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The X-Files: Whirlwind

The X-Files: Whirlwind

4.5 12
by Charles Grant

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Serial killers come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is particularly puzzling.There's no pattern to the mutilated bodies that have been showing up in Albuquerque: both sexes, all races, ages, ethnic groups. There is no evidence of rape or ritual. Only one thing connects the victims. They were the victims of a natural disaster. One of the most


Serial killers come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is particularly puzzling.There's no pattern to the mutilated bodies that have been showing up in Albuquerque: both sexes, all races, ages, ethnic groups. There is no evidence of rape or ritual. Only one thing connects the victims. They were the victims of a natural disaster. One of the most unnatural natural disasters imaginable, leading to a most painful, most certain and most hideous death....

Mulder and Scully, FBI: the agency maverick and the female agent assigned to keep him in line. Their job: investigate the eerie unsolved mysteries the Bureau wants handled quietly, but quickly, before the public finds out what's really out there. And panics. The cases filed under "X."

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Chapter One

The sun was white and hot, and the wind blew ceaselessly.

Annie Hatch stood alone on her ranch house porch, one hand absently rubbing her stomach as she tried to decide what to do. The late-morning sun made her squint, the temperature already riding near ninety.

But the wind that coasted across the high desert made her wish, for the first time in a long time, that she were back in California.

It hissed softly through the brush, and whispered softly in her ear.

Of course, she thought; you could also just be a doddering old fool.

A quick smile, a quicker sigh, and she inhaled slowly, deeply, taking in the heat, and the piñon, and, so faintly she might have been imagining it, a sweet touch of juniper.

Wind or not, voices or not, this was, all in all, far better than Hollywood.

That was where she and Burt had made their money, so many years ago it might have been a dream; here was where they had finally made their lives, no dream at all.

A breath of melancholy fluttered her eyelids closed for a moment. It wasn't easy being a widow, even after fifteen years. There were still too many times when she thought she heard him clumping back from the stable behind the house, or whistling as he fiddled with the generator, or blowing gently on the back of her neck.

The wind did that to her, too.

"Enough," she muttered, and strode impatiently to the end of the porch, leaned over the waist-high, rough-hewn rail, and looked down the side of theadobe house to the stable. She whistled twice, high, sharp, and loud, and giggled silently when she heard Nando curse, not very subtly letting her know he hadn't finished saddling Diamond yet, was she trying to get him trampled?

A second later he appeared in the open doorway, hands on his wide hips, glaring at her from under his time-beaten Stetson.

She waved gaily; he gestured sharply in disgust and vanished again.

"That's cruel," a soft voice said behind her.

She laughed as she turned. "He loves it, Sil, and you know it."

Silvia Quintodo looked at her skeptically for as long as she could. Then she grinned broadly, shaking her head as if at a child too angelic to be punished. She was a round woman, face and figure, with straight black hair forever caught in a single braid that hung down her back. Her skin was almost copper, her large eyes the color of a starlit night. Today, as always, she wore a loose, plain white dress that reached to mid-shin, and russet deerskin boots.

"You're staring;" she scolded lightly.

Annie blinked; "I am? I'm sorry. My mind was wandering." She stared at the weathered floorboards. "I guess I'm just feeling my age today, dear."

Silvia rolled her eyes, -- oh, please, not again -- and returned inside to prepare an early lunch.

Annie thanked her silently for not feeding the self-pity.

In truth, she knew she wasn't so bad for an old lady of sixty-one. Her face was narrow, accentuating green eyes and dark, not quite thick, lips, the lines there were more from the sun than her age. Her hair was white, but softly so, cropped short and brushed straight back over her ears. Practical, but still lovely. And her slender figure was such that, even after all these years, she was still able to turn more than a few heads whenever she drove into the city or up to Santa Fe.

It was good for her ego.

Oh brother, she. thought; it's worse than I thought.

What it was, was one of those days that crept up on her now and then -- when she missed Burt so much it burned. There was never any particular reason for it, no specific thing that jogged her memory. It just happened. Like today. And the only cure was to take Diamond and a canteen and ride into the desert.

Maybe, if she were brave enough, all the way to the Mesa.

Sure, she thought; and tomorrow I'll wake up and find Burt beside me in bed.

A snort behind her made her jump,

She whirled just as Diamond thrust his head over the rail, his nose catching her stomach and shoving her back a step.

"Hey!" she said with a scolding laugh. "Knock it off, you big jerk."

He was already in bridle and saddle, a short black horse with a rough diamond blaze between his eyes. Nando stood beside him, grinning, one hand on the animal's rump, his stained brown hat pushed back on his head.

"Serves you right," he told her smugly. He could have been Silvia's twin, not her husband, save for the ragged streaks of gray in his hair, and the fact that his broad blunt nose, had been broken too many tunes for him to be rightly called handsome. Those who didn't know him figured him for an ex-boxer or an ex-Marine, not the foreman of a ranch that wasn't much of a ranch anymore.

Annie made a show of ignoring him and his rebuke. She adjusted her straw Western hat, fixed the strap under her chin, and swung her legs easily over the rail. Without pause or hesitation, she grabbed the horn and swung lightly into the saddle. Only then did she look down at him. "Not bad for an old lady, huh?"

"The day you get old, Señora," he answered solemnly, "is the day I stop shoveling horse shit for a living and start selling bad turquoise to the tourists up Santa Fe."

Diamond shook his mane impatiently

A warm gust made them turn their heads, but not before she saw the expression on his face.

When he looked back, he was somber. "It talks."

"I wouldn't know."

The X-Files: Whirlwind. Copyright © by Charles Grant. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Chris Carter is the writer and producer for The X-Files Feature Film, as well as the creator, executive producer, and frequent writer for the award-winning television series. Mr. Carter has received an Emmy Award Nomination, a Writers Guild nomination, and a nomination for directing from the Directors Guild of America. He lives in Los Angeles.

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X-Files: Whirlwind 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
6 year gap
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first X-Files book that I've read. I really enjoyed the television show so I really tried to like this book. But it just failed to deliver (IMHO). The writing style itself was lacking, and there were some loose-ends not tied up at the end. And it was also pretty easy to guess what was happening halfway thru.

I wouldn't rule this book out entirely, if you like X-Files then this should still be an enjoyable read. The characters of Scully and Mulder are written just like their characters in the show.

I give it a C+.

X-Files: Skin is the only other X-Files book I've read and I thought it was FAR BETTER. Better written, better story, better characters. Check it out!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
this is by far one of the better x-files books it has depth and a full story that dosen not let you put the book down
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever come across something that just grips your attention and doesn¿t let go? Or perhaps, even psyches you up for more? One show, The X-files, did just that a few years back and I couldn¿t help but thirst for more and more. After all, how often do you come across a show that features unexplained cases of paranormal activity that the government covers up? What X-Files has provided millions of viewers, including you and I, with an innovative, intriguing, and captivating show that leaves us questioning the ¿ unknown.¿ How often do you get shows that make you wonder about what the government is ¿ really¿ covering up and what¿s truly out there? For me, the quote, ¿ Out of sight, out of mind¿ was revolutionized once I saw X-files! Not only does X-files brilliantly display the unexplained cases that main agents Scully and Mulder solve, other subplots are seamlessly interwoven such as the ever developing relationship between Scully and Mulder and whether or not they would get it on. With X-files nearing the end of its run, I must say that it has been quite a trip. Arguably, X-files has turned into one of my favorite shows and even though it may seem like a bummer to see the show go, its good to know that favorite re-runs are airing this October on Sci-Fi channel so that much paranormal reminiscing can occur!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read Ruins and thought 'it was good' then I read Antibodies and was like 'that was great' then I read GroundZero and I was 'that was wonderful' then I read this one, Whirlwind and was speechless, the only way to put is that it should be an episode! byers ali *~*~*~* 'Every life, every day is in danger, that's just life.'