Friday, September 18, 2015

The Gas Tank Erupted in Flames

An Excerpt from The 25th Hour (Book One in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):

The needle on the speedometer passed 85 mph. The engine roared and the black SUV had begun to vibrate. “Dexter, slow down,” Margo Walston pleaded.

The 16-year-old driver gulped another swig from the beer bottle. “Relax, babe. I’ve got this.”

In the back seat of the speeding SUV, Zigs Carlyle turned to Marlene Prentice. The nine-year-old made no attempt to hide the wet spot on his pants. “I’m scared, Marlene. Make him stop.”

The thin white stripe painted on the side of the black SUV remained constant, but the white line painted on the street appeared to come alive in a sinuous fashion, as the vehicle barreled down the two-lane road, swerving across both lanes. “Watch this.” Dexter Brannigan kicked off his shoe and placed his left foot on the steering wheel. “Look Ma, no hands.” He chug-a-lugged the beer and pressed his right foot on the accelerator.

“This isn’t a game, Dexter,” Margo said. “Pull over and let me drive; you’re drunk.”

Marlene gazed through the windshield. “That light up ahead…” Her heart raced. “A car’s coming.”

“That’s not a car, it’s an eighteen-wheeler,” Zigs said.

Margo turned from the boy to the road in front of them. “Dexter!” she screamed. “You’re in the wrong lane.”

The speedometer rolled passed 100 mph. The lights from the oncoming truck blinded the SUV’s passengers.

“Look out!” Marlene screamed.

The truck slammed into the SUV, flipping the smaller vehicle like a child’s toy. It tumbled across the road, breaking through a guardrail, and plunging into a ravine. Dexter’s body, unrestrained by a seatbelt, was propelled through the windshield. Shards of glass shredded Margo’s face and sliced through her jugular vein. The SUV landed upside down, causing Zigs to strike his head and lose consciousness. Several empty beer bottles rolled past Marlene’s head. The gas tank erupted in flames. Marlene tugged on her seatbelt, attempting to free herself, but the belt was snagged. Seconds later, the SUV exploded. 

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Time is running out… fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has a few more minutes than anyone else!

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