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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thoughtful Thursdays ~ ReSharing An Award Winning Short By LaDonna Cole!

Even though it's "Thoughtful Thursday", I'm going to skip blogging and am instead reposting this award winning short story by author LaDonna Cole!  It originally posted over a rather busy weekend and I think it didn't garner nearly the attention it deserves.  So my "thoughtful" gesture today is to put LaDonna back in the spotlight.  Let's show her some love by leaving her a comment below!  Please, enjoy her short story "Final Act" and send others this way to give it a read.  I know I sure thought it was worth sharing again!

 

Final Act
by LaDonna Cole



Heart pounding in her chest, Liliana drew a deep breath and steadied her Glock. “I need an extraction, now!” She whispered into her com.

“Copy, Vixen. We are ten minutes out.”

“I don’t have ten minutes!” She pressed her back to the marble wall of the Library of Congress, the chill seeping through her thin cocktail dress. She slid to the corner where a slice of light dissected the shadows.

Ding!

The elevator door across the room opened and two men in camo uniforms exited, led by their Browning M2 HB’s at the ready.  Turning toward the north corridor, they stomped away from Liliana.

“Get to the third floor, Vixen.” Her partner’s voice crackled over the com. “We may have another…”

Liliana didn’t hear the end of his sentence. She ran for the open elevator and skidded in just before it closed. She punched the three and checked her clip, chambered a bullet and pressed her body against the wall beside the elevator doors.

They opened and Liliana peered around the corner. The third floor was abandoned. She slipped into the darkness, keeping her back to the perimeter wall.

“Vixen, did you get the documents?”

“Affirmative.” Flinging the blond wig over her shoulder, she scanned the shadowed room. Tall maple bookshelves eclipsed her view, and the odor of dusty books assailed her.

“Good.” Her partner sighed. “I’m gonna get you out safely, Lil.”

“I know.” Liliana’s heart spiked at the tremor in his voice. She and Tim had been partners for seven years and lovers for three.  Inevitable from the beginning, the air sizzled when he was near.

The elevator dinged.

“They’re here!” She escaped further into the back section of the shelves and wove between discarded desks and chairs.

“Lil, get to the last row of shelves on the north side.”

“Why?”

“Just do it.  I have schematics.”

Keeping low Liliana pressed toward the last row. She froze when a radio crackled on the next aisle.

“No sign of the intruder.” A deep voice faded away.

She inched back and her foot struck something on the floor and she staggered. A hand grabbed her ankle.

She clenched her teeth to keep from screaming and whirled around. Bright white FBI letters cut through the dark.

“Help me,” a man rasped and clung to her calf.

“Shhh.” She squatted down beside him and placed her finger on his lips, then checked behind her to see if the guard had heard. He was still moving toward the elevator. 

“Agent Keller, FBI.” He breathed, barely a whisper. “National security risk…must get…” He gurgled out the end of his sentence.

A rusty smell rose from the floor, warm fluid seeped into her shoes. This agent was gone.

“Did you hear something?” the guard asked his partner.

“Back there.”  They jogged toward Liliana.

“Vixen, are you there?” Tim asked.

“Yes.”

“Top shelf to your right, seventh book down, Photogenics A-Z.”

“I don’t have time!”

“Pull the book! Now!”

Liliana yanked at the tech manual. The bookcase slid back like a patio door revealing a staircase winding down into darkness.

“Down here! I heard something!” the guard bellowed at the end of her row and spat a volley of bullets.

Liliana dove into the stairwell and the bookcase door slammed closed.  Bullets pelted the steel door.

“Tim. Tim!” Liliana tapped her com but it was silent.

She placed a stiletto pump on the next step and carefully descended, spiraling into the dark unknown. Gun supported between both hands, Lilana delved into pitch black.

With her eyes useless, she honed in on her other senses.  A waft of stale air fingered through the strands of her wig and she could hear the fading sounds of the guards above trying to blast through the door.

As she crept deeper, sounds above yielded to other noises. The click of her heels on the stone steps, a scramble of tiny claws and squeaks fled before her. Her pounding pulse and ragged breathing clamored. She spiraled deeper.

The wall fell away and the steps ended.  Sliding her foot forward she felt a cobbled stone floor and sensed open space ahead.

Another sound pierced the darkness. Someone else was in the room with her. She could hear them breathing.  A masculine scent filtered past her, familiar and intoxicating, Grey Flannel, Tim’s favorite cologne.

A light flared and Liliana flinched as the pain stabbed her eyes. She blinked and peered through her lashes.

“Tim!” Relief washed over her and she stepped toward a safe embrace. “How did you…”

She stopped. Tim aimed his gun directly at her heart.

“Give me the documents, Lil.”

She pealed back the slit in her gown and withdrew the folder of documents. “What’s going on, Tim?”

“This is my last job, Lil. I’m done. I’m out. When I deliver these documents to my employer, I will be filthy rich.” His eyes flashed with wild ambition.

“Your employer.” Liliana slowly lifted her Glock. “I assume you don’t mean the CIA.”

Tim snorted. “No.”

“You’re a double agent?”

“I prefer to think of myself as freelance.”

“Traitor,” Liliana growled.

“Now, Lil. No need to get hostile.” His eyes scanned her lean form. “Come with me. We can get that beach house in the Caymans.”

“You killed the FBI agent up there, didn’t you?”

“He shouldn’t have interfered.”

“You are never going to touch these.” She waved the documents at him.

“You don’t know the combination to get out of here. If I die, you are stuck here, forever.”

“You said we would be together, forever.  That was the only time you told the truth!”

Liliana and Tim glared, eye to eye, gun to gun and fired.  Documents scattered into the air and both agents slammed back against the walls and emptied their clips into each other.

Tim convulsed then stilled. Liliana slid down the wall leaving a bloody smear as US government seals and Top Secret stamps fluttered to the ground and soaked up her final act of patriotism.

 ~*~
LaDonna Cole, Writer, Nurse, Therapist, Mom, and Ukulele singer extraordinaire, loves to write fantasy/fiction, songs, and poetry. She just finished Holding Kate Trilogy, Heartwork Village Stories (Scifi), is editing Sisterhood of the Sword Saga (Fantasy),  and working on Forbidden Encounters Trilogy (Supernatural) and The Blood Singer (Supernatural), and Donnie Dudgeon series. She is a single mom with two kids and a beagle and looking forward to a research trip to the Bahamas this summer. 
You can sample her work at:

 

Thank you LaDonna for allowing me to feature this amazing award winner!

If you enjoyed this, (I sure did!) be sure to check out
LaDonna's pages and leave her a comment here,
and/or head over to her Facebook fan page and let her know! 




*Do you have a teaser or short story you'd like to see featured at The Realm?  It's easy friend!  Email me DM@DMKilgore.com with your submission, and be sure to send any photos/artwork (be sure they are YOUR intellectual property or you include proper copyrights and permissions) you'd like featured with your tale.  Don't forget to include your photo and a brief bio!  That's all you need to be featured at The Realm!*

2 comments :

ellamedler said...

Loved it!

Katie Cross said...

It was an epic story then, and it's an epic story now.

I love that LaD girl.

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