by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
I’m having the best evening. Seriously. The. Best. Evening.
My living room is decced for the holidays. I finagled Friday off work for a four-day weekend. I’m surrounded by three-fourths of Catford Manor. And I just finished reading a really good book.
So you know what comes next.
Sure, you do.
WHOOP! WHOOP! SPOILER ALERT!
Read no further if you don’t want to know the story.
First, I’m glad I was slow in reading this book. It just means it will be that much sooner when I get the next Cycle. Yay, me. A lot of really fun things happened today, a lot of arrows pointing me to get back in the writing and social media games. Not like I haven’t been, but I have spent extra focus on the home and day job. Which, side note, has led to a great set up for next year. Locals, stay tuned.
Anyway. Back to it.
Pops opens the book with his character, Tank, on the edge of a fifty-story building in San Diego, looking over a terribly thick, unnatural, inhuman fog. And this fog, well, it’s not just thick. It has things- evil things- living in it. And Tank’s about to jump fifty stories off a building to . . . What? We don’t know. That’s just the prologue.
So Tank rewinds a few hours and begins to recap. He and the team were in Florida with Andi’s grandparents, preventing another supernatural event when they received plane tickets to San Diego, and invitations to a retirement party for architect Allen Krone. Even young Daniel gets to come with them. So Tank, squirmy in his tux, admires Andi and the others all dressed to the nines, and their luxury limo ride.
Outside, the fancy building is lit in a blue and green glow. Inside, Andi picks up on the patterns in the flooring, in the lighting. There are these trees-not-trees, more like glass trees, that are also lit blue. The fountain is lit blue and green. The team is greeted and directed to the row of elevators, and one opens before they even push the button. The Professor explains their invitations must have RFID chips. Don’t even get me started.
The elevator glows red, which may or may not be significant. And as the team is discussing what they should and should not do at the party, the Professor sighs and says, “Zebra.” And then he explains.
“First thing doctors learn in med school is this: When you hear the sound of hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.”
And considering I took that and turned it into how to be a zebra and not an ordinary horse, well, this book just won my heart!
They arrive on the top floor and are enjoying the spoils of basically crashing the party. While the others are trying to figure out how to act inconspicuous and what their next move is, Daniel takes the lead and pulls Mr. Krone to them. The Professor steps up and asks Krone to discuss the building models on display.
Daniel gets all the chocolate ice cream he can handle and Andi indulges in some red velvet cake. [Thanks for writing in the good food, there, Al.]
And then, rumble-rumble. I mean, hullo! It’s San Diego. There’s a good thirty-second quake happening here! Tank holds Andi and Brenda safe, and when it’s over they look for Daniel. He’s over by the bank of windows so Tank rushes to grab him in case of aftershocks. He barely glances outside when Daniel starts screaming. He takes him back to Brenda and Andi, and the Professor joins them.
Now, reader intrusion here: But the benefits of a novella is it can be read in one sitting. And this one was. Hot dog! Because, girl!, things are getting in-tense round here!
They hear a horrible scream. A man at the window has just vomited. Tank again rushes toward the windows, and the man is terrified. That’s when Tank looks. And sees . . . something. But what? It’s a living monster in the fog. This ridiculous, dense, demon-filled fog that completely covers the ground by five feet. From his perch, Tank can look down and sees this monster.
People say there ain’t no such thing as monsters, but tell that to a seal being chased by a killer whale. Monster is in the eye of the beholder, and I was seeing something monstrous.
Oh, and through this, the team has ascertained that Allen Krone is very ill, perhaps dying. Tank gets the Professor to the window, and Krone joins them. Krone doesn’t handle the view well and nearly collapses. His business partners rush to his rescue but they don’t see what he sees.
And that’s when our team know more than ever something terrible is happening.
The professor turned. “Tank. The fog is rising.”
Well, that’s where I’ll leave ya. Tank’s on a ledge about to jump into this beast. Our team is tearful, afraid. And the monsters are reaching for him.
What happens next? Get the book and find out. As always, you won’t be sorry.
With a reading lamp and protective cats,
And Frankly, My Dear . . . : That’s all she wrote!