Silver Storm by Michele Callahan


(Timewalker Chronicles – Book 2)

By Michele Callahan


Friday,    5:17 A.M.

Glowing silver embers fell from the sky over Chicago and all of her suburbs.  The glittering snowflakes spread over the city faster than dawn could shoot its rays of new morning light.  The early risers, gasped in awe and cried at the unearthly beauty floating down over them like a billion falling stars.

Then the screaming began as everything and everyone, nine million people, burned to ash.



Three Days Earlier…

5:17 AM

Silence hovered over the water and a few moments of peace settled over Tim like a cool blanket on a hot July day.  He grinned and finished tying the spinner on his line.  The softly lapping water, smell of wet vegetation, and geese gliding around the edges of Hendrick Lake were as far from the deserted lab, blazing heat and gunfire as he could get.  Tuesday morning meant most people were back at work, leaving the lake and the best fishing spots empty…just the way he liked it.

Bandit curled up in her bed on the floor of the nine-foot aluminum boat, content to sleep for a few more hours.  The tiny Pekingese mix was used to his routine.  Fish.  Run.  Scan the news headlines every night for things he dreaded to see.  He’d sit at the computer and she’d curl up in his lap.  She did everything with him now.  When he’d flown home to bury his parents, she’d been a four-month old puppy he could fit inside his combat boot.  He’d come home on six months mandatory leave to ‘get his head back in the game.’  The top brass didn’t like the fact that his research was turning up nothing but rotten eggs.  Nothing was said, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know they hoped the death of his parents would push him deeper into the game.  He had nothing left now but a dog, an empty house and scars.  Lots of scars.

Bandit hopped up and yipped at him, happily wagging her tail as if to remind him that he had her.  And how dare he think he needed anything else?  The princess of a puppy had been his mother’s whim and a completely spoiled lapdog.  The tiny pooch had lived a life of luxury traveling in his mother’s purse everywhere she went.  He’d considered giving the pup away after the funeral, but couldn’t bring himself to do it.  That was four months ago.  The little girl wasn’t much bigger now, a whopping ten pounds soaking wet, but she kept him company, she was smart, she liked to fish, and she was the only family he had left.

“Let’s see what we can catch today, girl.”  Tim cast his line out over his favorite fishing spot and let the spinner sink a few inches before slowly reeling it back in.  The rhythm and monotony chased away the last of his lingering nightmares.

Bandit growled low in her throat and paced over her pillow, rumbling like a tiny electric toy stuck in the ‘On’ position.  The hair on her body started to rise, forming a round fluffy brown and white snowball with huge brown eyes Tim would’ve laughed , but then the hair on his arms crackled with static electricity as well and rose to attention like a thousand tiny soldiers.  The water puckered as if it were being hit by raindrops, but there were no clouds.  No rain.  No thunderstorms on the horizon waiting to zap him and his boat into oblivion with a stray bolt of lightning.

Tim reeled in his line and stashed the fishing pole in its spot along the side of his seat.  Bandit stood at rigid attention on her fluffy brown bed and continued to growl, a steady little rumble of warning that set his teeth on edge.  They were too exposed on the water, too out in the open.  He clenched his jaw to keep the stream of expletives from rolling off his tongue.

Perhaps this was a freak storm.  There had to be a perfectly good explanation, because if it were the boys from the lab, he’d be dead already.  No, whatever this was, it wasn’t normal.  His silence came as automatic as breathing.  He didn’t start the small trolling motor.  He took out a wooden oar and paddled smoothly for the tree line behind his house.  Two minutes, perhaps three, and he’d be under cover.  He hoped that wouldn’t be two minutes too long.


The electrical buzz building in the air continued to grow stronger until he could hear the slight hum around him.  His skin prickled and the water on the side of the boat rose, forming hundreds of fluid stalagmites rising, bursting, and sinking back into the water faster than he could track them.

Earthquake?  E.M.P?  Geomagnetics?  Had those bastards finally done it?

The electric charge shocked him with static build-up every time he moved.  Time to get off the water before whatever was happening cooked him in place or worse.

He glided into the reeds only a few feet from shore and tried to figure out how he could get off the boat without touching the supercharged water.  Any second now he expected stunned or dead fish to start popping to the surface.  Maybe the Fish and Game boys were doing this for a count or culling of the lake.  He couldn’t imagine why they would, but they should’ve posted warnings. Bandit yelped and sank to her belly, whimpering and shivering.  A thunderous boom filled the air and a burst of silver light to his right blinded him.  Instinct drove him to the bottom of his boat for cover and his mind raced with possibilities.

A bomb?  Lightning?

Whatever it was ruined a perfectly good fishing trip.

As suddenly as it all began, it was over.  The super-charged air dissipated like it had never been and the hair on his arms returned to its usual resting place.  His clothes stopped crackling.  The water, roiling moments ago, returned to a serene and placid lapping against the side of his small boat.  The geese took up their honking as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened.  Bandit suddenly leaped to her feet and jumped onto the bench seat he’d just dived off of.  Her curled tail wagged fiercely as she yapped at something just out of his sight.

Ears still ringing from the blast he pulled his ever-present knife from its sheath at his waist and lifted his head just enough to see over the edge of the boat.

Michele will be giving away a prize to one lucky commenter so be sure and leave a comment.


10 thoughts on “Silver Storm by Michele Callahan

  1. Thanks everyone. I love this series and can’t wait to get it out there. :). I hope you all love it as much as I do.

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