Fifteen Minutes to Live Excerpt

11:44 a.m.

​"I guess I only have a few more questions to ask." I looked up from my tablet. At least he seems more relaxed and he does have a wicked sense of humor. Just as I was about to open my mouth to ask my next question, Mrs. Johnson rushed back into the penthouse upset.

"Mr. Conner! It’s horrible. Just horrible.” Her voice was frantic.

​“Gretchen, calm down. What’s horrible?” Sean stood up and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Turn on the telly!" She tugged at his sleeve. “Hurry please!

​"Okay, okay. I’ll do it.” Leaning over he used the remote to turn the television on. Looking over my shoulder, my pen dropped out of my fingers. The newsman was going on about the nuclear accident which had occurred at Her Majesty’s Naval Base in Davenport. The map was then flashed. Located near Plymouth in Devonshire, the naval base was only three hours away.

​“They’re saying that it will only take fifteen minutes before the fall out and the shock wave reaches London. Everyone is panicking! We're all going to die!” She ran from the room.

“Well, this is an unexpected event.” Sean clicked the television off and his statement seemed rather anticlimactic after the panic of his assistant.

All that was echoing through my head was, this is going to be the last fifteen minutes of my life. Images of Greg, our children and precious granddaughter flashed through my mind, all safe and sound back in Walnut. I instinctively reached into my bag for my cell phone. Opening it I tried to call home to only get ‘a circuits are busy’ recording. When I snapped it shut in frustration, Sean reached over and handed me the telephone.

​“Here, Dannie, use this to call home. Cell phones are quite unreliable during times like these.

I took it from him gratefully. “Thank you, Seanlaoch.” I quickly dialed my number. Listening to it ring, I prayed Greg would pick up. With the time difference I knew it would be in the middle of the night at home. When I got the busy signal and it went to voice mail, I knew my forgetful husband had left it off the hook.

"Hi sweetheart. It's just me. I wanted to tell you that I love you and the kids." The phone went dead in my ear. Please let the message have gone through.

​Sean stared at me thoughtfully for a moment before standing up. His tall frame towered over me, especially while I was sitting. Offering me his hand, he helped me out of my chair.

"I hope I'm not out of line here, dear, but instead of spending our last fifteen minutes worrying about what is happening to our loved ones, would you object to spending our time enjoying each other?”

©Dakota Trace All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.