Women of Power – Chapter 3 Excerpt

Azure Hotel;

Downtown Chicago;


Linda Ford stepped out the front entrance of the hotel. The wind whipped around her. With her left hand she held down her pleated miniskirt and with her right hand made sure that none of her honey colored hair poked out from beneath the brown wig.

“Cab Miss?” asked the doorman.

“No thank you.” She smiled sweetly. “I’m going to walk.”

“Might not be safe this time of night.”

“I’ll be fine,” she said, stepping out of the halo of lights around the hotel entrance.

Linda was so happy to be out on the street that she almost started skipping. She turned north up State Street, her oversized Gucci handbag swinging at her side. Once again the brisk breeze blowing in from the lake caught her by surprise. She smiled as she brushed the brown hair out of her face. The smile disappeared however, when she picked up the words of a conversation directly ahead of her.

“If she’s at the Azure, we will have her all to ourselves. All the others are camped out around the Swiss Hotel.”

Coming toward her from the opposite direction were two tabloid photographers. They hadn’t spotted her yet, so she ducked into an alley. Following it till she reached an intersection, she then turned north again into another alley.

Apparently Linda’s plan had worked—for the most part. She had taken a large suite at the Swiss Hotel for no other reason than to mislead the press. Her room at the Azure had been arranged by her business manager and was under his daughter’s name. Though she was now hundreds of yards away from the two men she had overheard, her super-hearing allowed her to determine that she had eluded them. They were still on their way to her hotel.

“Hold it,” said a voice from behind her.

She turned to find a tall, thin man pointing a gun at her.

“Toss your purse onto the ground.”

“You’re robbing me?”

“Throw it down and I won’t hurt you.”

“How really extraordinary. Nothing like this ever happens to me in Kansas City.”

“Throw down the purse, sweet-cheeks. You don’t want to get shot… or worse.”

“I guess you don’t know who I am,” said Linda.

“As long as you’re not All American Girl, and you’re not, I don’t care.”

“Well then, I guess you’ll have to shoot me.” She put one hand on her hip.

The man didn’t shoot. Instead, he rushed forward and slammed the pistol into the side of her head.

“Well, that’s just rude,” said Linda, standing completely unharmed, exactly as she had been. “I can see that this city really needs my help.”

She took a quick, deep breath and exhaled with such force that the would-be robber was thrown across the alley. He landed on his buttocks and stared at her open-mouthed.

Suddenly something going on miles away drew her attention. Her supervision saw spectrums far beyond the range of normal. Usually she just ignored it, but she wasn’t about to ignore this. She peeled off the blouse and miniskirt, rolling down the megamesh sleeves of her costume. Then she pulled the brown wig off.

“Since you didn’t actually steal anything or hurt me, I’m going to let you off with a stern warning.”

“Skygirl?” said the man, now that the symbol on her chest was revealed.

“That’s right.” She stuffed her outer clothes and her wig into her handbag and floated up into the air several feet, where she removed her high-heels and put them in the bag too. “It’s not too late to turn over a new leaf, you know. I haven’t had time to check, but I’m sure there is a twelve-step program available for whatever your problem is. Now don’t let me catch you again.”

She lifted one hand in the air and shot into the sky like a rocket.

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