I used some of my vacation because I wanted to work on Arson. It wound up being a lot of work.
The Harley rumbled up the dirt road toward the cabin. Lindsay* and Lisa** steered around the small herd of musk oxen who formed a defensive circle at the sound of the bike.
“It’s about time they got back,” Perry* said. “I’m starting to get hungry.”
“Let’s get the coals lit, and see how they fared,” I said.
“We ought to wait for Lindsay. She likes to light the barbecue.”
“That’s fine, as long as we don’t get glue fumes or anything on our food.”
Lisa parked the bike and Lindsay climbed out of the sidecar. Lindsay held a bag of groceries, and Lisa untied a huge mesh bag from the tiny luggage rack.
“Fresh clams,” Lisa said.
“What happened to hot dogs?” Perry asked.
“Live a little, would you,” Lindsay said.
“It’s no problem,” I said. “Throw them right on the grill. When they open, dinner time.”
Lindsay lit the coals, and when the flame went out we added corn and potatoes.
Perry rummaged through his car and brought out a silver briefcase. “I’m supposed to give this to Lisa.”
When Lisa opened it, she read, “By breaking the seal on this briefcase, you have thirty seconds to transfer the tracking software into this wristwatch. Mr. Wolfe then has thirty seconds to enter the security code in his possession. Failure to complete these tasks will scramble every officer in your vicinity to apprehend Lindsay Pennington.”
Lisa pulled a cable from her purse, and plugged it into her navel. She plugged the other end into the watch.
“Slow down,” Perry said. He patted his pockets and took out his wallet. “Between us we have a whole minute. I need to find the code.”
“You’re such a dipshit,” Lindsay said. “Did your mommy write it in your underwear?”
“No. It’s right here in my wallet.”
Lisa uncoupled from the watch and slapped it on Perry’s wrist. “Done.”
“Is that a six or a ‘G’?” Perry asked.
“Can’t you read your own writing?” Lindsay asked. “You’d better figure it out quick.”
“Okay, six or nothing. Crap, where’s the backspace? My fingers are too big.”
Lisa grabbed his wrist and entered the code faster than any of us could move our fingers. “Let’s barbecue.”
I spread newspaper over the picnic table, while Perry fetched a growler of porter. “Long weekend, huh?”
“Yeah. I started back on edits Wednesday night, ran personal errands on Thursday, finished reading a book, and posted a review. I added a cover page and some book promos to my manuscript and uploaded it to Amazon, on Friday. I spent the other days updating my Gravatar, my ‘about me’ page, making changes on the Rave Reviews Book Club site, adding a linked cover to my blog, and still managed to update my blog a half dozen times. I just got a promo for Arson added to the back pages of Wild Concept and Panama, but I haven’t uploaded them yet.”
“Yeah, sounds boring. I hate all that computer crap. I’d rather watch a game or something,” Perry said.
“I can’t wait to go back to work so I can slow down.”
He handed me one of the enchanted beer horns and said, “Relax and enjoy the barbecue. Take the last hours of the day for yourself.”
*Perry is the main character in my new book, Arson. Lindsay is a supporting character in the same story.
** Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps me around the writing cabin these days.