Roly's Relic: the Cross of Baal by Jon Cory - Excerpts

"Roly's Relic" by Jon Cory

Chapter 1

Roly O’Leary drifted face down in the Tennessee River. His teeth clutched the mouthpiece of his snorkel. Searching. It took a special kind of stupidity to find and lose a fortune in a single day. To discover a rare Le Mat revolver, then swamp your boat in the middle of a summer storm. Now the valuable gun rested on the river bottom. Somewhere close. In a wooden presentation case, all wrapped in plastic and duct tape. Someone should do the same to Ed Bonderweg.

Chapter 3

Gumby was bending over a filing cabinet, a narrow strip of skin exposed from the parting of her T-shirt and waistband. The top of a colorful butterfly tattoo peeked out as though determined to escape her jeans. Turning, she hip-shoved the file drawer. An appropriate slam rewarded her effort.

“How’d it go, Roly?” Gumby said.

The professor dismisses us,” Roly replied. “Seems our little bronze cross is not a find of earthshaking proportions. At least in his opinion.” Roly lowered his voice. “But not in mine.”

“Roly, there is something odd about that cross.” She leaned closer to him. “The image kept showing up on other copies I tried to make after it. Like the cross was burned into the circuit board. Finally faded away after a couple minutes. Weird.” She shrugged off further comment.

Too bad he wasn’t staying in Bordum Grove to hang out with her. One of those chance encounters with an intriguing woman that would linger in his memory.

Chapter 22

Cross of Baal may grant innermost desire—if you live.

“Yeah, but I sold it to Ed,” Roly said.

“And now he’s dead,” Linc said. “You, I’m happy to say, are not.” Linc retrieved the spent shell casings and started to walk away, cell phone in hand. He paused, keyed in numbers and held the phone to his ear.

“Professor Ambrose wanted the cross, and he’s kaput.” Roly called after him. “Purity said she mailed the cross to me. Just wonderful. Am I next?”

“When you get the cross back, you can start thinking about your innermost desire.” Linc held a cautioning finger to Roly and started talking into the phone.

Roly leaned his back against the wrecked car. Think about my innermost desire? What the hell was that all about? Purity had claimed the Cross of Baal was evil. What if she wasn’t crazy?

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