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Novel Excerpt

By Kale RossPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 2 min read
Photo by Gozha Net on Unsplash


The collision was horrendous and loud. Rosalie tried to force Clement to stop the Jeep by punching his bicep and trying to turn the steering wheel hard to the right. The dangerous attack on her father only made her fall back into the passenger seat as the Jeep violently veered back to the left.

The last thing Garret said to Clement before he jumped was to keep driving no matter what happened. He planned to honor the Sergeant’s wish.

Using the opportune moment to speed off into the lower hills of Adrano, Rosalie wept helplessly as the noxious fumes of burning fuel, charred wheat and melted flesh stung her dampened cheeks. She had no idea if Garret had been injured or killed while foolishly rolling the large wheat carriage out into the middle of the road.

She screamed out his name, but her voice was immediately drowned out by the Jeep’s revving engine and the continued mortar strikes which were randomly falling all around them without any precise coordination.

“The mortar team is blind,” Clement said, “Garret was right. The half-track was relaying our position.”

Clement took a hard left turn, and began racing down another long, windy road flanked by six-foot stone walls and olive tree groves. All they had to do was follow the dirt road up the slopes of Etna until they reached the nature reserve of Pietre cannone. From there, they would hike the rest of the way on foot through flat volcanic plains of basalt, hardened ash, and an impressive variety of almond, pistachio, hazelnut and chestnut tees. As well as dense groupings of large oaks, beeches, pines and Mount Etna brooms.

A sudden pop from beneath the hood sent day gray smoke billowing into the air and into their lungs. Clement immediately slammed his foot onto the brake pedal, and pulled the Jeep over. He hopped out, snapped the lock of the hood and propped it up above his head.

“Shit,” Clement said, forcing Rosalie to exit the vehicle.

“What is it?” she asked?

“The radiator. It’s fried. We’ve also been leaking fuel. We can’t take this Jeep any further.”

Rosalie looked around in distress, “Can we make it the rest of the way on foot?”

“It’s too far,” Clement said, “And when that German mortar team finds out we took out their half-track, they will surely lock down the town and hunt us relentlessly.”

“Well we can’t stay here. What are we going to do?” Rosalie asked with growing irritation.

Scanning the road, Clement spotted the entrance to one of the olive tree groves, “Wait here,” he said to Rosalie, handing her the 1911 pistol he had wedges in his waistband.

Jogging into the farm with caution, Clement quickly found two viable options of transportation.

Weighing the possibilities of success, Clement left the horse tethered to their post and commandeered a green Fiat SPA TL37 by hand-cranking the old school engine ignition.

The Italian military tractor maxed out at twenty five miles per hour, making speed their enemy.

Fortunately, the vehicle's four massive tires made the off-road portion of the journey quite easy.


About the Creator

Kale Ross

Author | Poet | Dog Dad | Nerd

Find my published poetry, and short story books here!

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  • Vicki Lawana Trusselli about a month ago


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