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Eagleridge Bluffs

Written By: Rod Raglin
Published by: Devine Destinies
ISBN #:978-1-55487-505-4
Word Count:60000
Page Count: 281
Heat Level:
Price: $5.99
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

    Time seemed to be suspended and Miriam had no idea if her comrade had been gone two or ten minutes. Her mind drifted back to that day on the Bluffs, her fortieth birthday, when she'd felt so succinctly that change was at hand. She could never have imagined how it would manifest itself. It was both frightening and comforting, she realized, depending on how you embraced it.

    Zaahir appeared beside her and time resumed its march toward eternity. She watched as he taped a brick of clay-looking material to the fuel tank of the truck she was crouched beside, set a timing device and then stuck the wire that protruded into the clay and taped it to the metal as well. "We've got four minutes, let's go."

    As they began to retreat back up the Bluffs they heard voices. Two figures had emerged from the command post and were talking casually as they walked, unsuspectingly, towards the equipment depot. They both carried powerful flashlights.

    "We have to warn them," Miriam said, without hesitation.

    "Keep with the plan." Zaahir shrugged off his backpack and removed a flashlight from it. "And remember, don't wait more than fifteen minutes for me at the car."

    "Zee." Miriam was trembling. She clutched his free hand. "I'm afraid."

    "So am I."

    "Please come back. I think I…"

    Zaahir put a finger to her lips. "Shh, Orang. We will have our time together yet." Then darting from the cover of the bush, he ran towards the officers. When he got within twenty-five meters of them, he turned on his flashlight and aimed it at their faces.

    "Hey, you. Stop." It was a woman's voice.

    Zaahir ran swiftly past them only ten meters to their left.

    "Police, stop," The startled officers began to give chase, away from the equipment depot. "Call for backup, Jill. I'll go after him."

    The female officer angled off and headed for the command post while her male partner took off after Zaahir who was disappearing up the logging road.

    The first small explosion lit the night like a brilliant flare. Both officers stopped and turned in time to see the subsequent blasts erupt in a huge, orange fireball. They barely had time to shield their eyes before the shock wave knocked them flat. The sound of the explosion bounced off the Bluffs, its ferocity shaking windows in the Caulfield community across the highway. White, hot shrapnel zinged past Miriam and ricocheted with a deadly whine off the surrounding rocks.

    The parking lot was now illuminated like a movie set and nothing moved on the pavement except the dancing shadows of the flames and debris still falling from the mushroom cloud billowing up over the blast site.

    "Get up, please get up," Miriam prayed as she stared transfixed at the fallen police officers.

    The female officer was the first to recover. Painfully she stood and looked about her like a shell-shocked combat soldier. "Sarge, Sarge!" She limped toward her fallen comrade who wasn't moving.

    Miriam couldn't breath. The sea wind was blowing the acrid smoke and the sickly, sweet smell of burning diesel back onto the Bluffs, over the spot where she was concealed. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she repeated, her apology suffocated by the angry roar of the conflagration. She knew she should go, that she must go, but her limbs failed to respond.

    As the officer knelt, her sergeant lifted himself on his elbows. He reached over and touched the woman's leg and retrieved his hand, dripping with blood. He stood quickly, assessing the situation, and barking orders into his two-way radio. Taking the constable's arm, he assisted her towards the command centre.

    Miriam breathed, then vomited on her army surplus boots. Turning her back on the carnage, she weakly continued along the escape route.

    Miriam is forty and frustrated. In an attempt to enhance her living-just-to-breathe life, she joins some neighbours protesting a highway bypass that will destroy Eagleridge Bluffs. Not only are the Bluffs her special sanctuary, they’re also the beautiful home of rare and endangered plants and animals. The protest gains the support of environmental organizations, including the attention of a group of eco-radicals led by an enigmatic young man named Zaahir. Miriam is mesmerized by this charismatic leader and sees him as someone that can save her as well as the Bluffs. But is Zaahir just using Miriam to help him further his radical political agenda? As legal channels fail and civil disobedience falters, Miriam is seduced into the murky world of eco-terrorism.

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