Too Easy

This is part sixteen of my novel in progress, The Last Grain of Sand. <– Click on the title to read the previous chapters. I have written and posted the previous segments in response to various prompts on other blogs, but I’m moving away from that concept, and beginning to write in earnest. I plan to post each unedited chapter for those who are following the story, and when it is finished, re-written (probably several times), and edited, I will entertain the thought of publishing it. In the meantime, I’m just going to have a blast writing it! Enjoy!

Part 16: Too Easy


Two A. M., and Anna was wide awake; she knew she should have gotten some sleep, but adrenaline seemed to be coursing through her veins like pure caffeine. Lying rigidly on her side, she stared at the wall opposite her bunk. When the door to her room opened suddenly without a sound, it was all she could do to stifle the scream that leapt to her throat and began beating there like a wild native drum.

A whisper—an unfamiliar voice—said, “Let’s go. Now!”

Anna was on her feet and out the door, following the shadowy figure moving quiet and quick down the hall. Without warning, from the deep shadows of a hallway to her right, another figure fell in beside her. For the second time in less than five minutes, Anna felt a scream lodge in her throat. Relief washed over her in a cool wave when Sharon spoke softly, not quite in a whisper.

“There will be one more joining us.”

Nothing more was said. When they turned abruptly to the right, Anna was confused, then frightened. She shot a glance to the shadowy form beside her. Sharon returned her glance but said nothing as they continued down the narrow concrete hallway toward the commander’s office and quarters.

The woman walking ahead of them did not hesitate when she came to the door to the commander’s office, entering and leaving the door standing open for Anna and Sharon. Anna had seen the commander only once—on the day she’d arrived—and by the single candle burning on the desk, hardly recognized him now. He was out of his uniform, and dressed in camouflage from head to toe. The thick black beard and moustache he’d sported previously was gone, and his face was eerily white in the dim light. Eyes wide, the candle flame dancing in them, he looked from Sharon to the other guard then his gaze settled upon Anna. He smiled then turned and walked to the wall behind his cluttered desk. Sounding like an angry tomcat, a hissing noise came from the wall, and a dark opening appeared in front of the commander. He vanished into it,

The other guard followed the commander and placing her hand in the small of Anna’s back, Sharon nudged her toward what had to be a doorway.

“Go,” Sharon said, softly.

Anna hurried around the desk and when she arrived at the doorway, looked down; a dim light shown from what appeared to be a concrete tunnel at the bottom of shadowy stairs. Moist, pungent air, smelling slightly of sea water filled her nostrils, and a cool breeze seemed to rush past her as she heard the soft click of the door closing behind her.

She turned quickly, and saw that Sharon had closed the door to the commander’s office.

“Go!” Sharon hissed, leaning to blow out the candle as she passed the desk.

Anna stepped into the dim tunnel, and running her right hand along the wall to keep her balance traversed the steep stairway. Behind her, she heard the same hiss she’d heard when the secret door had opened, followed by a soft click as the door fit snuggly into the opening. Behind her, Sharon mumbled something Anna couldn’t quite understand, then said, “Ah.” As Anna reached the bottom of the stairway, the tunnel was suddenly filled with light. She blinked rapidly, holding her hand over her eyes to shield them from the glare. A few hundred feet ahead, she saw the guard and the commander turn to the left and vanish.

Sharon was suddenly beside her, and Anna jumped when the other woman’s hand touched her elbow. Looking into Sharon’s eyes, her own eyes darting questioningly, Anna’s mind whirred with questions.

Sharon smiled and urged Anna forward. “Come on,” she said, leading the way down the cool, damp tunnel. As she walked quickly ahead of her, Sharon added, “We’re wasting darkness.”

Anna’s eyes were wide and her mind continued to race. Mixed among all the questions was a flashing thought—a warning, perhaps—this is too easy.



  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Oh my. This could be a set up!! But it is my hope that there will be soem in charge that are teh “good guys”, too.

  2. elizena said

    No!! Anna, don’t go in there! She’s darned if she goes and darned if she doesn’t go! What the heck? This is kind of scary and I have to admit to being afraid of the dark. Those women are a tad strange and why would the big wig; the commander be helping her? I better hurry up to the next chapter before I finish biting off all my nails!
    This was another awesome chapter Charles and I must say that you have become the king of the cliffhangers! You always leave me hanging! LOL!

  3. I’ve come across all this too late… but it’s so good perhaps I’ll have to go back to the start. xx

    • The chapters are short, Catie! Go read them! Print them out and read them later. I know you will like what I’ve got going here!

  4. terri0729 said

    Always a bad sign for sure!! So what’s the catch?! Guess I’ll find out soon enough, huh! Nice one, Charlie, again! smiles, Terri

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