If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
It came to Jess in a moment of perfect clarity, like the peal of a small bell that cleared the fog of her thoughts. She knew where they were headed. Deep beneath the ice, beneath the crushing embrace of the black water, she understood.
He was 214, coded as The Keeper. The Keeper had full administrative privileges over the complex known as the Strongroom. The Keeper was designed to protect the contents of the Strongroom.
The laser-pistol whined as it fired a shot. A red-hot, gaping hole appeared in the beast’s throat, edges still glowing from the heat of the bolt. The head recoiled, roaring in hunger and rage, but before it could strike again another bolt sizzled through one of the thing’s eyes. For a moment the alien stared at Mallory with one terrible, luminous orange eye and one the pale lavender of the setting sky.
She remembered the last time she had held a gun. She had been eleven, hunting rabbits with her father on vacation in a small cabin outside Bordeaux. He had taught her to aim with both eyes open. She had killed eight rabbits that day. Surely gangsters couldn’t run as fast.
In the endgame, it was all about staying calm. He needed something clever, something no one would see coming. He was playing two games, his moves anticipated in both.
"For Life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with.” – Benjamin Franklin
It is only the dead who do not return.
It started as is always did; we waited. We kept busy with small, easy-to-put-away projects on our cutting boards, chatting with each other about nothing, keeping one ear open for the printer beside Chef, who was calmly talking with Rich about a farm that she went to last Sunday with her fiancee, Brenna. I filled … Continue reading On The Line, Part 2: Service
The pastry department is the closest to the back door; Linda, Pierre’s sous, hunched over her batch of house-made butter pats, protecting them from any debris borne in on the autumn wind. She grunted a hello and went back to using a warm spoon to make perfect, egg-shaped quenelles, placed dead-center onto cooled shards of … Continue reading On The Line, Part 1: Prep