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Attrition (Opening to potential thriller.)

Attrition (Opening to potential thriller.)

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Published by Tom Devine
The opening to the unwritten thriller novel 'Attrition'.

I uploaded this as a test file to see how Scribd worked, but there very well may be more to come.
The opening to the unwritten thriller novel 'Attrition'.

I uploaded this as a test file to see how Scribd worked, but there very well may be more to come.

More info:

Published by: Tom Devine on Jan 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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06/10/2010

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Attrition
Tom Devine
A small test sample.
Prologue
The first signs of the dawning sun shone through the jagged gaps in the ceiling of the dilapidated old farm house. The yellow light revealed the air to be thick with thedust that had prompted the youngest of the fugitive family to cough withuncharacteristic energy, thus revealing their location to the ruthless hunters stalking thefloor below them. The bright flash light that swung up to illuminate them forced theshaking figures crouched in the rafters to squint almost to the point of blindness, their hands otherwise occupied with maintaining their balance on the damp wooden beams.“Don't move!” shouted the holder of the invasive flash light, alerting hiscomrades to his discovery and drawing them to his position, a process marked by thethumping of their heavy boots on the ageing wooden floors that filled the buildingwith the smell of decay.“Please, don't shoot, we can make a deal!” pleaded the father of the family,herding his loved ones towards the ladder that would carry them the short distance tocaptivity below.The holder of the flash light flexed his fingers around the chilling metal handle of his pistol and eyed the scruffy long haired man who was demanding negotiation. Hedecided, after only a short consideration, that he would not pull the trigger there andthen; after all he could make much better use of these people alive than dead.Alphons, the seventeen year old son of the family, was the first to reach thebottom of the slippery ladder. He was now able to view the host of maliciousindividuals arrayed before him: the man with the light stood perfectly still in his raggedarmy officer's uniform, his pistol aimed up at his father with the light tracking his targetas he clambered across the beams towards the ladder. In all corners of the room stoodsoldiers, their faces painted dark and their arms cradling deadly assault rifles, all as still asthe man with the flash light, apparently waiting for him to provide them withcommands.Suddenly Alphons felt himself pushed from behind as a soldier emerged from the
 
darkness of a small door and corralled him, and his younger sister Alyssa who had beensecond to the ladder soon after, into the centre of the decrepit room.“Let's be civil now, huh?” the Father said, his husky voice sounding as calm as italways was, revealing no facet of his fear to the would-be-assassins below him.“That's a strange thing to hear from a...” began the officer, pausing to exaggeratea position of thought, “What was it you called your sorry selves again? I'm stuckbetween Fools and Pigs.”“We're Bards!” chirped Alyssa angrily, breaking the smug silence purveyed bythe officer and prompting the mother to rush over from the base of the ladder and lie afirm hand on her shoulder.“Quiet Ally...” she muttered, her face stoic and her tired eyes attentively focusedon the gun in the officer's hand.“Hmpf. Hurry up old man,” the officer grunted, briefly pointing his guntowards the father slowly lowering himself to the floor, wincing as his muscles spreadaching pains through his body. His thin shoes made light taps as he moved to hisfamily's side, surrounded by armed men and unsure of what they would have tosacrifice in order to keep their lives.“What do you want from us?” the father asked plainly, staring powerfully intothe eyes of the smirking officer. There was a period of silence, broken only by thecreaking of the floorboards as the other family members nervously shifted their weight,before the officer let out a sigh and placed his pistol back into its holster.“Well, all I want... Bard... is justice. You are known inhabitants of anunauthorised settlement, and you must appreciate that we cannot allow you to gounpunished.”He began to pace in a circle around the family, his hand still resting on theweapon in his holster, shining the flash light around the room, illuminating variousfeatures of the desolate structure: the crumbling walls, the fading graffiti, and asAlphons noted keenly, a rickety old window hanging open invitingly.“So you have two options now,” continued the officer, “You can come with usback to the settlement to fulfil a labour agreement, or you can be executed for obstructing the course of justice.”“L-labour agreement?” stuttered the mother fearfully.“Slavery,” the father interjected, his brow furrowing and his eyes still fixed onthe officer marching around the room.
 
“I don't care what you call it. You have... let's say... five seconds, to make your decision.”As the officer's hands pushed down into the holster ready to draw his weaponand the soldiers around the room brought their rifles to face the beleaguered family,Alphons felt adrenaline rush through his body. He eyed the window, thinking of howhe could jump into the tree outside and make his escape, but he knew the morbid factthat it would be only him who escaped; his family could never follow him without thesoldiers having time to stop them. His silent thought was interrupted by a new signal,the sound of his father's voice.“Okay. We'll take the agreement.”His voice was filled with disgrace as he signed his family's life away, his eyes nowlooking down at his muddy boots and his hands clenched into fists.Alphons was filled with horror. They had been so close to safety, but now theywere being enslaved after all their struggles to reach the border, there was no way thiscould really be happening.“Dad?” he said, his voice coarsened as it ran through his dry throat, but his father did not look at him.The officer stepped forward and grinned at them, blinding them once again withhis powerful flash light.“Right. Let's go then.”He beckoned towards the door towards the stairway and with a brief hand signalhad his men shepherd the family towards it.Alphons saw his father's hand reach into his pocket and pull out a small slip of paper that he held loosely between his thumb and forefinger. They turned to face thedoor as the officer moved to lead them out, leaving Alphons standing behind his father,still viewing the small piece of paper that he knew very well to be their ticket for theBlack Ferry. Almost at once, Alphons knew why he had drawn it out. He didn't think,that would slow him down, he just acted.It was only two running pacing to the window, just long enough to stuff theticket into his empty pocket. It had slipped out of his father's hand with ease, just as hewould have planned, and now Alphons was hanging loosely onto a mix of branches andleaves belonging to the tree just outside the window.“Alphons!” his father shouted; it was the only time in his life that Alphons hadheard such power in his father's voice, but he took no heed of this was he dropped

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