pitcher winds up and delivers a pitch, one swing and

Shawn connects with ball.

It flies far. He runs fast and when he rounds first he sees

the ball land deep in left field, it didn’t go over.

He sees his teammate scoring, and he rounds second when he can

see the ball being picked up.

He looks at the third base couch waving him on.

He puts his head down and runs.

He rounds third and when he gets close to home he sees the

catcher tense up, the ball is coming in.

He throws his body down and slides.

He slides through the catcher but his knee hit’s the

catchers cleat and he reaches down to grab it.

He notices it is covered in blood, all he sees is the Umpire

standing over him with his arms out.

UMPIRE: Safe.

EXT. PARK — DAY

Shawn sits on a park bench with a jacket on, the fall leaves are

bright and covering the ground.

He sits there with a cup of coffee, relaxing.

He watches some geese swim around in a pond.

When he hears a woman’s voice behind him.

ANGEL: Shawn?

He turns around to see Angel standing there with a cup of

coffee also.

She walks around the park bench and sits down beside Shawn.

ANGEL: Is this seat taken?

SHAWN: It is now.

ANGEL: How’s the knee?

SHAWN: Fine, I’ll be out the rest of the playoffs, but no problems for next season.

ANGEL: Well that is good. How is Megan?

SHAWN: Fine. She wants to get married.

ANGEL: That sounds great. I am happy for you, it is what you always wanted.

SHAWN: Why do you do that?

ANGEL: Do what?

SHAWN: Act like everything is fine between us, like nothing happened.

ANGEL: I don’t act like nothing happened, I just know that it is best to not bring it up. We can’t be together and we both know that.

SHAWN: Why?

ANGEL: Because it is easier.

SHAWN: How hard is it just to do what is in your hearts?

ANGEL: Maybe you should ask yourself that question.

SHAWN: I loved you.

ANGEL: I know you did, but you chose Megan and I chose not to leave Charles.

Angel gets up and pauses,

ANGEL: Good luck in the rest of the series, and I hope you can be happy just being my friend.

She strolls away, slow, up the paved path away from the

pond.

EXT. DUGOUT — NIGHT

Shawn sits in the dugout in uniform but he is just watching the

game.

Shawn looks at the scoreboard.

It is the bottom of the eighth inning, Yankees lead 5-0.

Shawn then puts his head in his hands as he watches a teammate

pop up to get another out.

The Senators head out onto the field. Shawn is helpless

sitting in the dug out watching the action from the bench.

The pitcher throws a strike down the middle, and then two

more.

Three strikes in a row. One down.

The next batter comes to the plate and waits for the pitch, it too

is across the plate and a strike.

Then one to the outside, strike.

One low, strike.

Six pitches and two outs.

The next guy comes to the plate, he is the biggest hitter on

the team, he is huge.

He steps in the box and the pitcher wastes no time, one

pitch, fastball down the middle.

The batter swings, boom! It is high and long. It could be

gone, but the left fielder makes a stunning catch over the

wall.

Three outs.

The Senators leave the field.

Ready to win the game.

One batter runs to the plate. He waits for the pitch and

then he gets it.

Down the middle, he connects with the ball and it goes over the

first basemen’s head and falls short in the outfield. Base

hit.

Vaughn comes up to bat and he draws four balls in a row,

they walk him intentionally. He moves to first.

Runners on first and second.

The next batter comes up and pops up but he moves the

runners to second and third.

The next batter comes up and he waits for the pitch.

The pitcher waits and waits and finally decides on a pitch.

He delivers and the batter lays down a bunt up the third

base line.

The runner on third begins to run but sees the catcher get

the ball.

He heads back and slides into third.

The bases are loaded and the next batter comes up.

He waits for the pitch, he gets it and slams it deep.

Homerun.

5-4. Winfield walks up to Shawn and sits down next to him.

WINFIELD: How do you feel?

SHAWN: You want to play me?

WINFIELD: Pitcher is up after the next batter. We could use you. They will probably pitch around Garcia knowing that we don’t have a pitcher left in the bullpen, so we shouldn’t pinch hit. But I say fuck it. Either way we’re going home tonight without a win, I say give’em a show. This why you’re not on the DL tonight.

SHAWN: I’m game. What’s one time going to hurt?

WINFIELD: Good, when they walk Garcia I’ll sub you, don’t move until then.

SHAWN: Okay.

Winfield is right when, Garcia steps to the plate the

catcher stands up and moves to the outside of the plate,

after his four pitches Garcia trots to first base.

The pitcher starts to walk to the batters box when Winfield

hollers at the Ump and they have a meeting.

Shawn stands up and walks out of the dug out.

The fans go crazy.

He picks up a bat laying on the ground near the on deck circle.

He, strolls to the batters box with the crowd screaming.

Shawn steps in, rubs his foot in the ground to get good

traction with his cleats.

He puts the bat on his shoulder and waits for the pitch. He

looks down the line and sees Garcia leading off.

He sees the pitch coming and watches it go by him in the

dirt.

UMPIRE: Ball one.

The next pitch comes.

He swings and connects the ball is soaring, it could be a

homerun, and then it starts to hook left, like a bad golfers

tee shot. It sails just past the pole on the foul side.

The next pitch is delivered and Shawn can’t get a read on it

and watches it fly by, down the middle, strike.

The pitcher cocks his head to the side and waits.

He finally nods and the pitch is delivered.

He swings and with a mighty blow he cracks the ball hard,

the bat splintering into a thousand pieces. The ball is

flying high and deep into centerfield, and Shawn is running

hard to first when he sees the centerfielder make a huge

catch as the ball starts to sail over the wall.

Out.

INT. BEN’S OFFICE — DAY

Ben sits at his desk, feet kicked back and his keyboard on his

lap.

He hears a knock on the door.

BEN: Come in.

Shawn enters the room.

He carries his head low. He sits in his usual chair, and flops

his head back into the seat, hard.

SHAWN: Yeah?

BEN: Well the season is over, what do you plan to do for the next four months?

SHAWN: I don’t know, I thought about heading to Mexico for a few days with Megan. She has a shoot down there and asked me to go, she said she would be working a lot but there was plenty for me to do on my own.

BEN: I think that is wonderful idea. Sipping margarita’s on the beach while I’m freezing my ass off.

SHAWN: Is that why you called me here? There is bad news isn’t there, I could hear it in your voce. I have known you for too long Ben.

BEN: They decided not to let St. John go and they’re going to play him next year, after he heals.

SHAWN: So he’s got first, where am I? I can’t play outfield and they’re not letting Garcia go at third, he had a hell of a year.

BEN: Roosters.

SHAWN: What, but I have a contract.

BEN: They are honoring it, they put you back down, and bring you up when they need you.

SHAWN: So I’m not full starter?

BEN: No.

SHAWN: So what are my other options?

BEN: As of now, Mexico. Let me work on it and I will give you a call in a couple of days. Maybe I can find another team.

INT. SHAWN AND MEGAN’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

Shawn opens the door slowly and quietly, he places the keys on

a table near the door and enters the living room.

He turns a corner and makes his way to the kitchen.

He opens the fridge and pulls out a beer twisting the cap.

He makes his way down the hallway to the bedroom when he pauses.

He hears moaning coming from the bedroom, he opens the door

and sees Megan nude on top of her modeling partner. She

throws her head back and sees Shawn standing in the doorway.

He looks at the beer bottle in his hand and he throws it with everything

he has and the bottle shatters against the wall just above

the headboard.

He turns and walks out of the apartment.]

Megan doesn’t even follow.

INT. BEN’S OFFICE — NIGHT

Shawn steps off of the elevator and into the waiting room of Ben’s

office, he doesn’t see Holly so he makes his way down the

hall to Ben’s office.

He sees Ben’s light on and doesn’t knock, he just walks in.

Shawn steps back when he sees Ben on top of Holly on his desk.

Shawn again doesn’t say anything. Holly sees him about the

time he walks in and screams.

He turns, slamming the door behind him.

He can hear Ben pleading with Holly to stay where she is.

The door opens and Ben comes flying out, buttoning his pants

as he runs down the hall trying to catch Shawn before he

gets on the elevator.

Shawn just watches as the door closes in Ben’s face.

EXT. PARKING GARAGE — NIGHT

Shawn is about to get into his car when he hears Ben calling

for him.

He doesn’t turn, but instead, just stands there, waiting.

Ben finally reaches him out of breath.

BEN: Shawn, I’m sorry.

SHAWN: For what? I’m not the one you are cheating on.

BEN: I’m sorry you had to see that.

SHAWN: Not because you are betraying Abigail, but because I had to see that, how selfish are you? I thought I knew you. I would expect this from Kenny, but not you. I would have given anything to have what I thought you and Abigail had.

BEN: I already told her we had to end it, it only happened once, and she seduced me again. I Don’t know what to do.

SHAWN: Tell her and get some help. I will be here for you guys, but you better tell her or I will. I love you, but man your wrong on this one and I can’t let Abigail end up like me.

BEN: Like you?

SHAWN: She was with him tonight.

BEN: I am sorry.

SHAWN: I guess I will be freezing my ass off here with you.

The door from the office building to the parking garage

opens and Holly steps through it. She makes her way to her

car and gets in. Ben just watches.

BEN: She won’t be back.

SHAWN: You know it is for the best.

BEN: I know. Next time I am getting a sixty year old secretary.

INT. GOLF SHOP — DAY

Shawn stands in a golf shop looking at new clubs with Kenny and

Ben. He picks up a club and swings it, and places it back in

the rack and moves over to look at some putters.

KENNY: So, how are you holding up?

SHAWN: Pretty good I guess. Actually I am a little bothered by the fact that it didn’t take me long to get her out of my system.

BEN: What do you mean?

SHAWN: It’s been two months and I haven’t seen her, and I don’t care. I don’t wat to see her.

KENNY: Not even a little?

SHAWN: No, the times I do think about her are memories I don’t care to remember. I laugh at some things, but for the most part she is like a high school friend that went away to a different college and you almost forget about them. Every once in awhile you might think “I wonder how their doing” but the thought is gone almost as quick as it came.

BEN: That is great.

SHAWN: But Angel, on the other hand, I think about her all of the time.

BEN: She is still around, maybe you should give her a call.

SHAWN: Our last conversation wasn’t a pretty one. I think she hates me.

KENNY: She still wants to be friends, right?

SHAWN: Yeah.

KENNY: So be her friend.

SHAWN: I can’t. I love her. I thought I loved Megan, but I didn’t. I was comfortable and I as trying to please her. It was never about pleasing each other.

BEN: I say go find Angel and try again. If she is the one you love, you have to do it.

KENNY: (looking at his watch) Ben is right. I have to go.

Kenny leaves the pro shop and the door dings as he opens it.

BEN: So have you thought about

SHAWN: Sure, like what?

BEN: Do you want to play for the Roosters or should I be trying to find you a new home.

SHAWN: At the moment I will play for anyone who wants me. I would love to play pro, but if that can’t happen then I will play what I can.

BEN: I’ll have to see what I can come up with.

INT. SHAWN’S APARTMENT — DAY

Shawn enters his apartment that he once shared with his girlfriend,

now it feels empty, even though there is still all of the

furniture inside.

He picks the mail up off of the table next to the door as he puts

down his keys.

As he flips through them we see a bill, another bill, a magazine,

and sale bill.

Then he comes to a envelope that is nicer than a bill or

junk mail.

It is ivory color and has calligraphy on the front, his name and

address, no return address.

He tears open the top and pulls out an even more impressive card,

it is an invitation.

He opens it and anger overcomes him.

He quickly makes his way to the kitchen and to the trash

can, where he tosses it in.

He picks up the phone, and dials a number by heart.

SHAWN: Ben, she’s getting married.

BEN’S VOICE(on Phone): Who?

SHAWN: Megan. And she sent me an invite.

Ben’S VOICE(on Phone): Are you going?

SHAWN: No.

INT. BEN’S HOME … NIGHT

Shawn sits on the couch at Ben’s home with Ben, Abigail, Kenny

and Nicole.

It is Christmas time and the group sits around in sweaters, exchanging, and

sipping on wine.

Shawn hands Ben a gift, a small box wrapped in shiny red

paper and a gold bow. Ben opens the gift and is shocked by

what is inside.

He reaches in a pulls out a baseball.

BEN: What is it.

SHAWN: A baseball.

BEN: Thank you.

SHAWN: It is my first homerun ball.

BEN: I can’t take this. It means too much to you.

SHAWN: The way I see it is that I wouldn’t have that ball if it wasn’t for you.

BEN: Shawn,…

SHAWN: Take it.

ABIGAIL: ( standing) Anyone care for another glass of wine?

SHAWN: I’ll take one.

KENNY: What are your plans for the upcoming season?

SHAWN: What are you a reporter? I don’t like reporters.

KENNY: You liked one.

NICOLE: (standing ) Your such an asshole.

KENNY: What?

 

The Perfect 200, Enter Sandman issue 4 of 4

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A faint light from his cell phone made it all but impossible to see in the dark room that once housed the penthouse at The Tower. One of the largest residential buildings in the city and for only the elite. Daniel Martin was an elite, or rather used to be an elite. The scribbles on the wall gave me a good clue as to who the killer had been and who most likely had been my spy. But I damn sure wasn’t about to tell Detective Kyle Harper the information. For one I know he couldn’t take the answer I would give him. And for another it would only get him hurt.

“Okay, I will tell him,” Kyle said before he placed the phone in his pocket. “I’m afraid your ex-wife isn’t at home Alan. Anywhere else she might be?”

“Not that I am aware of.”

“Why did you think that your wife might be in danger Mr. Valentino?”

“My line of work doesn’t make many friends Detective,” but again I couldn’t tell him it had been because of the thoughts that I had of her while the spy watched me. I had no proof that she was in any danger but the fear popped up anyway. If Lucian in fact had spied on me, why?

“I understand that son,” he said. “So you don’t think you know who that might be. The Hitman? You haven’t heard the name before?”

“I’m sorry Kyle I haven’t.”

He thanked me and I left the scene alone. I had no idea why Lucian would want to kill this Demon King, a member of the 200, one of our fellow followers. I knew why I had wanted him dead but had Lucian made the same deal. I knew one thing about Lucian, he wouldn’t go after this man unless someone paid him, and they would have had to pay him well.

As I slid one foot into my car a blinding light shot through the car and out into the city street. Her beauty breathtaking, Marlie sat in the passenger seat, her hands to her side and looking straight ahead. She had no other color and looked like a feminine shaped blue light. But the shape held that of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. A small button of a nose, long flowing hair and a slim fit body. She had no need to showcase herself like this for me I knew what she was and pure energy had no shape. But I guess it put me at ease.

That was until she spoke. “Alan, she has been taken.” Her voice sounded like a thousand angel choir singing, but the words made me feel entirely different.

“By who?” I asked as I slid the rest of the way into the car and closed the door. We had parted ways in order to keep her safe. This was never supposed to happen.

“I don’t know, its being blocked. All I’m getting is a location. It’s at a warehouse south of the city, near the river. If it is being blocked Alanesis, it has to be one of the 200.”

“Did Lucian kill Daniel?”

“You know the answer to that Alan. But he does not have her.”

“It isn‘t Lucian?”

“No. I saw Lucian. He is on his way there. Lucian is but a pawn in this game.”

“So I guess His deal is off?”

“I think if this truly is a member of the 200 he may overlook this one error.”

Pulling out of The Tower parking lot I noticed Marlie disappeared as quickly as she arrived. A bright dissipating light left me with only a general location, but that gave me more information than I needed.

***

The room behind my office held weapon after weapon and while it offered a huge variety for the killing of humans or nephilim, guns, swords, bow and arrows. But there was one item that I needed in order to destroy the person who had Cassie. From what Marlie had told me it had to be an angel or a fallen, either way it would take The Blade.

The Blade was my Excalibur. Although not as large the great mythical sword, she did the job. 10 inches of narrow forged metal came to a thick gold front bolster and pearl handle that led to the gold rear bolster which curved slightly around my hand. She had been dipped in the sweet perfume of the Qeres, a scent blessed by the creator himself and which some believe the Egyptians used in the process for mummification. The truth in fact was that he created it for the sole propose of killing angels, the Fallen and the 200 more specifically. It was then given the angels Michael and Rafael to destroy us. I happened to get my hands on some and made myself weapon. And if Lucian had killed Daniel then he would have had to dip his arrow head into the Qeres or he had found a new way to dispose of a Fallen. Either way I wasn’t comfortable because something told me someone had a price tag on my head.

No matter, I was headed south of town looking for Cassie.

***

I could feel the eyes watching me, that uncomfortable feeling I got in the parking lot. Lucian, I was sure, and his deadly bow were nearby. The Blade began to glow but was it because of Lucian or was Cassie’s captor nearby. She would glow to alert me to the presence of an angel, and Lucian was beginning to make this difficult.

Pulling the car into a small warehouse which appeared to be abandoned, I noticed it looked like the perfect place to take a kidnap victim. Tall grass stood five feet in the air and blocked most of the door. The once heavily used loading dock now sunk down into the ground in a reverse ramp had long ago been flooded and held stagnant water and gang graffiti. A rusty tin roof littered with holes held no sign of shelter, allowing the weather invade the building.

My foot splashed in a puddle as I stepped out into the dark, the only light given was the glow of The Blade as it shined through the sheath at my side. Two silver 9mm in my hands for protection. They wouldn’t kill an angel but the silver plated bullets would get rid of any lackeys he might have.

The sense that someone was watching me came flooding back. Someone defiantly held watch over this place. I had to be close. Or close to a trap. I had to admit that I was aware of the fact that this could all be a trap to lure me out into the open. Why would Lucian do this to me? What could he possibly gain from killing me?

An arrow flew past my face sticking into the side of the building. I saw it blinking and then BOOM!!! It exploded sending debris flying everywhere and large graffiti wall came tumbling down sending dust into the air. Suddenly a fist landed along the side of my face and I saw black.

***

Cool water slapped against my face as I came to, lying in a pool of water with the sprinkler from the fire suppression system throwing water at me like a garden hose. I scanned the interior of the building and saw only darkness and a few rusty pieces of equipment and bare shelves. I tuned out the sound of splashing water and tried to focus on any sound that might let me know where my attacker lay in wait. I knew it to be Lucian from the arrow, I had seen those many times throughout my long life. I also knew he missed on purpose.

“Hello, Alanesis. How does it feel to be on the losing end of a battle? I must say that I was hoping for more of a fight.”

I didn’t recognize the voice. “What do you want and where is Cassie?”

“With my brother.”

What did that mean?

“Alan, I hate to do this but he is paying me an awful lot of money.” Lucian said. I still didn’t see him but he sounded closer than the other Demon.

“Lucian, Why are you working for this joker?”

“Alan, he is the strongest Fallen I have ever met. He came to me in my sleep.”

The only demons I knew that could invade dreams were succubus and incubus but Lilith was the only one powerful enough to hold power over Lucian and frighten him. And I knew the person out there was not Lilith.

“Who are you then, if you are so strong.”
“Lets just call me The Sandman, Alan.”

“And who is The Sandman?” I felt around for The Blade but she no longer sat in her home at my side. I still had my guns but I assume that was because they knew they would do me no good.

“Are you looking for your knife, Alan?” Lucian said.

“You know me well, Lucian. We were once friends.”

“We were until I asked for your help and you denied me.”

“I couldn’t Lucian, you know that.”

“But you could go after Daniel this time? Your morals have softened I guess.”

“This is about me getting back in. He promised me.”

“HAHAHAHAHA, He promised you?!” The sandman screamed. “He promised me a lot of things as well. A lot of things that he never delivered. He is a liar, Alan. A liar.”

“What do you want with me then?” I asked. Still scrambling for the knife.

“Revenge. I would have had my own kingdom once. And you chose the wrong side. Now I have came for my revenge.”

Suddenly an arrow pierced into my leg and felt the weight of a large being on top of me. His face did not exist. It was blank, void of features. How could he see, how could he smell, or hear. It was a complete nothingness. Pure evil if I had ever seen it.

“I am done Sandman.” Lucian said from a distance.

“You are done when I say you are done.”

“You promised me Rebecca, where is she?”

“In due time, son, in due time.”

“I am not your son, I am no one’s son.” An arrow shot through The Sandman’s shoulder and stopped an inch from my face.

I pushed with all I had and sent the Sandman flying. He landed three feet away in a pile of wet boxes. Then I saw it, a glowing from a table a few feet away. I made a bolt for it, limping and dragging one leg.

“Where is Cassie?” I yelled.

“I told you she is with my brother, and your father. If she was a good girl.”

Suddenly I realized that Cassie was dead. There was nothing I could do but get revenge. Then I heard two gunshots and saw Kyle running through the sprinkler rain. He fired two more shots the landed in the center of the Sandman’s chest.

“Alan are you okay?” Kyle screamed as he approached the scene.

“Kyle get back!”

The Sandman threw his hand into the air and Kyle flew fifteen feet into a shelf. He lay there unconscious, water hitting his face.

“I don’t understand.”
“I planned for millennia to take over that kingdom. And stopped me.”

I felt his fist in my back. I flew into the table. His foot landed behind my knee sending me to the concrete floor.

I saw a glowing next to me. My blade was with in reach, just next to my hand. I slid my finger across the blade and blood trickled to the ground.

“Lucian get Kyle out of here.”

My wings, I haven’t used them in years, shot out of my back and I lifted into the air. The black feathers dripped with cold water. I looked down on the faceless man, The Sandman. Lightning shot from my fingers striking metal all around me.

Lucian scooped up Kyle. His eyes now open and on me as I floated above floor, bright lights shooting from my hands. I needed The Blade. I turned and fell, swooping like a hawk on a mission to snatch a field mouse. I grabbed the knife and sent it to the sheath and shot back into the air. Suddenly I was hit with a shelf that had flown through the air.

Laying on the ground looking up at The Sandman, his face saying nothing, emotionless, cold.

“She is gone forever. That is your punishment Alan. Live with that for eternity. And you won‘t stop The Happening.”

I shot a bolt from my hand. It struck a transformer that set of a loud explosion and a chain reaction. His attention diverted I jammed the blade into the only spot I could reach, his inner thigh of his right leg.

An open window at the far end of the warehouse shown red and blue lights flashing. Unfortunately it was my only escape. My wings beat with all the energy I will. The Sandman fell to the floor clutching his leg as the building came down around him. Mounds of rumble consuming his very being. I left him there to die a slow death. I hadn’t hit a vital point on him, his head or his heart but it would infect him slowly killing him as he lay paralyzed.

***

White walls and the smell of sterilizer filled my nostrils. Next to me stood my friend Marty and my assistant Phoebe. He blond hair glistened fluorescent glow of the hospital.

“We nearly lost you,” Marty said. “You have to stop using that blade on yourself.”

“Sir, you had me worried,” Phoebe said, leaning down and pecking me on the cheek.

“How is the detective?”

“He’ll be fine. I’m sure left with a lot of questions.”

“And what about Cassie?”

Phoebe placed her hand on my hand. “I’m sorry. She hasn’t been located but a torture chamber was found in the basement of the warehouse…” she paused. “There was a lot of blood.”

I couldn’t breathe. “At least I got the bastard.”

Marty looked at me, his face solemn, “They didn’t recover The Sandman. The was no body.”

I saw red, “Phoebe, find me Lucian Green. And any information on The Happening.”

***

Valerie and Bradley exited François’s Bistro on 5th. He leaned in pecked her on the cheek. What could be so important about this girl? This human. It made no difference to him, Samuel had a job to do.

His green slimy skin glistened in the moon light as they drew closer to him. And when he caught the mans scent his eyes glowed red.

Crimson Son Enters Final Revisions

Russ Linton

We’re finally here, at the threshold. Crimson Son has entered final revisions and is on track for the June release. My editor, Heather, bloodied things up a bit but not too badly. She rounded the manuscript out with some insightful comments which harkened back to reviews from my beta readers and had me freaking out a bit. I thought I’d fixed those issues but apparently, a couple were still lurking.

If I have a kryptonite (besides the whole its / it’s thing, sheesh, going to defuse that issue right…about…now…) it is that my desire to be mysterious and clever at times translates into “where the f$%& did that come from?” for the reader. It ‘s a delicate balance between making the reader feel they are participating in the discoveries and not leaving them in the dark. I’ve shored that issue up however and it all comes together in the end in a…

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No More Pocket Doves

dove

Feel it face flush

anger over mind racing

screaming in ringing ear hush

This is

unseen weight of boulder

stabbing digging

resting on weakened shoulder

It is my

Frankenstein monster caged

wrong word

flapping tongue rage

meaningless apologies

do nothing to love

I’ve ruined countless chances

in my pocket no more doves

My mind has been with my fiction lately but this poems stuck with me all day today.  I thought that I would share my thoughts with you all today.  The photo I found on Google images.

Enter Sandman issue 3 of 4

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Lucian had worked hundreds of jobs over the years but none quite like this one. He watched as Alan sat in his car across that parking lot. Unflinching his body never moved, he sat, crouched like a cat ready to pounce on its pray. He had an ability to slow his body, will it into near paralysis, so much so that his heart nearly stopped.

He watched steam from his mouth folded around the rusty autumn leaves. Things were changing and he knew that. He could look around and see that the world was in a state of change. On one of its many cycles that he had witnessed. And this job was proof of that. Alan? This made no sense to Lucian. He was untouchable. One of the 200. No one touched the 200. But someone wanted Alan out of the picture. A man, by what Lucian could surmise was a very powerful man. He had never met a demon that could invade someone’s sleep. The things he could do in there gave Lucian the chills.

Alan finished backing his car out of the parking lot and sped off into the early evening twilight. He knew nothing of what had happened with Alan over the last three hundred years and he knew nothing about “The Sandman” or what his endgame was. He did know however that he didn’t want to mess with him. He feared The Sandman more than he feared Alan. And in all his years if he learned one thing it was that it was about survival.

***

The car stood still at the stoplight on 17th and Vine. I could see the car flying up on me with the red and blues flashing in the windshield, not on top of the car so I knew it wasn’t a squad car but a detective and I knew it was most likely Kyle Harper. But why?

The could hear the tires as the car skidded to at stop just behind mine but as the light turned green I decided to remain still. I saw Kyle step out of the car. His black hair blowing in the cool breeze. He turned the collar of his tan leather jacket up over his ears as he came along side my passenger side. He opened the door and helped himself in.

“Can I help you detective?”

“Drive, the detective will lead. I want to ask you a few questions before we get there?”

“Where?”

“The Tower.”

“Why are we going to the tower?”

“Because the man from who your client needed protection, died late last night and I think I might need your help.”

“I was on my way to see my ex-wife, I feel she might be in danger.”

“I will send a car over to her house,” with that Alan sped off led by the detectives car. As he promised he radioed to have a car over to Cassie’s house.

“I don’t understand who I help you. I am a private detective. Surely you have people more capable than I.”

He turned to me, his face flush red. His hand hovered near his gun. I could feel the tension rising in my chest. I may be an angel but I could still feel emotions. I could still get scared, still feel pain. I could still feel happiness, and sadness. And at that moment I felt shock and surprise and worry. What was Detective Kyle Harper going to ask? And why was his hand near his gun?

“Alan, he had an arrow through his head. So last night I had a guy beheaded with sword and then his boss was shot with an arrow.”

“So?”

“This is the twenty-first century, who uses a bow and arrow and swords in this day and age?”

“I don’t know Kyle.” Actually I did know. I used the sword to kill the werewolf but who took out Daniel. That was my job. It was my one way ticket. Marlie had told me that if I did it I would have a ticket back in. Now that was gone.

“Also someone had wrote the words ‘The Hitman’ in the victims blood on a wall in the apartment.”

My heart raced with the words. I knew who the killer was, and I knew if he was in town it wouldn’t be good.

***

The Sun beat down on the mud soaked battlefield. The brown slush had become so deep that the horses couldn’t move through it and the chariots were all but useless. The heavy and light infantry of both armies had bedded for the night and the sun had woken us from its blistering heat pulsating down on us.  The putrid smell of the burning hair and organs wasn’t lost on us demons. The smell isn’t any different than that of humans. My guess was that Ramuel had burnt the dead of his army and Akibeel’s.

 

I looked down the line of men to my right. I could see the younger demons, and I knew what they were thinking. Why did I sign up for this, Ramuel can never give me what I had with the lord. I was stupid to follow him. I wished that I had felt different but the fact of the matter was I had been there, once long ago, but I had been there none the less.  I, however had learned to accept the consequences of my actions and regretted them for only a moment.

I started to feel something on my skin, not just in one place but all over, tightening. I looked to my left and I could see Lucian sitting like a stone statue. His body frozen, like a freeze frame in time. A portrait of him standing stoic with his shield and his sword, light leather armor guarding organs that would be vital to humans but nearly unimportant to us, only his heart and his head, like us all, bared the burden of being important. However his mind and his hands are what I needed him for most.

The constricting continued and I shifted my gaze to the sun, watching it rise higher into the sky.  It was moving at an enormously fast pace. I counted as I watched it pass a large rocky hill down line. 1…2…3…4…and then it passed another red rocky hill. They appeared to be no more than six inches apart, however they were many miles away. The tightening was almost becoming unbearable.

“Lucian, what is happening to me? I need your help, old friend.” I again turned my gaze to him but the action was much more labored now. I saw him again standing indifferent to anything that was happening on the battlefield. To the average person it may not have seemed like much was happening at all, but because nothing was happening meant that quite the opposite was in fact the case. Someone was freezing us in time. Incasing us in a muddy tomb.

Thud…Thud…Thud… I could hear the galloping of Akibeel’s forces closing in on the side of the Mountain we were disparately trying to hold. I managed enough energy to turn my body to see someone riding across the battlefield. He sat atop a giant steed, clad in armor from head to toe, he appeared to be from another time. Bright metal, like that of our swords, shined a reflection from the sun. I needed to know who was controlling the sun, making it move so fast across the sky and making it burn so hot, as to nearly instantly freeze us in time. This, however, wasn’t my demon.

I had struggled and dug deep to find the strength to help Lucian get his hands free from is muddy tomb. If he could help me get a few of the other demons free we might be able to free up the line. Akibeel’s forces marched meticulously across the ever hardening ground . Avoiding any suspicious areas.  I wriggled my finger until I broke it free from the tightening tomb. Then with all the energy I could fathom I moved my whole arm back and forth until soon the layers were falling off like rubble falling from a building in an earthquake, pieces falling and hitting the ground until I once again could breath.

I ran, jumping over large rocks, and mud incased bodies until I reached the side of Lucian. I franticly searched the ground for something to get him free. Nothing seemed to fit the cause so I grabbed the next best thing, my dagger from its sheath.

“I don’t think so, you be careful, I‘m very delicate.”

He said to me.

“O, you say that now,” I chuckled.

I picked a little at the corner near the inside bend of the elbow until soon he began to move on his own. He worked feverishly, shaking like a wet dog until all his mud had fallen to the ground.

Both of us turned our attention to the ridge to see the rest of Ramuel’s army frozen in thick red mud as well. I looked at Lucian suggesting his help.

“I can’t make it rain Alanesis.”

“No but you can give these men some strength to break their chains.”

“That I can, but you know what I need.”

“How much?”

“Enough, I’ll take care of you.”

I slid the dagger back out of its leathery home and place the razor sharp blade along my left wrist, dragging the blade across it. My hand nearly fell off as the blade sliced through my flesh and through the bone with little effort.  Lucian grabbed me quickly and held the hand over a rock on the ground. Light shot from the ground and splintering into thousands of forks, Lighting bolts filled the skies sending little tentacles of light raining down and landing abruptly on the top of the soldiers heads.

Ramuel was the first to brake free raising his sword into the sky, shouting a battle-cry that I didn’t understand, but it was apparent to all his men for they all found extraordinary strength and broke free of their bindings.

Suddenly everything around me blurred, Lucian’s face became a contorted, an out of focus mess.

I could still hear the galloping of horses and then the thunder doubled and I felt the whoosh of wind blowing by me forcing the smell musky smell of sweaty, dirty horses into my nostrils as they headed for Ramuel’s front lines.

Then I could feel the stillness of the air. Lucian and I were the only ones left at that part of the battlefield.

***

The view from Lucian’s perch across from The Tower gave a clear line of sight to Alan alone in the apartment with the detectives. He could see his name scribbled on the wall in the demons blood. He knew that Rebecca had done this. Was it a message to the authority’s, the Higher Powers or to Alan? He knew he had a job to do but he also knew that at that moment he had other fish to fry. He still had to find out who mystery the man was, Sandman, and why Rebecca was in his city.

As Rick would say, “Of all the Gin joints in all the world, she had to walk into mine.”

A New Man Part 29

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The fur coat in mirror above the register caught his attention as he placed the fifty on the counter, looking up at the cashier, waiting for his change. It lazily hung on the large black man as he strolled up behind Charles. His body instantly grew rigid as he recognized the man from the bar.

He saw the man fidgeting inside the long coat as he made his way down the hallway into the gas station. Hurry up man, he thought as the young kid counted back the change, more than likely the only time he had ever done so properly. Counting with the change first, “fifty-six cents makes forty-four, one makes forty-five and five makes fifty. Thank you come again.” Charles just nodded but before the boy had gotten to ‘one makes’ the black man was on his back and Charles felt something hard and round poking him in the back.

“Lets have a chat outside,” the man whispered over Charles’ shoulder and into his ear. He didn’t think he had much choice so he nodded.

“Can I help you with something sir,” the young boy asked the black man.

“Just spotted my friend from the dining area, that’s all.” He nodded at the boy. “Tell Cletus the biscuits are great.”

“There is no Cletus sir,” the boy responded to their backs for they had already started to exit.

The black man pushed Charles into the rusty van from the passenger side and followed him in. They both took their seats at the same time. Charles driving and the black man in the passenger seat. “Drive.” the black man announced.

“Where, there is a lot of places to go,” Charles began. He thought if he tried to stall maybe the cashier would call the police, surely he saw what Charles had saw. Standing at the counter Charles could see the barrel of a silver revolver stuck into his back, if the boy hadn’t seen that maybe he saw the man pushing him through the door of the van. But as Charles looked passed the black man in the passenger seat and into the station all he saw was the young boy flirting with a blonde in a short skirt and a low cut top. He was looking down at her and into her blouse. Charles knew that the boy had no desires to do anything except what was right before him.

“Just drive, I don’t care where.”

“Fine,” Charles started the van and pulled out onto the highway. “I don’t think your going to get much for me.”

“What are you talking about?” The black man asked.

“Ransom, isn’t that what this is about. Your kidnapping me thinking someone will pay top dollar for me? Well I have no family and my ‘friends’ don’t exactly have a lot of money.”

“This isn’t about ransom.”

“Then are you some crazy stalker? Because I can assure you that I have a lot of ‘friends’ that will find you and- well lets just say you wouldn’t like what happens to you.”

“I could care less about you or your so called fame that you think you have. You’re a nobody.”

“I beg to differ. Everyone knows me.”

“Ha, ha, ha.” the black man bellowed a laugh that filled the van. “This has nothing to do with you except for the fact that you and that ‘house nigger’ lied to me last night and I don’t appreciate being lied to.”

Charles’ head reeled. He really didn’t know what this guy was talking about. But as he looked into the black eyes of the man that sat in his passenger seat he knew he had to think of something soon or he wouldn’t make it to his next gig. “I really don’t even remember what it was you were looking for.” Charles admits.

“Jacob Mallory.”

Sudden realization. Charles remembered that he was looking for a ‘friend’ from St. Louis. “UH, yes you were looking for a ‘friend’ you called him.”

“Yes he is a friend of mine.”

“Well like I said last night I don’t know anyone by that name. And as for whether Blue does, well- I couldn’t say. Blue knows a lot of people, but most of them are from around here.”

“Are you sure, because I would hate to have to kill you. I hear you have a great talent.”

“I’ve been told.”

“Well sing something for me.”

“I’m really not in the mood at the moment, Mister.”

The black man pulled the hammer back on the silver revolver and sat it on his lap pointed across the van at Charles. He began to sweat and the his stomach turned flip-flops.

“Now would be a good time for me Mr. Luther.”

Charles cleared his throat. “My mirror held your goodbye, in it I saw every time you cried, Tears flowing, arms folded, in a hurry, I’m sorry-” Charles never saw the man swinging but he felt the barrel of the gun slam into his throat, right on the Adam’s apple. His esophagus collapsed and he began coughing violently. He couldn’t help but jerk the steering wheel back and forth until he got the van pulled over onto the side of the highway. Cars flew by blaring their horns as Charles sat coughing and clutching his neck.

“I will ask you one more time. Do you know Jacob Mallory, he is about 5’11″ one hundred seventy five pounds, short dark hair and bright green eyes.”

Charles felt his eyes light up, he knew the man that he was talking about, but he wasn’t Jacob Mallory. He was Nathan Collins.

“Bright green eyes? From St. Louis?”

“Yes, you know him don’t you?”

Charles had a feeling last night at the bar that he knew the man wanted Nathan, but he wasn’t sure. He also wasn’t a rat. But today was a different day, and he had his music to think about. “The man you are looking for is in town, I don’t know where he is staying but I know where he will be. He is going by the name Nathan Collins and he will be at the Bakers Funeral home on Maple Street. Haley’s wake is tonight.”

“Take me back to my car. If he isn’t at this funeral tonight. I will come and find you, and make sure you will never sing again. You understand?”

Charles just nodded and drove the black man in the fur coat to his car. And he got back on the highway. He had some business to take care of.

***

The red haired clerk sat behind her bulletproof partition counting the four hundred dollars in twenty dollar bills. Her elegantly manicured hands sped through the twenty bills like she had done it a million times. Her green eyes were bright and Jacob found this combination of red hair and green eyes as intriguing and odd, but beautiful. Her small frame sat with authority behind the desk which was another combination that he found odd yet intriguing. This room looked nothing like the first room that Jacob had seen when he visited with sheriff. She quickly left the desk through the door behind her. She was gone for what seemed like twenty minutes but after staring at the clock he realized that it had only been three.

A door to the left of the partition opened up with a buzz and the woman stepped through with Jerry in toe. He carried his belongings in his hands. His barely worn work boots, a blue t-shirt and a faded pair of designer jeans. His hair had that slept in look and the issued orange scrubs where wrinkled and appeared that he had not taken them off since he had put them on a day and a half ago.

“I can’t thank you enough for what you have done Mr. Collins.”

“Please,” Jacob stopped himself short. He placed his hand on the small of Jerry’s back and nudged him to the door.

“Make sure the scrubs are returned by tomorrow,” the red headed clerk said as Jacob escorted Jerry from the building and to the Prius. He couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to keep them.

Inside the car Jacob turned the radio down and turned to Jerry. “I need to ask you something, Jerry.”

“Shoot.” he said as he pulled the t-shirt on over his already bare torso.

Jacob described the man at his hotel room to Jerry.

“I hate to admit it but I think I know who he is.”

“Who is it?”

“Tony Preston. He makes meth for Rainbow.”

“How do you know this?”

“Everyone in town ‘knows’ who the meth makers and dealers are, it’s just hard to prove, or they don’t want too, I don’t know. What does this have to do with anything?”

Jacob reached into the tiny backseat and pulled up the two hundred or so photocopied pages that made up what was left of his daughters journal and laid it in his lap.

“I have a feeling this is what he was looking for when he trashed my room.”

“Why?”

“Jerry, is it possible that your daughter was selling drugs for Rainbow?”

He seemed utterly shocked. His face scrunched into a tight ball and his fists became clenched until his knuckles turned white and his face turned red. “I don’t know why she would or how she would have come to know the man.”

“Isn’t he Charles’ brother, the singer

that was giving your daughter music lessons?” He asked the question more as a statement but Jerry responded anyway.

“Yes, I suppose that is true, but why?”

“Well I know that you were hard on her about the money, wouldn’t let her spend it as she would like,” he began. “Her closet was full of two hundred dollar jeans with the tags and the receipts still in the bag, receipts from days before she disappeared. Yet you wouldn’t give her money for expensive clothes, which you told me yourself. I had originally thought that maybe Seth had bought them for her until I discovered that they were no longer dating.”

He could tell that Jerry wondered where all this was going, his hands were no longer white knuckled and his face not so red.

“There was a lot of traffic in and out of your house while you weren’t home. A neighbors pool boy told me as much. Even after her and Seth, who I know is using drugs, broke up he was there quite often. Your daughters band mate, Graham, who I also know is using was also there a lot. Charles, who I think is somehow mixed up in the dealing and-” he trailed off, not knowing if the last name on his list was one to discuss at this moment.

“Who else?” his knuckles once again growing white.

“Professor Dean.” Jacob wanted a reaction from Jerry, wanted to know what he thought of the man that was her stepfather. He knew from experience that a fathers gut feeling is usually correct.

“Wade Dean? My ex-wife’s husband?”

“Yep.”

“Why was he there? They never even spoke, did they?”

“It’s in the journal. I have made another copy, since I haven’t yet finished with this,” Jacob said the words without even thinking, in fact he planned on being finished. He was ready to head out of this town and find a place to settle. The longer he stayed here the greater his chances of being caught. Kelsey was already a serial number away of putting the pieces together and arresting him. But something, a feeling that had been with him longer than he cared to admit wouldn’t let him leave until he saw this through. Plus he couldn’t leave until he found Andre or Andre found him. Either way wouldn’t be pleasant.

“If you wouldn’t mind I would like to take a shower and go to the wake of my daughter.”

“I planned on attending, if that is okay with you?”

“Of course it is. You are an angel Mr. Collins. I am glad my daughter has someone like you on her side.”

Jacob wondered if Jerry knew the truth about him if he would think that.

A New Man Part 28

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As Jacob picked up the room and tried to sort through his clothes, what few he brought with him, he thought about what Roger Ericsson had told him. For some reason he wanted to believe the pedophile had been telling the truth. And a story that bizarre had to be the truth, no one could or would make up a story like that.

On the day before Haley went missing Roger sat at his computer chatting with someone on the internet, on a chat site known for older men looking for younger girls. Roger talked for hours with a thirteen year old girl named Carmen. He never got her last name just an address in Springfield. He drove nearly four hours to meet Carmen, leaving at five in the morning two hours before Haley’s dad dropped her off at Catalpa Park.

The story, however, became believable when Roger admitted that after arriving at the home at nine a.m. he found there to be no thirteen year old Carmen, only a forty-one year old Michael who later tried to blackmail Roger. Michael soon ended up in jail on a similar charge, and after completing a court records search for the Springfield court system, Jacob found Michael Talley was charged with four counts of extortion and three counts of fraud.

Roger further surprised Jacob by admitting that he had watched Haley’s house several times as he cleaned pools in the neighborhood, not to stalk her but because he noticed something going on. He could see the Murphy home from Lindsey’s pool. It seemed there was a lot of traffic in and out of the Murphy home on the days her father was at work in July and August before she disappeared.

“Who came and went from the house?” he had asked him.

“Seth for one.”

“How do you know it was Seth?”

“Everyone in Pine Bluff knows Seth.”

He figured this much to be true, little towns like this one do have their local celebrities. Seth, Charles Luther, probably more.

“Also her two friends, a skinny acne boy and a kinda’ cute girl, both around her age.”

Jordyn and Graham

“Anyone else?”

“That singer that everyone is crazy about, Charles Luther. He would go in with a couple guitar cases two times a week.”

Now Jacob knew where she took her lessons.

“Did you ever hear any arguments or anything suspicious coming from the home, it seems she was having ‘problems’ with someone, a male, just before she disappeared.”

“Mr. Collins, these homes are built really well. If you aren’t in the same room you don’t ‘hear’ an argument.”

The palms of Rogers hands where leaving moist spots from the perspiration as he griped the arms of the couch. Jacob looked into his eyes and then he shot up and his jaw flew open and an exhale the size of forty mile an hour winds left his lungs.

“What is it Roger?”

“A grey haired man, looked like an Amish dude except he was in a suit and driving a Lexus.”

Professor Dean, Jacob surmised.

***

The sheets were thrown all about as Jacob climbed out of bed. He arched his back trying to pop it as the crick nearly paralyzed him. He shook his hands as they felt like they were being stabbed with thousands of needles, his mind groggy he headed to the bathroom to splash water in his face.

“I think its time we had a talk Mr. Collins.” the voice came from the dark corner of the room. Startled he reached for his Glock on the nightstand where he normally puts it just before bed each night. But just like after the under-bite Nazi attacked him, the gun was nowhere in sight.

“Looking for this?” Now he recognized the voice. Kelsey.

“How’d you get in?”

“The manager let me in.” She said, “Although not my idea of managerial qualities. Looked more like a Goth kid to me.”
“I met him as well. When I check out, I’ll have to make a formal complaint.”

“Planning on leaving town?”

“After the funeral. Seems like everyone wants me to leave, and I have places to be anyway.”

Kelsey tossed the gun on the bed and stood. “I expect to see you leaving town right after the visitation ceremonies tonight. If I see or hear of you being in town one more time Mr. Collins, and I will arrest you for something, do you understand me?”

“Loud and clear.”

She walks passed him, reaching out and rubbing her hand across his bare chest. Jacob glances down to make sure he slept in something, relieved he had on his black Calvin Klein boxers.

“Your in pretty good shape for a banker, Mr. Collins.”

“The body is a temple, right?”

“Yes,” she looks at him again, up and down. His stomach turns flips and dances in his belly. “But are you a cop or a banker?”

SHIT! What was it last? Damn he hates lies, its much easier to tell the truth.

“Listen Kelsey, I honestly don’t remember what I told you last. And lets face it when we first met I didn’t know you from Eve,” he kind of chuckled, not really at his own joke but more from nerves. “And I thought I was just passing through. The fact is I am Nathan Collins, a Banker from St. Louis. I lived there with my wife and kid until she left taking my baby girl with her. Out of depression I got mixed up in some things that I’m not proud of, made a deal with the cops, and did some forensic accounting for them in exchange for immunity. So I have some detective experience. I found a soft spot for Jerry and Haley. I’m sorry if I stepped on some toes. But like I said, I’m leaving town and leaving the case in your hands.”

“Thank you for your honesty Mr. Collins,” she said as she made her way to the door. She opened it letting the light from the hallway shine into the dark room. “Just know that I have the serial numbers to your ‘registered’ gun and will be running them down today. I’m sure your story will pan out though so no need to worry.”

Shit!

***

Inside the comfort of the leather interior he heard a ding for the hundredth time and glanced at the dash panel. The low fuel light blinking off and on, he reads the gauge and the needle is buried. Outside the black Escalade the thirty inch right front chrome wheel slammed into a pothole, spewing black snow and ice sludge all over the front of the SUV. Inside Andre bounces nearly out of the heated seat and into the floor board.

As the SUV begins to sputter he pulls next to the pump of a crowded truck stop, and reads a sign facing the highway. I haven’t had a good biscuit and gravy since Grandma died, he thought.

After paying for the gas, he sat at a booth inside the packed restaurant with his newspaper and opened up, the waitress steps to the table.

“What can I get for you this morning?” she asked.

“I’ll have a small biscuit and gravy.”

“Sure,” she was a large woman and the mole on her left cheek had a black hair that begged Andre to pull it out. “Coffee to drink?”

“Sounds fine, bring me plenty of cream and sugar.”

With a jot of her pen she scooted off to the back and Andre went back to the paper. Skimming through he saw stories about the zoo, the rise in crime in St. Louis, and then a story about the drop in population over the last sixty years.

The large waitress returned with the coffee and sat it down in front of Andre and onto a flyer that sat below the glass covering of the table. Andre hadn’t noticed the flyer before but now something was drawing his attention to it. Four men stood and one man kneeled in front of them. They stood in front of a big pine tree. The men were all tattooed up and as Andre saw them all he could think was ‘white trash’, they styled themselves with cut off t-shirts and long hair with ponytails. They wore tattered blue jeans and work boots. But it was the man in the middle kneeling that caught his eye. He had seen him before.

He poked at the flyer and asked-Gail, he looked at her nametag for the first time- “Who is this?”

“Damned Old Train. It says it right there,” she pointed at the bottom of the flyer that announced the name of the band and the fact that they were having a concert on New Years Eve at Blue’s.

“Not the band, that man.” He pointed to the one in the middle, kneeling.

“Oh, he is the lead singer. Charles Luther. They are really good.”

I doubt it. He recognized Charles from that bar the night before. He also recalled the mans eyes and how they flashed with something that Andre knew well. Lies. Andre could spot a lair a mile away, as they say ‘takes one to know one’. He hadn’t trusted the man and he knew that he possibly knew something.

“He from here?”

“Yep,” she said. “Little Charles has lived here his whole life. Sad bout his family.” She leaned in close to Andre’s ear and cupped her hands around her mouth as if telling a secret. “They died tragically when he was very young and the only family the poor boy had was his good for nothing brother. He is mixed up in drugs and the sort, he runs a gang, prostitution, drugs, protection (from what we don’t know). We don’t like his kind around here.”

Andre couldn’t stand the woman’s breath that close to him so he eased away slightly and spoke softly, to match her turn. “I wouldn’t imagine. We don’t like those kind where I am from either.” He patted the woman on her hand and she scooted off again, Andre hopefully thought for his breakfast. And she returned shortly just as he had hoped with his steaming hot biscuits and gravy.

The last bite of biscuit was moving around the plate on Andre’s fork in an attempt to sop up the last of the gravy when the woman approached the table again. “Oh my,” she says in a shaky nervous voice, “seems you enjoyed it.”

“I did, thank you.”

She pointed down the hallway that led to the gas station portion of the truck stop to the register. “Mr. Luther will be coming to pay for his gas in a moment. I just saw his van pull up to the pump. If you would like to say hello,” she said “he is very approachable. He is still humbled by the fame he has achieved.”

“I may just have to have myself a conversation with Mr. Luther, then.”

Batting a thousand Act II part 2

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INT. MOVIE THEATER — NIGHT

Shawn is still in his t-shirt and jeans as he walks up to

the counter and in front of him he sees Angel.

She appears to be alone.

He reaches in front of him and taps her on the shoulder.

She turns around and smiles.

       ANGEL

      Hey, what are you doing here?

      SHAWN

    I came to buy a car, I think I’m in the

     wrong place.

    ANGEL

    Ha, Ha, what are you coming to see?

SHAWN

I thought about the new Nicholas

Sparks movie but I don’t know.

ANGEL

I heard it was awful, I got a

ticket to the new Rock movie, you

should join me.

SHAWN

Ha,

ANGEL

What?

SHAWN

Nothing, sorry

(to the cashier)

I’ll take one for the one she is

seeing.

The man takes the money and gives him a ticket.

They walk to the concession counter and buy some candy and

popcorn, when they are blinded by flashes. When Shawn looks

up all he sees is a man running away with a camera in his

hand.

SHAWN

Bastards.

ANGEL

Come on you know you love it, you

haven’t had it happen long enough

to bother you yet.

SHAWN

Yeah, I kind of like it.

They make their way down the hallway and into the theater

and find their seats.

INT. SHAWN AND MEGAN’S APARTMENT — MORNING

The alarm clock wakes Shawn from his sleep and he rolls out of

bed.

He stubbles down the hallway to the kitchen where he finds Megan

sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a

paper in front of her.

It is obviously a tabloid.

He pauses in the doorway and runs his fingers through his hair.

He moves to the fridge and opens the door.

He pulls out the milk and takes a drink from the carton.

MEGAN

I wish you wouldn’t do that

SHAWN

Sorry, you don’t drink it anyway.

MEGAN

What is this shit?

She tosses the paper at him.

He looks at the picture on the cover and sees him at the concession

stand with Angel.

SHAWN

It is two friends watching a movie.

MEGAN

No you two were not just friends.

SHAWN

You don’t know what we were. And if

I remember correctly you were the

one who left me.

MEGAN

Yeah well I am back.

SHAWN

Me too. That is the end of this

conversation.

MEGAN

I would like it if you didn’t see

her anymore.

SHAWN

I would like it if you didn’t work with

Brody anymore.

MEGAN

His name is Adrian, and I don’t

have a choice about who I work

with.

SHAWN

Then this discussion is over. I

have to go to practice.

EXT. BEN’S HOME — DAY

Ben is having another barbecue at his house.

The whole gang is in attendance again.

This time with an addition. Nicole and Kenny have had their

baby, a little boy.

Kenny holds him showing him off to everyone.

Ben and Shawn are sitting at a table outside with a beer in

front of them.

BEN

You have been on fire. I think this is

probably the best I have seen you play.

SHAWN

Yeah, well, I have been lucky.

BEN

What’s up, you seem down today.

SHAWN

I got into it with Megan yesterday

about Angel. And now she is here.

BEN

What is the problem. I thought you

two were over.

SHAWN

We are. I ran into her at the movie

theater the other day and we sat

together.

BEN

So what is the big deal?

SHAWN

That was my point. I love Megan,

and she was the one that done me

wrong, I have given her no reason

to not trust me.

BEN

Maybe she thinks your going to

retaliate for what she did to you.

SHAWN

I’m not that kind of guy, Ben, and

I would hope that the woman I asked

to marry me knows me better than

that.

BEN

She did say no.

SHAWN

Don’t remind me. I better be going,

I don’t want this to turn ugly.

BEN

The food isn’t even done yet.

SHAWN

Sorry. I have to make it work this

time.

Shawn gets up and leaves only to meet Angel in the doorway.

They pass glances, and he moves on.

Angel sits next to Ben at the table.

ANGEL

What is his problem.

BEN

He was reamed by Megan when the

pictures of you two at the movies

made the tabloids and he wants to

avoid another fight.

ANGEL

Sure, I understand. Charles wasn’t too

happy either.

BEN

How are you two doing?

ANGEL

Fine I guess, the wedding is on

hold. He said that he wasn’t quite

ready since we are so far apart

now.

INT. GYM — DAY

The three guys are working out like normal. Shawn lays on

the bench and Ben is spotting him and Kenny is standing off

to the side checking out the women.

SHAWN

Kenny, your wife just had a baby

for Christ’s sake, do you think you

could stop being a creep for one

hour.

KENNY

Sorry, you are starting to sound

like Ben.

SHAWN

So anyway, even after I left the

other day, I still ended up in an

argument with Megan, over something

that didn’t even happen.

BEN

I don’t know what to tell you. I

can’t say that I would leave because the

truth is I probably wouldn’t.

SHAWN

I wonder what would have happened

had I not let Megan in that night.

The fact is that Angel was, and

still is, with Charles, and I can’t

do that to a guy, even if I don’t

know him.

BEN

For once, I don’t have any advice.

If this was about baseball I could

help you, but when it comes to the

game of love, man, I am just as

fucked up as anybody.

SHAWN

No, you guys have it great, I just

hope I can find something like you

and Abigail have. Even half that

would be great.

BEN

Its not that pretty on the inside.

SHAWN

What have I been missing?

BEN

Maybe some other time. Right now this

is about you.

KENNY

I am no expert either, but I think

that you won’t be happy until you

do what your heart tells you. Its

talking, just listen, it won’t lead

you in the wrong direction.

BEN

Listen to this asshole, for once the

fucker actually has some good

advice.

EXT. BASEBALL STADIUM — NIGHT

The lights are shining bright as Shawn steps up to the

plate.

He faces the same pitcher as his first time at bat in the majors.

He watches as the pitcher winds up and delivers.

He swings and misses the first pitch.

He looks up at the scoreboard. 0-0.

The pitcher winds up and throws the ball again.

Shawn swings and connects with it, it flies down the left field line

but stays fair and bounces into the corner.

He runs toward first, rounding it heading to second. He

stops on second base.

A runner scores. 0-1

Shawn stands on second and he watches the third base couch

and Shawn nods.

The pitcher delivers and the ball bounces behind the catcher

as Shawn takes off stealing third.

The batter hit’s the next pitch into short right to get a

base hit and Shawn scores. 0-2

The next batter is up and the pitcher delivers a pitch that is called

a strike.

The batter backs up relaxes and steps back in.

He then swings at the next pitch and connects into a pop up

and is out.

Fade into:

Shawn stands at the plate again when he looks up the score

board. Fourth inning, 2-2.

The pitcher winds up and delivers a stunning fastball in and low,

ball one.

Then he delivers a sinker, ball two.

Shawn steps back, relaxes and steps back in.

The pitcher throws another fastball low and outside, ball three.

Shawn steps out again. He looks at Winfield standing in the

dug out, he is pointing at the bleachers. Shawn steps back

in. The pitch comes and Shawn swings at it goes deep, real

deep.

He runs toward first only to see it get caught by the centerfielder.

Fade into:

Shawn standing at first with his glove and there is a runner

on first leading off.

He looks up at the scoreboard. Top of the ninth, one out and

2-2, he watches as the pitcher delivers a fast ball and the

batter swings and hits right to Shawn.

He catches it and tags the runner and tosses the ball to the

pitcher covering first to get the batter out. Double play.

He runs back to the dug out and sees Winfield.

WINFIELD

Your up Mallory. All we need is one

run and we’re in the playoffs. No

pressure.

He pats him on the back as Shawn heads to the plate.

Shawn watches as the pitcher sits up.

He throws and the ball goes right by him. Strike one.

He stretches his neck and waggles his bat.

Pitch two comes and it is another fastball down the middle. Strike two.

He steps out and then right back in.

The pitcher releases the pitch and Shawn swings connecting

and he just drops the bat.

He watches it fly out of the park. Disappearing in the

lights of the stadium. They made it.

INT. SHAWN AND MEGAN’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

Shawn lays on the couch, relaxing from a hard night.

He wears only a pair of boxers, with a beer on the table in front

of him.

He flops his feet on the table and turns on the television

with the remote.

The lights go dim and Megan peeks her head around a corner.

She has her hand on the light switch, she is being very

seductive.

Shawn can see the pink teddy hanging down, way above the

knee as she throws her leg out.

As she steps from behind the wall, he can see her perfect

body, nearly all of it, in the dim light.

She walks toward him like she is on the runway.

He drops the remote as she nears him, and he kicks the beer

over. As she steps over the spilling beer.

She slides the straps off of her teddy and it falls into the

liquid.

She straddles him and puts her hands on his face. And kisses

him softly.

MEGAN

Shawn?

SHAWN

Yeah?

MEGAN

I love you.

SHAWN

I love yo……u too.

MEGAN

Shawn, remember when you gave me

the ring and I turned you down?

SHAWN

How could I forget.

MEGAN

I want to apologize for that.

SHAWN

You hurt me, but you were honest

and you should be. Maybe not that

brutal, but honest.

MEGAN

I think I am ready.

SHAWN

Ready for what?

MEGAN

You know, to be married. You are

well on your way as far as your

career goes and I have a steady gig

with Michael modeling his

lingerie.

SHAWN

Is that one of his pieces, because

I like it a lot. Tell him thank you

for me.

They start kissing and rubbing each other. Shawn pulls away

and looks at her.

SHAWN

But do you love me more then you

did then?

MEGAN

I have always loved you Shawn.

SHAWN

Then why weren’t the Roster’s good

enough.

MEGAN

This has nothing to do with

baseball, Shawn. She rolls off of

him, covering up with a decorative

pillow.

SHAWN

Yes it does. I am doing the same

job now as I was then.

MEGAN

But your famous now. SHAWN Is that

all you want? Fame?

MEGAN

I have my fame, I don’t need yours.

She jumps up and picks up her teddy

as she storms out of the room.

MEGAN

And clean up your goddamned beer.

INT. DUGOUT — NIGHT

Shawn sits on the bench in the dugout with his team and Ben comes

up to the back door that leads to the tunnels. He is in

jeans and a t-shirt.

SHAWN

You don’t look real professional

tonight.

BEN

Here as a fan, not business.

SHAWN

Cheering for the Yanks.

BEN

Yeah. Good luck tonight.

SHAWN

We’ll need it, we’re down 2-1 in

the series and their a tough team.

BEN

You guys can do it.

Ben turns and heads back down the tunnel.

Batting A Thousand, Act II Part I

INT. ANGEL’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

Shawn and Angel are sitting on her couch with a wine glass apiece.

They sit close and Angel has her head on his shoulder. They are

watching ESPN as Sports Center recaps the game they were

just at.

Angel leans forward to the table were the half empty bottle of

red wine is sitting and grasps the bottle by the neck.

ANGEL

Would you like another?

SHAWN

Sure.

Angel pours him another glass and they linger, hold each others

stare for a moment and lean in, slow, and finally their

noses touch. Mouths almost there.

SHAWN

I thought this was just a drink.

ANGEL

It was.

They finish moving in and their lips touch. It is a soft, passionate

kiss that lasts only seconds.

Angel pulls back, sets the bottle on the table and reaches for

Shawn’s shirt.

She finds the bottom of it and pulls it over his head. Then she

grabs the bottom of her shirt and pulls it slowly over the

top of her head, revealing her blue lacy bra.

They move to her bedroom were she falls, pulling him to the bed

on top of her.

EXT. PARK — DAY

A bench sits next to a small pond with a fountain in the middle.

Shawn and Angel sit on a blanket thrown on the ground.

On the blanket sits a picnic basket and paper plates with sandwiches

on them.  A bottle of wine sits in the middle with two

plastic cups filled up and sitting next to the plates.

ANGEL

So you aren’t weirded out about the

other night are you?

SHAWN

No, why would I be?

ANGEL

I don’t know, we just weren’t

supposed to do that.

SHAWN

It seemed right though, didn’t it?

ANGEL

Yeah, it kind of did. But I am

still engaged to Charles.

SHAWN

I know.

ANGEL

Maybe in a different time.

They look out at the pond.

Shawn takes a drink of his wine.

SHAWN

It was good sex though, right?

ANGEL

(laughing)

Yes, it was very good.

Angel takes a drink of her wine.

ANGEL

Was it good for you?

SHAWN

Oh my God, I have never had any

that good before.(laughs)

ANGEL

It was pretty average wasn’t it?

SHAWN

Yeah, but even average sex is good

sex.

Angel takes another drink and looks at her watch.

ANGEL

Oh shit, I have to go.  I have to

get back to work.

She jumps up and pulls Shawn up with her.

ANGEL

Thank you for lunch, we will have

to do it again.

SHAWN

Still no dates, huh?

ANGEL

I would love to, but you know.

She gives him a peck on the cheek and walks away.  She looks

over her shoulder a few steps into her journey back to work

and blows him a kiss.

Shawn chuckles and begins to pick up the blanket.

INT. SHAWN’S APARTMENT — DAY

Shawn is fresh out of the shower, he has a towel around him and

is dripping wet.

He talks into a speaker phone, he is in his bedroom and looking

through his closet.

SHAWN

I know, Ben, but I really like her.

BEN

But she hasn’t broken up with her

fian…Charles.

SHAWN

She shouldn’t, we’re just friends.

BEN

No matter what Kenny says, friends

shouldn’t do what you guys did.

SHAWN

You seem a little touchy, buddy.

BEN

Well, you guys are both my friends

and I don’t want to see either one

of you guys get hurt.

SHAWN

No one is going to get hurt, we

both know what happened was a one

time thing. Something that won’t

happen again.

BEN

I don’t like it. What are you doing

tonight, I have an extra ticket to

the hockey game.

SHAWN

Angel and I are going to a play and

then out to dinner.

BEN

Shit.

Buzz, Buzz. The intercom system goes off and Shawn moves to the

speaker on his wall. He pushes a button.

SHAWN

Come on up.

(Back to the Phone)

That is her now and I haven’t

gotten dressed yet so I have to go.

I will talk to you tomorrow, enjoy

the game.

BEN

Shawn I really think you should

stop and think about what your

do…

Shawn doesn’t let him finish before he pushes a button on

the phone and disconnects him. Shawn is getting dressed when

he hears a woman’s voice behind him but it’s not Angel, it

is Megan.

MEGAN

I had forgotten how nice your ass

is.

Shawn is startled and throws his towel back around himself with

his pants halfway up. She moves over to him and wraps her

arms around him and begins to kiss him.

His towel falls to the floor.

Angel stands in the doorway, she sees Megan kissing Shawn

and him not stopping her, and she doesn’t say anything, she

just leaves, quietly.

EXT. PARK — NOON

The three friends stand in batting cages, all side by side. Balls

fly at them at ninety miles an hour and Shawn is the only

one connecting with the ball at all.

For several seconds the three continue to bat away. Finally Ben

drops his bat and walks to the edge of his cage.

BEN

Shawn you know you fucked things up

with Angel, right.

SHAWN

We didn’t have anything to fuck up.

BENÂ

You guys were once friends, and you

know she liked you.

SHAWN

She never told me how she felt and

the fact the Charles is still

around should be proof enough that

she doesn’t have any interest in

me. And besides, she’s the one that

never showed the other night.

BEN

You are a fucking idiot. She saw

you with Megan, nearly naked.

SHAWN

Fuck, you know that I never

intended to be naked with Megan, I

thought it was Angel at the door.

It doesn’t matter now anyway. Megan

is the one I am supposed to be

with. I have known that for years.

BEN

Yeah, well are you the one she is

supposed to be with?

Ben turns and walks away, leaving the batting cage in

INT. SMALL CAFE — DAY

Angel, Abigail and Nicole are at a small table sipping on wine,

except Nicole has a water.

Flowers are everywhere and the colorfulness of spring can be seen

out the window from fruit and flower vendors line the

street.

ABIGAIL

You know that isn’t how Shawn is. I

am sure there is a reasonable

explanation for what happened.

ANGEL

I don’t need an explanation. He

told me from the first time we met

that he was in love with her, no

matter how wrong she is for him. He also

had no reason to not be with her.

We don’t, nor did we, have a relationship

beyond that of a professional and

platonic nature.

NICOLE

(pretending like she is

coughing)

BULLSHIT!!

ANGEL

Just because we made an error in

judgment one night doesn’t mean

that we had anything emotionally

invested in it.

ABIGAIL

You care for him I can see it in

your eyes.

ANGEL

I have a Fiancé and he is wonderful

to me.

NICOLE

That doesn’t mean that you love

him, or should.

ABIGAIL

Do you?

ANGEL

I have to be going, I have an

interview in an hour.

She stands and throws some money on the table and walks away from

the conversation.

INT. BEN’S OFFICE — DAY

Ben sits at his computer, not working just staring at the screen

when his secretary comes over the intercom on his phone.

HOLLY

Ben, there is call on line two for

you. A Mr. Schumacher.

Ben comes to life. He sits erect.

BEN

Put him through.

He picks up the phone.

BEN

Hello sir… I’m doing fine, how

may I help you today? … Oh,

yes… sure, I will let him know.

No, he will be there first thing in

the morning. No, thank you.

Ben stands up and hangs up the phone, pushing a button.

Holly opens the door to the office.

HOLLY

Yes sir.

BEN

Would you get Shawn in here please,

I need to speak to him before I

leave today.

HOLLY

Yes sir.

INT. BEN’S OFFICE — DUSK

Ben sits behind his desk again when there is a rap on his door.

BEN

Come in.

The door opens and Shawn stands just outside.

He comes in and sits in the chair in front of Ben.

SHAWN

What is it, buddy? Holly said that

it was important.

BEN

It is. I have some good news and

some bad news.

SHAWN

Give me the bad first.

BEN

You will be taking some time off of

the Roosters.

SHAWN

Okay, the good news?

BEN

I got a call from Marvin Schumacher

this afternoon and they what you to

come play for the Senators.

SHAWN

For good?

BEN

It will be for a trail period. St.

John has an inflamed muscle in his

throwing arm. They want you to

replace Vaughn at first and moving him

to Left. Just until his arm heals.

SHAWN

That’s great news, my chance.

He stands and walks over to the picture window that looks

out over the city.

SHAWN

This is crazy, Ben. My dreams are

coming true. Shouldn’t I be

excited?

BEN

It just hasn’t settled in yet. You

will be.

SHAWN

I should call Angel and let her

know, I think she would like to

know.

BEN

I bet she already does.

INT. LOBBY OF AN OFFICE BUILDING — DUSK

Angel sits with her pen and paper in front of her talking to a

tall man with a dark complexion.

It is ST. JOHN. They are talking and she writing notes down.

ANGEL

So, do you know who will be taking

your spot in the line up, and is

this going to affect the alleged

trade deal from a couple of weeks

ago.

ST. JOHN

I was told that they where bringing

up a minor leaguer, Mallory, I

believe, and I can’t comment on the

trade deal.

ANGEL

Shawn Mallory?

ST. JOHN

Yeah, that’s him.

ANGEL

Thank you I think that is all,

again, thank you for your time.

She quickly leaves fumbling with her cell phone trying to place

a call.

EXT. BASEBALL STADIUM — DAY

Shawn stands  in the batters box at the stadium taking

An older man walks up to him, he is the manager of the Senators,

BOBBY WINFIELD. And he is carrying a uniform.

WINFIELD

Here boy, put this on. You may need

it for tonight. Nervous yet?

SHAWN

A little, sir.

WINFIELD

Have you thrown up yet?

SHAWN

No sir.

WINFIELD

Then your doing better than me on

first day. I didn’t even get to

practice because I spent the first

two days in the bathroom.

SHAWN

It’s still early, sir.

WINFIELD

Look around you boy, tonight there

won’t be an empty seat in the

house.

Shawn begins to scan the bleachers. They are all empty as he

moves around the stadium the view changes from day to night

and the seats are all full.

EXT. BASEBALL STADIUM — NIGHT

The crowd is roaring and standing on their feet. Shawn stands

at the plate. He is visibly nervous, tugging at his shirt

and messing with his helmet.

He can hear the roar of the crowd and is focused on the pitcher

standing on the mound in front of him.

He watches as the pitcher winds up and delivers the first

pitch and he watches it go by.

UMPIRE

STRIKE ONE!!

Shawn steps out of the box and rocks his head back and forth trying

to relax a little.

He steps back in.

The pitcher again winds up and delivers.

This time he swings missing it completely.

UMPIRE

STRIKE TWO!!

Shawn doesn’t move this time, he stays in the box ready for

the pitch.

He waits and the pitcher winds up and throws, Shawn blinks

and the ball is by him again.

UMPIRE

BALL ONE!

Again he stays steady waiting for the pitch and it comes.

Shawn swings and the ball is coming at him in slow motion.

He swings with everything he has and connects.

The ball flies deep into right field and Shawn takes off

like a rocket, running to first base, but hears the umpire.

UMPIRE

OUT!!

Shawn turns on the baseline and heads to the dug out. Winfield

stands at the steps waiting on the young player. As Shawn

jogs past him he pats him on the back.

WINFIELD

No problem, your first one is out

of the way.

The scoreboard shows that it is the second inning 0-0 it

transitions to bottom of the ninth visitors winning 6-4.

Back to the dug out and Shawn heads to the plate.

WINFIELD

Man on first and third, Vaughn is fast so a double should

tie it up.

Shawn jogs to the plate.

A new pitcher is on the mound.

Shawn again is very nervous. He wiggles the bat as the

pitcher winds up and throws the ball.

Shawn swings and connects but doesn’t move.

UMPIRE

HOMERUN!!

Shawn jumps up in the air and runs around the bases.

His teammates meet him at he plate and carry him off of the

field. He sees Winfield standing by the dug out.

WINFIELD

Or a homer will work too. Nice work

son.

INT. BEN’S OFFICE — MORNING

Shawn enters in a nice suit.

He sits in his usual chair in front of Ben’s desk and

relaxes until he is slouching in the big leather seat.

BEN

How are you doing?

SHAWN

Been busy. Seven road games will

take it out of you.

BEN

Well I have some good news. The

Senators want to offer you a full

contract, two million for two

years, that’s pretty good for a

rookie.

SHAWN

I’ll take it. I guess I shouldn’t

argue, that is a lot of money for

something I would do for free.

BEN

Your damn right it is.

SHAWN

How is Abigail doing I haven’t seen

her since I got picked up.

BEN

Great. Kenny and Nicole have been

scheduled a date for an inducement.

Two weeks.

SHAWN

I’ll be at home, I’ll have to come

by. How is Angel doing, I haven’t

seen her in a while either?

BEN

Good, I guess I haven’t seen her

either but her and Abigail are

keeping in touch. How is Megan.

SHAWN

Good… I probably need to be going,

it was good seeing you, next week

for lunch, we’re still on right.

BEN

Yep. How about I walk you out,

Kenny and I are going to work out,

you can join us if you would like.

SHAWN

No, Megan and I are going for

lunch. I haven’t seen her in a week

either.

EXT. BEN’S OFFICE — NOON

Shawn and Ben walk out of the front door when Megan pulls up

in a new red sports car, convertible, top down.

She looks beautiful in it, fits her well.

SHAWN

You like it?

BEN

Yeah.

SHAWN

Bought it this morning. I was

worried about the payments, but I

guess I don’t have to now, isn’t

that right?

BEN

No I guess not. I’ll see you next

week. Good luck on the diamond buddy.

Shawn jumps over the door and into the seat, and waves as Megan

speeds away.

INT. FANCY RESTAURANT — EVENING

Shawn and Megan stand just on the other side of a glass

door, he wears a designer suit and she wears a designer

dress.

They enter a nice restaurant and walk up to the maitre d where

Shawn leans on the podium and looks the small man in eye.

SHAWN

Two for Mallory

MAITRE D

Sure, right this way Mr. Mallory

They follow the man to a small table near the back of the

dining room when they are met by Angel and Charles walking out.

Angel reaches out and gives him a hug.

ANGEL

Shawn, it is so nice to see you.

How have you been?

SHAWN

Good, living the dream.

ANGEL

I know I have been watching. Good

stats. Too bad you haven’t played

all year, ESPN thinks you would

have been rookie of the year.

SHAWN

Yeah, well, I am having fun.

ANGEL

You remember Charles?

SHAWN

Sure, nice to see you again. And I

guess you remember Megan.

ANGEL

Yes.

MAITRE D

Sir your table is this way.

SHAWN

I guess I better be going before

they give my table away.

ANGEL

(whispering)

You wouldn’t be missing much.

They hug again and walk their separate ways.

INT. SHAWN AND MAEGAN’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

The two are sitting on the couch watching television, actually

he is flipping channels.

He is bumming in his t-shirt and jeans.

She has on a sweats outfit, probably just done working out.

SHAWN

What do you say we catch a movie.

MEGAN

Look at me, I can’t go out like

this. But go if you want, I’ll

catch up on some reading.

SHAWN

Huh, a model that can read, that’s

unbelievable.

MEGAN

Shut up.

SHAWN

Come on, we can catch a Nicholas

Sparks book turned into a movie. I’m

sure there is one out.

MEGAN

There is, but I know it won’t be as

good as the book.

SHAWN

They never are. Then we can catch

the latest Rock movie.

MEGAN

Hum, you are a mans man.

SHAWN

What, Kenny says he’s a good actor.

MEGAN

What does Kenny know, if they don’t

have tits and ass he probably

doesn’t even know who they are.

SHAWN

Come on we haven’t been out in a

while.

MEGAN

We’re both famous now, we can’t

afford to go out. Everyone will

look at us and wonder why we’re not

watching in our private theater,

when are we getting that anyway.

SHAWN

Fine I will go by myself. Don’t

wait up.

MEGAN

I won’t.