From my WIP

Here’s a #bookqw snippet from my WIP, The Sands of Mime.

For the longer quote, in context:


The mess from this fight, as well as bone-weariness on Stan and Jan’s part after their years of working with him struggling against Mime’s economic collapse, could be the final straw. It might actually cause Stan and Jan to consider giving up and leaving Mime.

Oh God, no, thought Fort. Not Stan and Jan too. Fort somehow had to encourage them, encourage them to stay. Because on a personal level, they were his good friends. On a political level… Migod, what if they quit? Stan was mayor of the artist’s colony, and there really wasn’t anyone else that could fill his shoes in that capacity, except perhaps Jan. But the worst one-two punch if they left would be to the settlement’s morale and economics. The Laidlaws were a huge part of the glue that held what was left of the settlement on Mime together. And Fort had never seen them look so defeated.

He’d been debating with himself whether or not he should sign on with Kempcon and March Enterprises until that very moment. Now Fort knew he simply had to do it. He had to show them the contract and reassure them.

“Jan? Stan? Are you guys okay?”

Jan just covered her face with her hands and turned away from him. Stan looked up and rocked a bit in his chair, like he was going to get up. Fort had to reach out and pull Stan up as the unstable chair threatened to collapse toward the missing leg.

Stan brushed off Fort’s helping hand. “Oh, we’re just fine, obviously. Everything is just great!” His fists clenched and unclenched.

Jan looked up. “Honey…”

Stan took a step over and she leaned into his leg while he stroked her hair. She reached up to hold his hand and he squeezed it.

Stan, only slightly calmer, said, “Look, Fort, we’ve had it with the lowlife tourists you keep getting. No respect. They shoplift, they break things. They treat Jan and me like trash. If this keeps up, we’re out of here. Capiche?”

“I understand, Stan. I really do. And except for a few such idiots who are still in the pipeline I’ll personally make sure we don’t let any more of that sort of visitor ever again.” Darryl had gotten off his link and was just standing there, listening. “Right Darryl?”

Darryl just looked at him and nodded. They’d be cutting off a needed revenue stream, they both knew it. And therefore Darryl would probably not be surprised at what Fort would say next.

He smiled at the older couple reassuringly. “Luckily for us all we have an angel investor who just stepped up to the plate.”

Stan stepped back a bit. “Angel investor?”

Jan added, “What do you mean? I know you had a meeting with that Kempcon outfit.” Jan started to get up and Stan helped her to her feet. Once she was on her feet, she added “You mean, they signed on?”

“Yes.” Fort reached into his jacket pocket and got out the paper copy. “Kempcon will be leasing a quarter of the staging area and setting up and agricultural station. R&D.”

Jan looked stunned. Her voice squeaked, “Really?”

Stan raised a fist to the sky. “Yes! We’re saved!”