Friday, 23 November 2018

Spotlight & Excerpt: The Dragon and the Lumberjack by S.W. Ellenwood

The Dragon and the Lumberjack by S.W. Ellenwood

Thomas feared he played Jack too well...
The sequel to S. W. Ellenwood's debut novel, The Janitor and the Spy, picks up six months after Thomas Thornhill's nightmare mission in Amsterdam. On his own, he now goes under the alias of Jack Montferrand and seeks to gain entry into the oldest and most dangerous triad in Asia to find Them.
On the inside, he found the triad not as stable as he thought, forcing him to prove his trust and worth to them at every turn as new rivals sprout up. He plunges his hands deeper into the filth and the alias of Jack where he starts to wonder where Thomas ends and Jack begins.

4. Fu sat in his older black car with tinted windows and watched the bus stop on the opposite side of the street. He looked down at the envelope he received the day before filled with new, irresistible hundred-dollar bills and a bus time bulletin with several different times and bus stop locations highlighted. Fu checked the time on his car’s analog clock. Five minutes till the bus arrived. Fu perused the bus stop again. Two men sat on the bench smoking cigarettes, sloppy in their dress when compared to Fu’s attire. He wore a Polo shirt tucked into his blue jeans; the two young men wore dirty shorts and t-shirts that looked like they hadn’t seen a washer for a while. Fu placed the envelope in his glove compartment and pulled out the black handgun he had been issued when he became a cop. He pulled out his badge and held it in his right hand and the gun in his left. The badge seemed heavier than usual.
Fu looked back up to see the bus pulling up to the stop ahead of schedule. The two young men got up and waited for a few passengers to get off before entering the bus themselves. Fu’s heart sped up as he hid his gun and badge before getting out of the car. He quickly crossed the street. Through the bus’s front window, Fu could see the two men talking to the driver. As he grew closer, Fu saw the driver reach down and pull up a wad of cash. One of the young men took it as the other blocked the view of the passengers. But Fu could see quite well. He pulled out his badge and tapped it against the front window, catching their attention. Fu thought it would be simple: they would walk out and try to lie their way out of it, maybe even bribe him. He wouldn’t give in, he would cuff them, and that would be that.
It wasn’t like that at all. As soon as they caught a glimpse of the badge, they bolted. The man with the cash grabbed the driver, pulled out a knife and held the driver hostage. At the same moment, Fu dropped his badge and pulled out his gun, aiming it at the blade holder. The other young man hid behind his friend, peeping his head out to see what was happening. Fu didn’t have the cleanest of shots on the thug.
Drop the knife and step out of the bus!” Fu demanded. “This is your only warning.”
You drop it!” responded the thug, pushing his head forward with his chin up. His prideful motion gave Fu a much cleaner shot, which he instinctively took. Blood splattered onto the bus’s ceiling. The driver dropped to the floor and curled up into a ball as the thug fell backward, landing on his companion. Fu dashed into the bus, his gun at the ready, and found the other thug sitting on the floor with blood-splattered hands above his head. The thug’s partner lay beside him, dead.
Cops arrived. Some reporters too. Fu went back to the office. Filled out paperwork. Clocked out. Went grocery shopping and went home. He wondered why he was acting like it was another day at the office.
Fu’s apartment door slowly closed behind him, as did the day. He held a plastic bag of groceries and his wife’s prescription. His hands still shook from the bus shooting earlier. The bonus from Jack was helping the bills but not Fu’s nerves at the moment. He walked through the unorganized living room and into the kitchen on the left. A pot of cooked noodles sat beside a sink with a couple of open bottles of spices and a baking sheet of cooked salmon.
The sound of gagging erupted from the bathroom. Fu dropped everything and dashed to the bathroom across the living room, with his hand on his gun. He stopped and peeked through the half-opened door to his wife’s feet as she kneeled over the toilet. The sound of vomiting followed another short gag. Fu took his gun and placed it in the drawer beside the bathroom before going to his wife’s aid.
She still had her pajamas on and was holding half her hair back with one hand as the other was on the toilet seat. She glanced back at her husband as he knelt beside her and took the job of holding back her hair.
I’m sorry,” she whispered with sweat and tears on her face before facing the toilet again and vomiting. Chewed-up noodles and salmon spilled into the toilet water.
I’m sorry,” she started again. “I thought since I craved it, it would taste good or something, I’m sorry, sorry.”
Fu calmly shushed her as he rubbed her arm.
I hate those pills,” she finally cried out with empty lungs, resting her head on the toilet seat.
Me too,” Fu calmly said holding back his tears as he thought of the cash in his pocket and that one doctor. “Me too.”

S. W. Ellenwood is thankful to have a close-knit family of two parents, a brother, and two sisters. A homeschooler who graduated college from the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, Ellenwood loves all forms and genres of stories and was inspired by The Lord of the Rings films and his parents to write. You can find Ellenwood writing his next novel at the local coffee shops or playing table top games with his best friends.