Meet Danny Edwards: Celluloss

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Harvest Trilogy Book II
by Michele E. Gwynn

Description: In 1962, Sergeant Trent Wilkins looked forward to finishing out his military contract pulling guard duty on the underground bunker built into a field in the small town of Schertz, Texas. Little did he know, he was about to get sucked into a government cover up of the murder of one of their own top research specialists. Fifty-two years later, the secret they tried so hard to bury escaped seeking revenge on those involved. 

Colonel Louis Reed sought to profit from what the Air Force found in that field all those years ago, and it was working. But now, following a massive explosion beneath the Samuel Clemens football field, he and his fellow conspirators find themselves in danger. ‘It’ was out and coming to get them.

Danny Edwards and Jay Hernandez thought high school was hard, but after being gassed by an unknown entity, and seeing shocking blue orbs flying over their hometown, they knew tougher times were ahead. Danny’s grandfather has a secret, and that secret puts him and his best friend, Jay, and the girl he loves in danger. Schertz is under attack, and no one is coming to help them, least of all, the military who’ve surrounded the city cutting off all exits and entries as they advance on the deadly, sulfuric creatures invading the sleepy suburb. 

Time is running out fast. Can three teenagers and one old man save the city of Schertz from extinction? 

Get to know Danny Edwards! (An extra scene not in the book)

Football, Julie Bizby, and screaming rabbits?

Danny Edwards stood in the mall of Samuel Clemens High School looking toward the stairs. It was loud. Kids were roaming around on their lunch break, talking, laughing, listening to music on their iPods. His best friend, Jay Hernandez, was playing a round of pencil wars with Ted Berry. So far, Jay broke every one of Ted’s pencils, but not without casualties. The casualties were painful thumps to Ted’s fingers. Jay was kind of a big boy, and didn’t always know his own strength.

“Aw, come on, Hernandez!” Ted shook his hand trying to work through the pain. “You’re just doing that on purpose.”

Jay, laughing, shook his head. “I swear, man. I swear I’m not. Quit crying, already, and suck it up. What are you, some kind of mama’s boy?”

Danny barely heard them. His eyes were on her – Julie Bizby. He’d known Julie for most of his life off and on, but it was only this past year that they got thrown together in most of their classes. They were seniors now, and for the first time he could recall, he looked forward to coming to school. They had English IV, Calculus, Economics, and Business class together. His whole morning was all about being with Julie. He made a point to sit behind her in every class. From that vantage point, he could lean up and whisper in her ear. He spent hours every night before going to bed thinking of clever things to say to make her laugh. He also liked that he could smell her hair when he did this. It always smelled good, like some kind of flowers. The dark brown strands were glossy, and she usually wore them curled and loose. He wanted to run his fingers through those curls. He hoped to do so, someday.

“Danny. Danny!” A hand waved in front of Danny’s face. “Yoohoo! You home, homey?”

Jay was jumping in front of him and blocking his view. “What?” Danny sounded irritated.

“Dude! What, are hypnotized or something?” Jay put his arm around his best buddy’s shoulders and looked in the direction Danny was gazing. “Seriously, why don’t you just man up, walk over there, and ask her out?”

“I can’t, man. Not yet. I mean, what if she says no?” Danny watched as Julie laughed with her friends. Her smile made his heart do cartwheels. He loved making her smile. It lit up her face making her even prettier than she already was.

“You’re such a wuss! She likes you. I don’t know why you can’t see that?” Jay pointed this out while Ted snickered.

“She’s way too pretty for Edwards, Jay.” Ted leaned in, getting in on making Danny squirm.

“Shut up, Berry!” Danny punched Ted in the arm.

“Ow!” Ted rubbed the spot. “How come Hernandez can call you a wuss, and you do nothing, and I say something and get hit?”

Danny smiled. “Cuz he’s my wingman. You’re not.”

Jay looked over Danny’s head at Ted. “Yeah!”

“You two dating now?”

Danny knew that voice; knew it and hated it. Mark Rivas came up behind them with his two minions, Brad, and John. Danny didn’t know which one was dumber. They were pretty much interchangeable.

Mark was a teammate for the varsity football squad. He was wide receiver to Danny’s quarterbacking. They had to work together on the field, and did so very well, but off the field, they were enemies. This wasn’t by Danny’s choosing. He didn’t care about Mark one way or the other until the kid started giving him a hard time last year. Since then, he and his sidekicks had made a point of making his life miserable every chance they got. The problem was, Mark thought way too much of himself. He bragged a lot, and from where Danny was standing, he didn’t really have much to brag about. His grades barely allowed him to play football, he was mean, and he treated pretty much everyone like crap. But he treated Danny worst of all, and he didn’t know why. He’d never said or done anything to the guy. It all seemed to begin after team tryouts.

Once Coach Davis made out the roster appointing Danny as the quarterback, the snide comments started rolling in. At the end of that day, when they were all in the field house getting cleaned up after practice, Danny found himself the last one inside, or so he thought. As he gathered his gear, Mark came in followed by Brad and John. It was clear by the look on his face he was ready to start trouble.

“So coach picked you to quarterback. What’d you do to get the position, Edwards? You coach’s ‘special’ boy now?” The way he made air quotes when he said ‘special’ told Danny exactly what he meant. He chose to ignore it.

“Leave it, Rivas. You’re just jealous anyway.” Danny held the eye contact, not backing down. He picked up his backpack and laundry bag, and started to walk past them. Mark reached out and held him back by his arm.

“Where do you think you’re going? We’re not finished here yet!” Rivas’s eyes flashed with anger.

“Maybe you’re not, but I am.” Danny looked down at his arm, then raised his eyes, staring hard at Mark. “And get your damn hand off me before I remove it for you!”

“Make me-“  Mark started to reply.

A loud screech echoed through the field house and bounced off the shower walls. All four boys looked around. Suddenly, the ground beneath them shook, and another screech followed.

Mark Rivas stepped back, releasing Danny’s arm. “What the hell was that?” His two goons looked at each other and shrugged, but their eyes were large. The sun was setting fast in the fall sky. Twilight settled over the field house as yet another screech ripped through the air.

“Rabbits.” Danny replied. He began walking to the door.

“What do mean ‘rabbits’? Mark hurried to catch up, fear in his voice.

“That’s the sound rabbits make when they’re being attacked.” Danny stepped outside and made his way to the parking lot. His mom waited for him in her car. When she saw him, she smiled and waved.

“What the heck would be attacking rabbits in the field house?” Rivas now walked along side of Danny as if nothing out of the ordinary hadn’t just occurred, as if he hadn’t just been threatening him. 

His friends fell in step behind them keeping close.

Danny stopped and looked at Mark. “Snakes.” He turned and got in the passenger’s side of his mom’s car.

“What!” Mark Rivas turned white. He looked back at the field house, and then again at Danny. Brad and John took a few more steps out onto the parking lot – away from the snake-infested field house. "Well that doesn't explain the floor shaking."

Danny knew he was right, but damned if he'd let on. He didn't know, either, what caused that to happen. Schertz didn't have earthquakes as far as he knew, and this wasn't the first time he'd felt it. Only last week, it happened when he ran inside to grab his mouth guard before hitting the field. "That?" he said, going for effect. "That's just me getting angry. And you wouldn't want to see me angry, Rivas." Danny closed the car door.

Mary Edwards leaned out her window and waved at Mark. “Hello, Mark! Tell your mother I said hi.”

Mark stuffed his hands in his pockets and smiled. “I will, Mrs. Edwards.” He gave a small wave back, and then tilted his head to his boys indicating it was time to leave.

Ever since that day, Danny had only to mention ‘snakes’ to Rivas and he’d get angry. He didn’t like for anyone to know he feared anything. He could control his two friends, but he couldn’t control Danny, so instead, he made a point of bullying him every chance he got. Somehow, it always fell short of the mark. Still, he continued. Danny found him beyond annoying, then, and now.

“Well, Rivas, Jay’s way better than the threesome you have going on.” He looked over at Brad and John who trailed him as usual.

“Aw, shut up, Edwards.” He looked across the mall at Julie Bizby. It was no secret that Danny liked her. Everyone seemed to know except for Julie. “Hey, maybe I should go and ask Julie out.” He looked at Danny and saw his eyes slit.

“Don’t feed the troll, Danny.” Jay said while looking down on Rivas.

“Yeah, I really should do that. Take her a date. Like, a dark movie theater where I can get her all alone…” Brad and John snickered.

“You’re an ass, Rivas” Ted Berry stood on the other side of Danny.

“Maybe, but I’ll be an ass getting some of Julie’s-“ Mark didn’t get to finish the sentence. Danny reached out and punched him in the mouth.

Mark reeled backwards, then came at Danny. Next thing, they were scuffling and Mark tried to pin Danny down. Danny elbowed Mark in the jaw, then wrapped his arm around his neck and pulled him down, flipping him over and climbing on top where he punched him in the ribs.

“Fight!” Jay screamed. Kids came running, surrounding the boys as they kept beating each other. Mark landed a hit on Danny’s lip, cutting it.

Julie Bizby pushed her way through the crowd. “Danny! Stop it! Stop it! You’re going to get in trouble! Oh, God, Principal Tripper is coming. Get up!”

Just then, the school principal burst through the wall of teenagers and grabbed Danny by the collar. The Vice Principal, Mr. Johnson, grabbed Mark Rivas. Once they were pulled apart, the damage was clear. Rivas had a swelling jaw and what would soon be a black eye to go with his split lip. Danny also had a split lip. Both boys were panting and glaring daggers at each other.

“What’s this all about?” Principal Tripper demanded.

“He started it!” Rivas spat.

“Well? Is that true, Danny?” Principal Tripper asked.

“Aw, come on!” Jay interjected. “He was just defending his girl’s honor. Rivas was talking sh…I mean, saying stuff about..”, he looked at Julie, then at Danny who was shaking his head telling Jay to shut up.

“About who? What, son?” Mr. Johnson prodded.

Jay shook his head. “Nothing. I didn’t say anything.” He didn’t want to embarrass his friend.

Mark Rivas, however, had no such qualms. “Aw, he’s just mad cuz I said I was going to ask Julie out.” Then he grinned when he saw the look of horror on Danny’s face.

Julie gasped. “Me? What are you talking about? Who said I’m your girl?” She looked at Danny.

Danny opened and then closed his mouth. “It’s nothing. I just didn’t like what he was saying about you.” He wouldn’t look at her.

Julie turned to Mark. “And just what were you saying about me?” She leveled a look at him.

Mark had the good grace to look away. “It was nothing, Bizby. I didn’t mean it. This is just between me and Edwards.”

She got up in his face. “Well, when you drag my name into it, it becomes between you and me. If you have something to say, you say it to me. Otherwise, keep your trap shut.” She pointed her finger and poked Mark in the chest to emphasize her next point. “And for the record, I would never date you. You’re mean and petty. You’re always giving Danny a hard time, and I just know you started this right here. You and your two lackeys go out of ya’lls way to pester him. Well, he’s my friend, and if you mess with him just one more time, you’re going to have me to contend with!” She gave one last hard poke, one that he couldn’t move away from while Vice Principal Johnson held him, and then flounced away.

Jay was trying, and failing at smothering a laugh. “Wow, dude. She just owned you!”

“That’s enough out of you, Hernandez,” Mr. Tripper said. He began leading Danny to his office. Mr. Johnson followed with Mark in tow. “I guess we have a pretty good idea what just happened here, but that doesn’t excuse it. We’re going to have to call your parents, and there’s going to be detention. Lots of detention!”
(More short stories on the blog from Michele E. Gwynn HERE)

Haven't read book I in the series yet? Grab your copy here! (ebook and paperback) or download the audiobook here!


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