Saturday, December 5, 2015

NADIA Picture Tour, Stop 3

"Jimmy listened on his Bluetooth while he crouched behind a car across the street, holding the combat shotgun steady on the reflective glass of the office front window. He knew exactly where to aim, to make sure he was sighted in on Jenny’s phone. He assumed from his visit that the women were held in the conference room. From where he was set up, they should be out of the way. As soon as he knew who picked up, he was going to send another message. He’d keep talking until the phone was answered. “Come on, punk. It’s time we had a chat.”

The line clicked, and a man’s voice came back through his earpiece. “You need to watch your mouth, old man—”

Jimmy squeezed the trigger and held it. Three rounds of 12-gauge buckshot splintered the window and Jenny’s desk. Bruce’s chest collapsed as a fist of lead pellets punched him like a truck, and he fell in a bloodied heap against the back wall of the office. Jimmy kept the shotgun level as the view through the storefront opened up. With the glass gone, he could see into the office area, covering the entire front of the office.

Another figure moved, diving behind the remains of Jenny’s desk, and a head popped up, looking for him. But where Jimmy was set up, he still maintained the element of surprise. He popped off the last two rounds in the shotgun and grabbed his AK-47 as the head dropped back behind Jenny’s desk. He wasn’t sure if he hit the man, but he could fix that easily enough. He sent three rounds of .30-caliber, copper-jacketed lead through the wood of the desk, saw someone jump, and heard a man’s agonized scream.

The smell of cordite in Jimmy’s nostrils, and the sight of the rifle’s barrel in his vision, brought back memories of other times and places he’d wanted to forget so badly, but they never let him go. Thirty years in the Army, including two wars and countless covert operations across the globe, would never let him forget. He could still see the blood, hear the cries of wounded and dying men. In his dreams, he still walked fields and paddies strewn with bloated corpses, mutilated and rancid in the tropical heat, or frozen solid and snow-covered. He’d taken part in that butchery, had trained others how to kill, had lain in wait for blood so long and so often, that it had made him in its own image. He was no longer the plumber’s kid from Oklahoma, no more
the retired insurance agent from Platteville, Oregon. Plain and simple, Jimmy DeBartolo was a warrior, and destined for a warrior’s fate.


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Hello, it's me...

What you're looking at this week is a photo I took in downtown Front Royal, Virginia. I saw this awesome little storefront and knew it had to be the offices of Genetek!

Front Royal is a very "Alive" little town nestled in the Shenandoah River Valley, and in the foothills of the Appalachians. In fact, I drove under a pedestrian walkway not far from this site that was labeled as part of the Appalachia Trail.

Now, back to Front Royal: It was everything I hoped it would be, and they have some awesome food there, I can tell you. Make sure you stop at the Mill Cafe and have a bite to eat, because it's rock awesome.

I was really excited to come into this town and find it was everything I wrote and then some. The setting couldn't have been more perfect if I'd visited there myself before writing the NADIA Project.

A steady drizzle tried to dampen my spirits and totally failed as I ran up and down the streets, finding corners for this scene, and stores for that scene, and before the sun went down I was totally lost, had no idea where my rental car was, and I'm pretty sure some folks probably thought I was bonkers for even being there. Okay, more than sure. Some folks I met and shared my story with, actually told me "You're bonkers for writing this town into a story like that."

But you know what? It was perfect for the location, it was perfect in the reality of the scenes and settings. It was perfect in its history (some major battles took place in the Civil War around that area, and some buildings in that town look like they could have been there then), and it was perrfect even with the weather being just a mite waterlogged.

And this is only the beginning. I have some more awesome shots to share from Front Royal.

BUT HERE IS A REMINDER: I have an active contest going on. I need the best picture of Irving Ratzinger's cabin. The finalists will be picked by yours truly based on truth to theme, composition, and appeal, and you all are going to vote for the best one, to receive a signed print copy of the winner's choice from my books (see the "my books" tab at the top of the page to peruse your choices). I still need a couple more entries to make it a good contest.

So send your submissions to me at cyrus DOT keith AT yahoo DOT com or to my page at Facebook in a private message, and put CABIN CONTEST in the subject line. You don't have to be the photographer, but I don't want any copyright conflicts. Help me find Papa Irving's Cabin, and YOU could win!

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