This week, we go back to Trunk Mahoney and Carla from the First & Ten series. This is from the book I'm writing now, "Overtime", the last book in the series that will tie up all the stories of the men playing for the Connecticut Kings.
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Carla pulled the hot pasta dish from the oven. She stuck her head outside and hollered.
“Al! Dinner! Come and get it!”
She set the table, putting the main course on a dish towel. She checked her watch again. It wasn’t like him to be late for a meal. She smiled as she recalled the many compliments he lavished on her cooking. She wiped her hands on her apron and looked out back. When she glanced at the barn, she was surprised to find the door closed. Smoke was seeping out from under, and through cracks where the old wooden windows no longer met the frames.
Panic seized her.
“Al!” She cried, taking off at a gallop for the barn.
Her pulse thudded in her ears, her breathing was rapid as her body went into crisis mode. Carla shook her head. Can’t panic now! She pulled on the door, but it was stuck. She took a deep breath and marshaled all her strength, yanking on the old piece of wood. It flew open knocking her to the ground. She jumped to her feet, only to be hit in the face by a tornado of black smoke. She started choking immediately. Turning away, she cleared her lungs. She heard someone coughing.
“Here,” came a weak voice.
With one hand, she felt in her pockets for her phone, with the other she fanned smoke away, clearing a path as she searched for her husband.
Her fingers dialed 911.
“Help! The barn is burning and Al’s trapped inside!.”
She gave the address. “Hurry, my husband’s in here, but
Just as she dropped her phone into the apron pocket, she tripped over Trunk, and fell, bruising her ribs, forcing the air out of her lungs.