Tom Kane's Blog

A word can change a mind. A sentence can change a life. A book can change the world

Spread the love

image from the book The Brittle Sea

March 15, 1931.

The sidewalk on 42nd wasn’t especially crowded for an early spring Sunday in New York. The well-dressed old man walked freely between passing pedestrians, jauntily swinging his cane, the cane he told everyone he needed for the war wound he had never received. He whistled a soft tune to himself, something from a bygone part of his life. Life, to him, was good and he was more than happy at what he had achieved over the years since he had become a widower, freed from his servitude.

Hah! A widower! She made my life intolerable!

He was suddenly surprised at how much vehemence the thought of her brought to his now ordered life.

That damn…!

Again, that anger, but then he remembered the good times. Anger, he told himself, was not for him. That was all in the past.

It was then, at the very instant the old man was beginning to forgive her for making him angry that a young woman stepped out in front of him. She was wearing a non-descript dirty and threadbare blue farmer’s bib-overall, a dirty old cap and her left arm was in a sling. He noticed, looking her up and down, familiar scuffed red shoes… those familiar scuffed red shoes. He was surprised and stopped walking, amazed at the sudden familiarity of her small, sweet face. He opened his mouth to speak, maybe even daring to be impolite and ask if she was related to… but he never had the chance to speak. The girl pulled a small pistol from the sling with her free arm and levelled it at him. It was then, too late, that he knew who she was.

“Maggie.” The words formed on her lips and she smiled, clumsily cocking and firing the pistol, twice… three times.

The old man groaned, stumbled forward but stopped his fall with his cane, gripping it tightly with both hands. He suddenly thought of her once more, leaned forward on his cane and looked up at his assailant. “You have her eyes,” he said to her, coughing blood that spattered the young woman’s dirty clothing. He smiled at her, lost his grip on his cane and fell forward, hitting the sidewalk heavily.

The young woman screamed, and tears rolled down her frightened eyes. Before she knew it, she was pulling back on the trigger to cock the gun again, levelling it this time to her right-temple. The gun belched loudly once more.

A knot of female pedestrians, caught in the tableau of hate and death unfolding before them, screamed their hysteria as one. They watched in horror as the girl staggered left, then right and then keeled forward, dropping to the floor heavily.

New York rain suddenly splattered the sidewalk, hissing across the concrete and spreading onto the pools of blood forming around both victim and assailant, the blood mixing in death where in life the family blood had become tainted and poisoned, fuelled with jealousy, hate and revenge.

The old man’s eyes met the young woman’s as they lay a few feet apart. There was no hate now. No fear. A family of sorts was at last united as death seemed to take both the living, and those who deserved less, into its bosom. In a seeming final act of contrition, New York’s rain washed the blood away and the sins of a family were also washed into the gutter where it belonged.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2018

Please use the menu system below to read further chapters in The Brittle Sea saga

Chapters

MARCH 15, 1931

APRIL 15, 1912

DISASTER

DEBRIS

THE LOSS

MAGGIE

MISSING

NEW YORK

GORDON BELLAGON

THE TWO MINDS OF MAGGIE

A PARTING OF THE WAYS

VENEZUELA

THE DAYS GROW LONGER

CROSSING THE LINE

MAGGIE’S FALL

STORM WARNING

HARKER’S SEARCH

A BOX OF TRICKS

REBELLION

BALLANTINE LEARNS THE TRUTH

This is a first draft, so please forgive spelling & grammatical errors. Context and characters may change between now and the final publication date.

When published as an eBook and paperback at the end of 2018, this book will be the first in a trilogy: The Brittle Sea, The Brittle Land and The Brittle Sky.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Read a free sample of my WW2 action/adventure novel Operation Werwolf – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

Download my FREE books on iPhone
Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

Like what you read? Please share.
  • Yum

There are 8 comments Join the conversation

Comments are closed.