One day, Jane’s family went out for a ride. But then the world changed…
And they never came home.
COME ALONG FOR “SEE JACK RUN”, THE HIGH-SPEED 3RD EPISODE OF ANN-WILLIAM’S MULTI-PART SERIAL THRILLER, THE LAST ITALIAN TUNE-UP.
Only $0.99/Episode (a roughly 20-30 minute read). Or if you have Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, THEY’RE FREE.
(3 Episodes released to date. New installments released every 2-3 weeks, with a planned run of at least 20 episodes).
When we last saw Jane, she was running for her life.
From what? We still don’t really know, although it seemed pretty terrible. And what about where she’d run to? That didn’t seem too nice either; with the whole “sudden, sharp pain” thing…
But now, let’s go out for a short ride- a short, frightening, horrible ride, with Jack and the kids.
Oh, and by the way? We might not ever come back…
THE LAST ITALIAN TUNE-UP
It’s a bright, early-May morning, and 30-year old Jane Matheson is getting ready for what she thinks will be a nice, normal day.
When suddenly, a starter whines out in the garage, and a big engine stumbles to life. It coughs and stutters, but soon settles into a loud, loping idle.
Then it begins to rev, spinning savagely up to a snarl, again and again. Until a voice calls out-
“I’m coming Dad!” And she hears a car door slam. Then-
“Wait! I wanna go too, Daddy!” The door slams again.
She hears the engine bark one more time. Then watches through a window as the shiny blue Chevelle burbles out of the garage.
And a moment later, they are gone.
It’s a foggy, late-August morning, and Jane Matheson has just gone out for a run. Her one hundred and sixth run, to be exact.
Not that anyone else is counting.
Because now there is no one else. It’s just Jane, and the soft sound of her footfalls as twisting country road and tall, silent trees emerge from the mist one stride at a time. She is otherwise completely and totally alone- on this road, and maybe even in all of upstate New York. In fact, for all she knows, she may be the only one left alive in the world.
A fact she’ll soon be reminded of, also for the hundred and sixth time. When she runs past the horrors:
The burnt, overturned car with the bodies still inside.
The other wreck that sits totally, inexplicably empty, even though both of its seatbelts are buckled.
And that green car, the one that’s maybe the worst of all- she always runs on the other side of the road from that one, and tries not to look. Because although what’s left of its driver still sits, wide-eyed and staring and looking oh-so, God, horribly… alive, behind the wheel, she knows that the fully fastened and buckled booster seat behind him hangs empty. While a sippy cup lays amidst the broken glass.
But she’ll run past it anyway. The way she always has. Because she has to find-
Well, what exactly will she find? Bodies? Wreckage? Or maybe nothing? She must admit; she just doesn’t know.
All she does know is that on that bright morning back in May, her family went for a ride without her. To give the Chevelle what they’d always jokingly referred to as an “Italian Tune-up”.
But then the world changed, and they never came home.
And now, after living for one-hundred and seven days in a silent, seemingly dead world, Jane is reaching the end: of her supplies, of her endurance and even her sanity. Because even though she’s managed, with the help of her “unique” home, the cold-war-era “Atlas House”, to eke out an existence in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains, and has grown, in many ways, stronger than ever before, her relentless obsession with learning her family’s fate has still taken its toll.
And today, it just might finally kill her.
***This is the 3rd installment of Ann-William’s multi-part thriller, The Last Italian Tune-Up. Please also be sure to look for Part One, subtitled “See Jane…”, and Part Two, “Day One”, now available.
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