The following is the first chapter of our first unpublished novel, titled “SOG…Book of Lot”. It is being co-written by my brother, Greg and I. The story is about the recruitment of a man into a secret organization that is dedicated to defending those who can’t protect themselves. This group is composed of 14 former special operations soldiers who are in need of a pilot. Finding Eddie, they set out to rescue an American child who has been kidnapped and held hostage at a resort for pedophiles in Thailand. Eddie’s piloting skills are tested as he pilots a stolen 727 and finds himself tracked by two Australian fighter jets and must attempt an off airport landing in Typhon conditions.
The first draft came in at 161,000 words. The brothers are feverously working to complete the edits and hope to have the book ready for submission by the end of the year.
December 25, 2012
The sun peaked over the leafless mountain bringing with it unwelcome light. Movement started with two Lab-Dalmatian mixed puppies who believed that today was like any other in their collective memory. Today was the chosen day to celebrate their 2nd year of life. It was selected because no one ever missed Christmas and the dogs could have the honor of sharing their birthday with Jesus. The Christmas tree downstairs was unlit while the presents were destined to remain wrapped, never to become toys to a child. It should have been the liveliest day of the year in the Norris’ home but all the joy had been stolen replaced by cold empty grief that was a perfect reflection of the Master’s soul.
Two days earlier, the national spotlight descended on Huntington, West Virginia to witness the event of the year. This gathering brought everybody who was anybody to the second largest city in the Mountain State. Ripe with intrigue and emotion, the sycophants pretended to pay their respects to Gloria Norris and her three children while anointing the newest hero into the national lexicon. In reality this is where the attention of the media was focused and like mosquitos to an open bag of plasma, it quickly turned into a perverted orgy.
Edward Paul Norris wanted a small private ceremony to celebrate his family and respectfully morn their unexpected departure. Save one fatal invitation sent to the Governor turned the funeral into the happening of the century drawing political figures from the farthest reaches of the nation. Two hours after the invitation was sent to the Governor, the confines of the Culloden Church of Christ were deemed too small. Eddie lost control and the entire ceremony was moved to the Marshall University campus; 27 miles away from the Norris’ house and a world away from the purpose of the ritual.
Legend shook his short haired body while Magic clawed at the locked door in the effort to wake their Master. Eddie willed himself out of the cold vacant bed and made his way downstairs to send the dogs out for their morning potty. Staggering into the garage, he found the bin for the dog food nearly empty. Last night he forced his parents, Gloria’s parents and their seven combined siblings to return to their homes in southern West Virginia. The family had descended on the home for over a week doing what all families do in times of crisis. Now it was time to be alone so that he could begin the next phase of his life. This phase would be much shorter than the previous 45 years and was already complete excluding a few loose ends that needed to be tied off and one final act.
Bringing the dogs inside from the bitter December morning, Eddie went into the bathroom to do his own form of the morning ritual. Once that chore was completed he stared at his lifeless eyes in the mirror. Locked into a glaring match with the ebony man in the mirror, a wave of emotion rocked his body once. He dropped the toothbrush as the tears exploded out of his body like he was infected by some type of emotional virus. His only recourse was to pull into a fetal position on the tile floor. Five minutes later he noticed that his family had gathered around him, Magic to the left and Legend on the right. He hugged both of them, and stood to wash his face. As a force of habit, he dressed and headed downstairs. Grabbing an empty box of Fruit Loops and the soon to be expired gallon of milk he cooked his only meal of the day. Mindlessly he turned on the television and searched the 600 channel satellite selection only to stop on CNN. He preferred to watch ESPN or the History Channel but he felt responsible for the desolate house and his subconscious demanded more torment for the absolution of his sins.
Even on Christmas Morning the lead story, as it had been for the last nine days was breaking news about the latest attack by Muslim Extremist on the nation. His mind tried to make light of the news “This just in. Gloria and my kids are still dead.” He spoke to himself.
Shaking the thoughts from his mind, he focused on the words from the talking head on the TV. “This time they resorted to a low tech attack that achieved a result that rivaled 9-11 and Pearl Harbor…”
Eddie wished for something to change the re-occurring nightmare in his mind. Only one of the 12 targets was able to defend itself successfully and according to the world; all that credit went to Eddie. Only 17 people died in the Barboursville Mall that day, but four of those were his family. Eddie was lost in the thought of holding his youngest child for the last time as the home phone rang. Without checking the caller ID he picked up the receiver.
“Stand by for the President of the United States.” The pleasant female voice spoke through the line. Eddie didn’t stand by as he depressed the button that ended the call. Before he could place the phone back in its cradle but it predictably rang again. Eddie answered it again but this time he didn’t wait for the voice to tell him to hold. “Listen to me now and tell your boss later. It has been two days since I said good bye to my wife and kids and watched their coffins lowered into the ground. Nine days since my life ended. All I wanted was to celebrate their lives, but the nation needed a “Hero” and I was the sucker of the week. It is over and I only dream of the moment when I am free of this pain. I have done my duty and I will not allow Christmas to be ruined by your self-righteous phony boss. Tell him thank you for his pseudo concern, good day.” Eddie felt an uncomfortable satisfaction from the unexpected release of anger.
“Mr. Norris I am sorry that you feel that way. I wanted to take the time to wish you a Merry Christmas. If there was anything my administration could do for you during your time of mourning please tell me. I am not calling as the President but as a concerned citizen and friend.” The President impeccably spoke the words.
“Mr. President you need to leave me alone and rot in hell. I voted for you but don’t ever confuse that fact with the thought that I would ever cross the street to piss on your burning body. I am not your friend, I am not your subject, you missed your chance to help me, I have no respect for you and I will never again vote for you. Do not ever speak about me and if you use my family’s death for your political gain I will come to Washington and kill you. I am done with you and everyone like you, I hope you die!” He paused searching for the right words to end the conversation. “Merry Christmas, Milky Licker!” Satisfied with his comments he hung up on the man. He knew he was heading down a path that he could not undo. He had threatened the life of the President of the United States and worse he called the President a Milky Licker. He wasn’t sure what a Milky Licker was but it brought a slight smile to his face. He would expect a visit from a couple of well-dressed Federal Agents in the next few days. It would be best if they never found him. Eddie poured the uneaten cereal down the sink, grabbed his guitar and sat on the couch in silence as his personal emotional virus returned to ravage his soul.