This is the first two pages of my upcoming book ‘Sparrows’ — a sequel to ‘Fliers’. Let me know your thoughts! (Also, not super-duper edited, so don’t judge me!)
“Sydona found herself alone in the middle of nowhere and sat in total darkness; absent from sound. Her heart pounded with every second that passed, waiting for a sound to tell her to begin. Through padded earmuffs that covered her ears, she heard a faint beeping noise coming from her wrist. She ripped off the thick blindfold and earmuffs and threw them to the ground. Her eyes and ears quickly adjusted to the sunlight. The blinding sun caused her to squint her icy blue eyes, but not enough to prevent her from investigating her new surroundings. She was in a forest, but one she was not familiar with. It was sparsely populated with trees and easy to see into the distance. Many of the trees had broad trunks; large enough for things to hide behind. The forest stood eerily quiet, with an occasional bird chirp, but then fluttered away. Her hand touched the dirt floor, patted with leaves that she had to scatter around as she searched for something. Several lines of leaves were flattened; she presumed by a car. Sydona followed the tire tracks that led north, into the unknown.
She removed a pistol from her hip and held it out steadily in front of her. Moving quickly and silently through the trees with her rugged black boots, she watched her back with every step. Just then a man popped out from behind a tree with a gun pointed at her, but she shot him before he could pull the trigger. He fell to the ground and she kept going. Her heart pounded faster and soon felt like a tiger hunting for prey. Leaves crunched beneath a strangers footsteps and she pivoted quickly to shoot them. Sydona continued with two more shots at another man who appeared next to them. With every gunshot that echoed through forest, her pulse raced and wiped her sweaty palms off on her camouflage pants.
Taking another quick glance around her surroundings, she confirmed she got everyone and moved on. She glided along the ground, keeping track of the trail, soiled with tire marks. They eventually lead her out of the forest and into a small abandoned town. Her senses heightened, as she noticed several buildings standing a few stories tall. High enough for snipers and lookouts. Many of the buildings had busted out windows, some with cardboard and dated graffitti. Only one car resided on the side of the road, but gutted out and stripped for parts. It wasn’t the same car from the tracks, judging by one flat tire and the other three missing. The town was small with just one main street and could even see the towns edge. Sydona thought finding the vehicle wouldn’t be difficult. A couple of ally’s resided between buildings on the other side of the road but she was unsure if they were large enough for a car. With no carports or garages around; she had to investigate.
Sydona glanced down at her wrist watch; eight minute mark. She clentched her fists and licked her lips, unhappy with the readout. Sydona ran over to the side of the road and pressed herself up against the buildings with her weapon ready. Spotting a quick movement inside a window on the south side of the street, she aimed her gun towards them and shot. She made her way down the wall to an alley she assumed could fit a small car, and searched again for tracks. The town may be abandoned, but the streets were still in tact with no dirt that would signal tire tracks. As she cautiously ran down the alley, she approached a large trash container; perhaps too quickly. A woman jumped out from behind it and disarmed her.
Sydona did a sweeping kick as the woman tried to punch her, and she fell to the ground. Her opponent then used her boot to kick Sydona in the stomach and push her backwards. All the air in her lungs escaped instantly and she hurled over in pain. This gave the other woman a chance to stand back up and face Sydona. They swung at each other a few more times, with Sydona being the first one to make contact with her jaw and slammed her to the ground. She pinned her down with a fist ready to keep punching, but the woman tapped Sydona on the leg. They nodded at each other respectively. Sydona stood back up and ran back to her gun. She continued to look for the missing vehicle. Along the way she took out a couple more people hiding in doors and windows.
As she turned the corner of a brick building, she saw the one thing that stuck out from the rest of the town; a shiny red van. Just to be sure, she approached it and peeked inside the windows. It was empty of people, but still in good condition. It had to be the same one from the woods. She placed her sweaty hands on the hood of the van. It was still warm and parts rattled from the engine settling. The only other unusual part of the area was a metal door nearby with a mechanism on the side. It reminded her of the numbers on a payphone but with a digital green screen above it.
She picked the most obvious code she could think of and entered it in. ‘NFA.’
The indicator light flashed red.
Her hands shook and she glanced at her watch again. Twenty-two minutes. Gritting her teeth at the time and drawing a blank as she stared at the keypad, she tried a few more codes.
‘FLIER’; ‘MALIK’; ‘SPARROW’. Nothing happened.
Sydona’s hands vibrated even more as each attempt failed to open the door.
“Don’t worry Gia. I’m getting you out,” she said to herself.
Glancing down at her wrist, she wasted an entire minute thinking of the code. Then a light bulb went off in her head. What does the NFA strive to have the ability to do? Of course.
She entered in ‘FLY.’ The light flashed green and the door clicked open.
Turning the rusty handle of the abandoned building, she creeped into the darkness that waited indoors. It reminded her of an old office building. A circular reception desk stuck out proudly in the lobby, while a long hallway on the right side homed several offices. Thinking of where they might be keeping Giovonna, she searched for stairs leading down. She thought perhaps there was a laboratory there, and most likely, out of sight from onlookers. As she made her way down the hallway, a few more people showed up with guns, but Sydona took them all out.
Time was running out, and she needed to find Giovanna before it was too late. She ran to the back of the building where she hoped was an emergency stairwell that lead to a basement. Another man ran into her on the stairs on her way down and she took him out with no issues. At the bottom, the place opened up into a large hollowed out parking garage. It had remnants of an old camp that Willow mentioned the NFA did experiments in. A cemented brick wall shaped a makeshift office in the corner of the lot. It was clear it wasn’t made when the original building was constructed. The only place that seemed logical to hold a prisoner was in that room, and Sydona ran straight for it.
Two guards saw her through the window in the makeshift office and exited the room to stop her. With two clicks, she took both of them out and continued on her way. Sprinting the rest of the way across the parking lot, she kicked the door open to see Giovonna sitting in the corner with a big smile. Sydona ran past her and slammed down a big black button on the wall that sounded an alarm. Looking down at her watch, it stopped at twenty-nine minutes and four seconds…”