Excerpt from the Prologue:
“As usual at five thirty-five in the afternoon, the vehicles driving on the west/east Interstate 4 corridor were bumper to bumper from Orlando to the Tampa Bay area. Red taillights stretched from horizon to horizon in every lane. Traveling at 65 miles an hour, the Forcelle’s SUV was in the far-right lane next to the guardrail.
The two Forcelle children, 6-year-old Frank, Jr., and 8-year-old Sandra sat buckled up in the back seat.
Sandra, dressed in a Minnie Mouse T-shirt, jeans and red tennis shoes, her long brown hair in braids with red bows attached, sat quietly flipping the pages of a Disney comic book her parents bought her in the Magic Kingdom.
Frank, Jr. (Frankie) wore a Spider-Man T-shirt, jeans, and neon-green Nikki tennis shoes.
As young brothers and sisters often do, they had rough-housed and wrangled from the time they left the Magic Kingdom.
Tired and cranky from the active day and having nothing to do but sit during the long ride home, Frankie became restless and couldn’t resist the temptation to irritate and annoy his sister. He reached over and repeatedly poked Sandra in the right shoulder and arm with his forefinger. She flinched, drew in her arm and shoulder, gave him a dirty look, and in her high-pitched little girl voice yelled, “Owwwoooo. Quit that, Frankie.” She moved closer to the window to her left hoping he couldn’t reach her.
Undaunted, Frankie scooched his little body close to Sandra again, reached over, and began to tickle her. She batted his arm away and whined, “Stop it Frankie” and went back to looking through her comic book.
When that didn’t rile her, he reached over and pinched her upper right arm. “Ow. Stop it, Frankie or I’m tellin’ mom”, Sandra yelled at him. Then she reached over and punched his left upper arm.
Frankie responded by sticking his thumbs in his ears and waving his fingers at her with his tongue sticking out. He chanted “Na, na, na, na, na” then spit at her.
Sandra punched him again then pinched him. Frankie yelped and began to cry. His little fists rubbing his eyes
Tired herself after the long day, Jeanine Forcelle sitting in the front seat beside Frank, Sr., had heard enough. She turned and leaned through the space between the front seats to face them. With a firm no-nonsense mother-is-in-charge tone and a mother-has-had-enough look on her face, she said, “Listen you two. Stop it right now and settle down or there will be no TV or Xbox games for a week after we get home.”
Pouting, Sandra looked over at her mother and angrily spat out, “Well, Frankie started it.” She turned her attention to a Pixar movie playing on the portable DVD player she now held on her lap. Frankie stopped crying and sat with a miffed look on his little pinched up face; his arms folded tightly across his little chest.
Without warning, Frankie reached over and grabbed the DVD player from Sandra. When she jerked it back, he made another forceful grab to take the player away from her. Sandra pulled back sharply, bumping her elbow on the armrest in the passenger door to her left. She let out a nerve-shattering shriek screaming, “Ow! Mahhhhhhhmmeeee! Frankie keeps grabbing my DVD player. He’s trying to take it away from me. Make him stop.”
Frustrated that he couldn’t have the DVD player Frankie reached down, yanked off one of his size 3, neon-green tennis shoes with lights on them, and hurled it at Sandra. The shoe sailed through the air. Sandra ducked. The shoe missed Sandra and hit Frank, Sr. in the back of the head.
Startled, Frank Forcelle jerked the steering wheel causing the SUV to swerve narrowly missing a small white Nissan pickup truck in the lane to his left enraging the driver of the pickup.
The Nissan truck dropped back, changed lanes and moved over behind the SUV. The truck driver flicked his bright headlights on then off several times. Horrified, Frank Forcelle saw the truck coming in the rearview mirror.
The angry driver of the white Nissan gripped the steering wheel tightly; his knuckles turned white. Cursing out loud to himself, he leaned forward with clenched teeth and stomped on the gas pedal pushing it to the floor. The truck leapt forward heading straight for the rear of the SUV.”
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