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I have been working on the first full length ‘Alongrid’ story and I haven’t really had a whole lot of time to do any ‘other’ writing. So I thought I’d share an excerpt from what I have written. Just to set the scene, VanDarn and Locke are sneaking into the Waterworks. They are trying to avoid being seen to keep questions to a minimum. Our favorite gnomish brothers, Jim and Coop Tucker are distracting the security guards.

~~~***~~~

VanDarn pulled the car over on the side of the road with a hiss of vented steam. We were close to the guard shack, but we would walk the rest of the way to keep the guard from seeing our vehicle. If everything went as planned, the Tucker brothers would have their truck waiting for us.
“We need to hurry. They were only going to distract the guard for half an hour, and that started about ten minutes ago.” I said goodbye to Yon, and accompanied by VanDarn continued on foot down the road. VanDarn gripped my arm as I stumbled, keeping me from tumbling headlong down the embankment as we came in sight of the guard shack. The Tucker brother’s truck waited in the parking lot. It didn’t take us long to creep over and climb up in the back. We ha d just gotten settled down when I heard the two gnomes come out, their voices getting louder as they approached the truck.
“Really? What a beautiful ashtray? What was that?” Coop Tucker was saying.
“Shutup! He was headin’ outside to check on that noise he heard. I kept him from going ta look! Besides, I didn’t hear you coming up with anything better.” Jim Tucker’s voice was deeper than his brother’s, but they still sounded alike.
“I could’ve, but I was too busy trying to keep from laughing at you as you fawned all over that ashtray. Sheesh.”
The truck shifted as the two climbed in.
“Locke?”
“We’re here. Just go.” I whispered just loud enough for the two of them to hear. I heard the engine gurgle as the steam from the boiler turned the drive train. The tough construction of the truck made it heavier than a civilian vehicle, so the drive system had to work harder to get all that weight moving. Weight that included an extra dwarf and a human.
“Guys! Guys!” I could hear an out of breath voice calling over the rattling of the engine. It was the guard from the guard shack. “Here.”
“What’s this?” I heard Jim say.
“Well, you liked that ashtray so much I thought I’d just give it to ya.”
“Ya really don’t have to.” I heard Coop stifling a laugh as best as he could.
“It’s no problem really. I got three or four more just like these at home. Real wood. Hand carved.”
“Thanks, Smiley. I don’t know what to say.” This brought another muffled giggle from Coop.
“Don’t mention it. I hope you enjoy it for a long time. You boys be careful now.”
“We will, and thanks again.” The engine cycled up and we started moving. As we pulled away, Coop let out an unrestrained guffaw.
“Here, have this ashtray! “ He chortled. “You don’t even smoke!”
There was a hollow thunk from the cab, and a groan from Coop. It took me a minute to figure out Jim must have hit his brother with his new wooden ashtray.

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