A teaser for Thursdays: The opening to DESTINATIONS, the second book in the Color of Fear series. Meet villain Gabriel, the leader of the white supremacist cult:
Gabriel was God’s favorite angel.
Or so he liked to believe.
“He” being plain old Bernard Ellison, former ordained minister and woodworker, discarded by so many of his former associates and society. They’d laughed at him, reviled him and called him depraved.
Who was laughing now?
“Not a one of ‘em,” he muttered to himself.
He surveyed his current quarters, finding them lacking. The South Dakota farmhouse had been built more than a hundred years before. It creaked, its bones old and tired. Its white paint peeled and flaked away in the dusty wind like a heavy winter snow. Its chairs and thin cotton curtains smelled of mildew and mold. Dust coated the windowpanes and any surface that remained bare.
He’d been better provisioned in the survival bunker back in Great Falls, with its years’ worth of food, water and supplies to feed him and the rest of his Angels. They hid in safety, waiting out the worst of the Second Holocaust that had wiped out the majority of the white men and women in the country, then the world. Waiting till the air was clean, and he could breathe free again.
They’d done it, those crazy Ay-rab bastards. Them and the Asians that had given the terrorists the ship to bring that poison ‘cross the ocean. They’d come down on these United States of America and destroyed it all.
Six months he’d waited underground, constantly monitoring the airwaves for signs of recovery.
When news never came, he’d sent men out to test the situation. Once they started coming back alive, he’d decided it was safe.
Outside, he’d discovered vast tracts of Montana abandoned. He’d claimed it. Then, as he gathered more people, he moved them on through South Dakota, claiming more land.
Some “claiming” was easier than others. Several times, they’d found people of color—brown, red or yellow—on the land that had been given by God to white people. Gabriel had…persuaded…them to move along. Some went voluntarily; others became food for carrion birds.
So many towns and cities they found empty. Millions had died in the Second Holocaust. Millions.
But Gabriel had survived.
He knew he’d been spared for a reason.
Pausing by the window to survey his flock at work, Gabriel was pleased. They scurried about, maintaining the trucks, sorting equipment, obedient to their orders. His orders.
Daddy always said I wouldn’t amount to much.
A memory of his father—worn striped overalls, his weary gray eyes—came to mind. A small farmer living north of Atlanta, Frank Ellison had borrowed and borrowed to survive the droughts, the floods, until the bank had taken the farm. His father and mother had moved to the city, where his mother cleaned rooms at the Motel 6. Daddy just sat and stared out the window, imagining those green fields that would never be his again.
“Look how much land I have now, Daddy,” Gabriel whispered. “Are you proud of me yet? I’ll make you proud. I will.”