Elevated Hijinks (Excerpt 1)

Elevated Hijinks (Excerpt 1)

Tony was watching through the window while Natasha was upstairs in her room laying down. Nadia’s phone rang as soon they walked in the door and she motioned to the others to go into the den, with Tony leading the way. She pushed the speaker button when she answered the phone.

“Hello, Katie. What did you find out?”

“Natasha wasn’t stung by a bee unless the bee ingested Apenadrylophene for lunch. We need to get X-rays of her arm and see if we can determine where the injection site is. Unless she’s bathed or showered there may some trace evidence at the site. Can you bring her in now?”

“Yes, we can. Battle, Tyson, and Tiffany are with us. How long do we have before the drug breaks down and can’t be detected?”

“We’ve got about a four-hour window from the time she was injected to get any testable residue. Don’t delay.”

“We won’t, but we’ve got to talk to Tony and Natasha to get a fix on the time it took for the events to unfold so we can start searching for our boys.”

“I understand and I know you’ll find them, but we really need to get her in here, soon.”

“Within the hour. Thanks,” and she ended the call.

“We have to talk fast so we can get Natasha into the lab for X-rays. As you heard, Katie found Apenadrylophene in her blood sample, which means, she was injected with it and what she thought was a bee sting was actually a needle prick,” Nadia said, pacing the floor.

Battle watched her for a moment. “Swatere, sit down and breathe. We’ve got this.”

“What? What have you got?” Nadia shrilled, still pacing.

“You take Natasha into the lab, we’ll talk to Tony and while you’re with Natasha, you can question her about what she saw and if she remembers anyone close enough to her that might have been a threat,” Tiffany said.

Tony stood in the middle of the room running his fingers through his hair absentmindedly. He was frazzled and it showed. “Yeah, go ahead and take her in. I’ll do my best to remember what happened before I got back to her.”

Looking frantically, at everyone in the room, Nadia sighed, turned and left to get Natasha.

“Okay Tony, we need you to think. Do you remember anyone standing next to you and Natasha before you left to get the car?” Battle asked.

Tyson had pulled out a notepad while Tiffany turned on her tablet, ready to type.

He shrugged. “No, I don’t think so. I was too busy watching the boys play.”

“Not good enough!” Battle growled through clenched teeth, getting in Tony’s face. “When I said think, I mean think. Close your eyes for a minute, and allow yourself to go back to that disco fence. You had to see someone when you turned to leave. Think man!”


[From Chapter Five–first four chapters are free samples on Amazon]


Accepting Advice!

Listen to advice and accept discipline and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Proverbs 19:20 NIV

To whom should we accept advice? Not every person to whom we run with a problem is a problem-solver, but they are problem-causers and we know this by their conduct.

Some people–are problem causers–they spread gossip faster than the wind creates havoc in a storm and the results are just as deadly. The intent is to create a hostile environment in which they think they will be victorious, not realizing that they are simply exposing their true character.

The problem-causers have not solved problems, but created them and they tend to think they are a great source of counsel–wanting attention from everyone–when in fact they need to be counselled. They do not want advice because they think they are great advisers and they resent any attempt by anyone to point them in the right direction.

Problem-solvers analyze information and events and research solutions that will benefit all; they have demonstrated ability and integrity in all they do and have no need to seek any glory for themselves.

Before we accept advice from people we must consider the source. Can this person (or people) provide wise counsel and direction if they do not demonstrate knowledge of such?

In this society–we elect a president of the United States based upon their ability to get the job done–not how much they know, but their willingness to heed wise counsel in making decisions. Therefore, every elected president of the United States must choose a cabinet of advisers who know what they’re doing.

On a smaller scale–anyone in a position of leadership should know to seek sound advice and to listen to it. When they’re headed in the wrong direction, they should be willing to hear and change course, based upon the sound advice.

One of the biggest mistakes people make–on almost any level–is putting unqualified people in qualified positions of leadership.

The most effective leader in any given situation is not the one who assumes the position to make something of themselves, but the one who is more concerned about the entire purpose or mission of the organization. They do not dictate what others should do–they facilitate joint agreement and progress.

Dictators are small-minded people (and many are short in stature) who think they have a right to “tell” others what to do rather than seek agreement about what needs to be done. They are quick to draw conclusions without sufficient evidence and just as quick to manipulate the truth in order to garner support for their position (when they shouldn’t have a position or side to take). We see this in the behavior of Hitler, Stalin, and Napoleon–from a historical perspective.

So let’s listen to those who have demonstrated an ability to know what they’re talking about and when we’re wrong–let’s just accept the corrective counsel and seek to do better. It is only when we admit what we don’t know and accept wise counsel that we too, will be considered wise.