• pauldgarver

A Sci-Fi Thriller Declassified, 2

A behind-the-scenes series of excerpts from the acclaimed UFO action adventure novel by Daniel P. Douglas




DECLASSIFIED: Colt .45


So, William Harrison is a medically retired FBI agent who carries a Colt .45 as a private investigator in Tucson, AZ. I carried a .45 as a military policeman in the US Army.


That's right, a .45. Not a 9mm Beretta. Some of you will realize that I just aged myself.


In any case, I loved shooting the .45, and so does Harrison. In the following excerpt, we learn that he practices shooting at least once a week. We also catch a glimpse into the injury Harrison suffered on the job as an FBI agent…



Steady.


Patient and relaxed.

The shooter’s right hand gripped a stainless-steel Colt .45 semiautomatic handgun.


Easy breaths.


The thumb safety clicked, and the aim still held true. His right index finger smoothly squeezed the trigger. At last, the first round blasted down the barrel at its target.


A hit. The round penetrated center mass.


“Nice shot, Mr. Harrison.”


William Harrison barely detected the compliment through his hearing protectors. Remaining focused on the black silhouette downrange, he nodded a polite acknowledgment to Norm, the range master standing behind him.


More bullets flew toward the target.


Two, three.


With each round, a distinct clap echoed off the surrounding cement walls.

Four, five.


The warm smell of gunpowder thickened in their nostrils and drifted through the other firing lanes, all empty, of Old Pueblo Guns and Range.


Six, seven.


Harrison raised his right hand a few degrees and gave Norm a thrill.


Eight.


“Right between the eyes,” the range master said, chuckling. “Let me see your license to kill.”


While Norm hee‑hawed like an excited donkey, Harrison smiled and went about reloading and holstering the Colt. Slipping the hearing protectors from his head, he swiveled in the direction of the husky cowboy watching his performance.


“Thanks for letting me use the range, Norm.”


“Not a problem, Mr. Harrison.” The grin on the range master’s face, asserting itself through the plump, reddish mounds of his cheeks, nose, chin, and lips, faded quickly. “You all right?”


Wincing, Harrison limped over to the firing lane’s gun table and braced himself. “Yeah, just my leg.” He rubbed his right thigh and said, “It hasn’t felt like this for a while.”


The pain did come and go, but his limp was always there and very noticeable. Walking was easy enough, but he was aware that the sight of him maneuvering through a room or crossing the street occasionally made some people nervous. Harrison was tall and solid, with long arms and legs. His broad shoulders and barrel chest, not the result of weight‑training, but an endowment from distant Viking ancestors, made him appear top heavy. The limp gave the impression, at times, that he was in danger of losing balance altogether.


With Norm’s help, Harrison placed his gear into a nylon gym bag. “Thanks. I guess I’ll be in the same time next week.”


“You have time for coffee?” The range master grinned again and fingered the turquoise clasp of his bolo tie. He wanted to hear another one of Harrison’s war stories from his days working in the FBI. He especially liked accounts about the former special agent’s counterintelligence work. For Norm, knowing Harrison was the next best thing to meeting James Bond. “You can have a smoke in the office if you want to.”


“You just want to hear a story, don’t you?”


“Well, it has been a while.”


Norm was right. In fact, the stories were part of their deal, an exchange for the range master allowing him to come in early every Monday before the range opened for regular business. But lately, Harrison had not felt in the mood to relate past events. The tales reminded him of how bored he had become with his work as a private investigator in Tucson, Arizona...

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