Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 13, 2022

We’ve had another week of topsy-turvy weather–rain, sleet, a bit of snow–even a rainbow, with the occasional dry spell. Today it seems we’re in for a day-long rain. Temperatures are struggling to reach 50F (10C) but with the wind chill it’s been closer to 40F (5C).

The small business market last weekend was another success, with fifteen of my novels being sold. In addition, seventeen of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets went, plus three of her poetry and prose books. We’re looking forward to next month’s market!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “If you didn’t hear it with your own ears or see it with your own eyes, don’t invent it with your small mind and share it with your big mouth.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on February 13th, the second Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Jan B. Wellekens, Dutch poet and painter; Ivan Krylov, Russian fabulist; Lev A Mej, Russian nobleman/poet; Gerard Keller, writer (Netherlands Spectator); Frank van de Goes, Dutch writer/marxist theorist; Uchimura Kanzo, religious writer (How I Became a Christian); Sarojini Naidu, Indian freedom fighter and poet; Eleanor Farjeon, English writer (Martin Pippin); Kate Roberts, Welsh nationalist and writer; Neville Pearson, English publisher; Georges Simenon, Belgian born mystery writer (Maigret detective novels, Snow Was Black); Jan Arends, Dutch poet/author; Ali El-Maak, Sudanese writer; Friedrich Christian Delius, German writer; Leo Frankowski, American sci-fi author (High Tech Knight, Flying Warlord); and Denise Austin, US fitness instructor & author.

Any names familiar to you? I struck out once again. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Work in Progress

Slide1Most of my available time this week was spent on real-life matters, so I wasn’t able to complete another chapter of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received another ten reviews, bringing the total to 539. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

The rocking of the overpacked Chevrolet cargo truck as it lumbered along the M2 lulled Vladimir to sleep, his arms through the sling of his AK-47.

Bam!

Vladimir jumped, aiming his weapon toward the sound.

“Relax, my friend.” Ajit grinned. “Umar hit another pothole or drove off the side of the road again.”

“He’s not a very good driver, is he?” Vladimir relaxed.

Ajit shrugged. “Perhaps not, but he’s willing to do whatever we need and doesn’t ask too many questions.”

“Da. He’s a wise man to keep nose out of—”

The truck jolted to a stop. Umar’s voice trickled through a speaker. “Do not speak. We are at a roving military roadblock.” He killed the engine.

Vladimir eased a Maserin Reactor folding knife from his belt and opened the blade. After it locked in position, he laid it on his leg and retrieved a second one.

Voices filtered through the speaker.

“They said Umar’s papers are in order, but they want to inspect the load,” Ajit whispered.

Vladimir nodded.

Screeech!

The rusty cargo doors opened. The vehicle tilted slightly as someone climbed inside.

Angry voices increased in volume.

Thwack! Thwack!

Someone kicked one of the crates. The truck shifted as the person climbed down.

Voices faded as Umar climbed back into the cab. His voice came through the speaker. “They weren’t happy with the baksheesh, but I told them I’d pay more next time. Anyway, they are going after a much larger vehicle behind us.” He started the engine. “Perhaps one more hour to our destination.”

* * *

The roar of a commercial plane rolling down the runway echoed in their small compartment.

Ajit placed his hand on Vladimir’s AK-47 and tapped him on the knee.  “We’re here.”

Vladimir opened his eyes. “I wasn’t asleep—just contemplating our mission.”

“Who would have thought our reunification movement would be conducting their planning in a hanger on one of Pakistan’s international airports?”

Vladimir chuckled. “Yes, and the military is providing overall security. When will they find out?”

“I hope long after we’ve moved.” Ajit rubbed his chin. “Let’s join the others.”

Vladimir and Ajit climbed out of the hidden compartment and shook hands with the departing Umar.

Ajit led the way into the office.

Grigori, Fedor, and Eduard stepped forward. After sharing man hugs with Vladimir, they sat around a scarred wooden table. Stretched across the surface was a map of the border area.

“How is the initial training coming along?” Vladimir studied the frown on Grigori’s face.

“I admit, not as good as I would like.” He pointed at Fedor and Eduard. “However, they’ve reminded me to do my best. I think they’ll be ready for the first demonstration in three days’ time, but nothing is certain.”

“Understood. Vladimir gazed at the map. “Remember, this is just the beginning. Mishka and his team will begin demonstrating across the border.” He glanced into the faces of the three former Spetsnaz soldiers. “Make sure they are unarmed, at least for now. As things progress, we’ll allow an escalation of violence if it seems to be helping the cause.”

“Yes, Vladimir.” Eduard pointed to the map. “When should we begin splitting our volunteers into separate teams?”

“As soon as possible. Suggest you acquaint yourselves with your men.”

“If I may add, Vladimir.” Ajit half-raised a hand. “I’m expecting at least another hundred supporters tomorrow.”

“Okay. When they arrive, they’ll be split among the teams. Anything else?”

The Russians shook their heads.

“After the first demonstration, I want to gauge the reaction by the government and the people.” He turned to Ajit. “Do you have people you can trust to embed themselves with the demonstrators and report back?”

“Of course.” Ajit grinned. “I shall be one of them.”

More next time.

This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

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