THE GRYPHON VIRUS
The limousine jolted forward as if it hit from behind abruptly.
Prescott punched a button and lowered the privacy shield, “What’s going on!”
The driver reported gruffly, “We have company!”
Sheppard and Prescott could now see through the tinted windows, a white rental truck pull alongside them and then veer into their vehicle, sending another shockwave of impact through the interior. It knocked both men to the floor and Sheppard’s bag temporarily out of reach.
The limo scraped the guard rail, separating them from the side of the road and a rocky culvert leading down into the water. It sent up a shower of sparks as tires squealed.
The driver of the limo compensated his driving, trying to remain on the road as he pressed his foot to the floor. His dark, bald head pivoted from side to side as the car swerved and surged forward, rocking its passengers with striking ferocity.
The truck kept pace, coming up alongside once again. This time the rental swung in hard, pounding the driver side of the limo once more. Again the car skidded with tires howling into the protective barrier and a dangerous drop into the water’s edge where graying driftwood decorated the shore in a tangled mess of jagged pikes. The back tire of the limo blew out and rumbled as it shredded into the rim, fluttering like a black kite caught in a high wind.
The truck gained on them, almost passing them, then rapidly veered with violent force into the front door. The impact sent the driver’s skull slamming off the side window rendering him unconscious. He slumped on the wheel with his arm caught between the spindles and the vehicle pulled hard to the left, cutting across the oncoming lane as the rental truck dropped back. The car sailed through the guard rail on the opposite side of the road, down the culvert and head-on into the trees where it stopped dead. Sheppard and Prescott were both thrust into the ceiling of the back compartment and then the floor with a savage pounding. The force crushed the front of the vehicle and sent a puff of steam hissing skyward as the engine hugged a tree relieving it of its bark. Both men were propelled into the seat before them as the airbags deployed in the front compartment.
Sheppard wavered, punch drunk, and struggled to pull himself up from the floor. His head swam, and his senses faded in and out. He felt no pain, and around him, everything seemed vibrant yet hazy. He could hear Prescott moaning as if he were at the end of some cavernous hall. He could hear the slow ticking of the heated engine cooling. He could feel wetness slithering down his forehead. He dabbed his fingers into it and returned the reddish smear to his eyes. He rubbed his fingers together to feel the oiliness of the texture as if his blood were a living entity.
Sheppard could see his bag in the corner and sluggishly pawed at it, flipping it upright. He struggled to unzip it and dig into the compartments until he felt the handle of the revolver, pulling it free of its hiding place. He extracted the gun with as much urgency as he could muster, but the weapon fell to the floor at his feet, dropping easily from the trembling weakness in his hands. He could see sunlight streaming in from a busted window. It was blinding and intense, but a circle of darkness swirled in around him, quickly closing off his vision to a pinpoint of light. The last thing he remembered before he lost consciousness was the indistinct outline of the rental truck parked by the road with the engine idling and the shadow of a huge brute of a man trotting toward them with what looked like a gun in his hand.If you would like to read more of this novel, please go here.