Teaser from Swell

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Swell

1st Novel of the Change

Here is the first chapter of a full length book which I have written. I am currently trying to get this published with Baen books. If you like it, please leave a comment and feel free to re-post a link elsewhere and share with your friends. Unlike my short stories, I won’t be offering a full read of this book here. Really it is a book and I’m aiming to publish it. The sooner their is a demand to read it and it becomes known and published, the sooner you can read the rest.

P.S

Oh, I forgot to mention. If you hadn’t noticed above, the 1st  means just that. This is the first chapter of book one of the first three books, which I have also completed writing. If you like Japan, myth, and spunky people, then you will want to read these. I won’t tell you to pester publishers but…

So, here it is:

 

Swell

1st Novel of the Change

By: Jeremy Glen Johnson

 

 

A Bumpy Ride

Monday, June 26

 

“You ever wake up one day and think ‘Today is the day that everything is going to change?’ I mean like really change, the kind of change that did in the dinos, wiped out the mammoths, ate the dodos?”

“Dude, no more anime for you. Just because we’re all on the way to Japan doesn’t mean that something daunting is going to happen that requires the rise of a champion to lead the starved, beaten, and weary to victory against all odds, Jake!” Mick Renalds retorted with a snort from his window side seat. Blond hair, blue eyes, 23, and pushing 6”5’. Like the dreamer next to him he was on his way to Japan to work as an English Assistant Teacher. He was also a realist. Had he watched his fair share of Anime? You bet. And he enjoyed tearing holes in the plots. Yah, sometimes things happened that stood conventions on their heads but all that really was, was the undeniable truth making its presence known. Try to tell that to a dreamer like Jake and you were in for a long argument with someone that could almost make the unbelievable sound believable. Imagine if he ever learned the truth. He wasn’t quite sure how Jake could do it but on the drop of a dime, he could lead you down a most plausible sounding rabbit hole. In a lot of ways it was a wasted talent. Had Jake ever applied himself to something like politics or business, he would have been a force to reckon with. Alas, every time I even mentioned such an idea to him he got a very serious look on his face and says something like ‘You do not want a person like me in a position like that.’ Which is probably for the best anyways. Honest dreamers meet bad ends. I wonder how he would react if he really knew it all? If he ever learned my secret.

One of these days something is going to happen that shatters that protective dome of reality that Mick relies so heavily upon. I only hope that it isn’t to his detriment when it does. Because I’d hate for Mick to be dodo-ized. “Where’s you sense of adventure man?” Jake Jameson said with a frown and shake of his head. Jake was the epitome of normal looking. Look in the dictionary for a picture of average white American and there he was. 5”10’, short brown hair, and average-slightly athletic build. Check, yep normal. The only thing a little different was his eyes. They were a marbled hazel green that could make those that took the time to notice stare. He also looked a good five years younger than he actually was at 26. He’d never could decide if that was a good or bad.

“What do you call what we are about to do?” Mick demanded with a little surprise at the question as he turned to face Jake full on. “It’s not like me, you, and the fifty or so others with our group alone, aren’t moving to another country where the culture, language, and environment are starkly different from anything most of us have experienced before! Some of us may even stay and start whole new lives here!” He retorted with a frown of his own and a shake of his head.

“Well, yah. But that’s a little adventure. I’m waiting for the big one to come along!” Jake answered. He couldn’t really explain it but somewhere deep down, maybe in his atoms themselves, there was something that screamed that there was more, much more, out there than mankind had ever imagined ‘or forgotten.’ A voice whispered half heard in his head.

“Well let’s hope that your grand adventure is kind enough to wait until we land in Japan. I don’t have any desire to wind up like those people in the TV show having a shared final delusion. Oh, and wake me when we land!” Mick asked, promptly passing out before the Jet had even taken off.

Oh the injustice of it. Down with those strange mutants who can sleep on planes. Oh well, let’s see what movies they have for us today? The screen cut out just as he reached for it.

“This is your Pilot speaking. Please give you attention to the safety video and the flight-attendant as we prepare to take off. This flight should take ten and a half hours. Unfortunately, there is a typhoon inbound on Japan that will be adding some turbulence and may cause a slight delay, but we expect to land around four on Sunday afternoon. Thank you for flying Allen Air,” the video started and the fight-attendants pantomimed along.

Typhoon? That wasn’t on the weather forecast this morning? Hum. Maybe it’s a good thing Mick was asleep for that. He may be able to quote the statistics but that lizard part of his brain refuses to believe them. ‘Man was not meant to fly!’ Oh, well. Wait was that a cat on a Roomba I just saw?

Sunday, June 26

          Mick had not gotten much sleep for the last two hours of the approach into Tokyo. To say that the turbulence was bad would have been an understatement on par with saying that they only hadn’t crashed yet because the wind was so strong that they couldn’t fall from the sky. The seatbelt light had been on full time and the one fool that had tried to get up had found himself bouncing off the ceiling of the fuselage as the jet had hit a particularly bad spot and dropped several hundred feet in altitude. In fact, that was the only reason they were being allowed to land instead of being diverted. Compound fractures, a punctured lung, and blood loss tend to have that effect. Well, that and the fact that with the way the headwinds kicked in, we’re flying on less than fumes. One way or the other, we are coming down.  

“Well Mick, it looks like we won’t end up like those folks in the show. According to the map we are over Japan now. Granted we still need to land. Preferably on land and on a runway. Bad things happen when planes do crunchies on buildings and with these waves a water landing would be pure suicide. In one piece would be nice,” Jake said as the plane began to shudder as if to emphasize just how dubious that proposition was quickly becoming. There was no doubt that they would be on the ground here soon, but in one piece? Well, that was another question altogether. The jet jerked again, eliciting a moan of pain from mister ‘seatbelt signs don’t mean nothing.’

“Jerk!” Mick retorted, white knuckled and holding onto his seat for dear life.

“Attention!!! We are now banking in for our landing. Remain seated! And a little prayer might be a good idea,” the Pilot gritted out. You could hear the strain in his voice from fighting for control of the jet. In fact, if you listened at all, you could hear the strain going through the fuselage in shudders, creaks, and groans, and what sounded distinctly like cracking and rivets popping.

“Did the Pilot really just suggest that we seek divine intervention for a safe landing?” Mick asked, going even whiter than he had been.

If he gets much whiter he’ll be a ghost. Though at this rate we might all be right there along with him. “You see, if you had a little faith, Mick, then that would have given you a little reassurance. For today is either your time or it’s not!” Jake explained in a most mater-of-fact tone. In the end that was what it always came down to!

          “Dude, you are so not helping,” Mick said, sparing his friend a glare.

A sudden gust swatted the jet almost 45̊ off of the course it had been on. Which was bad. It was only made worse by the fact that the jet had been about to go wheels down. This meant that were the jet had been coming in almost straight on with the runway, it was now coming in just shy of sideways. Before the Pilot had a chance to correct, the jet touched down and things were going good. For about .003 seconds. Then the right side landing gear collapsed in a screech of torn metal. Granted, it was barely audible over the screams of the passengers. Then the wing folded under in gouts of flame as the Jet tumbled over it. It was soon joined by the other wing as the jet completed the role and it snapped off. Surprisingly the fuselage had been taking it pretty well so far, but being treated like a seesaw over two wings was more than it could take. Just behind the rear wing joint, a third of the way back in coach, and about three rows up from where Jake and Mick were sitting, the two halves of the fuselage separated. It was a bad day for the pilots and first classers as they rolled away into a fuel truck. Jake only got a glimpse of the ensuing fireball as they rolled over. The two halves had been separating in a more or less V-pattern. Jake’s half began to slow. After a few more revolutions it came to a stop with them sitting only at a slight angle with the storm baring its fangs directly into their faces, seeing as the rows in-front of them had torn free and were now somewhere outside.

“Well, were on the ground, we crashed in a storm, and on an island in the Pacific. Yep, sounds just like that show,” Jake joked as he stopped the recording he’d been making on his phone since just before things went sideways, horizontally so. He got up out of his seat and pulled his Indiana Jones style leather messenger bag out of the overhead. His other luggage was either down below or it was in the other half being consumed by the flames along with everything else. Truth be told, he couldn’t care less about the other luggage. It had taken him years to find the perfect messenger bag and afford it. The flashing lights of the emergency vehicles were just starting to be visible through the wall of water falling around him as he climbed out.

Mick and the others were just starting to come to grips with the fact that they were still alive-ish. He was the only one to have self-extracted as the majority of the response vehicles arrived. There was little to be done for those in the other half except watch as the storm doused the flames.

“Get the people off of the jet, be on the lookout for injuries or people going into shock. You! I don’t know how you got here so fast but until we see to the safety and recovery of the passengers, the media is strictly prohibited,” The response crew Chief bellowed.

It took Jake a moment to realize that the comment had been directed at him. “Oh, I’ll be happy to leave, but I’m a passenger not a reporter,” he shouted back, while trying to keep a laughing fit under control.

          Passenger? Passengers aren’t supposed to self-extract from a crash like this. He even has his bag! Lying piece of trash reporter! “You expect me to believe…” the Chief started as he closed on Jake. He was just short of jabbing his finger into Jake’s chest when a ticket stubbed appeared in the air between them and halted his jab like some kind of paper ward.

“I have my ticket. My friend is still up there in… Well, I guess it’s the front row now. I tried to get him to come with me but I think he is still coming to grips with life, mortality, and all of those other things that a near death experience elicits in some people. He’s a stout sort and I expect that he will recover shortly. In the meanwhile, I’d like to get out of this downpour,” Jake replied to the befuddled looking chief who was still glaring disbelievingly at his ticket.

“Yah, umm, one of those people over there is seeing to transporting the passengers,” he said, handing back the ticket.

“Thank you,” Jake said, taking it back and tucking it away in as safe of a place as he could. Crash or no, he was still going to need to get through immigration and customs. At least it isn’t cold. Warm Typhoon? Who knew? Although, I never thought I would wish for cold rain. This lukewarm stuff feels nasty.

 “So, I hear this is where we wait for a lift out of this soup?” Jake asked one of the people waiting idly by the transport. He was thoroughly soaked by that point, but there wasn’t much to be done for it given the circumstances. His jacket was in his checked bags which were either okay or were burned to a crisp.

“Huh? Oh! We didn’t think they would get anyone off quite that fast. If you don’t mind waiting, take a seat and we’ll shuttle you in once we have a group together,” the driver said popping the shuttle bus doors completely open to let him on.

“Don’t mind much at all. Ya wouldn’t happen to know if immigration is still open? I’d like to get my foreigner card if at all possible,” Jake asked taking a seat behind the driver.

“I think they are. At least they should be for about another hour. Your flight was supposed to be the last one in until the storm passed and we were going to shut down for safety right afterwards,” the driver answered, pulling off his cap and scratching his head in thought. “Oh, forget it. The terminals right there and it will probably be a while before anyone else shows up. I’ll run you over there if you’d like.”

“That would be great!” Jake answered as the driver started towards the terminal.

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way… But aren’t you a little to calm for someone who just walked away from a life or death experience?” The driver asked making somewhat idle chit-chat.

Is not being an emotional train wreck after a major accident really that strange? Well, put that way, I guess it is. Then again, there was that time I went over a cliff and only lived because of a fallen tree; and that time I was in that head-on roll-over and walked away without a scratch. Yep, I am a little odd. “I guess. But the way I figure it, we really don’t have much control over things in the grand scheme of things. All you can really do is live every day in a manner that you won’t regret tomorrow,” Jake explained as best he could.

The driver turned to stare for a moment. “How old are you?”

“26” Jake stated with a slightly quizzical look. Why do people always ask that?

To stinking young to be thinking that way! And he looks even younger than that. The driver started to ask another question but was cut short by their arrival at the terminal. “Well, I’d like to chat more, but this is your stop and I need to be getting back before the chief throws a conniption fit. He’s a really stickler for rules and procedures, but he’s no fool or bureaucrat and has a healthy, if dry, sense of humor.” He opened the door to let Jake off. The man door was kept locked so he followed him out and unlocked it for him. “Well, welcome to Japan and I hope your stay is much more relaxing then your arrival.”

Jake gave him an odd grin. “You kidding? I hope that this is just the start of my journey and it only ramps up from here. Talk about an epic start to an epic adventure.”

The door slipped from the drivers grip and swung closed. There was something there. I could see it in his eyes. It wasn’t crazy but it was a darned close cousin. I wonder what the world looks like through his eyes. On second thought… No. No, I really don’t want to know. Some things man was just not meant to know.

          Well, I guess I had best be off to immigration before I get interdicted in the airport overnight. Those airport chairs are a real pain in the back, butt, neck, body… Mick should have a great time. He chuckled as he pictured Mick hanging over both ends of a bench, trying to get some sleep. Being normal sized definitely does have its advantages. Although, here I guess I’m above average. That thought put a grin on his face. Yes, life is good.

 The signs for immigration were big and he had no problems following them. The agents were a little startled when he wondered in alone, and if not dripping wet, then still very soggy.

“Sir?” One of the agents asked, walking up to him. “Where did you come from?” He asked. All of the agents were actively staring.

Jake didn’t mind. It was a little amusing to have caught the agents completely by surprise. “The plane that just landed.” He answered with a slight wry smile.

The agent looked over his shoulder at the others who looked just as baffled as he felt. “We haven’t had any planes land or take off for hours.”

Jake understood their confusion, but that didn’t keep him from enjoying it. “My bad, a little dark humor. You know the whole ‘any landing you walk away from thing.’” He explained, pulling out his ticket and documents and handing them over.

The agent took one look at them and blanched. What in the world is this guy doing here? Did he get thrown free and somehow manage to find an open door and wonder in? “Sir, I’m just checking, but are you sure you are absolutely all alright? You do realize that you were in a major crash?” The agent asked loud enough to cue in the other agents who were now practically staring lasers of disbelief.

“Yes,” Jake answered with as straight of a face as he could manage, which was tough when you were about to break out into a fit of laughter. Why does everyone seem to doubt my sanity tonight? Well, I guess I know why but I still don’t understand it. “I had a front row seat for a good chunk of it. Is that going to complicate immigration in some way?” Jake asked.

For the life of him, the agent felt that there was something very wrong with the current situation. Even more wrong than the wreckage still smoldering out in the storm as people were ushered out of the other section. But there was no rule barring, one ‘Jake Jameson’ he read the ticket, from passing through immigration. So he stalled. “You do realize that your checked baggage will not be available for pick-up at this time?” He asked.

“Yes, I figure that there’s only a fifty-fifty chance that it hasn’t been destroyed. Be nice if it hasn’t, but I expect, given everything that has happened, that if/when its whereabouts become know, it will get to me. Any other issues? I figure that if I can get out of here soon enough I’ll be able to buy some dry clothes before the stores close tonight,” Jake answered. And waited.

“No.” The agent answered with a pregnant pause and no forthcoming directions.

Jake gave a little cough to get his attention back. “So, I’m free to go ahead then! Which lane?” He asked shouldering his bag and straitening his sodden clothes as best he could.

“Eto?” The agent gave a quick look out of habit and waved towards lane 2. “Lane two if you please,” he said before he realized it.

Lane two shot him a look that definitely said ‘are you crazy? And why you getting me involved in this!’

Jake ignored the exchange and made his way over, set down the necessary paperwork, and waited. Again. I hate airports!

The gate agent stopped glaring at the flabbergasted agent and turned his attention to Jake, picking up the papers and passport and started processing the information out of habit. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather wait for the others and have someone give you a once over?” The agent asked before pressing enter.

“I’m alive, I’m wet, and a little hungry. I’m not in shock, and am showing no signs of internal or external injury. I could use a drink, a shower, and some dry clothes. So yes, I’m sure that I would rather leave now then get caught up in all the red tape that is undoubtedly going to be flying all over the place here soon,” he answered, letting just a hint of sarcasm and agitation into his voice.

I’m so going to get chewed out over this. The agent thought as he pressed enter. A minute later Jake’s residence card spit out and he handed it over along with the explanation and directions sheet. He pointed at a circled section. “Be sure to register your address within 14 days at your city office,” he instructed.

This was not Jake’s first rodeo. He’d been through immigration in Japan once before and new the drill. He put the fresh, still hot, card away in his cold damp wallet and opened his bag for the first time since landing to put away the paperwork. Well, at least my computer and camera seem to have survived intact. I’ll have to check them over later to be sure.

          Customs was similar to immigration except that the agent called in his boss this time.

“You do realize that you were in a major accident?” Boss asked too the emphatic nodding of the agent that had called him over.

“Yes, and I understand that the whereabouts of my remaining luggage are unknown at this time, which is why I’m asking for the customs form to have it forwarded to me or to be notified of its loss as soon as the disposition is determined. In the meantime, it’s been a long day and there are still hours to go before it will be over. Are the busses still even running?” Jake asked as the realization that, given weather that could – and had – swat a jet out of the air, they may have halted service. He had a momentary vision of cartwheeling buses mowing down the highway and smiled.

“I think they were holding one for your group’s arrival, but I’m not sure if it’s still here. And the trains down because of the wind. There might be a very brave cab hanging around for a desperate fare?” The boss explained. Wait, why am I telling him his options for leaving when I’m trying to convince him that that is a very ill-conceived idea.

“Well, worst case is I get stuck in the terminal until service picks up again but those are the breaks. So, am I clear to exit customs?” Jake asked.

“Uh?” Dang-it! There’s nothing I can hold him on. Letting him through just seems so wrong. “Welcome to Japan and I hope you have a pleasant stay,” Boss answered.

“Heh, people keep saying that. Thanks!” Jake answered with a little smirk and shake of his head as he entered the main terminal.

He threw on his sticker badge that showed he was part of the cultural exchange group. There were a surprising number of people waiting out there. Must have been here to meet friends and family. Oh wait, that one’s a driver. Make that friends, family, and business. Don’t think his fare will be showing. Now where’s the CE-J (Culture Exchange Japan) group flagger. Ah, there’s a sign. Yep, the shirt matches. Best make myself known. Eyes were starting to turn in his direction as those in the waiting area started to take notice of his arrival and passenger status. They had a hungry, almost rabid look in their eyes for information. He didn’t much like it. So he quickly slipped out and among them to be lost in the crowd.

It was a small crowed! A little hard to get lost in when he, at average height for an American, still stood a head above most of them. The first hand caught his sleeve and a cell phone screen with a picture of a young man blocked his path.

“Have you seen this person? Did they make it? Are they okay?” The person asked on the verge of tears.

Crap! I knew I was forgetting something. I just became the only source of info that these people have access to. Best to be direct and broad in this circumstance. He was just about to speak up when a video camera, its crew and a reporter, showed up. The CE-J had also taken notice and was moving in. They were going to have a fight on their hands if they attempted an extraction without him saying at least something. But, if he did, that camera was going to have it airing before he even cleared the terminal.

“Excuse me,” Jake asked too little avail. “Excuse me!” He projected just short of a shout. That got their attention. Why can’t people use their indoor voices? The crowd slowly quieted and the blasted red recording light glared at him. I hate attention. Wonder if that is a strange thought for someone who is supposed to be supporting culture exchange? Well, question for another time. Let’s get this over with. “Yes, I was on the jet. I was in the coach section three rows back from the wing. I don’t know how anyone ahead of me is. As a majority, those behind me seemed okay in general! If you have any specific questions you will need to ask the responders.” Jake answered as clearly as he could without hanging himself out to dry by saying something wrong. Like that I’m 99.73% sure that everyone ahead of my on the plane is dead. Oh, no. To utter such a thing would see me crucified even if it’s true. The media would find some way to make it my fault.

While the crowd was still digesting the news. Jake gave a quick bow and made for the coordinator who was in just as much of a daze as the rest of the crowd. “Excuse me,” he said to get their attention as he neared, “I would greatly appreciate it if you wouldn’t mind telling me where I’m supposed to go. It’s been a rather long day and I’ve never been too fond of airports,” he prodded then snapped in front of their face to get them back in the here and now.

“Umm?” The CE-J director started. What the hell? This wasn’t covered in the training. Lost luggage? Yep, we got you covered. Feeling sick? Got that too. They even covered arrests for contraband in customs. But freak storms, crashed jets, missing and traumatized people. Nope that was not covered. Deep breath. Stay focused. One bag? Start with the easy stuff. “Is that all of your luggage?” She asked. It sounded like a really stupid question, but it was something she knew how to handle.

Is this the only thing anyone knows how to ask? “For now this is all I have. My other bags’ disposition is unknown,” Jake answered, shrugging.

“Well, there is a form you can fill out for lost luggage pick-up/delivery. If you’ll follow me we can get it filled out. I hope you still have your baggage claim stubs?” She asked, looking over her shoulder to check that he was following and understood.

“Right here,” Jake said patting his pocket with his passport and other flight related documents as he followed the director out of the danger zone.

Seeing as he was the only person looking to process through, the paperwork was going faster than usual. Even with the pesky questions. I’m a little surprised that no one has directly questioned my sanity. He had almost made it to the exit when the Chief from the crash site bore down on him. And I almost made it. Three steps and I could have been out the door and on my merry way, but no, can’t have that now can we! Grr, there had better not be bacon in the soap!

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” He demanded. The CE-J director tried to interpose but was quickly cowed with a simple glare from the chief as he blew by her.

Crap! There’s bacon in the soap. I was afraid that something like this would happen. “I wasn’t aware that there was any reason why I needed to stay?” Jake played dumb. In actuality, there were any number of reasons he could think of as to why he wouldn’t be allowed to leave, but that didn’t mean he had to share them. Best to throw the ball back in his court and make him think up a few of his own and see what I have to work with.

“Are you crazy or something. People do not simply walk away from major crashes and go about their business like nothing happened. There’s legal paperwork, questions and information to be gathered, and last but not least, a check-up to make sure that you are truly fit to be up and moving around. And that’s just the basics!” The chief barked.

Someone finally asked if I’m crazy. That makes me a little happy for some reason. He had a little smile when he responded. It was his natural response to stress. Mick had once told him that it made him look like a madman. “Ah, I see. Can we count the fact that I have been up, walking around and handling a slew of different situations without problem as my check-up? As to the paperwork… I hope that you’ll understand that I will be refraining from signing anything until I have rested in a real bed, not some cot that you have set up in a temporary holding area where I’ll wake up more exhausted then I went to sleep, and have had time to thoroughly read through the documents. If you like I could just hand them over to the media folks back there and let their legal folks do all the legwork for me? Oh, and to cover the questions that you may have, I might as well hand over the recording of the crash that I made on my phone to the media people to. It should cover all of your questions.” Jake answered. Still smiling.

          The chief noticed both the smile and the little twinkle of something, not quite crazy but close, maybe a crazy level of sanity, in Jake’s eyes that promised he would go through with the threat that he had made. It sent a slight shiver down his spine. “I could hold you!” He threatened back.

“And I could shout as you attempt to and draw those media vultures into the fray! I would prefer, as I’m sure you too would, not to get any more involved with them than absolutely necessary. I hope that you took note, that I kept my comments as vague as possible?” Jake played along. They both knew the game and the end result. The real issue wasn’t his leaving but that he hadn’t asked for permission or waited for the okay by the Chief.

Dang! He has me and he knows it. The media would just love watching me drag off an obviously distraught survivor. Especially after they already have him on film, for all the world to see, looking calm and collected.

          “The bus will be pulling out shortly so that it doesn’t get stuck in road closures,” the coordinator prompted at just the right/wrong moment.

“I need a copy of your passport, residence card, and hotel address. And contact info for where you will be after departing from the hotel!” The chief demanded, seeing that he had already lost.

Gotcha! Jake smile broadened just a hint as he provided he requested information.

“Wait! Video of the whole crash?” The chief asked as that little piece of info filtered through.

Oops! Jake pulled out his phone and the cable. “You have a computer handy?” He asked.

The chief waved a lackey/Klingon with a computer bag and commandeered a baggage check counter in the lobby. He stepped aside after it had booted up and waved Jake to proceed.

Jake downloaded the file and hit play. It really was a short video. From when he started it, about a minute before touchdown when it had looked like things might get interesting, to when he stopped it, as he got out of his seat, it was only about three minutes long. It really didn’t show all that much and to say it was a little jittery what with the spinning and shaking was a bit of an understatement, but it was still surprisingly clear. Anti-jitter software sure has come a long ways. “Well that it!” He prompted at the end.

The CE-J director pocked him to confirm that he was real. The rest just stared.

“There is something seriously wrong with you!” The Chief stated.

“Maybe,” Jake agreed. “I prefer to think that it’s the other way around. You can decide for yourself, but in the meantime I really would like to catch that bus!”

“I should hold you for a psych-eval but I am a little afraid of what the results would be,” Chief answered. “Against my better judgment, you are free to go. If we have any further need to talk to you or if your luggage is retrieved, we’ll be in-touch.”

“Thank you. And I really mean this when I say it, but thank you for all the work you have done and I hope it isn’t as bad as it looked,” Jake replied as he headed for the bus with a wave.

If only it was only as bad as it looked.

***

          Compared to everything that had happened already, the ride on the bus was rather long and uneventful. He was the only passenger and, what with the typhoon, the road kept going from almost empty to seriously packed. What should have been an hour and a half ride took almost two and a half. In spots he’d been rather worried that the bus was going to have to find an alternate route where the water was running high. Thankfully, unlike on flights I can sleep on drives. That is, I could have if the bus hadn’t been stop and go for the whole trip in, but that’s over now. Time to get checked in. Then I have to go brave the storm again and see about finding some clothes to hold me over. So much for that spare cash I brought along. I wonder if there’s a Uniqlo around? Best ask at the desk.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Jeremy Glen Johnson

….

Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to leave a comment and share a link to this with your friends or anyone really. When it gets published, I will share a link to pick up a copy for those who wish to find out how the rest of the story goes.

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