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Terror Dome

    Description:   

    Jake West is an associate attorney who has reached a crossroad in life and is trying to make sense of everything when disaster suddenly strikes in the Chicagoland area. He then must act quickly because his life and the lives of his friends depend on it. Terror Dome is an urban fiction thriller.

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    Excerpt:

    Jake West had awakened from a peculiar dream that he had mid-morning on Sunday. In this dream, he was walking alone in what appeared to be the aftermath of a nuclear fallout. There was nothing but rubble for miles and miles as his current surroundings were a barren wasteland. He then looked on the ground and saw a five-dollar bill and three singles lodged in between some broken concrete before he suddenly leaped up from his living room sofa in a cold sweat.

    He subsequently wanted to get some fresh air and exercise, so he freshened up and got dressed before he walked to the grocery store as opposed to driving to it like he normally did. He needed to blow off some steam after he had an argument with his girlfriend, Leah, who broke up with him the previous night because she wasn’t happy in their relationship anymore. They had been together for almost three years, and he was ready to propose to her but was blindsided by their breakup. Her diatribe was like a run-on sentence―stating that he didn’t make enough of an effort to keep her happy even after he recited a laundry list of things that he did for her. Nevertheless, he would soon learn that it was futile to plead his case any longer and let her complain until she ran out of breath. Listening to her was likened to being stuck in a traffic jam, and the only thing that he could do was wait it out. She consequently packed her belongings and left, and he suspected that another man was the catalyst to their breakup but didn’t have the time or energy to prove it.

    He had her engagement ring sized and everything―he measured one of her other rings that was stashed in her jewelry box while she was at work one day, but now it was on his to-do list to take the ring back to the jeweler later on that afternoon. He was over six grand in the hole after buying it and dodged a bullet by not having the opportunity to get on bended knee.

    He finally reached the corner and observed a gray Chevy Malibu with tinted windows run the stop sign without slowing down. A few seconds later, another car came to an abrupt stop and made a U-turn at the busy intersection of 87th Street and State Street. It was the first warm day of the year in early April as the temperature had reached eighty degrees. Erratic behavior due to the first sign of heat was nothing new because multiple shootings and blaring sirens were commonplace in Chicago for as long as he could remember. But something in the air felt strangely different―there seemed to be a different spirit that besieged the city at this time, and he couldn’t put a finger on it. It was as if people in general could sense that the end times were near, and people were ultimately scrambling to their destinations in vain.

    His cell phone rang as he was crossing the street. He decided to answer it instead of letting it go to voicemail even though he didn’t feel like talking to anyone.

    “What’s up?”

    “Wanna hang out with the fellas today? We’re trying to get a pickup game going at 63rd and Hayes in about an hour.”

    “Nah, I’ll pass, Brian.”

    “You sure? Because we’re trying to get it in before it gets too warm.”

    “That’s okay…I’ll hang out next time.”

    “Come on, Jake, forget about Leah for one goddamn afternoon. You never wanna chop it up with your boys no more.”

    “We broke up,” Jake mumbled.

    “What you say?”

    “I have plenty of time to hang out with y’all now because Leah and I broke up last night.”

    “Yeah? Sorry to hear that, bro.”

    “It’s alright, man.”

    “You should shoot some hoops with us to keep your mind off it.”

    “I know, but I’m not feelin’ basketball right now. Maybe I’ll catch up with y’all a little later.”

    “I’ll text you when we’re about to leave the court…we’re probably going to grab some beer and order some pizzas afterward.”

    “Whose crib y’all going to?”

    “Probably Mike’s crib in Hyde Park.”

    “Cool. Make sure you order a cheese pizza, bro.”

    “Still not eating pork, huh?”

    “Nope.”

    “I got you, Jake.”

    “Alright, later.

    “Later.”

    He ended the call and walked through the front entrance of Jewel-Osco. He needed a few items like milk, eggs, Pepsi, and turkey meat from the deli for starters. There weren’t any shopping carts on the inside of the store, so he went back outside to grab one. As luck would have it, he saw Leah in the passenger seat of a shiny, black Maxima in the first available parking space closest to the entrance with her face buried in her phone. She didn’t notice him as he observed her as a guy had whizzed by him with a bouquet of flowers toward the black Maxima. Leah’s face lit up when the same guy with the bouquet of flowers hopped inside the car and handed them to her, and she kissed him passionately for several seconds before they drove away. Jake had gaped at them open-mouthed as the light at the Dan Ryan Expressway turned green, and they disappeared in the eastbound traffic on 87th Street. He stood by idly for a brief moment before he shook his head and went back in the store with his cart.

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