Installment 18 of our featured novel “Relentless” is here! If you’ve missed the earlier installments and would like to join our readership, be sure to check out the novel’s home page HERE.
We are publishing the novel in small installments, so it takes only minutes to keep up with the story. Many years ago, we were fans of Stephen King’s installment-based publishing of “The Green Mile” over many months, so we are following in that vein as a feature on Moteventure.
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SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE NEXT EXCERPT OF “RELENTLESS” BY D.S. FACTOR
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RELENTLESS – D.S. FACTOR
With sirens blaring in the distance, Abi rounded the corner of the bank building at a brisk clip, skirting the edge of a huge fountain shooting water in intersecting and intricate patterns from one side of a pool to another.
Even amongst the relatively large crowd of people milling about, the dark-haired teen was easy to spot, and with a large tote reading “Words Matter” strung from her shoulder, Abi thought she would be a perfect first (and hopefully last) attempt.
Grabbing a map from a nearby kiosk, Abi focused her attention on appearing to be a confused pedestrian, careful to be sure she made a beeline for the teenager. Bumbling while folding and unfolding the map, she bumped hard into the teen, catching the girl unaware as she tumbled to the concrete.
“Oh, clumsy me! I’m so sorry about that. Are you alright?” Abi offered as she helped the girl up from the ground and moved quickly to gather her belongings, casually slipping her burner phone into the bottom of the tote bag.
“Whatevs.” the girl said as she snatched the tote from Abi’s hands and kept moving forward.
All the better, Abi thought to herself, as she’d purposely done her best to be both forgettable while limiting the girl’s visual on her face.
Crossing Parkview, Abi slipped into what seemed to be the seediest pawnshop she’d ever seen, to a point she was expecting a peepshow storefront right next-door flashing “XXX GIRLS” over and over into the night. Instead, a MoneyGram shop occupied that space.
After some haggling inside with the pawnshop’s owner, Abi exited the store with a nondescript pair of sunglasses and enough cash to get her someplace safer. The pale skin on her ring finger made her hand feel naked and exposed. As she opened the door to the old Ford, she realized it was extremely easy to spot, and she began thinking of what to do about that problem.
Navigating backroads and side streets through the small city, she sidled the pickup into a public parking garage on the edge of the downtown area, pressing the “long-term” option when it presented itself on the screen, and proceeded forward when the arm raised in front of the vehicle.
Taking some time to seek out the best option hidden within the garage, Abi finally settled on a corner spot next to what appeared to be an oversized van with yet an even larger, bulkier covering. Once parked, Abi’s old truck was nearly invisible unless you walked all the way around the van and looked specifically into the darkened corner.
The expansive location provided for numerous replacement vehicles, with Abi browsing casually through the long-term parking area, careful to avoid looking in the direction of the few visible cameras.
Eventually settling on a late model silver Nissan Rogue, she tentatively tried the door and found the rear passenger side unlocked. Searching the mats in the back seat, the front seat, the glove box and the windshield visors, it wasn’t until she popped open the trunk gate and searched near the spare wheel that she was rewarded with an extra set of keys on a pewter OBX chain.
From the keychain hung a mini screwdriver that Abi used wisely to swap out the license plates of several different cars in the area along with the plates from her old Ford in an effort to delay and confuse the fact she was driving the Rogue.
After jumping into the SUV and circling the inside of the lot as she followed the signs leading to the exit, Abi pulled the ticket from the dashboard and slid it into the scanner, paid the fee requested and proceeded to the street once the barrier arm had been raised.
Before leaving the outskirts of town, a CVS store gave Abi a bright idea. If it worked for Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive”, why wouldn’t it work for me? Whipping a quick uey at the intersection, she pulled the Rogue into the parking lot with a shopping list already forming in her mind.
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WHAT IS THE OLDEST THING(S) YOU’RE WEARING TODAY?
Circa mid-eighties, I’d have to say the oldest thing I’m wearing at the moment today is my wedding ring.
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