A typically mundane day of delegating responsibility for Kristi Johnson gets turned upside down when the emergency flash message reaches her that there had been a suspected terrorist bombing in St. Louis, Mo. while hovering above the scene, through the news copter traffic below, her worst fears are realized, she makes the call to the Department of Homeland Security recommending raising the national terror threat level to RED for the first time in history. What follows is a hair raising rollercoaster ride through the heretofore unimagined world of a nationwide National Emergency. The characters in L.C. Beys debut novel come from all walks of life, but they must navigate this locked down society of curfews, check points tracked movements and fear . Kristi and her FBI tactical team have very little time to decipher the cryptic clues left behind at the crime scene taunting them into recognizing that the terror spree was far from over, the hubris of the terrorist indicating that he was much smarter than their best and brightest... Volume one sets up the landscape of this pre Marshall law America, showcasing the strain inflicted on relationships of all kinds, the high tech investigations and the way human nature makes for strange bed fellows when said humans are stretched to the limit. Join us for the ride as we trailblaze the country in the midst of Threat Level RED !!!
Mr Corbin-Bey is the author of From The Inside, a book of poetry previously published, he is an Ohio Native that currently resides in Atlanta, Ga, USA. his use of strong female protagonists is most likely the product of his growing up the youngest of six with five older sisters and a very industrious mother and father
Dutches, what can i say about her, shes the hometown girl living the dream. from outcast to the front page of the local paper ... As we all know some girls have it harder than others growing up. but as they say 'success is the best revenge' . but what happens when your normal life it rocked again and again in the midst of a nationwide -
Threat Level RED
Threat Level Red
Dutchess awoke to the high pitched whine of the Bombardier Airliner whisking her across the country at six hundred miles an hour enroute to her next tournament. The road was a lonely master, but she couldn’t really complain; after all it was much better to be traveling, playing, and being paid for it. Moreover, than to be playing her heart out every weekend only to have to clock in to a job Monday morning. This was definitely what she would rather be doing. Though she was only well known regionally, she was now beginning to be recognized in broader circles. The USA Today had a big picture of her in the sports section a few weeks ago, that was big time…a national paper! She was on her way, now she was being invited to tournaments instead of having to pay her own way; hell Venus and Serena knew her name, and that meant something. And, she was winning! She was undefeated in her last twelve outings. Admittedly, some were other unknowns, but she had just faced some stiff competition, seeded players, nobody in the top seventy five, but they were ranked in the world and Dutchess Singletary had mopped the court with them.
The tournament she was on her way to now was in Florida and she would be playing on grass. She had her most wins on clay, but her grass game was steadily improving. The worst part about all this travel was the fact that she had to do it alone, that was what she missed the most about her days starting out…her friends. They could always be there because everything was local. But now with her flying all over the world playing and training, she’d lost touch with the people she most loved being around. Even with the growing fan base, nobody cheered for her like her old friends. Dutchess was in the mid-state of celebrity sports: too known to be an unknown, but at the same time not known enough to rate an entourage; she fell under the category ‘relatively unknown professional player’. She thought back to the other day at the Tennis Open, she had felt like an A-list player that day; the screams of the crowds and the autograph seekers, but the most memorable thing about the Open was the class of school kids and their teacher; Ms. Collins.
Dutchess was open with her sexuality, she was bi-sexual and anybody that needed to know, knew, but none of that was public knowledge – yet. She knew that added fame was reciprocally tied into decreased public privacy.
Sooner or later somebody would find out and then she would have to defend herself. She would, but she wasn’t looking forward to it. Facing any kind of storm alone was never easy and she didn’t have anybody right now, man or woman. But she kept drifting back to Ms. Collins, she never even found out her first name. She was behaving as if she were still in the fourth grade and had a crush, not asking, simply adjusting to ‘Ms. Collins’, she found that she even liked saying it. But she was not the ordinary elementary school teacher, this woman had made quite the adult impression on Dutchess.
Her daydreaming took her back to Ms. Zydwiki, her fourth grade teacher. She was truly nothing to look at, not like Ms. Collins, but she was from Eastern Europe, her accent made her beautiful to Dutchess. Her adopted parents were all American, apple pie and baseball; but they felt as if the adoption agency had misled them, they thought that they had brought into their home a Caucasian baby girl with green eyes and red hair, they had no idea that black baby girls came with those options.
Little black girls were supposed to have black hair, brown eyes and brown skin. She looked like she lived with a year round tan. But anyone who saw her naked would have no doubt as to her ethnicity; her beige nipples and nether lips told any seasoned observer that she was not Caucasian, they would be pink, like uncooked meat. Her facial lips and cheek bones, not to mention the definition of her hips, ass and legs all pointed out the heritage she alluded to; no flat butt here. She wished every day that she knew who her birth parents were, one would suppose the mix to be a red haired white woman and a black man; she was the recipient of the recessive genes. The Lucille Ball red hair and jade green eyes, it was all a mystery to her.
That was one of the hidden motivators behind her determination to rise to fame. She wanted to locate her birth parents and call attention to the plight of foster and adopted kids, she intended to be so famous that her parents would stand up and claim her. Even though it had been twenty one years, she still looked like she did as a baby, except for the obviously grown up parts. Did she have sisters, brothers, and pets? What would she do if she had a family that looked like her? But once again, her thoughts turned back to Ms. Collins.
They weren’t that far apart in age, she couldn’t be more than twenty five; Dutchess couldn’t stop thinking of her as an authority figure. The attention the kids gave her made Dutchess want to be a young girl again, just so that she could look up to her.
This was nuts, she is a grown woman, professional athlete, solo, on her way to joining the best tennis players in the world on their level, and she was determined to succeed; and here she was with a puppy love crush on a fourth grade teacher. It could have been the fitted shirt with the tennis racquet on the breast or the way she looked at her like a bonafide star tennis player. She had really meant it when she said that she wished she had a fourth grade teacher just like her; what Ms. Collins didn’t know was that she was talking about right now…The flight attendant stopped to ask Dutchess if everything was ok, she replied, “Yes, I’m just thinking about some things.”
When she lifted her head to look the attendant in the eye she got a reaction she didn’t expect. “Hey! You’re Dutchess Singletary! Could I get your autograph”