Like most of you, I am a popular writer of highbrow thrillers and suspense novels in my spare time. Beginning today, I will be serializing my latest work, THE GRONE PROTOCOL, here in my “blog” (short for “web blog”) every weekend (unless I forget or don’t feel like it or die something). Here’s the first chapter, which should get you as entrenched in the gripping, edge-of-your-pants plot as possible. If not, feel free to go down to the grocery store and pick up the latest James Patterson novel.
Barry Peterson stepped out of the sleek yellow Porsche Boxster into the harsh glare of the midday sun. He thanked his grandmother for the ride, promising to mow the lawn that weekend. Barry smiled as she drove off, squinting up at the skyscraper towering above him. A flood of memories flooded his mind like a flood: has it really been that long?
Barry suddenly found himself overwhelmed by a misspent lifetime’s worth of fragmented details and shadowy regrets: places he couldn’t name, faces he couldn’t place, names he couldn’t face, faces he couldn’t name, places he couldn’t place, fames he couldn’t plame. His destination was the seventy-second floor, the floor occupied by the Grone Corporation’s copyrighting department. She was there, completely unaware that Barry was even in the same hemisphere as her.
Sassafras Jones had worked for Grone for almost a decade now, toiling away with little chance of promotion in a bureaucratic nightmare of an office and a soda machine that only carried Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. She had known Barry since they were both children; their families had been close friends, and they had shared many summers playing cowboys and lawyers on the Jones' ranch. But that was long ago; Sassafras now found herself navigating a world of corporate snakes, sharks, charlatans, shitmongers and shenaniganslingers on a daily basis, with only her wits and a bachelor's degree in Applied Theology for protection.
Barry smiled as he made his way to the main entrance. It was a peculiar smile, the smile of someone about to fart in the bathtub, secure in the knowledge that no one would ever know. All the bachelor's degrees in Applied Theology in the Western hemisphere wouldn't save her from what was about to happen.