A group of friends form a secretive alliance whose intent is to obstruct the path of influential persons who abuse their positions of privilege. Their ploys quickly escalate from computer interference and financial manipulation to assault and murder. Political figures and corporate heads take note as the guilty scramble and stumble. The increasing violence and choice of targets cause splits in allegiance along the way until one finds himself a target of his own design as the group takes on its own seemingly unstoppable momentum.
“FIRE ONE!” “Fire one!” “Fire one…”
“ONE AWAY!” “One away!” “One away…”
As these words rise, fall, and echo from captain to crew and back again through the damp metal confines of a German submarine patrolling beneath the choppy Celtic Sea, RMS Lusitania was steaming for England above. The U-20 attack sub had sunk three other ships in as many days prior to having the mammoth luxury passenger liner cross the lens of its periscope, but nothing of its size, with as many people aboard, and with such far ranging consequences.
Historians point to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania as the catalyst that propelled the Unites States into the First World War. The American press vilified Germany over the deaths of the Americans lost among the 1,200 killed. Winston Churchill called the attack murder as he goaded President Woodrow Wilson to join the war effort. In time, the United States sent its soldiers into harm’s way in Europe. When it was over, more than 115,000 Americans had been killed.
Forever Beneath the Celtic Sea eavesdrops on life in the cold wake of the U-boat as the 1915 attack off the coast of Ireland unfolds. The focus of the story is U-20’s captain, Walther Schwieger, and the torpedo man, young Guenther Stroehmann. Schwieger is compelled by his orders and his powerful sense of duty and allegiance to Germany. Guenther follows orders as well, but it is his hand that launches the deadly torpedo.
This piece is part of a collection of short stories and several longer novellas that comprise The Cats of Savone, the initial installment in The Completely Abridged Series.
It is 1864 and Rachel Justice is ten years old. Her days are spent exploring Providence, her father’s plantation in South Carolina. Life in the mansion is a series of playtime adventures as she romps over the grounds on pretended spying missions for her special General, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The manicured lawns and fields are tended by black hands she knows little of. But hard lessons are coming as the Civil War ravages the land only miles away and lives in her own backyard.
As Rachel discovers her mother’s role in a clandestine enterprise, conflicts with the often harsh demeanor of the plantation mistress cause a coarse split between mother and young daughter. Rachel develops a chance encounter with a young slave boy who inadvertently changes her life at the cost of his own and the story explodes. She learns of slavery in the echoes of a cracking whip as mysterious specters of Black Men in Bright Blue resurface and escort her to a special destiny. Her secret knowledge of the underground railroad pushes her family and her young mind into life and death decisions none are ready for.
This piece is part of a collection of short stories and several novellas that comprise The Cats of Savone, the initial installment in The Completely Abridged Series.