“The sun was setting when Rory went to the Shady Lady Restaurant to meet with the rest of the mob. Trucks lined both sides of the street, and the parking lot to the rear of the restaurant was full of vehicles. He parked his truck in the center of the road and got out. “You boys ready?” he asked the men waiting in their trucks. Everyone said yes at once. Inside, the restaurant was packed with people waiting for him to arrive. The chatter around the room was almost deafening. Everyone cheered as Rory entered. He stopped to speak to Caroline Laws and her husband. “You ready to get your hands dirty, Councilman?” he asked Jeremy Laws. He seemed hesitant but nodded yes. “How ’bout you? You understand the plan?” he asked Caroline. She just gave him a huge smile that let him know he didn’t even have to ask. He walked up to the counter and blew the whistle around his neck to silence everyone. This brought Lila out of the kitchen. “Rory, what the hell are you up to?” she asked. “Just a little business,” he said as he turned to the crowd. “We’ll be loadin’ up here in just a few minutes,” he told the crowd. He grabbed Lila’s hand as she came after him. She tried to pull away. “And don’t think you can call that son of your’n cause he’s out there with that little runt right now,” he told her. Her eyes grew wide with surprise and fear. “Johnny,” he called to John Walker, the Post Master, “Watch her an’ make sure she don’ call that son of hers.” He released her arm. Johnny took her over to a chair and sat her down. He pulled her hands behind her back, and Sam duct taped them together behind the seat. Then they duct taped each foot to a leg of the chair. She struggled, but she could not prevent them from tying her down. “I have food cooking on the stove. It will burn and catch fire.” she told Rory. “That ain’t the only fire there’ll be ’round here,” he said. “Beth Ann, turn it all off.” He grinned from ear to ear. Beth Ann ran into the kitchen. “Did anybody bring some marshmallows?” he asked as a joke. Several people raised bags of marshmallows into the air. He chuckled. This was his kind of mob. His daddy would have been proud. “Let’s get to it,” he said. “You won’t get away with this, Rory. Raymond and Robert will stop you!” Lila screamed at him. “They might be able to stop me,” he said as he pointed out the window. Several more trucks pulled up behind Rory’s pick-up truck. “But he sure as hell ain’t gonna be able to stop all of them.” Rory grinned as he watched, even more, people show up on foot, torches in their hands, ready for the signal to light up. Rory strolled out of the restaurant like a king about to address his masses. At the truck, he lowered the tailgate. The bed of the truck was full of gas. People swarmed around him to put fuel on their torches. Those that had their own gas prepared their torches as well. “Light ’em up!” Rory yelled as he lit the first torch. A loud whoosh sound filled the air as torches were lit all around him. The buildings around him glowed in the yellow light. Anyone who didn’t have a ride jumped into the first available truck. Rory threw his keys to Sam Sharp and jumped on the passenger side of his truck. He climbed up so he was sitting out the passenger window to rally the crowd, lit torch in hand, as seventeen trucks and five cars headed for Templeton House. Behind the cars were the rest of the townsmen, women, and children marched, torches in hand. At the back of the pack, Madeline and Herbert walked side-by-side with their own torches aflame. “Slow her down,” Rory told Sam as he admired the sea of torches that made their way toward Templeton House. He made sure that Sam kept the pace slow enough that the folks on foot showed up at the house at the same time as the rest of them. Sam parked the truck in the driveway, blocking the police cruisers. He motioned for the crowd to follow him toward the house. Yesterday he had made a plan with Caroline Laws that she and her husband would cover the back door and he would cover the front. When he blew the whistle he wore around his neck, it meant the house was clear of people and they should set the house on fire. A crowd stormed up the porch behind Rory. He could see movement behind the glass of the door, but all the windows were fogged up. “Come’on out of there or you’re going ta’ die ’cause we are fixin’ to set the place on fire!” he yelled. There was frantic movement behind the glass, but no one came out or answered him. Rory could hear voices, loud voices. They were in there alright and they were talking. They were ignoring him. If there was one thing he hated most, it was to be ignored. “One last time, Chief, bring those folks out or you’ll go ta’ die in there,” he yelled. Still, there was no response. The house sounded like it was coming apart. Rory was damned if something other than his people was going to bring down this house tonight. He blew his whistle setting his plan in motion. Several men marched up the stairs behind Rory carrying tanks of gas. They doused the house with fuel. Rory made sure he was the first torch to set fire to the house. He put his torch to the door with a wild yell. By now a circle had been formed around the house. The crowd made the same wild yell as they set fire to the rest of the house. Flames lapped at the clapboards. There was a sizzling, screaming sort of sound escaping from the house as it burned. The house was bathed in the light of the fire. The circle of people widened as they pulled back from the tremendous heat that burned at their faces. Once at a safe distance, the mob waited and watched the house burn from all sides. Rory was sorry there were people still inside. He had done all he could to get them out. If they burned to death, it was their own fault.”
I am a writer, blogger and radio host. I love to read and my love of books has lead me down this path. People tell me I write like Janet Evanovich. I take that as a compliment as I love her Plum books. I feel like Stephanie and Laura could be best friends.