A violent gust of wind rocked the passenger train as it rolled down the tracks inside Glacier National Park. The cars yanked and pulled from one side of the track to the other, zigzagging like pinballs travelling though a narrow chute. Without any apparent reason, the breaks on the train squealed, and twenty-three cars and the powerful engine kangerooed into a hard deceleration.
Margot Fletcher, who was seated toward the rear of the train inside a viewing car, tightened her seatbelt and grasped the arms of her seat. At eight and a half months pregnant, she couldn’t afford a fall. Her heart rate shot into overdrive, and her baby shifted as if turnaning a complete somersault. Her stomach clenched as if she were experiencing a contraction. Unable to mask the pain and worry, she groaned. She hoped the baby hadn’t turned breech, prayed that she wasn’t going into labor.
Today’s First Lines Friday is taken from Cover Your Tracks by Daco S. Auffenorde, which I was kindly gifted by the author. This one sounds fantastic. And with a snowy cover I couldn’t resist sharing it while we have the perfect weather.
Margo Fletcher, eight months pregnant, is traveling by train from Chicago to Spokane, her childhood home. While passing through an isolated portion of the Rockies in blizzard conditions, the train unexpectedly brakes. Up ahead, deadly snow from a massive avalanche plummets down the mountain. Despite the conductor’s order for the passengers to stay seated, former Army Ranger Nick Eliot insists that survival depends on moving to the back of the train. Only Margo believes him. They take refuge in the last train car, which Nick heroically uncouples in time to avoid the avalanche. The rest of the train is hurled down the mountainside and is soon lost forever in a blanket of snow. Margo and Nick, the sole survivors, are stranded in the snowstorm without food, water, or heat. Rescuers might not arrive for days.
When the weather turns violent again, the pair must flee the shelter of the passenger car and run for their lives into the wilderness. They must fend off the deadly cold as well as predatory wild animals foraging for food. Eventually, Nick leads Margo to shelter in a watchtower atop a mountain. There, we learn that both Margo and Nick have secrets that have brought them together and threaten to destroy them.
Cover Your Tracks is a chilling story of love and hate, the devastating power of nature, and the will to survive.
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