Cut and Run
Publication date: August 14th 2021
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Their story continues . . .
The four Boston clairvoyants, blessed—or cursed—with special powers, must fight a ruthless enemy and stop injustice. In Dead Cat, Run, the Sisters of Fate drove them together, but at what cost? The God Apollo wasn’t playing around. He’s still dead set on vengeance.
Sinister forces will have a wicked agenda. An energy grab, a mineral rights war, and deadly mercenaries create a mortally serious game. But the psychics’ sibylline abilities aside, they’re only human. At least three of them are. (What’s up with that?)
Can they stop the killers? And who will survive?
An energetic contemporary thriller, Cut and Run will have you on the edge of your seat as the dance between good and evil resumes.
Annabelle Lewis—a pseudonym for the author—lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Regrettably? Perhaps. She still believes she’s a Texan even though the math no longer supports that. Nor her birthplace. Nor her residence. No offense, Minnesota. You’ve got your good points too, but only about six months of the year.
In her youth, Annabelle was a complete failure. Ask anyone who knew her. Any of her teachers and family would tell you this. High school graduation was a sad day for all when Annabelle walked proudly off the high school stage, her thoughts consumed with boys, beer, and after-parties, and later into the arms of her parents. Her father’s laughter and singular remark? “I didn’t think you’d make it. Get a job at the post office, they have a good retirement plan.”
A high bar and words to live by, but Annabelle wanted more. She needed to flunk out of college too. But damn, she sure did have a good time. Trivial arrest records not-withstanding, it was a growth period for our girl. And if you look closely, you’ll see a bit of what was to come when she majored in criminal justice. Her lifelong aspiration was to become a judge. Hmm.
For better or worse, Annabelle didn’t graduate from college but did find gainful employment and a fulfilling career. This path ended when she became a mom. Married to her wonderful George, who to this day can hardly remember an actual proposal, Annabelle finally became a mother. She didn’t have a clue how hard she would need to work to keep those self-imposed requirements of Downey-fresh, iron-pressed sheets, home-baked meals, and mom-of-the-year awards arriving. She composed a small self-affirmation song and made her children sing it to her for money. She was a very good mom.
After clearing the largest hurdles of motherhood and regrettably, begrudgingly, and not-without-tears, launching her children onto the world, she looked around and realized she had a lot to say. Picking up a laptop, she got to work.
Annabelle spends her days continuing to tackle the challenges of motherhood, for both her humans and canines. She also writes. And reads. And cleans. And cooks. And bakes. And cleans again. She also supports her husband, George, in an administrative capacity for their small business. She’s in charge of payroll and cuts George’s checks. This leads to no marital acrimony.
In the beginning, with the blank page staring at her and possibly in a hostile mood after being literally mauled by a dog and by the world in general, she had an idea. What if she could wield a force of good upon unsuspecting evil-doers? What if she had the resources to get the job done without dealing with committee and anyone else’s whiney-ass opinions?
It was gold. It took off. Annabelle sat down and began to write and couldn’t stop. To date, having written over a million words in the Carrows Family Chronicles and her second series on the Boston Clairvoyants, several items have become quite clear. Annabelle had a lot to say. Annabelle really enjoys writing. And although she hates all things technology, she begrudgingly pounds her head on her desk daily as obstacles are thrown in her path. Almost a hero.
Since entering her world of make-believe, she has rebelled against all intrusion of real-world responsibilities. Her house is a mess, but she tries. Her family is fed, but more often than not, on takeout. She vows to shower every day, but no, it’s a vow she’ll never keep. Her friends are neglected, but not in her heart.
Read her mordacious blog! Read her books! Follow her on social platforms! Sign up for her newsletter! These are all good things. What are you waiting for? Jump into bed with Annabelle. She’s having a swell time. You should join her.
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Duke Montague Marshall squinted into the harsh rays of the sun as they beamed with a strobe-like effect through his front windshield. Behind the wheel of his silver Toyota RAV4, he looked at the dashboard clock. Ten minutes to arrival.
“Nice up here,” Fiddler said, looking around. “Lots of trees.”
Duke felt no need to reply to his riding companion’s inane comment about the dense pines and spruce trees of the Superior National Forest. The forest, covering 3.9 million acres of land in Minnesota, also had about 2,000 lakes around the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters region between the United States and Canada.
He looked in the rearview mirror at the vehicle following them. Five minutes to arrival.
“Run down the Monday-morning setup for me again,” Duke said.
“Assembly takes place in a green, industrial-type shed to the right past another shed-like main office with an awning and signage. They’ll be having their bullshit, Monday-morning meeting. Every fucking Monday the heads and general labor have a bull session. Donuts. Coffee. That kind of thing.”
Focusing on the task, Duke said, “We’re sure everyone will be there? No one in the quarry yet?”
Fiddler shook his head, his longish hair pulled back today. “Nah. Just the two places. Main office with the awning and the big green shed next to it.”
Not really worried about how things would go down, Duke told him to cut the noise once Fiddler started chattering about his planned trip to Turks and Caicos.
They’d arrived. Granger’s Quarry, a trillion-dollar shithole.
As they drove down a small gravel hill, Duke’s eyes roamed the parking lot. Relieved to spot the particular vehicle they needed, he pointed to it before slowly pulling up to the front door of the Granger’s Quarry office. He pressed the hatch button and got out, followed by Fiddler, and watched two more men on his team unload their own vehicle right behind them. They each grabbed a cheap AR15, all loaded with 30 round mags of 5.56 mm ammunition. One hundred twenty bullets should do the trick.
They closed the back ends of the vehicles, and Duke pointed to Thing 5 and then to the black F150 Ford truck they’d passed in the parking lot. Thing 5—or Alpha, as he was really known—was the number-five guy on Duke’s team and not yet deserving a personal pronoun. On Duke’s crew, a name had to be earned, but he was confident that Thing 5 knew what to do. Next, Duke’s focus turned to Thing 6, or Bravo. He pointed Bravo toward the front steps of the office and said, “Not until you hear me first.”
Thing 6 nodded as Duke and Fiddler headed to the green shed for the weekly BS meeting. Today, at least one of them will have something real to gripe about. The large industrial, metal shed next to the office had an eighteen-foot garage door open to the September elements. Duke could hear someone talking inside, so he raised his fist to stop Fiddler and quickly peeked inside. Sure enough, maybe fifteen guys sat in there, listening to some asshole at the front, yakking away—probably Chris Granger.
He pulled his head back and nodded at Fiddler. “Looks good. Here we go.” They moved their heads around the corner but held their weapons back. Duke yelled out, “Clyde!” One head turned around, and Duke recognized the face. They had the right guy.
After that, he and Fiddler walked in, raised their semiautomatic rifles, and opened fire. Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam. Easy. The meeting broke up as body after body flew and went down in fast order with a bit of screaming, upturned chairs, and pointless running and ducking. Nothing unexpected.
Duke registered Clyde taking cover behind a large steel drum canister, and once he’d made sure all the other fourteen were either dead or nearly dead, he finally rounded the corner of the drum and set eyes on his final prey. Clyde Hinton, age eighteen, was squirreled into a ball with shaking hands covering his face, his young body cowering for cover.
“Fucking little asshole,” Duke said, pointing his rifle at Clyde’s chest. “You’re one lucky bastard, you know that? You listen hard now to what I got to say, kid.” He dropped the point of the gun to his side. “Open your eyes!”
Clyde did as instructed.
Duke leaned his face closer to the boy and hissed, “Run. Run far and run fast, Ringo. Don’t call the cops with that cell phone in your pocket. You touch it, and I’ll know. Then you’re dead for sure.”
Clyde’s eyes opened wider, and his body jerked as a few more pops echoed through the loud acoustics of the shed. Duke inched closer, his breath now directly warming Clyde’s face. “I know where you live, Ringo. I know your daddy is Mr. Sherman Hinton too.” Duke reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper, which he thrust in Clyde’s face and ordered, “Read it!”
Clyde looked at it as Duke explained, “It’s a receipt from a fucking gun shop in Cloquet for a $550 piece-of-shit AR15 that has your name on it. You bought the gun. You did this crime, motherfucker.”
“I, I…” Clyde stammered.
Duke ripped the piece of paper out of Clyde’s hands and stuffed it back into his own pocket. “The original is in the office. Right by the time clock and your miserable name. You should collect it and whatever else you find in there before you run. But don’t worry; I’ll give you time to leave here alive—as long as you don’t use your phone. But remember, we’ll be watching.”
“We good?” Duke yelled at Fiddler who was leaning over, picking up a few shell casings.
Duke punched the nose of his weapon into young Clyde’s crotch, who pointlessly dropped his hands to cover his balls. “Run, Ringo. Cut and run. Do as I say, and don’t you ever look back. You call the cops and your old man, Sherman, burns alive. Got it?”
Duke walked away, passing a few bodies covered in bloody flannel. The distinct aroma of gun powder, blood, and death filled his nostrils and flashed him back to other equally satisfying missions. This one, though, was nothing like the others.
For many reasons.