- Author: Logan Ryles
Book online «That Time in Cairo Logan Ryles (the beginning after the end read novel .TXT) 📖». Author Logan Ryles
That Time in Cairo
A Wolfgang Pierce Novella
Also by Logan Ryles
Wolfgang Returns in…
That Time in Moscow
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About the Author
Also by Logan Ryles
Copyright © 2021 by Logan Ryles. All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
THAT TIME IN CAIRO is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Library of Congress Control Number:
Published by Ryker Morgan Publishing.
Cover design by German Creative.
Also by Logan Ryles
The Wolfgang Pierce Novella Series
Prequel: That Time in Appalachia (coming soon)
Book 1: That Time in Paris
Book 2: That Time in Cairo
Book 3: That Time in Moscow (coming May 7)
Book 4: That Time in Rio (coming May 21)
Book 5: That Time in Tokyo (coming June 4)
Book 6: That Time in Sydney (coming June 18)
The Reed Montgomery Thriller Series
Prequel: Sandbox, a short story (read for free at LoganRyles.com)
Book 1: Overwatch
Book 2: Hunt to Kill
Book 3: Total War
Book 4: Smoke & Mirrors
Book 5: Survivor
Book 6: Death Cycle (coming soon)
Book 7: Sundown (coming soon)
Visit LoganRyles.com to receive a free copy of Sandbox.
“Egypt is full of dreams, mysteries, memories.”
- Janet Erskine Stuart
Even in late summer, Buffalo was cool. Sharp wind drifted off Lake Erie and tore through the city like the revenging hand of God, searching for anybody who may be guilty of being comfortable. Only weeks from now, the snow would start, and a month after that, it would clog Buffalo, piled high against every building. For now, standing outside was still bearable, but the shortening days and sharpening wind were an omen of what lay ahead.
Wolfgang stood thirty yards from the building with his hands jammed into the pockets of a light windbreaker. From his vantage point on the sidewalk, he could see through the smeared windows and into the dingy interior of Jordan Fletcher Home for Children. Harried workers ran back and forth, dressed in scrubs featuring safari animals, while children played in any number of small rooms with colorful walls.
These were the outcasts—the orphans and the lonely—children who were between foster homes or awaiting an impending adoption mired in red tape. Wolfgang knew their stories because he was one of them, and so was Collins.
Through the third story of the shabby building, Wolfgang could see her room. It was small, with a mechanical bed lifted into a seat. Collins’s room was more akin to a hospital room than a child’s bedroom. Sure, the same bright paints adorned the walls, and the same toys littered the floor, but Collins didn’t run and play like the other children. She didn’t laugh as loud or walk as fast.
And she never would.
Wolfgang found a park bench that faced the facility. The wooden slats of the bench creaked under his weight, but it felt good to sit. He watched the little room on the third floor. From this angle, he could just make out the top of the bed and the small, curly-haired head that rested against a pillow. Eyes shut. Cheeks pale.
Another blast of lake wind tore down the street, crashing around Wolfgang’s windbreaker like water over rock, but he didn’t move. He didn’t even shudder. Wolfgang just watched the room, thinking of Collins, and for the dozenth time that year, he told himself to get up and go inside. Go to her room . . . sweep her up in a hug. Tell his baby sister that he loved her.
But he couldn’t.
He closed his eyes and heard the crash of glass against hardwood. He heard the yell of a drunken man out for blood. The scream of a panicked woman shielding her children. The broken sob of a little girl, her breaths ragged and filled with pain.
“Throw that runt out!” the man had screamed. “No child of mine is defective!”
More glass shattered. More household items flew like artillery shells, exploding against marred drywall, already battered by a hundred such engagements.
And so it went, two, sometimes three nights a week—as often as the man found the bottle, and the bottle found the floor, and the little girl cried and sheltered behind her bruised mother while her older brother cowered in the shadows . . . and did nothing.
Wolfgang opened his eyes. They stung with cold tears as the wind intensified. He couldn’t see Collins’s head now, but he imagined he could. He imagined he could hear her breaths, each one filled with pain as the ravages of her disease clutched her body.
He stood up, leaning into the wind and hurrying across the street, then stopped in front of the smudged glass entrance and stared at the handle. Wolfgang turned to the right and approached the donation slot next to the door. He dug a thick envelope from beneath the windbreaker, packed with anonymous cash, and crammed it through the slot. Casting another furtive glance at the window, three floors up, he whispered to Collins as he always did. “I love you, and one day, I’ll make it right.”
Wolfgang’s phone buzzed. He turned from the building and retrieved it, grateful for the distraction. There was a text message from a contact labeled simply as E.
headquarters. 12 hours.
A flood of excitement filled him—enough to burn away the cold, but never quite enough to burn away the guilt. He shoved the phone back into his pocket and held out his hand for the nearest taxi.
Buffalo might’ve been in the throes of premature fall, but in Saint Louis, summer was still alive and well. Wolfgang found Charlie Team waiting for him