Continue reading Chapter 13: The Future’s So Bright

Chapter 13: The Future’s So Bright

Dear Adrian W. Griffith, I’m sorry to bother you like this, but my name is Marlene Griffith. I am your daughter. You died when I was a baby. I don’t blame you for leaving me, my mom, and my sister alone for the rest of our lives. God called, and it was your time to…

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Continue reading Chapter 12: Always Get the Bad Guy

Chapter 12: Always Get the Bad Guy

“This is not a difficult decision!” Aurora said impatiently. “Freelancing is the way to go. Section Seven will betray you. They betrayed me. Your father was ordered to abandon me when my contacts within La Rivoluzione were rooted out and murdered. And Adrian did. He left me there ALONE!” Aurora screamed, her voice echoing off…

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Continue reading Chapter 11: Naïveté

Chapter 11: Naïveté

It had been almost seventy-two hours since David was kidnapped. Grandma Annie was worried. David promised to have dinner with them on the second night he was missing. “He’s never late, you know,” Grandma Annie said dejectedly. “I know, but David works very hard. I’m sure he’ll make it next time,” Marlene fibbed. She knew…

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Continue reading Chapter 10: One for the Other

Chapter 10: One for the Other

Richard Murphy kissed his wife and their two children goodbye. “Don’t have too much fun,” he warned them playfully. His family would be visiting his wife’s extended family, but Richard could not attend because he would be processing tax returns for temporary American expats at the “accounting firm” he worked at. His family was used…

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Continue reading Chapter 9: Take It Outside

Chapter 9: Take It Outside

Marlene drove in her borrowed Mini Cooper S to the Radcliffe Camera section of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Posing as an academe from America, the head librarian granted her reference-only access to the library. Scrolling through the heavy tomes, Marlene selected one and compared it to the part of the cipher text she had…

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Continue reading Chapter 8: Liar’s Den

Chapter 8: Liar’s Den

Marlene was eventually released from French custody. The case was closed after a homeless man admitted to firing the weapon (even though Marlene knew it was a boldfaced lie). Pilar had no immediate family to whom to tell of her death. Marlene went to the quiet funeral at Père Lachaise cemetery. She and the Catholic…

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Continue reading Chapter 7: C’est la Vie

Chapter 7: C’est la Vie

Due to their history together, Marlene was sent to Paris to backup Pilar during a mission to retrieve sensitive documents from an international money launderer during a house party he was throwing. Mal stayed at home. “’Lena!” Pilar greeted her warmly. Marlene was still smarting from Pilar’s snub of Sophia’s funeral. Pilar kissed her on…

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