Night Poll: Snippet #1

I have been doing my best to keep my butt in the seat, writing, for the past few weeks.  While I haven't always been successful, I've done well enough at it that I have an outline, copious notes on characters and places, and 15k words written so far.  Once Da Goils are back in school, I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep to a more regular schedule.

So - here's another sample.  There's a lot still to be written, obviously.

Coy knelt next to Mike.  “You going to make it?” he asked.

“Broke my node,” Mike slurred.  “Ag’in.”  Coy thought he sounded more annoyed than anything.  “Hurts like a son of a bitsh.”  He put one hand on the ground and tried to lever himself up.  Wincing, he lowered himself back to the ground.  “Ribs.”  He waved at the truck.  “Warn ‘em e’s in da woods.”

Coy stood up and trotted back to the truck.  He reached in through the open passenger side window and grabbed the radio.  “Jon Paul.  You there, kid?”  he said into the handset as he walked back towards Mike.  He waited a few seconds, then said, “Jon Paul, are you there?”  Again, no answer.  He looked at Mike.

Mike peered up at him.  “Dere’s a button.”

Coy grunted.  “I know, I know.  You just sit there and let me do all the work, as usual.”  He keyed the talk key on the radio.  “Jon Paul, Jon Paul.  You there?”

There was a short pause, then a brief bit of static before Jon Paul answered.  “Coy.  Jon Paul here, over.”

Coy shook his head.  Of course both the folks who were familiar with using a radio were in one group.  He looked at Mike and made a show of pushing the call button.

“Jon Paul, Alexi’s in the woods, and probably headed in your direction.  Mike’s down.  Got clocked pretty bad.  Couple of busted ribs.”  He stopped, bit his lip as he thought.  “Not sure what we can do for you.  Mike’s in no shape to go for a walk in the woods, and we don’t want to come any closer than we already are.  We’re going to have to stay put.”  He let go of the call button, then pressed it again.  “Over,” he said, giving Mike a smug look.  Mike rolled his eyes.

“Coy, hon, this here’s Sophie,” the sasquatch drawled.  “Jon Paul and Amy are putting their heads together to try and figure out what all we can do, ‘sides keep an eye out for him.”

“Sophie, where are you?  Any chance you could circle around and head back?”

“Don’t know, hon.  Bean’s got the GPS, but it’s been flaky.  Should be a straight run up to their farm, but JT thinks we might have gotten turned around some.”  She paused for a second.  Coy could hear Jon Paul and Amy in the background, though he couldn’t make out what they were saying.  “Hold on,” Sophie said.  “Amy wants…” there was a burst of static.

“Lost you there, Soph,” said Coy.  “What does Amy want?  Oh, yeah.  Over.”

“Coy, Amy.  We really need to work on your radio discipline.”  Coy glanced at Mike, who snorted and winced.  “What was his status?  Is Alexi armed?  Was he injured?  Over.”

“Amy, Coy.  No.  Mike popped him once or twice, but otherwise, he’s ok.  Don’t think Alexi had a gun.  He’s dangerous as is, though.  If he finds himself an old tree branch, you could be in a world of hurt.  Best thing would be if you were to avoid him entirely.”

There was another burst of static.  “What’re you doin’ to that thing?” Mike asked.

“Just pushing the button and talking,” said Coy indignantly.  “That wasn’t me.”

“Coy,” said Jon Paul.  Coy waited a second, then smirked and keyed the radio.  “Coy here.  Did you mean to say over, kid?”

“Coy,” said Jon Paul again.  Another burst of static, longer and louder.  Then Amy said, “What.”

Coy frowned.  “Amy, lost you there.  Repeat?”

“Coy.” Jon Paul again. “Coy.”  Amy.  “Coy Coy CoyCoyCoy.”  Their two voices, alternating and then blending into one another.

Static.  Silence.

“Crap,” whispered Coy. He looked at the radio, then at Mike.  “That does not sound good.”

The radio chirped.  “Coy, Amy here.  That wasn’t us.  Say again, that was not us.”  Her voice was clipped.  He could hear the stress in it, even over the radio.  “Does Alexi have a radio? Over.”

“Amy, Coy.  No, he doesn’t.  I don’t know…”  He trailed off as the radio gave a squeal that devolved into another burst of static.

“Dangerous,” the radio said.  “Hurt.”

Mike licked suddenly dry lips.  “Coy,” he said slowly, “that was your voice.”

Coy looked at Mike, then up at the mid afternoon sun.  “It’s already awake.  Damnit.  It should still be…”  He trailed off and forced himself to take a deep breath before he keyed the radio again.

“Amy, Jon Paul.  Sophie.  Listen.  Forget finding the Cole’s pot farm.  Just - just leave.”  As he spoke, static played back and forth over his words.  He raised his voice.  “Amy, answer if you can.  Leave now.  Say again, leave now.  Avoid Alexi.  Go northeast, look for the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We can come pick you up.”  Static.  “Amy, Amy.  Answer, Amy.  Can you hear me? Amy!”

The radio squealed loudly enough to make him wince, then went silent.  He opened his eyes.

“Dangerous,” it said in his voice.  “Hurt.  Come.  Stay.  Stay stay stay stay stay…”  A final bust of static, then the radio squealed continuously until Coy finally turned it off.

“It’s talking on t’e radio,” Mike said angrily.  “T’e radio!  Why did’ you say t’ey could do ‘at?”

Coy sighed and crouched down to get his arm around Mike.  “I didn’t know,” he said.  “The last time we did something like this, Marconi wasn’t even a glimmer in his dada’s eyes.”

“Ah, right,” Mike grudgingly admitted as Coy helped him to his feet.  “F’got.  Sorry.”

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