Updated: Jul 3, 2020
Hi all, I am writing today. The last few days have been filled with business dealings, but today I'm working on the last section of BWS&R-Beyond Imagination (Book 2). As I promised I am giving you a first glimpse of Jack Lockwood, from Chapter 1 of Beyond Belief. Although he woke up just a little while ago, Jack's already having an interesting day. In this excerpt, we find out where he wakes up, a little about his surroundings and then we meet the second major character in Beyond Belief---his business partner, co-worker and long-time friend, Dan Harrison. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my fictional world.
CHAPTER 1: THE GATHERING STORM
Listening to the wind howl, Dr. Jack Lockwood was grateful for the solid walls surrounding him. He'd been particular when he'd built his half-log home outside of Ely the year before. Northern Minnesota was no place to dabble with flimsy siding and unreliable heat. As was his habit he’d done extensive research. Then he’d spent the extra money and installed geothermal heat and electricity powered by sun and wind.
Looking around the snug kitchen, Jack was pleased with his choices. His home represented his taste and included everything he needed and wanted. The generously sized kitchen and living area, centered around a wood stove, flowed together to accommodate gatherings of friends. His study and a full bath shared the front of the house with the dining area. The loft and bath upstairs housed guests—with plenty of room even when his brother’s family of six visited. The master suite was at the back of the house and included a library with a sitting area, his bath and his bedroom. In this area, his private sanctuary, he'd departed from common sense just enough to include a wood-burning fireplace. He knew that conventional fireplaces sucked up more warm air than they provided, but he just couldn't build a north woods home without a fireplace that burned real logs. This one was a work of art, constructed with local river rock by a stone mason from Ely. Jack's years in Montana and Colorado had convinced him that the loss of heat was worth the ambiance and smell of a crackling fire. It also helped resale value, especially when it came to city dwellers with romantic notions of moving to the country.
Jack jumped when the two-way radio in the study emitted its distinctive warble. His cell phone sat silent on the desk, but in this remote location, the cell reception could be dicey, especially when the weather was bad.
“Dispatch to Lockwood, over.”
Jack wondered at the note of urgency in Dan’s tone. It wasn’t even 6 a.m. and his friend and co-worker already had his knickers in a knot about something. “Lockwood here. I'll be leaving shortly.” Jack frowned when Dan didn't reply immediately. “Dispatch, did you copy?”
“Yes, I copy,” Dan sounded a bit disgusted. “Jack, have you even looked outside since you woke up?”
“Of course I looked outside,” Jack sputtered. “I know it's snowing, but this is Minnesota. It snows. I know how to drive in this stuff and Hildy will make it through anything.” Hildy–short for Hildegard–was Jack's large four-wheel drive SUV. Outfitted with medical equipment and supplies as well as rescue gear, it had thus far proved adequate for everything Minnesota had thrown at him.
“Trust me when I say it is a big deal and it's not just the snow,” Dan countered. “Up until a couple of hours ago this stuff was coming down as freezing rain, to the tune of about two inches of solid ice coating everything. Since then we’ve had about six inches of heavy wet snow, and it's not going to stop anytime soon. Gale force winds are causing white-outs across the entire region. The roads are a mess. Trees and power lines are down from here to the Canadian border and south to Hinkley. So, stay put!” (Copywrite protected 2020 and owned by me :-))
Just in case you aren't convinced that Minnesota has storms like this, try doing an internet search on the 1991 Halloween blizzard. It was a century storm (happens once in a century) and I lived through it. Crazy.
Enjoy and please feel free to share this post or comment on it. There's lots more about Jack and Dan coming.
Wishing you fair winds and following seas,