Amie, a lonely young woman riddled with the demons of a past tragedy, makes a desperate try for happiness by agreeing to help a man who was driven into a coma by mysterious attackers. A licensed accupuncturist and hypnotherapist, she eventually brings him to full consciousness. But what does she find when the man becomes cognizant? They fear the attackers had murder on their minds, so Amie takes it upon herself to rescue the man from the hospital and to safety. Can they survive on the run? And will their new-found love be powerful enough to protect them? And what unspeakable horror do they share that brings them together in the first place? Find out in Silver Seed, a love story with heart.
; March 2006
109 pages; ISBN 9781587495458Read online
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Title: The Silver Seed
Author: Dick Claassen
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Tom gave her a look that nearly chilled her. "I told you that I have not given up on you, and I haven't. I came by this morning because...because..."
"What, Tom? Because what? Spit it out."
"I need your help at the hospital," he said rapidly, as if he had to say it or he'd burst.
"I can't help you at the hospital. The last time I tried, they threw me out on my ear. You know that."
"This time, Amie, you will be going in without your makeup and without your face jewelry."
"You will, Amie. You are going to show me that face I haven't seen for the last five years. And by God, if I have to, I'll call Mary and we'll hold you down and clean you up! And then, my most dear friend, you are going to go and do something noble. I am going to take you to the hospital where you will save a man's life."
"Go into your bedroom and clean up your face. I'm going out to the car to bring in some decent clothes Mary sent along. When I come back I want to see your face. No makeup. No stinkin' face jewelry. And no goddamned ring in your nose!"
"Tom, I can't--"
"You can and you will. I have not and will not give up on you, Amie," he said through clenched teeth.
Amie's heart began to pound.
In the doorway he turned back to her. "Put on one of those nice bandanas you occasionally wear when the three of us go out together. And get out the baby oil; rub that stupid barcode tattoo off your forehead. The bandana might not cover it."
He stalked out the door and Amie stood, rooted to the floor. Suddenly, her cuckoo clock struck the morning hour with seven ear-jarring cuckoos. Numbly, she walked into her bedroom, and for the first time in five years took off her mask.
------ Tim didn't realize he had dozed off. He also didn't realize what had awakened him until he heard the screaming outside. "Come out of there, you bastard! If you don't, your beautiful, bald little girl friend and the rest of your family dies!"
He had to be dreaming. He fought his way to the surface--to reality. But when he did, the screams from the front of the house were even more intense. He wasn't dreaming!
Groaning, and nearly passing out from the pain, he sat up and grabbed his pants. Pulling them on, he dropped to his knees and began crawling to the window, dreading what he might see through the half-closed curtains. He collapsed onto the floor with the effort. "I...I...can't...lie here...," he gasped, struggling against the pain. He began silently saying the mantra his aunt had taught him when he was only eight years old. Peace suddenly washed through him, and the pain that had ruled him just seconds before, dissipated momentarily.
The brief respite from the pain gave him the strength to heave himself against the floorboards until he was back on his knees. He crawled to the window and looked through the sheer curtains. As he feared, Stradavari and his wife were at the front of the house. Stradavari had a pistol at his uncle Joe's head and Stradavari's wife had a pistol jammed against his aunt's throat! Amie stood, frozen in horror, afraid to move for fear one of them would pull the trigger. "Tim...," she groaned.
He had to act! Sweat popped from his pores as he realized he would have to kill. He heard a steady, taunting barrage of cursing as, barefooted and shirtless, he half crawled, half hobbled down the basement stairs. He didn't know how Stradavari had managed to get on the property without triggering the perimeter alarms, but he was quite sure they were not aware of the tunnels and rabbit holes. If he acted quickly, he might have the advantage.
Tim threw open a weapons cabinet and quickly chose a sawed-off shotgun--his uncle Joe's favorite weapon and a gun Tim had trained heavily on as he grew up. But Tim had only trained with pop-up targets that looked like gunmen. He had never killed a living being.
Tim struggled into the scooter seat, turned the key and jammed the accelerator. In seconds he was at the base of the ladder that was under the rabbit hole he wanted to emerge from. He slung the shotgun strap onto his shoulder and nearly cried out in pain--a pain that was once again taking his breath away as he climbed, hand-over-hand, up the ladder. Pain shot across his chest. Stitches pulled. He slipped on a rung, nearly losing his grip. He knew he was bleeding heavily from his chest, and the blood on the rung had nearly plunged him to the floor of the tunnel.
But he didn't have time to worry about it.
When he reached the top of the ladder and found himself under the rabbit hole cover, he took a very deep breath. His heart was hammering so loudly he was afraid those above him could hear it. The blood pounding in his temples felt like white hot metal searing his brain. He had to act fast...