Yield

Yield by Bryan K. Johnson Read Free Book Online

Book: Yield by Bryan K. Johnson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bryan K. Johnson
Tags: Fiction, Thrillers
Ty. ”
    Tyler sits on a stool beside his sister at the kitchen island. His dull eyes are lost in the flashing imagery of the television set. The boy ’ s left hand is up protectively to shield his eyes from the obnoxious innuendos of his parents.
    “ Dad, ” Tyler pleads. Reluctantly, he puts his bagel down on the paper towel, wishing he could break the chains for just one day.
    “ Let me see, ” Devin orders. He holds his hand out expectantly.
    “ Fine, ” Tyler snaps, taking the blood-glucose tester from his dad. “ I ’ ll do it. ” The eight-year-old winces as the needle pops into his small index finger. A droplet of life instantly pulses from his skin. The LCD counts down slowly from five. Black dot matrix bubbles stop and blink at 75. “ See? It ’ s fine, ” he shows. The boy tosses the testing unit onto the counter, as if even holding it would show his weakness to the world.
    Devin glances at it quickly before eying the clock beside Tyler. “ Damn, is it past seven already? ” He turns to Katherine. “ I gotta get in the shower, love. Can we be ready to leave in twenty minutes? ”
    “ Why not? ” she smiles, wanting to say it normally takes at least twice that.
    Devin walks briskly back toward the bedroom. “ Your blood sugar ’ s a little low, bud, ” he shouts. “ Make sure to have the nurse check it again at school before lunch. And eat your bagel! ” The fireman turns and starts running full throttle up the stairs again.
    “ I ’ m not hungry, ” Tyler grumbles. The boy tears off small pieces of the specially-sweetened wheat bagel and scatters the dissected crumbs all across the paper towel. Fragments of the bread just small enough to appease a glancing parent soon cover it.
    Haley shakes her head, looking condescendingly down at the mess in front of her younger brother. “ And they think I ’ m difficult. ”
     
     
     

Chapter 3
     
     
    7:12 a.m.
    “ Oil prices continue to climb as protests in the Middle East intensify, ” the CNN foreign correspondent says. His streaming video phone slowly begins to break up. The mosaic imagery stutters then stops. Screaming protesters behind him are distorted into silence. Their frozen faces enjoy just a moment of peace before the voices erupt into violence yet again. “ The United States has increased its troop-load in the area, drawing more criticism from leaders of OPEC who have threatened to reduce supply. ”
    Lights around the Clackamas neighborhood spring to life. Devin Bane shuffles into the kitchen and pours himself a steaming cup of coffee, kissing his wife ’ s cheek familiarly. Katherine barely turns. Her eyes are locked on the news instead as she sits at the island, nurturing a cup of her own. The video flickers from Middle Easterners rallying within broken cities to the swaying of machinery harvesting black gold from a dying earth.
    Devin scratches his matted red hair. He tries to yawn away the sleep in his abnormally upbeat eyes. “ Anything interesting, love? ” he says. His hearty, English accent makes him sound more intelligent than he really is. Cocky even. He leans in front of Katherine, staring into the glossy flashes of color at the corners of her gaze.
    “ Saber-rattling and finger-pointing, ” she says. Her eyes are transfixed, staring ahead but not really focused quite yet. Katherine blinks away the media ’ s grip, finally looking back at her husband. She lays a flirtatious hand on the muscles hanging just out of his favorite black t-shirt. “ You know. Politics at its best. ”
    “ Right, ” Devin says, rolling his eyes. His chiseled face sports fresh stubble the color of a fine Merlot. “ Each person bending the next one over ’ til we ’ re all eventually screwed. ” He stirs two spoonfuls of sugar into his coffee and watches as the crystalline purity melts into the shadows. “ Picked a bad time to quit drinking by the looks of it, ” he mutters, cloaking the idle desire with his usual quick

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