Virus!

With all the talk about corona virus and how it’s probably a man-made (or woman-made, for all I know) organism that escaped from a lab, it would be remiss of me not to mention my own organism, the red death. The red death only resides within the pages of A Spark of Heavenly Fire, so it cannot harm you (though it might scare you), but it’s deadly for all that. In fact, it’s so deadly and spread so fast from it’s origins in Colorado, that the entire state is quarantined.

You don’t think that’s possible? The technology already exists, and where people manage to break out of the quarantined area, you better believe that people from the surrounding states would not hesitate to shoot an escapee.

Inside the quarantined state, hundreds of thousands of people are dying in Colorado this unstoppable red death, and though many people have given up hope, insomniac Kate Cummings struggles to find the courage to live and to love. Investigative reporter Greg Pullman, is determined to discover who unleashed the deadly organism and why they did it, until the cost — Kate’s life — becomes more than he can pay. This is a story of survival in the face of brutality, government cover-up, and public hysteria. It is also a story of love: lost, found and fulfilled.

So, if you wish to take a break from talk of the rather tepid coronavirus (the “normal” flu is much deadlier) and experience what a true epidemic would be like, you can read an excerpt of A Spark of Heavenly Fire here: https://bertramsblog.com/free-samples/a-spark-of-heavenly-fire/ and you can buy it from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1630663662/

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #6

A Spark of Heavenly Fire takes place during the month of December. To celebrate, I am posting outtakes from the book. Like movie outtakes, these are scenes that were deleted from the final version.  Posting them is not as easy as it sounds. Since the original version is no longer in my computer, I have to retype the pages from my handwritten draft copy.  Still, it’s fun being able to revisit some of my original scenes. Hope you enjoy this look at my characters. Oh, and if you’d like to see a photo of the handwritten book, you can find it here: A Spark of Heavenly Fire Pre-Anniversary.

Traffic on I-25 was bumper to bumper, so Jeremy took side streets to get to the private airfield on the outskirts of Denver. While he was still almost a quarter of a mile away, he could see that his white jet was not positioned at the head of the runway, ready for take-off.

He refused to let this setback interfere with his holiday mood, but he did intend to let Rick Jones, the owner of the airfield, know that he, Jeremy King, did not appreciate such slip-shod service.

At least Rick would not be hard to find. He was standing at the entrance to the airfield, talking to two men in their twenties who were wearing army uniforms and carrying rifles.

Jeremy pulled up alongside the three men and opened his window.

Rick poked his head inside. “Sorry, Mr. King, but no planes are allowed to fly today. Something about restricted airspace.” He gestured to the other two men. “These guys are privates in the National Guard. The black guy is Marvin and the redhead is Bill.”

Jeremy motioned for Rick to move back. He got out of the car and confronted the privates “Do you know who I am?”

“Yes, sir,” Bill said. “You’re Jeremy King. But we still can’t let you take off. Even if you were the president, we couldn’t let you go up today. Our orders are to make sure all planes remain on the ground.”

“We’re to detain anyone who resists.” Though Marvin’s tone was mild, his stance imparted a definite threat.

Jeremy looked longingly at the runway, remembering a movie he had done about a guy who had made a run for it in an airplane. The airplane chase scene had been acclaimed for it’s realism, but now he could understand how silly that scene really had been. Only in the movies could someone his age outrun two young guys with rifles, hop into a small jet that was still in the hangar, taxi to the runway, and take off, all without sustaining so much as a scratch.

He glanced at Marvin and Bill, who now had their rifles trained on him.”

“Don’t try anything, Mr. King,” Marvin said.

Jeremy held up his hands. This was America, for cripes sake, and he was Jeremy King. Who the hell did these guys think they were?

“How much would it take to let me go up,” he asked. “A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand?”

Bill looked as if he might be considering the offer, but Marvin poked Jeremy in the stomach with the rifle and said, “We have our orders.”

Jeremy managed a lighthearted laugh. “Just kidding.”

Marvin stared at him for a moment, then shouldered his rifle.

“Can I have your autograph, Mr. King?” Bill asked.

“Sure.” Jeremy pulled a wallet-sized publicity photo out of his pocket, signed it, and handed it over. “You want one, too?” he asked Marvin.

Marvin hesitated, then he nodded. “For my mother. She thinks you’re great.”

“Your plane is ready to go,” Rick said. “We refueled and did the pre-flight check.” He grinned sheepishly. “My guys were so thrilled to be working on Jeremy King’s jet that they gave it a thorough going over. As soon as the restriction is lifted, you can take off on a moment’s notice.”

Jeremy started to get back into his car, then stopped abruptly. “You never told me what’s going on. Why the restriction?”

Marvin squared his shoulders. “Need to know basis, Mr. King.”

“We don’t know. No one told us,” Bill said at the same time.

“Do you know how long the restriction is going to last?”

“Sorry, don’t know that either,” Bill said, “but I don’t think it will last long. How can it? I mean, it’s one thing to restrict small planes, but the airliners? Those companies are too big. They won’t stand for it.”

Rick looked shocked. “You mean DIA is shut down, too?”

“Didn’t we tell you?” Bill said. “All air traffic is being curtailed.”

The unmistakable sound of fighter planes filled Jeremy’s ears. He looked up to see six jets flying in formation.

Marvin repositioned his rifle. “Except for military traffic, of course.”

See Also:
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #1
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #2
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #3
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #4
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #5