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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: October 23, 2020      Views: 29
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Debby is proud to be a native Texan who lives near the geographical center of that great state.
She is fortunate to be a wife, a proud mom of four, and grandmother of six of the most entertaining and loving grandchildren on the planet. Her husba - more...

She is a top ranked author at the #94 position.

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #14 spot on the rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #94 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 40 of the book Looking for Orion - 2
When evil enters his home, Cody s faces an impossible choic
"Invasion - part 1" by DeboraDyess

Can faith really save the family from evil?

After witnessing an assassination attempt, brothers Cody and Jack try to return to normal lives, aware that the evil men will go to any length to silence them. See a brief summary in author notes

Cody's eyes snapped open; he felt them fly wide before he even realized he was awake. The room was dark, as inky black as the inside of a dragon's belly. Confusion swirled around him like a dust cloud and he blinked into the darkness, trying to find something to orient him. He knew he wasn’t at the hospital. No hall light bled into his room from beneath the door and the antiseptic smell was gone. He blinked again, trying to remember. 

He felt Michael shift in the bed beside him and knew; he was home in his room, surrounded by his children. He’d felt Katie sneak into his king-sized bed just before eleven, and Michael had joined them close to midnight.

Cody glanced at the glowing red numbers of the clock beside his bed; 3:22. He pulled a shuddery lung full of air into his body, grimaced at the pain as he moved and squeezed his eyes shut again. 

He lay still, listening. Something woke him, but he wasn't sure if it was the nightmare he'd been having, or something else. He'd had the nightmare five times, each time being pulled from sleep with a heart-pounding, dry-mouth start. The dream was virtually unchanging. In it, Cody knew the Lehmans were in his house with his children. He frantically searched from room to room, hearing Michael and Katie's cries grow louder, but no closer. Tonight one new element had been thrust into the nightmare, and he thought for a minute about that. He held something hard and cold as he started up the stairs, wielding it in front of him as a weapon. Even in the dream he hadn’t known what it was. He could hear Pam’s whispers too, but couldn’t hear her words, although his heart ached with the effort. Her voice had been unnerving.

He swallowed and stared into the blue-black darkness again. The red numbers beside his head glowed insistently; 3:24.

Silverware crashed downstairs, creating auditory chaos as it clattered on the hardwood floor of the kitchen. Cody stiffened and gently maneuvered Katie off of his left arm, pushing himself into a sitting position on the side of his bed. He worried he might not hear the next sound over the pounding in his chest and raspy, frantic breathing, and tried to calm himself.  He pulled open the small drawer in the bedside table and removed his revolver from inside. He’d never anticipated using the Ruger in his home. The cold steel of the barrel and hardwood of the grip seemed to focus him, forcing him to full wakefulness. As the gun cleared the drawer, hinges creaked and his door inched open. He raised the weapon, half spinning toward the door, flinching at the pain in his side as he aimed into the thick blackness. He put the slightest pressure against the trigger, ready to pull.

"Cody?" Panic colored his mother’s whispered voice.

He lowered the gun, exhaling the breath he didn’t realize he’d drawn. "Get in here, Mom. Hurry! Lock the door."

"Cody –"

"I heard him."

"No," Rachel interrupted, her whisper hoarse and tight. "The children are missing!"

"They're here." Cody whispered the words urgently as he reached for his cell phone.

Rachel put a hand on his. "The cells aren't working. I've already tried."

Cody nodded. "They must be jamming them." He picked up the receiver of the landline. "Get over here, beside me. I'm calling 911 now. With the agents outside the response time’ll be about ten seconds." Rachel came to sit beside him on the bed and turned on the small bedside lamp. 

The movement woke Michael, who said sleepily, "Hi, Grandma. What're you doing in here?"

A man on the other end of the line said, "911. Please state the nature of your emergency, Mr. McClellan."

Cody started to speak and stopped, mouth half-opened, the breath knocked out of him by sudden realization. The phone hadn’t rung, and the man on the other end, a man with a soft Georgia accent, knew his name.  He squeezed his eyes tightly shut and clenched his jaws.

Rachel laid a hand on his shoulder, squeezing, urging him to speak, to initiate the rescue. He raised his eyes slowly to her. She saw, through his look, that everything had just gone terribly wrong. Cody put his hand over the mouthpiece. "He's here," he breathed, voice shaking, "In the house."

"Dad?" Michael sat up, frowning, wiping a hand over sleep-filled eyes.

"McClellan? McClellan? You still there?" The man laughed and created a bizarre stereo effect, the hard sound of Lehman's glee echoing up the staircase and bouncing off the closed bedroom door as Cody listened to it through the phone receiver.

Cody stared into his son’s eyes and blinked away, afraid Michael would see too much, understand too much. "I'm here," he said flatly.

"Good! I love to do that! Y'know, kind of put a spark in a' otherwise borin' evening." He laughed again, as if he were sharing a joke with an old friend. "I really expected you to be down here, McClellan. Imagine my disappointment when I looked through ever' single room and didn't find you. So I decided to get your attention."

"You have it."

Lehman chortled. "I'll bet. And I'm waitin'. I don't wait real good, McClellan; not much into virtues. By the way, is it Mac or Cody? I've noticed they call you both. Course, just your old cop buddies call you Mac. Don’t guess I qualify there, huh? Either way, I'd like to meet you, sir. Downstairs."

Cody said nothing. They were in his house. They were closer to his children than any evil thing had ever been. His mind raced, grabbing at possibilities, dancing away from the terror pushing its way to the front of his thoughts.

The nightmare was real.

"As I said, McClellan, I'm not real good at waitin'. I guess I could come up, if you’d like. You know, meet the family?"

"They're not here," Cody said, too quickly. "They went to my aunt’s house."

"Your aunt’s house, huh? Now, would that be your Aunt Kelley in California? Or Auntie Josie in Temple."

Cody swallowed hard, head spinning.

"You think I don't know all about you, McClellan?" Lehman's voice had lost its conversational tone now; he sounded hard and deadly. "I know ever'thing. I know your brother and his family and that pretty doctor ate dinner with you tonight. Jackie-boy brought the food and drink. I know where you bank and who you invest with. I know where you go to church and where your brats go to school. You play volleyball at the park down the street two nights a week with old school buddies and some guys from church, and you ski every winter. You enjoy bike riding and you’re real into that artsy crap. You’re not too bad at it, either. The pictures from the camera you dropped at Deer Creek came out pretty good. I might even frame ‘em. You know, hang ‘em in my house to remember you by. I know all about your wife's tragic demise. Too bad I didn't have a part in that one." He laughed. "I probably know the last time you went to the john."

"Then I guess you know about the FBI –"

"Yeah. The two dead guys in the car up the street. I know about them, too. Oh, yeah. I wanted to compliment your security system; very top- dollar. Museum quality. Took me a lot longer to get in here than I thought it would – wasted a full twenty minutes."

Cody clutched the phone, squeezing it to keep from dropping it. He felt like throwing up, or passing out. God, he thought, you've got to help us.

"Get down here, McClellan, or I'll come up and get intimately acquainted with the kiddos and your pretty little momma."

"I'm coming," Cody replied, and hung up the phone. He sat, feeling fear and sorrow at the thought of all he would miss. His indecision disappeared and a look of resolve settled across his face. He would do whatever he had to do to save his family. He would sacrifice anything –everything – to keep them alive.

The book continues with Invasion - part 2. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Brothers Cody and Jack McClellan interrupt an assassination attempt on a camping trip. Cody is shot and left for dead while the hitmen chase their original target, who takes the opportunity to run for his life. Jack finds and rescues Codywith the help of other campers.
At the hospital, one of the Lehman clan appears in cody's room dressed in orderly garb. He makes a second attempt on Cody's life, only to be thwarted by Jack and an FBI agent, assigned to the Lehman case.
Out of the hospital weeks later, Cody has his first family night at home. but fears the Lehmans will attempt to eliminate any witnesses to their crime.

Cast of Characters in this chapter:
Cody McClellan - early 30s, widowed, father of two. Private investigator
Jack McClellan - mid 30s, husband and father. Police detective.
Rachel - Jack and Cody's mom
Michael and Katie - Cody's kids, 12 and 6, respectively
Lehman - one of the hitmen. These guys tend to target minority politicians and civil leaders.
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