Here’s a little peek first draft at our favorite Captain from Dreams of the Queen— He has a major role in the sequel Nightmares of the Queen, which I hope to have out late 2013. *fingers crossed* I’ll have to write fast!
He unlocked the door to his apartment.
‘Captain Charles Lewis, this board of inquiry has decided…’
He stepped inside and shut the door behind him, making sure to relock it.
‘…that due to the lack of supporting evidence, the massive loss of life to your unit…’
He ignored the wilted leaves of his philodendron—their edges brown and curling—as he aimed for his kitchen. Specifically the refrigerator.
‘…and the loss of the entire team of scientists who were highly regarded in their fields…’
The handle was cold and hard in his palm as he stood staring into the its bright belly of his fridge. He’d only have one. He just needed it to take the edge off. Fingers of his right hand tightened on the handle while his left reached forward, shaking.
‘…that you will be reassigned to administrative duty and subject to regular evaluations, psychiatric and professional,…’
The icy glass bottle in his hand instantly soothed him, calming his tremors and he hadn’t even opened it.
‘…until such time that you have proven that you are capable of assuming another field command.’
A pop and a snick and the metal cap flipped off to clatter on the countertop, spinning and twisting. Lewis had swallowed almost half of the beer before the cap could roll to the tile floor. Too bad he couldn’t enjoy the river of cold foam rushing down his throat. He hadn’t enjoyed anything since they’d returned a month ago. Another gulp and swallow while he stared at the wall behind his stove. He’d always hated that beige tile. Boring. Lifeless.
“Fuck!” Lewis threw the mostly empty bottle at the offending ceramic. Brown glass and golden froth exploded, littering the stove, but the tile survived. Stumbling backwards, Lewis’ back hit the far wall of his narrow hall-like kitchen, and he slid to his butt, legs bent in front of him. Being hardly worn, the soles of his dress shoes slipped and his feet splayed out until his legs smacked the floor.
Pressed against the wall, the corded edge of his beret dug painfully into the back of his head. He’d forgotten to remove his cover indoors—just like he’d forgotten at the inquiry.
Maybe they’re right. Maybe I am unfit for another field command. Lewis balled his hands into fists trying to force the tension from his body. Bitter ale clung to his tongue, distracting him and inciting a craving for more. Eyelids drifting shut, he inhaled deeply and thought about happy places.
“No!” Lewis snapped his lids open. Lifeless beige stared back. “You’re not real,” he whispered. He covered his face with both hands. “You’re dead.”
Sir? What happened?
“You’re all dead,” he said, his hands muffling his gruff voice.
This is your fault. Why didn’t you save us?
A short sob escaped Lewis and he bowed his head, face still masked. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry…” he said again, softer as his upper body slid sideways, hitting the wood cabinetry with dull thud. Shoulders trembling, Lewis tried to restrain himself as his emotions swirled and buckled.
You owe me, sir.
Lewis stilled, then removed his hands from his face. “Brown?”
I looked out for you when you needed me. You owe me.
“I. I tried, Sam.”
You weren’t good enough.
Nodding, Lewis pulled his legs to his chest. “I know. I’m sorry. If I could’ve stayed…”
Sudden music broke the spell, and Lewis’ head jerked, smacking the wall so hard his vision whited for a second. He groaned and rubbed the back of his head, already feeling the tendrils of a fresh migraine spreading. The music shrilled again, and he realized it was coming from the inside breast pocket of his class A uniform.
With a frustrated sigh, Lewis readjusted his position so he could reach his cellphone. When had he taken it off vibrate? Everything after the inquiry this morning was a blur. Reading the display, he considered allowing it to go to voicemail, but it was an old Special Forces buddy. He’d quit the field years ago for a Pentagon desk job, had said it was the best decision he’d ever made. Somehow, Lewis doubted it.