Start of Worth Watching, an excerpt from Savage Fire:
It was a sunny day. Ned peered out at the sky, but there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. Nonetheless, he slipped on his galoshes and raincoat and tucked a small black umbrella into his pocket. Ned stepped outside, checking both ways for bicycles or unobservant pedestrians.
“Lovely day, isn’t it?” Mrs. Stepford smiled and waved, and Ned gave a half-hearted wave in her direction. In his opinion, it was the ones who smiled and waved who were most likely to trip you, steal your wallet and leave your battered carcass in the alley behind the dumpster. People like that needed watching. He glanced back several times to check on Mrs. Stepford before turning the corner.
“Hey, Ned! Dressed for the weather, I see. Ha ha.”
“Ned, need a paper today?”
It was like any other day, and after placing his rain gear near his office door, Ned scrubbed his hands for a good five minutes. The germs you don’t see are the ones that kill you.
Using a tissue to hold the mouse, Ned scrolled through his new messages. Two spam messages and an email from his mother went into the Trash folder, but he read one titled Twenty Thousand: Thursday with interest. He checked his calendar, nodded and typed a short reply. A quick squirt of hand sanitizer and Ned was ready for business.
Ned carefully planned his approach. It was essential that no detail be left to chance; danger lurked around every corner. Ned wrote nothing down. One never knew who might snoop.
Satisfied, Ned left for home after putting on his galoshes and raincoat, and checking that the umbrella was in its place. He stepped back out into the bright sunshine, looking both ways as he did.
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