Redemption Road by John Hart Review 2019
Redemption Road by John Hart Review 2019 Read books online
YESTERDAY Redemption Road
Redemption Road The woman was a rare beauty in that she knew nothing of her perfection. He’dwatched her long enough to suspect as much, but only in meeting her had hisinstinct been proven true. She was modest and shy, and easily swayed. Perhapsshe was insecure or not very bright. Maybe she was lonesome or confused abouther place in this difficult world.It didn’t matter, really.She looked right, and that was all about the eyes.Hers flashed as she came down the sidewalk, the sundress loose around herknees, but not inappropriate. He liked the way the dress shifted, and how neatlyshe moved her legs and arms. She was pale skinned and quiet. He’d havepreferred her hair a little different, but that was okay.It really was about the eyes.They had to be clear and deep and unguarded, so he watched carefully tomake sure nothing had changed in the few days since they’d agreed to meet. Shelooked about in an apologetic way, and from a distance he could sense theunhappiness born of bad boyfriends and a meaningless job. She hoped life wouldbe more. He understood that in a way most men would not.“Hello, Ramona.”She shied unabashedly away now that they were so close to each other. Herlashes were dark on the curve of her cheek, her head angled so that he lost sightof her flawless jaw.“I’m glad we decided to do this,” he said. “I think it will be an afternoon wellspent.”“Thank you for making the time.” She blushed, the eyes still downcast. “I
know you’re busy.”“The future matters for all of us, life and the living of it, career and familyand personal satisfaction. It’s important to plan and think things through.There’s no need to do it alone, not in a town like this. We know each other here.We help each other. You’ll understand that once you live here longer. The peopleare nice. It’s not just me.”She nodded, but he understood the deeper feelings. They’d met as if byaccident, and she was wondering why she’d opened up so readily and to such astranger. But that was his gift—his face and his gentle manner, the way theytrusted. Some women needed that: the shoulder, the patience. Once they knew hisinterest was not romantic, it was easy. He was steady and kind. They thought himworldly.“Are you ready, then?” He opened the car door, and for an instant she lookedunsettled, her gaze lingering on cigarette burns and torn vinyl. “It’s a loaner,”he said. “I apologize, but my usual car needed service.”She bit her bottom lip, muscles tightening in the back of one smooth calf.Stains marred the dash. The carpet was worn through.She needed a push Road Redemption by John Hart
Gideon Strange opened his eyes to dark and heat and the sound of his fatherweeping. He held very still, though the sobbing was neither new nor unexpected.His father often ended up in the corner—huddled as if his son’s bedroom werethe world’s last good place—and Gideon thought about asking why, after allthese years, his father was still so sad and weak and broken. It would be a simplequestion, and if his father were any kind of man, he’d probably answer it. ButGideon knew what his father would say and so kept his head on the pillow andwatched the dark corner until his father pulled himself up and crossed the room.For long minutes he stood silently, looking down; then he touched Gideon’s hairand tried to whisper himself strong, saying, Please, God, please, then askingstrength from his long-dead wife, so that Please, God turned into Help me, Julia.Gideon thought it was pitiful, the helplessness and tears, the shaking, dirtyfingers. Holding still was the hardest part, not because his mother was dead andhad no answer, but because Gideon knew that if he moved at all, his father mightask if he was awake or sad or equally lost. Then Gideon would have to tell thetruth, not that he was any of those things, but that he was more lonesome insidethan any boy his age should be. But his father didn’t speak again. He ran fingersthrough his son’s hair and stood perfectly still as if whatever strength he soughtmight magically find him. Gideon knew that would never happen. For years he’dthought that man might return, that it could still happen. But Gideon’s father
wore his days like a faded suit, an empty man whose only passion rose fromthoughts of his long-dead wife. He seemed alive enough then, but what use wereflickers or hints?The man touched his son’s hair a final time, then crossed the room and pulledthe door shut. Gideon waited a minute before rolling out of bed, fully dressed.He was running on caffeine and adrenaline, trying hard to remember the lasttime he’d slept or dreamed or thought of anything else besides what it wouldtake to kill a man.Swallowing hard, he cracked the door, trying to ignore that his arms wereskinny-white and his heart was running fast as a rabbit’s. He told himself thatfourteen years was man enough, and that he didn’t need to be any older to pull atrigger. God wanted boys to become men, after all, and Gideon was only doingwhat his father would do if his father were man enough to do it. That meantkilling and dying were part of God’s plan, too, and Gideon said as much in thedark of his mind, trying hard to convince the parts of him that shook and sweatedand wanted to throw up Redemption Road by John Hart.
Elizabeth should sleep—she knew as much—but the fatigue was more thanphysical. The weariness came from dead men and the questions that followed,from thirteen years of cop that looked to end badly. She played the movie in hermind: the missing girl and the basement, the bloody wire, and the pop, pop of thefirst two rounds. She could explain two, maybe even six; but eighteen bullets intwo bodies was a tough sell, even with the girl alive. Four days had passed sincethe shooting, and the life that followed still felt foreign. Yesterday, a family offour stopped her on the sidewalk to thank her for making the world a betterplace. An hour later, somebody spit on the sleeve of her favorite jacket.Elizabeth lit a cigarette, thinking about how it all came down to where peoplestood. To those who had children, she was a hero. A girl was taken and bad mendied. To a lot of people, that seemed about right. For those who distrusted thepolice on principle, Elizabeth was the proof of all that was wrong with authority.Two men died in a violent, brutal manner. Forget that they were pushers andkidnappers and rapists. They’d died with eighteen bullets in them, and that, forsome, was inexcusable. They used words such as torture and execution andpolice brutality. Elizabeth had strong feelings on the matter, but mostly she wasjust tired. How many days now with no real sleep? How many nightmares whenit finally happened? Even though the city was unchanged and the same peopleinhabited her life, it seemed harder each hour to hold on to the person she’dbeen. Today was a perfect example. She’d been in the car for seven hours,driving aimlessly across town and into the county, past the police station and her
house, out beyond the prison and back. But, what else could she do?Home was a vacuum.She couldn’t go to work.Pulling into a dark lot on the dangerous edge of downtown, she turned off theengine and listened to the sounds the city made. Music thumped from a club twoblocks away. A fan belt squealed at the corner. Somewhere, there was laughter.After four years in uniform and nine with the gold shield, she knew everynuance of every rhythm. The city was her life, and for a long time she’d loved it.Now it felt … what?Was wrong the right word? That seemed too harsh.Alien, maybe?Unfamiliar?She got out of the car and stood in the darkness as a distant streetlightflickered twice, then snapped and died. She made a slow turn, picturing everyback alley and crooked street in a ten-block radius. knew the crack housesand flophouses, the prostitutes and pushers, which street corners were likely toget you shot if you said the wrong thing or rolled up hot. Seven different peoplehad been killed on this busted-up patch of broken city, and that was just in thepast three years Redemption Road.
It was a paradox of life behind walls, that where any day could end in blood,every morning contrived to start exactly the same. A man woke and, for twobeats of his heart, didn’t know where he was or what he’d become. Those fewseconds were magic, a warm flicker before reality walked across his chest, theblack dog of remembrance trailing at its feet. This morning was no differentfrom any other: stillness, at first, then memories of all the things that came withthirteen years in a box. Moments like that were bad enough for most.For a cop, they were worse.For a cop like Adrian, they were unbearable.He sat in the dark of his bunk and touched a face that no longer felt like hisown. A finger sank into a nickel-size depression at the corner of his left eye. Hetraced the fracture line to his nose, then across to where long scars gathered inthe hollow of his cheek. They’d healed white, but prison stitches weren’t thegreatest. If time inside had taught him one thing, though, it’s what reallymattered in life.What he’d lost.What he had left.Stripping off rough sheets, he did push-ups until his arms shook, then stood inthe dark and tried to forget the feel of blackness and quiet and memoriesscratched through to white. He’d come inside two months after his thirtiethbirthday. Now, he was forty-three years old, scarred and broken and remade.Would people even recognize him? Would his wife?
Thirteen years, he thought.“A lifetime.”The voice was so light it barely registered. Adrian caught a flicker ofmovement from the corner of his eye and found Eli Lawrence in the darkestcorner of the cell. He looked small in the dimness beyond the bunk, his eyes dullyellow, his face so dark and seamed it was hard to tell where the old man endedand blackness began.“He speaks,” Adrian said.The old man blinked as if to say, These things happen.Adrian closed his eyes, too, then turned his back and wrapped his fingersaround metal bars so warm they seemed to sweat. never knew if Eli wouldspeak or not, if the yellow eyes would open or blink or stay closed so long theold man faded into the dimness. Even now, Redemption Road the only noise in the cell wasAdrian’s breath and the sound his fingers made as they twisted, slick and wet, onthe metal. This was his last day inside, and dawn was gathering beyond the bars.Between there and the place he stood, the hall stretched gray and empty; andAdrian wondered if the world outside would feel just as blank. He wasn’t theman he’d been and had few illusions about the fact. He’d lost thirty pounds sinceconviction, his muscles hard and lean as old rope. Of course, none of that mattered. Even if hescreamed from the tower that it was the warden who did this or a guard who didthe other, no one would believe him or even care by John Hart Review 2019.
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