Steve’s shorts: Siege…


Copyright 2017, Steven M. Moore

“Have you heard, Josefina?”

The woman put the paper plates in front of her small children. She watched them begin to devour the PB&J sandwiches.

“Heard what, Father Sullivan?”

“The police have said they’re outnumbered. They’re letting the mad dogs take over the city.”

Josefina paled, caught her breath, and sat down on the fourth chair at the little table.

“Will we still be safe here?”

The young priest shook his head. “Your case has been in the local news. They know you’re here. I don’t know if any of us are safe. Mob rule isn’t pretty. They are thugs and killers.”

“Where else could we go?”

“Everywhere will be dangerous. Our only hope is that they respect the church as sanctuary. I suspect we might have other guests, refugees from the terror.”

Josefina wrung her hands, looking from angelic face to angelic face. The violence in her home country had been followed by years of peace in her new one. All her children were born in the U.S., but she was still an illegal. If they had just offered her some route to a green card and then citizenship.

When ICE started tearing apart the immigrant families, she had to leave her good-paying job and seek refuge in her church. Her children, ages three, five, and eight, were too young to leave on the outside even though they weren’t in danger.

Now they were all in danger, including the priests, nuns, and deacons who had given them shelter. The neo-Nazis now in control of the city would run amok.

“You should all join us here in the basement,” she said. “We’ll barricade the doors.”

Father Sullivan nodded. “That’s a good idea if it works. I’ll tell the others. We need to bring all our food supplies down here.”

She glanced around the huge basement used in better times for church social functions and overflow from the holiday masses. The large TV was connected to cable as well as a feed from the old cathedral above them.

“They might burn it all down,” she said. “We’d all be trapped.”

“Not if our barricade is strong enough and the ceiling holds.” He paused at the stairs. “It’s possible that the police will come to their senses and hold them off until the National Guard can be deployed to stop them, but we need to be prepared. Can Antonio take care of the other two if you help us?”

Josefina looked at her oldest child. With wide eyes, he nodded.

“Tranquilla, mamacita, los cuideré.”

It took them half a day to prepare. When the barricades went up blocking the entrances into the basement, Juanita’s family had been joined by the four priests, nearly a dozen nuns, and more than the Hispanic families, all citizens or green-card holders. They had come to seek refuge because no one needed to tell them what the skinheads would do to them if they were caught.

“The governor is calling in the National Guard,” said Father Sullivan.

“Too little, too late,” said a nun. “This is our Kristallnacht.”

They sat around holding hands and awaiting their fate.


Rembrandt’s Angel (a mystery/thriller from Penmore Press). To what lengths would you go to recover a stolen masterpiece? Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone goes the extra mile. She and paramour/sidekick Bastiann van Coevorden, an Interpol agent, set out to outwit the dealers of stolen art and recover “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a Rembrandt painting stolen by the Nazis in World War Two. Their efforts lead to much more, as they uncover an international conspiracy that threatens Europe. During their dangerous adventures, their relationship solidifies and becomes a full-blown romance. See the review and interview at Feathered Quill. This book is available in ebook format at Amazon and at Smashwords and its affiliate retailers. It’s available as a print version at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore (if not there, ask for it).

In libris libertas….

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