Excerpt - First Draft, Sequel to Lesson One: Revolution!

The following is an excerpt of the first draft of a possible sequel to Lesson One: Revolution! This was posted in response to a blog post by Ksenia Anske in which she suggested sharing works-in-progress online without concern for illicit copying. Please remember this is first draft quality, not the final product, and it's possible this sequel will never be published! If you'd like to read an excerpt from the earlier novel, you can do that via the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon.

Extra Credit for Liberty (tentative title) by Stuart J. Whitmore

Chapter 1

“I never used to sign these things,” Karena said, forcing a smile and trying to sound casual as she began filling in her personal information on the petition. It was clipped crookedly to a clipboard held out by a middle-aged woman who looked as bored as stone. There were already more than a dozen names on the page, and on the wobbly table in front of the woman Karena saw a thin stack of already-filled pages. The table was placed just outside the entrance to one of the small, regional-chain supermarkets in Branner Glen, and Karena felt like she was blocking the door by standing there to sign the petition. “It's funny how you can meet someone who changes how you look at things like politics.”

The woman nodded minimally, with no real indication that her boredom was any less solid. “Yeah,” she said simply. When Karena finished and handed the clipboard back to the woman, she gave it a quick glance and nodded her head again. “Thanks.”

“Thank you,” Karena replied out of habit. She picked up her sacks of groceries and turned toward the parking lot. The spring rain that gave a chill to the air had stopped while she was shopping, so she was not in a hurry to get to her car. It didn't take her long to load her groceries into the back seat, and a few minutes later she was on her way through the quiet town streets toward her apartment. When she reached her home, she was pleased to see that there was a parking space not far from her apartment. As a light rain began to fall again, Karena hastily unloaded her car and headed to her apartment.

The message light on her answering machine was blinking when Karena entered her apartment, but she was in no hurry to get the message because she assumed it was another telemarketer. She put her groceries away, and leisurely returned to the answering machine and pressed the play button.

“Paul Johnson is dead. Dan might be next,” a familiar-sounding voice said. The machine beeped to indicate that the message was over and that it was the last message.

Karena felt as if she had just gone down the long drop of a roller coaster as the cryptic message sank in. She had not known Paul very well, but the thought of him suddenly being dead was still shocking and unpleasant, and the apparent threat against Dan Starney made her feel even worse. Karena looked through her Caller ID log but the call that matched the message was listed only as PRIVATE CALLER. She quickly moved to her computer and turned it on so that she could check on news Web sites to confirm that Paul was dead and to find out why or how.

When Dan had gone to prison, the two of them agreed in advance that she would not visit him in prison as long as she still worked at the school where she, Dan, and Paul had taught. They felt that they should keep in touch by letters instead, to minimize public awareness of her continued connection to him. They knew that there were a lot of bad feelings, and quite a bit of suspicion, among the staff, faculty, students, and parents, and they did not want to remind people about the events that landed both Paul and Dan in prison. This was especially true since evidence had been tampered with to put blame on Paul where it did not belong, when it truly should have been solely on Dan, leaving Dan with the ongoing possibility that the truth would come out. The threat against him meant that she would either need to go against that agreement, or risk increasing the danger to him by using a slow method of warning him.

“I know that voice,” she said to herself as her computer finished booting up. “I just can't place it....


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About the Author
Stuart J. Whitmore is an author of fiction and nonfiction, as well as a photographer, technology developer, and more. If you enjoy reading his blog posts, you might also enjoy reading his books. Take a look at the books by Stuart J. Whitmore today, and download your copy of one that looks interesting to you!