First of all, I wish all veterans out there a wonderful Veterans Day. It’s great to see the flags and the good wishes for our vets, but I’m one of those people who think every day should be veterans day.
I wrote an additional 3,576 words today for a grand total of 59,035, so tomorrow’s goal will be to pass the 60,000-word mark. I finished Chapter 19, Fuel for Hell; started and completed Chapter 20, One Standard of Courage; and started Chapter 21, Hopes and Dreams.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 20, One Standard of Courage, and because it is Veterans Day, there’s a veiled political message in it:
Winston Everette had long since grown tired of the routine where he busted his ass to show up at the exact time the Vice President requested him, only to have to wait for Stodden to arrive, always cranky and occasionally inebriated. Today was one of those days.
How did you get this job, he asked himself.
Oh, yes, Daddy—big Republican fundraiser that he was. He’d asked for nothing for himself when the Arbust-Stodden ticket won, but everything for T. Winston Everette, Jr., his only son and heir.
The T stood for Thaddeus, which Everette would croak before using, formally or informally, and the Winston was after the cigarette company his grandfather had worked for and made a fortune from; Everette had dropped the junior in the faint hope everyone else would stop calling him that.
The CIA had recruited him in college as a chemical weapons analyst but he’d been more interested in the operations side. Whereas his father had grumbled at his becoming a “faceless bureaucrat who gets paid shit,” he’d been impressed it was the CIA. Daddy, of course, had managed to get out of service in Vietnam, along with many of his friends, like Stodden, to an extent Arbust, and many of the high-ranking Republicans now agitating for expanding the current war into Iraq. His grandfather had paid a physician to declare Winston Sr. 4F because of flat feet. Now Sr. was the biggest blowhard, gung-ho, and hawkish uber-patriot around. Sometimes listening to his father and his cigar-smoking, skirt-chasing friends made Everette want to puke.
But, then, Daddy’s contributions to the winning team had gotten him the job here in the White House, when he could be going native in Afghanistan and getting his ass shot at, though days like today made him question if it were worth it. He missed his days in the bullpen, working on some problem, developing a strategy, outlining a mission, though one he never got to carry out. His group had been tight, but since he’d made the move to the White House, he didn’t hear from any of them.
(c)2013 by Phyllis Anne Duncan