Friday, January 28, 2011

Flaming Twenties and Black Powder

Today is the No Fear Blogfest over at Dominic's Writes of Passage. So excited to read everyone's entry.

I've decided to post a scene from my second book in the Shades of Hope series entitled, Ruby Dawn. In it, the main character, Ruby goes after Jason who set fire to her clinic, framed her for drug dealing, and shot the man she loves. To say that she is terrified is an understatement...

Tiny is the teen-aged gang member that she helped. He is with her at an abandoned boathouse as she tries to find out if Tom, her love interest, is still alive. --- Ruby was in the trunk earlier because she'd been abducted by Tiny's gang to help their friend. They're allies by the time we get to this scene...

Chapter Forty-Five

I pulled Tiny by the shirt towards the SUV, my eyes searching for any other guards.
“What’re we doin’, Doc?” he panted, stumbling after me.
“I need some tubing, anything long.” I took the gun from Tiny and walked arm extended right up to the driver’s side of the SUV. I peered inside. No one. “Go Tiny, hurry!”
He nodded and ran off. I stood on my tip-toes and looked into the front seat, under the dash. The alarm light wasn’t blinking. I tried the handle. The door opened. A surge of hope rushed through me, and I climbed inside.
Sheila, my foster mom, had taken me camping in an older one of these. I reached my hand down along the side of the driver’s seat, found the lever I was looking for and pulled. Through the rear view mirror, I saw the little gas cover swing open. I smiled. Hopping out I caught sight of Tiny cresting the dirt mounds, running back from the car.
He held up loops of clear surgical tubing, smiling. “In the trunk, from when you were in there,” he panted. “Downey says she’s still trying to get through to someone. Don’t worry, I told them to stay in the car.”
“Thanks, Tiny.” I grabbed the tubing I’d used for Darnell’s IV, and ran over to the gas cap. Twisting it off, I fed the tubing into the tank. Turning to Tiny, I pointed to the back of the SUV. “See if you can get that open.”
He lifted an eyebrow but went over and lifted the back hatch of the SUV. I felt the tube hit the bottom of the tank. Finding the other end of the tubing, I sucked on it, trying to get the gas to come out. I saw the pale liquid rise in the tube, snaking through it like juice in a crazy straw. I gagged with the fumes and then spit as the gas started to pour down out of the tube and into the dirt.
“Tiny, what’s taking so long?”
I looked over my shoulder at Tiny’s shocked face.
“Uh, Doc,” he stammered.
“What?” I pulled off my shirt, leaving only my tank top. Wadding it up I soaked it with the gas, turning it in the dirt. I willed my mind to quiet down, to stop showing me Tom’s pain-filled face.
Tiny pointed into the SUV. “There’s something you should see.”
I grabbed my soaked shirt and walked over to Tiny, stopping short. Wires snaked along the inside roof of the SUV. I took in the pipes with caps, and the black electrical tape and bit my lip. Jason, wired the other SUV to blow, taking out the cops…he’d done the same with this one. I frowned. Blaine must have known he’d hide it here.
Against the side of the trunk, brick-sized bundles sat stacked. Wrapped with green duct tape and labeled with numbers, I guessed it was drugs.
“I don’t care, Tiny.” I said and held out my hand. “Give me your lighter.”
Groaning, he reached into this pocket and brought out the silver-capped lighter he was playing with while driving. I squeezed the gas all over the inside carpet of the SUV’s trunk, and then dangled the shirt over the tailgate.
“I don’t think this’ll just burn, Doc, the powder in the—”
“I know, Tiny. I know,” I interrupted. “Start running.”
I flicked the flame alight and held it to the end of my shirt, my hand trembling. The cloth went up with a whoosh and the Molotov cocktail bottles flying through my clinic windows flashed behind my eyes. I stepped back one step, then another, mesmerized by the flames licking higher and higher into the trunk.
“Doc!” Tiny yelled.
I turned and ran, sprinting full bore away from the hissing fire. The hair on my arms stood on end. A terrible blast threw me forward onto my stomach in a dirt belly-flop, the wind whooshing out of me. I struggled to my feet, bleary eyed. Ears ringing, I turned to face the SUV, still strangely intact. I turned to Tiny who peered out from behind an overturned wheel-barrel, and shrugged, looking back at the SUV fire.
He frowned. “Maybe the pipe bombs—”
The concussive wave tore over me, slamming me backwards and blinding me. The pipe bombs went off in a series of explosions. I buried my head in my arms and pulled into a ball, screaming. Shards of glass and metal splayed out in a cloud of dirt ripping scratches along my back and legs. My ears ringing, I could only hear the blasts as muffled booms. They stopped, and I peered over my forearms, panting.
“Tiny, Tiny, are you all right?” I yelled, but my ears wouldn’t work. Stifled sounds surrounded me, but I couldn’t tell the direction. Eyes searching for Tiny, I found him with his hand to his leg. Blood seeped out from between his fingers. I read his lips as he spoke to me, his voice a far away din.
He looked up at me. “I’m okay, Doc.”
I leaned over him, wiggling my finger in my ear, trying to clear it.
Eyes wide, Tiny raised a shaking hand in between our faces and grasped at the paper floating down from the sky. I stared, open mouthed at a singed twenty-dollar bill, still smoldering. I looked up, all around us, a storm cloud of money fluttered to ground like a ticker tape parade. Thousands of flaming dollars rained down on us. I stared speechless.
Tiny shoved his gun in my hands, pulling me out of my stupor. “Go!”
I took the gun and turned toward the boathouse, staring shocked at the flaming cavern the bomb blast tore into the side. My heart stuttered in my chest, terrified that Tom was under all of that debris.
Walk with me, Lord.
Steeling myself, I pointed the gun out in front of me, sucked in a breath, and ran into the fire.

That's it for my entry...I hope you take a moment to view the others in the blogfest. Thanks to Dominic for the great idea!

Until next time...Go Write!
Photograph by Meddy Garnet.


Francine Howarth said...


Oh my, that's some action sequence there and I do feel for the MC sucking on the fuel syphon. Fantastic overall description conveyed re the fire razing. ;)


Summer Ross said...

Really engaging scene. There some bravery I could never muster. Thanks for sharing with us!

Madeleine said...

Gosh straight into the action. I could feel the tension. :O)

Sherri said...

I completely understand why they wanted ALL three!

Mara Nash said...

Wow! I was riveted from the first word. Very nicely done!

Tessa Conte said...


OMG you write a mean thrill(er)! Love it! I'm really looking forward to reading this once you get it published, and I don't doubt that for a second coz it's GREAT.


Raquel Byrnes said...

Thank you guys for your kind words. I love writing that wrong? My poor characters. 0_0

Really enjoyed the blogfest. There were some riveting scenes entered!

Ellie said...

Wow. Straight into the action and bravery. It had me gripped from the start! Loved it.

No Fear Blogfest

Tony Benson said...

Wow, this left me breathless! I want to know what happened next...

Myne Whitman said...

You got the description very well as usual and I think the MC is very brave indeed!

Margo Benson said...

Crumbs! My ears are ringing too - what fabulous description. Immediately gripping...I have to find out what happens next.

Dominic de Mattos said...

Great Work Raquel. The tension and suspense keep the piece riveting.

Well done and thanks for entering my blogfest


Elaine AM Smith said...

That was a tale of brave and even braver. Your description was flaming. I could almost hear the same ringing in my ears too. It was a gripping excerpt gripping...well written.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Raquel, this is high tension and fear-making stuff! Such bravery. If the rest of your book is like this you're onto a winner!

Denise :)