Title Game Six
Author Judy Bruce
Genre Mystery, Baseball
Haunted by danger and tragedy, a woman must solve the mystery of her mother's murder then fights to the death against the killer. GAME SIX is a contemporary drama flavored with action, romance, baseball, and Nazis.
When a neighbor’s house explodes, it injures a woman, Brit, and kills her mother. With the help of her autistic friend and a handsome detective, Brit discovers the identity of the murderer. When the killer pursues Brit, she is given the chance to avenge her mother. Is she strong enough to act?
The blast came through my house from the west, hurling me against the east wall.
The west wall, along with the TV, was blown into the room. I awoke on the floor, wedged in between the sofa and the coffee table. Confused and in pain, I struggled to push off the sections of the west wall as I choked on the thick, swirling air. My brain swam—what happened? A bomb? An explosion? I didn’t see fire. Mom!
Pulling the top of my Cubs sweatshirt over my mouth and nose, I tried to filter my breathing. I touched the left side of my head, discovering the blood that ran down my brown hair onto my neck. I cradled my left arm then shoved the cracked and crumpled TV out of my way.
At first, my ears rang; in time, this subsided to silence as my head throbbed. I crawled on my knees and right arm through the splintered remnants of my dining room furniture now scattered on the carpet and in the foyer. My jarred brain summoned fractured ideas, but two thoughts were clear—get out, find her.
When my hearing began to return, I heard pounding and yelling from the front of the house. Then the front storm door crashed open. Soon hands were under my arms and I was carried into the light. I heard myself say, “nobody else in there” as the arms lowered me into the grass. I quickly rolled over to my knees—I needed to find her. People nearby moved like apparitions in a haze of destruction. Her Volvo had been knocked onto its side into the yard, the windows blown out. Oh, God! Help her!
“Where’s my mother?” I asked weakly.
Woozy, I looked around, struggling to see through the dust. My house had collapsed on the west side and all of the windows were blown out. I choked on the strong smell of gas as I regarded the Hannover house to the west, now a pile of rubble under a plume of dust and smoke. Pieces of wood, insulation, and other debris continued to fall from the sky.
That night, in my Dad’s guest room, I flipped on the sound system then sat down on the edge of the bed, my arm still in a sling, but now wearing clean clothes. My scalp throbbed at the site of my sutures. A pile of empty, white trash bags lay on the floor. Meanwhile, Miles Davis played a stark, mournful tune. After a knock sounded at the open door, Dad entered.
“You and Liz get everything hung up?” he asked.
“Yeah. It’s amazing how much stuff she was able to grab,” I said.
“How you doin’?”
“Mmm. Starting to feel my body more—all fifty-nine bruises. I think my shoulder got the worst of it.”
“Remember when I used to tease and call you ‘Brittle’?”
“That was just last year.”
He smiled then we contemplated our tragedy.
“My God,” he said quietly.
Feeling numb, I said, “I’m just …”
We embraced for a few moments then backed away to wipe our tears. We’d done this before—when my brother died. My heart screamed: No! It wasn’t our turn!
After a few moments, Dad found his voice. “I’ll try to see Carl tomorrow.”
“Yeah, good. Dad, that cop tonight, David Greene, he was a homicide detective.”
“So someone meant to kill Carl and Sarah? And Margaret was just … there.”
“They better figure out who did it,” I said.
“That won’t bring her back.”
“No, but …”
That night, I jerked awake from my memory, shivering but sweaty, the sound of the explosion reverberated in my head. I clutched my pillow to my body, covering my face to quell my silent screams and block my vision. Yet I still saw her eyes—silvery-blue glass, empty, but staring intently nowhere.
Her death lacerated my spirit. I didn’t go deeper than this—God in heaven, how was I to survive?
Judy Bruce is a novelist and screenwriter. In addition of her acclaimed novel, Death Steppe: A World War II Novel, several stories have been published from her Wind Series: Voices in the Wind, Alone in the Wind, and Cries in the Wind, Fire in the Wind, and Lies in the Wind. Judy maintains a website at www.judybruce.com and a blog at www.heyjoood.com . She is a wife, mother, and sister residing in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Creighton University law school graduate. Her autistic son keeps her in touch with her quirky side.