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March 3, 2012

This is the latest installment of The Cold Bite of Autumn, my serial fiction story. To get caught up, look to the right and find The Cold Bite of Autumn in my “Category” cloud, click on it, and read all the previous posts. Once you get caught up, jump on in! This story will be updated every Saturday morning at 9:00am EST.

“Damn. What a fucking idiot.”

Daniel worked with purpose as he placed supplies in his backpack. He laid out three weapons, his 357, a scoped sniper rifle, and a hunting knife. He shut everything down and cut the power at the main box. The electricity bill would surely tip off various people who wanted Cheryl as well as himself. Her running probably saved them from a nasty shootout, at least temporarily.

He laced up his boots, jerking on the strings with each new lace level. He then strolled to the table, secured the knife and pistol, slipped the rifle into its sleeve on the backpack, and loaded the backpack to his shoulders. At the door, he allowed himself a moment to visually sweep the room for anything out of place.

She had to have at least a six hour head start. Daniel hoped she would not be as adept at hiding her trail as he in following one. These mountains offered loads of seclusion as well as the opportunity to avoid detection. A sharp person could live up here for years and never see another human if they so chose.

He spent nearly a half hour checking footprints, broken twigs on the ground, and any other sign that might tell him which way she hiked. Once satisfied he had chosen the most likely evidence to follow, he set out at a jog. Daniel’s eyes surveyed everything in his path, and noted any minor detail that lent credence to his choice of paths. An hour into his jog he heard the distant thrum of military helicopters.

Company had arrived at last. Now he had to watch his back as well as where he was headed…

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