The Singularity Race

The Singularity Race by Mark de Castrique

Book: The Singularity Race by Mark de Castrique Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mark de Castrique
safely. I’m sorry. Now come. There’s much to show you.”
    The driver emerged and walked around the front of the vehicle to open the passenger door for Mullins. He was the same man who had accompanied Brentwood in Shirlington. Mullins could see the slight bulge of a shoulder holster under his left arm.
    â€œApology accepted.” Mullins gestured for Li to precede him. Brentwood nodded a thank you, slid in beside Peter, and patted the space next to him. Li sat and the driver closed the door.
    â€œI can seat myself.” Mullins walked around the limo, keeping his eyes on both Lamar and the driver.
    When everyone was settled, the driver popped open the trunk. Lamar pulled their bags from the Gulfstream and turned them over to the driver to load. Within five minutes, they were on I-40, skirting Asheville until they exited onto a two-lane blacktop that wound through a green valley of farms and crossroad communities.
    Mullins leaned forward and stole a quick glance in the exterior side mirror. A black Tahoe trailed closely behind. Although the letters and numerals were reversed in the reflection, Mullins identified the blue and white plate as being from Virginia.
    The long valley narrowed, funneling into just the road and a bold stream rippling between two mountainsides.
    â€œPeter, this is called Hickory Nut Gorge.” Brentwood pointed to the ridge crest on their right. “See how high the mountains rise? Over millions of years, the Rocky Broad River has cut the gorge even deeper.”
    â€œThe river’s not very big,” Peter said.
    â€œTrue. But millions of years is a very long time. Even before the Cherokee were here.”
    â€œIndians?” Peter suddenly became interested.
    â€œYes. Look up ahead. See that gray stone tower sticking out near the top of the mountain?”
    The boy pressed his face against the tinted window. “There’s a flagpole on top.”
    â€œThat’s Chimney Rock. It’s a natural stone formation and it looks just like a chimney. And you get up there by an elevator.”
    â€œWow! From all the way down here?”
    Brentwood laughed. “No. From the base of the chimney. But it’s still pretty amazing to ride inside a mountain. They used that location when they made a movie called The Last of the Mohicans. Of course, they didn’t use the flagpole.”
    Peter looked across Brentwood to Lisa Li. “Can we go sometime, Aunt Li Li?”
    â€œSure,” Brentwood interjected. “But not today. When it’s more convenient for your aunt and Mr. Mullins.”
    The gorge widened just enough to allow buildings on either side of the road. An assortment of gift shops, mom-and-pop restaurants, and even a motorcycle repair garage lined the banks of the stream.
    â€œThis is the Village of Chimney Rock,” Brentwood explained. “A real snug fit between the water and the mountainside. I’ve been warned you wouldn’t want to be here during a flash flood. The little river can turn into a raging torrent, sweeping everything out of its path.”
    â€œCouldn’t the people climb up on the chimney?”
    Brentwood nodded with genuine approval. “You know, Peter, I believe that they could. I’ll suggest that and tell them it was your idea.”
    Peter sat back and looked at the book in his lap. “You liked this story, Mr. Brentwood?”
    â€œYes. I wasn’t much older than you when I first read it. I had to look up a lot of words. But it stuck with me.”
    â€œMr. Lamar said it was about detectives.”
    â€œNo. That was a movie.” Brentwood leaned close to Peter and whispered, “Between you and me, Mr. Lamar’s not smart enough to understand this book. But I bet you are. It’s set in the future and it’s about the history of robots. And it gave me some ideas that I’m going to work on with your aunt.”
    â€œFrom your subconscious?”
    Brentwood laughed.

Similar Books

The Men from the Boys

William J. Mann

Trouble

Nadene Seiters

Suspicions

Christine Kersey

The Shut Eye

Belinda Bauer

Dragon Lady

Gary Alexander

Maureen McKade

A Dime Novel Hero