As the world slowly emerges from its 18-month period of isolation, bookstores are on top…
PAUL BRADY WOKE up with a start and went for his rifl e. Sweat poured down his face, his cotton T-shirt sticking to his sleeping bag. For nearly a minute, he sat up breathing deeply, trying to figure out where he was.
He wasn’t in Ramadi.
That was nearly fourteen years ago.
He wasn’t in the Korengal.
That was twelve years ago.
Linda Birch raced out the back door into the snow. “Help, somebody help me!” She slipped and fell, struggled to her feet, and left pink handprints when she levered herself upright.
The butcher knife had left a three-inch gash in her calf. Her stomach burned and she held her left hand hard against the stab wound in her side.
The screen door banged open. Benny stumbled down the slick steps.
EVE GOLD WASN’T SURPRISED to die on her twenty-seventh birthday. The Angel of Death’s greasy fingers had been pressing against her spine for ten years — maybe longer — and in the underground of her mind where truth squirmed away from the light, she knew that it was just a matter of time before press turned to shove. No, death wasn’t much of a shock. The real surprise was everything that followed.
I was standing with my father in the pitch-black dark—the blackest dark I’d ever seen in the few short years of my young life—and the blackest dark that I’ve seen since, which is a considerably longer span.
The surrounding air was dank with flecks from falling water.
A disembodied voice rose up from the mist, then swooped back down to submerge in it.