The latest excerpt from Paul Provo has arrived. Paul is one of the most exciting writers to have hit the scene in sometime! With a new thriller coming out later this year… this is your opportunity to read an exclusive segment from “A Web of Malicious Opportunity.”
As she day-dreamed and stared out the cockpit window, Lisa was mesmerized by the menacing dark clouds and streaks of lightning along the horizon. She mentioned it to her husband, Teo, the flight´s captain, as he sipped his coffee. “Yeah, honey, there´s crap out here all right,” he managed apologetically. “There wasn´t supposed to be anything. At least, not along our route according to the weather charts. The frontal system is moving faster than any I´ve seen in a long time. It actually looks like it´s catching up with us… and it´s a bad one.” He felt the responsibility towards his passengers. Having the president’s wife and daughter on board didn´t exactly ease the pressure. Teo turned in his seat, facing his wife and asked, “So, what happened back there with Lady Solance?”
Lisa spread her hands apart, thumbs touching. “I´d like to throttle the woman. She was so, so arrogant. What an uppity bitch! Why in the world would Tom marry someone like that? He seems such a decent man. Was she always so damned stuck-up and bitter?” Her face reddened with anger as she recalled the unfortunate exchange she and the first lady had a bit earlier. Teo took their conversation a step further in an attempt to explain Solance´s behavior.
“No, actually not,” he explained. “My dad had a fling with her in their teens. According to him, she was pretty normal, but so was Tom for that matter. Mom says she´s becoming increasingly bitter through abandonment, but Dad shushes that off. He thinks Tom´s wealth has simply gone to her head. In fact, he swears there’s mental illness in her family genealogy. Personally, I think she´s bi-polar.” He wasn´t sure he wanted to touch on the subject, but he went ahead. “She hates me for dropping Selena. She won´t talk to me ever since I broke up with her.” He paused. Lisa listened intently. “Speaking of which, does she know I´m in charge today? Did she ask?” Inevitably, he knew she´d find out soon enough after giving his passenger welcome speech a little later.
Lisa rolled her eyes. “Honey, all she did was bitch and blow her nose. Her pupils were dilated. I think she was high.” The aircraft hit a small pocket of turbulence, jostling everyone in the cockpit. “But Selena looks like a nice kid. Too young for you, though,” she added with a subtle smile crossing her face. “She winked at me when the devil-woman wasn´t looking. I think she wants to talk to me.”
Teo had to agree. “Yes, Selina’s a good person, Lisa. She is very much like her father. But Solance… fucking hell, she´s turned nasty! Rumor is she´s hooked on drugs.” He paused to adjust the weather radar. “I don´t think Tom would put up with her any more if it weren´t for Selena.”
Lisa recorded the information and decided to let Teo off the hook. After all, she and Teo hadn´t even met each other when the split took place, she accepted.
Lisa continued, “After the two came rushing into the cabin, Solance looked at me like I was some kind of sickly, bothersome dog with fleas. I was damned embarrassed. So what did I do? I just went along and played the game. Showed her to her seat and used my strongest Texan drawl on her. She ain’t stupid; she knew I was pinching her ovaries.” They both laughed. “But hey, screw her. It´s her funeral.”
Lisa swallowed the last of her tea to get back to her chores in the passenger cabin. “By the way, Teo, honey,” she joked, “notice the swirly creamy pattern in your coffee? Guess what it is.” She let him digest the obvious joke.
He played along, his eyes widening. “No way. Are you serious?” They burst into laughter, and she looked him in the eyes.
She leaned forward and planted a kiss on his cheek. “There, now we´re even for the crappy weather you said we wouldn´t see.” She took another quick look out the windshield and added, “I thought this was going to be easy city! Doesn´t look that way to me.” She stood to go. Co-pilot Hosar huddled in his seat, silently staring out his side view window while Teo began typing in a request for Martinella´s latest weather via ACARS.
Suddenly, as if walloped by a giant invisible hand, the plane shuddered, dropping violently as it was robbed of lift, helpless in an endless vacuum. Teo felt the airplane shake in every inch of his body, and suddenly, it shot skywards. He nearly vomited. He reacted to the hysterical cries coming from the passenger cabin, but he was powerless against the extreme turbulence. Both cellphones and loose items, like pencils and pens and charts, shot dangerously by at eye level, like runaway missiles. The flight deck filled with dust from the floor, like fog from hell.
Hosan screamed at the top of his lungs. Teo shouted, “Shut the fuck up, Hosan! Take hold of yourself! Help me control the God-damned airplane!” The autopilot system expectedly disengaged, incapable of supporting the forces on the planes control surfaces, and the rookie captain instinctively grabbed the yoke with both hands to stop the plane from rolling dangerously beyond limits. Teo instinctively reached for the thrust levers and slowed to turbulence penetration speed, switching on both engine ignition systems. His flight bag and contents were spread all over the dust-filled flight deck. Scanning the flight attitude instruments and engine parameters, he could smell the stench of ozone from the lightning as it invaded the cockpit.
He heard trolleys crashing down the aisles, endangering the already petrified passengers. He thought of Lisa in the passenger cabin and was concerned for her safety. In a microsecond, all hell had broken loose…