The Jinx: Sample Page 2

It would have been easy to mistake her for one of the college interns employed by the New York Herald Times, Thompson thought, dressed as she was in their habitual uniform of brown suede jacket and blue jeans, but her voice resonated with a confidence that comes with experiencing success for hire.

“Black and white paramilitary groups are arming themselves,” Christy continued. “There’s been an increase in racial violence all across the country. Two dozen incidents were reported in the Army alone in the past six months. This is not racism as usual.”

Thompson sighed. If she only knew. Christy Kirk was right. This story had to be written. But in one year, not now; in his words, not hers. With some more fanning of the flames by the Herald Times, his cousins—seven descendants of a common ancestor now dead more than 160 years—would have the inferno of racial hatred for which they lusted. The Royal Order of the Millennium Knight, as they called their secret familial society, was a runaway train he desperately wanted to get off, but setting Christy Kirk loose on them was not the ticket. Until Wednesday, when he was contacted by The Assassin, Thompson was sure there was no way out. Now there was hope.

“The white supremacy groups are all bluster,” he said calmly, turning to face Christy. “They’ve been arming themselves for years. And the Army has always attracted a violent element. That crowd outside is hot about my editorial and nothing more. They’ll cool off, and then we’ll go back to reporting the news, not making it.”

She sprang from her chair with an intensity that startled him. She fumbled with the window locks, and then a blast of crisp November air ushered in the sounds of the street. At first the chants of the throng of angry black men, women and children were difficult to distinguish, but the message they repeated soon became clear: “Thompson lies, he must die! Thompson lies, he must die!”

“Look at the anger, the pain, on those faces,” she said, thrusting her arm forward for emphasis. “Your last editorial may have been the trigger, but rage like that doesn’t arise overnight. Each racial incident in the military, each editorial sanctioning segregationist practices, each promotion that goes to a white candidate over a black man or woman and—”

Copyright © 2000, 2011 by Larry Kahn

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