Title Dragon(e) Baby Gone
Author Robert Gainey
Genre Detective Fantasy
Publisher The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
“Dragon is hard to overcome, yet one shall try.”
– Nowe Ateny, Polish Encyclopedia, 1745
Diane Morris is part of the thin line separating a happy, mundane world from all of the horrors of the anomalous. Her federal agency is underfunded, understaffed, and misunderstood, and she’d rather transfer to the boring safety of Logistics than remain a field agent. When a troupe of international thieves make off with a pair of dragon eggs, Diane has no choice but to ally with a demon against the forces looking to leave her city a smoldering crater. Facing down rogue wizards, fiery elementals, and crazed gunmen, it’s a race against time to get the precious cargo back before the dragon wakes up and unleashes hell.
If I were a more law-abiding driver, my insurance company would have had a fit. After all, a few broken windows were cheap compared to paying out life insurance, reupholstering the entire interior, and cleaning my brains out of the center console. My rolling stop, which consisted of my foot leaving the gas, considering contact with the brake, and reapplying the gas, turned out to be the most responsible irresponsible thing of my life.
Every piece of glass found a bullet in the span of a heartbeat. I slammed my foot down hard, turning abruptly to put as much of my vehicle between myself and the shooters as possible, and smelled rubber burning as my tires fought to bite the asphalt for enough traction to get me the hell out of there.
“What the hell, man?” I yelled, head down to where I could barely see over the steering wheel. Tomas was shrieking beside me, and I glanced long enough to see blood streaming out of his arm. I jerked the car hard to come around a red convertible and heard the popping sound of automatic weapons behind me as a few more rounds hammered into my trunk. I looked up as I sailed through a solid red light, across an intersection that couldn’t have been busier if the Pope was in town, and into another web of residential neighborhoods. “Are these friends of yours?”
“No!” Tomas yelled, wheezing in pain. “Everyone I worked with is dead already. Mon Dieu, I’ve been hit!”
“It’s fine, you’ll live. Keep your head down,” I said, looking behind me as quickly as I could. The van had passed through the intersection seconds behind me, and I saw a wreck go down in its wake. I had other more pressing issues.
In the movies, car chases are neat, clean affairs where the good guy either catches up to or outruns the bad guy. Anybody involved in a car chase knows just how to corner, accelerate, and time their antics to avoid catastrophe for themselves and minimize it for others. Also, the drivers are always shooting at each other and flattening tires or cracking radiators.
Professionals bring gunmen to do the shooting and usually wait for a clear shot before wasting the bullets. Pro drivers know that all they have to do is follow long enough for their prey to make a mistake, get bogged down in traffic or in a wreck, and then they can just roll up and finish their job. The fact that I was dodging bullets going down Hidden Oak Lane in the middle of broad daylight told me that while the driver may have known what he was doing, the lackeys hanging out the windows did not.
“Hang on,” I said, which is useless to a man who is handcuffed and shot, and turned my poor little mid-sized sedan into a sharper turn than any of its engineers had intended, doubling back up a parallel street, headed back to the main road. I needed about thirty cops to show up and shoot these guys, but at the same time, I needed them to also not shoot me.
Bullets stitched their way across a yard as they missed me and sprayed the plate windows of the house into powdered glass before we were gone from the lives of the owner forever. I snarled, shouting profanity out the window. Nobody sane came after anybody in public like this. Their little van of hitmen might have worked if they’d gotten us in the first shot, but now they were just begging to run into a barricade and die resisting arrest.
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Robert Gainey is a born and raised Floridian, despite his best efforts. While enrolled at Florida State University and studying English (a language spoken on a small island near Europe), Robert began volunteering for the campus medical response team, opening up a great new passion in his life. Following graduation, he pursued further training through paramedic and firefighting programs, going on to become a full time professional firefighter in the State of Florida. He currently lives and works in Northeast Florida with his wife and dogs, who make sure he gets walked regularly. Robert writes near-fetched fantasy novels inspired by the madness and courage found in everyday events.
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