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Falls Like Lightning

Falls Like Lightning

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An excerpt from Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady, published by Bethany House Publishers.

Smokejumper Silas Kent never expected to see pilot Elle Westmore again. In fact, reuniting makes him realize what a mistake he made all those years ago. But before he has a chance to try to make amends, he's called to lead a new crew into battle against a massive fire in the Sierra Nevadas.

And then things go very wrong, very quickly.

A suspicious engine explosion forces the crew to parachute early while Elle barely survives a crash landing. Silas reaches the ground safely, but in beginning a desperate race to reach the downed plane, he soon realizes he has more to fear than just a raging forest fire.
An excerpt from Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady, published by Bethany House Publishers.

Smokejumper Silas Kent never expected to see pilot Elle Westmore again. In fact, reuniting makes him realize what a mistake he made all those years ago. But before he has a chance to try to make amends, he's called to lead a new crew into battle against a massive fire in the Sierra Nevadas.

And then things go very wrong, very quickly.

A suspicious engine explosion forces the crew to parachute early while Elle barely survives a crash landing. Silas reaches the ground safely, but in beginning a desperate race to reach the downed plane, he soon realizes he has more to fear than just a raging forest fire.

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers on May 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/23/2011

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Chapter
01
H
eaven banished Lucifer in one air-rending fissure.Silas Kent drew little difference—again at the doorway, one
foot from the slipstream, four thousand over a crowning inferno.
He closed his eyes and inhaled the oily scents of burnt pine and juniper whipping through the crew compartment. The engineroar blended into background. Convective heat buzzed at hischeeks, waving off the firestorm below. The mountain plateau
lay like an altar, burnt offerings shadowed beneath its smoky pall.
The pilot tapped a dash gauge in the cockpit. The yoke
vibrated and he returned his hand to it. Warren emerged fromthe fore bulkhead and rubbed the gray stubble at his jawline.His eyes found Silas and he gave the nod.Once more unto the breach. Cast toward the earth and theblackened soil. Warren slid on his sunglasses and took a knee by the jump
door. He pointed to a clearing. Silas noted the spot, flipped down
the caged face mask on his helmet, and gave the thumbs-up. No words needed save for the count-off that followed.Three.Hands on the doorframe.Two.Foot on the threshold.One.
 
12
Shawn Grady 
———
Silas barreled through the open air.His chute deployed with a fabric slide and billowed jerk.Breath escaped his chest. He adjusted his joints and settled inthe harness. Alone with the wind. The great expansive ecstasy.
He angled toward the drop zone, the only suitable spot withinhiking distance of the radio tower where an injured technician lay. A billowing column grew from the forest nearby. He mapped the
fire in his mind, taking mental pictures of its size and perimeter,
making out the shape of the radio repeater perched atop a wooded
knoll. The closest rescue-equipped helicopter faced an hour and
a half response time. Chances were that by the time it arrived the
lack of visibility from the smoke would hamper efforts. At its current rate of spread, the fire threatened to crest theridge before Silas’s team could get there.Silas sighted the meadow clearing Warren had aimed himtoward. Earth approached fast. He brought his boots together,hit the ground, and rolled. In one motion he made his kneesand gathered in his chute arm over arm.He breathed in the smell of earth and evergreen and burn-ing sage.Fifty feet from him, chute flapping, Peña landed and rolled.Silas shook down his jumpsuit, shouldered his fireline pack, andstrode to the clearing edge.Their window was slim. If winds picked up late that after-noon, and they always did, the opportunity for rescue wouldnarrow even further.
———

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