As some of you already know, there’s no rhyme or reason to the way I write. I put my novels together like patchwork quilts. Scenes are not written in order but as they come to me. And, in the case of the Chasing the Wind series, the books don’t always come to me in order. This is going to be book four or five in the series. In it, Connor, plagued by self-doubt, is given a vision of what the future–his son’s future– will be like if he does not accept his calling….
New Zealand, August 2011:
Connor stood at the window, watching Lynne and Robyn as they played with the children. He turned to Rafaela. “There’s no indication Robyn ever suffered such extensive brain damage,” he said. “It’s a miracle.”
Rafaela nodded. “Yes, it is.”
“If only Alex could be so fortunate.” He shook his head. “He spends long hours in his studio, and he comes out in such dark moods, even Robyn can’t draw him out of it. The damned paintings…they’re destroying him.”
“He’s been given a gift,” Rafaela said.
“A gift?” There was unmasked sarcasm in Connor’s voice. “A bloody curse. That’s what it is.”
“Alex does what he must to warn mankind of the future they face,” Rafaela reminded him. “As do you.”
Connor shook his head. “God picked the wrong men for this spiritual suicide mission. I’m not cut out for this, either. I’m a scientist, not an evangelist.”
“You are the bridge between science and faith. That was the plan.”
Connor only shook his head, unconvinced.
“God doesn’t make mistakes, Connor,” Rafaela said. “You have seen what God has done, what a powerful instrument you can be in His hands.”
She picked up the remote and turned the TV on. Switching from one news channel to another, she showed him scenes of war…natural disasters…crime…missing and murdered children…terrorism. “Is this the world in which you would like your son and your niece to grow up?” she asked.
He glared at her. “Of course not.”
“One person can indeed make a difference…when he allows God to use him.”
“If he can hold onto his sanity in the process.” Connor left the room abruptly, unwilling to listen.
Rafaela shook her head. “He is a stubborn one,” she conceded, looking upward. “Perhaps a look into the future of his own child is in order?”
Sydney, Australia, April 2033:
“This is nuts, Danny Boy. They’re never gonna let us land.”
“Oh, ye of little faith, watch and learn.” At twenty-seven, Daniel Mackenzie was afraid of nothing and no one. Now, in control of the Cessna, he had no qualms about landing at the airport in Sydney in an unusually thick fog.
“You’re gonna get us killed, you idiot.” Tom Hayward had been Daniel’s friend since their college days. More than once, he’d asked himself why. He wondered if Daniel had a death wish. He wondered if Daniel Mackenzie might one day get both of them killed.
Daniel wasn’t paying attention. He was on the radio, talking to air traffic control. “Sydney Tower, this is Alpha Two One One Four Tango , requesting permission to land.”
“Negative, Alpha Two One One Four Tango. This airport is closed. Suggest you go to Canberra,” the air traffic controller responded.
“Negative, Sydney Tower,” Daniel said. “We have an emergency.”
Tom looked at him, puzzled. Emergency?
“State the nature of your emergency, Alpha Two One One Four Tango,” was the response from air traffic control.
“We’re out of fuel, Sydney Tower.”
Tom Hayward signaled furiously, pointing at the fuel gauge as he mouthed the words “We have a full tank, you stupid SOB!”
Air traffic control responded immediately. “Alpha Two One One Four Tango, we will bring you in. Follow my directions precisely.” The disembodied voice began a series of careful instructions for reduction of speed and altitude. Daniel, as always, was calm. Tom Hayward discovered a whole new meaning of the term ‘white-knuckle flyer.’
The small aircraft began its descent…lower…lower…. “We should be seeing the landing strip by now,” Tom worried aloud. “Where is it? Where the hell is it?”
Daniel grinned. “Patience, Padawan.”
“We’re gonna crash!”
Suddenly, the fog seemed to part as if by magic as two rows of lighted arrows appeared before them, revealing the airstrip below. “Welcome to Sydney,” Daniel said as they felt the jolt of the plane making contact with the tarmac. He brought the Cessna to a slow stop, then sniffed the air. “What’s that…smell?” he asked, making a face.
Tom wouldn’t look at him. “You scared the shit out of me. Literally.”
Daniel burst into laughter. He patted his friend’s shoulder. “You should be used to this by now,” he said. He climbed out of the plane and disappeared into the fog, leaving Tom Hayward staring after him.