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Rated: E · Novel · Action/Adventure · #1218274
A plane goes down in the unknown, and a boy wakes up with a dream. A sample of my novel.
Chapter 1

          The typhoon winds blew steadily against the tumultuous sea creating chaos in the water below. The ocean had an eerie bleakness to it this night, and an unpredictability that would make even the most sea worthy faint of heart. If anyone dared to be on the water, Davy Jones would indeed have a guest.

Above the turmoil of the open water was an image even more foreboding; a mesh of silver and black. The early morning darkness was endless, save for a massive storm cloud building overhead. Lightning was being sparked sporadically and the accompanying thunder was deafening. Yet, in all of this confusion there was something that was clearly out of place; flying just below the mounting storm cloud was a small private airliner fighting for a place in such a violent bustle of activity.

Inside the airliner was a completely different story however, the savagery outside was nowhere to be found amongst the rows of fine burgundy leather seats, with desks in front and a laptop propped up on each . The only sounds that could be heard inside the cabin of the jet were those of keyboards clicking and peoples voices coming across rather taut and important. The few interruptions were generally of thunder muffled by the roar of the engines and an occasional message over the intercom. The jet was filled to almost full capacity with thirteen passengers, plus the pilots and one stewardess. Each passenger was seemingly content going about their business on laptops, cell phones, PDA’s and the works. In fact, you could quite easily mistake this group of people as an army for modern day technology. They were all clad in the same attire; the men were wearing dress pants, the women skirts, each had a white undershirt and a pinstriped sports jacket with a golden C & T stitched to the front left side. Lost distantly in their work, they appeared rather bland which perfectly matched the infectiously tranquil and completely artificial atmosphere.

Calmness and order seemed to stop at one of the passengers. In row seven seat A, was a woman of mid to late forties who was no longer dead set on finishing whatever work lay in front of her; she was clenching her seat with sweaty palms, and looking around quite erratically, eventually turning to the man sitting next to her.

“It sure isn’t like the company to send this many of us to the same conference, don’t you think?” She questioned.
“Perhaps it’s a bigger conference than usual; I doubt that the company really wants to throw away the money of sending thirteen people to Japan all expenses paid if they were not needed.” He responded quite coolly.
“I know I’m just being paranoid-I don’t do well in the air-but I don’t see why they need to send this many of us to learn about the neurobiology and genetics of addiction. Didn’t we all learn enough about that in University?”
“Well I’m sure that it’s quite a bit more in-depth than what we learned in school. This is a matter of great importance to the company, haven’t you heard? They’re on their way to developing a drug that stems addiction, essentially cutting it out from an individuals brain. The complexities of an addicted brain are unfathomable and this conference will only help us understand more.”
“Apparently.” She left the conversation at that, feeling quite bitter that she was brushed off so easily.

         At quarter to four am the stewardess began her short walk up and down the single aisle handing out coffee to the passengers, which was unsurprisingly greeted with affectionate hands after a non-stop nine hours of flying. Just as the stewardess was handing out the last of her load, as if perfectly timed, the pilot’s voice bellowed over the intercom.
“Good evening passengers or perhaps a good morning would be more fitting. We are about to hit some minor turbulence, they should subside in the next ten to fifteen minutes. Until then I would ask for you all to remain seated and have your seatbelts fastened. Thank you.” He continued, “Oh, and I almost forgot, the oxygen masks are directly above the head, in case of emergency pull down and place over the nose and mouth.”

The passengers like the army they were, closed up their laptops and tightened the safety belts as instructed, but now the faces that once looked appeased to be working and keeping busy held looks infinitely more cautious, this disturbance had rattled some nerves. Nothing of real danger of course, just an event bound to happen in these conditions, right?

Suddenly the plane jolted to the left as a bolt of lightning seared through the right wing creating a loud crack and causing its turbine to jam. The plane, now going sideways as opposed to straight forward hit the once minor turbulence with a terrible disadvantage. The pilot tried to right the misguided craft, but had lost practically all control in the commotion and was now completely incapable of doing anything; they were on a downward spiral with no way of escape, the plane was headed for an anemic death.

Everything went black.

There was a long pristine beach; golden sand with palm trees lining the edge creating a wall into the jungle-an impenetrable sea of trees, vines, and branches. A maze would best describe it. There were almost no landmarks to help a lost soul, only two jutting peninsula’s on opposing sides of a bay. The island was fully illuminated by an early morning sun that was beating down with a fierce intensity. A drop of water could be spilled and chances are it would dissipate before landfall. In fact the only safe haven from the intensely hot rays would be to venture into the jungle where at least its thick foliage would bar any fragment of sun daring to get in. It also held a promise of water as the cool trickling sound of a stream splashing onto rocks could be heard even over the birds calling out to each other in their dramatic fashion. The water from the stream was undoubtedly draining into the turquoise blue waters of the ocean, the same ocean that seemed to be littered with not one, but thirteen bodies floating gingerly toward the gleaming sand and overhanging palms.

         Again everything went black.

Chapter 2

         A boy of seventeen suddenly awoke from his episodic slumber. His golden brown hair that was near-neck length and fell in a sort of convoluted mess covering his ears and even dipping as low as his brows was ruffled and his eyes of steely blue revealed the insecurity he felt. He was a good looking young man with a skin tone that stayed a year around bronze, something that made many people very jealous, but he had a problem keeping on weight and therefore wasn’t really able to fill out his body to its fullest.

Surprising alert for someone who had just woken up with such abruptness, the boy massaged his bewildered temples. The dream he just experienced was so vivid and intense that it felt like so much more than just a dream and he was sure that it was. It was not the first time it had plagued his resting brain however and both times it faded at the exact same spots. Why does it always black out? What could it be hiding? Were the questions he asked himself now, as well as many times before. With such a brazen authenticity the dream seemed to be missing crucial parts; like an impossible puzzle he tried scratching his memory, looking for traces of clues that may help him piece it all together. He would find nothing.

The green stick figure numbers beside his bed read 3:05 with a little dot highlighted indicating the day was still in the am, but somehow he was as wide awake now as if it were 3:05 pm. Figuring it was still far too early to get up and start making breakfast, he chose to go for a walk. Quite leisurely he put on a pair of sweats, a t-shirt, and his shoes which were as always by his bed and then he moved toward the window of his bedroom, slid it open, removed the screen, and looked out at the ground which lay some feet below. The roof ran directly beneath him and angled down towards the ground where it was a much safer leap to the yard below. He climbed out onto the rooftop then semi slid, semi walked down to the end where he jumped effortlessly onto his moms flower garden, breaking his fall nicely. He trounced over a patch of orange and yellow marigolds and then out onto the driveway where he could feel a balmy breeze blanketing his face. It was not strong by any means, but it did enough to cool down the blistering heat of this night. To his right  a great willow careened back and forth high above his head, clearly visible thanks to the moon and its luminescence which fed life into every object that fall under it’s enlivening glow. This was definitely a perfect night to take a walk, especially with so much on his mind.

He sauntered down the avenue past the endless strings of pink and beige stucco homes, losing himself in deep thought.

         Having walked for about ten minutes now without realizing it, the boy was nearing a school and he could see the meridians lined out before it. He perched himself on one of the cold cement blocks and then fumbled around in his pockets, attempting to locate something through touch. His hand re-emerged with a lighter grasped tightly between enclosed fingers. He plucked a cigarette from behind his ear and lit it. He didn’t smoke often, just on particularly stressful or trying nights. Tonight was one of those nights because he knew that particular dream all too well and he knew what he had to do in the morning; he was going to have to tell his mom. Not that it would be a particularly tricky task, save for the fact that last time he told her about this very dream he was forced to go to a shrink for the most painfully degrading ten weeks of his life. The whole damn summer. It was quite clear after just one session of therapy that he was perfectly fine, and it was just a waste of time, but it continued for the scheduled ten weeks and dragged every ounce of patience from his body. To him the dream was far too obvious to be written off as just a delusion, it was a vision, but why could his mother not realize this? He had seen the way his father died, he was sure of it.

         Cigarette now lit the boy took a slow drag and blew out an elongated puff of smoke with a heavy sigh. The smoke twirled and danced upwards, constantly expanding until it had gone too far and had become an invisible vapor He put his head down once again losing himself in his tangled mess of a mind until a pair of headlights blasted his tired eyes. Standing up a little dazed he looked in the driver’s side window of a black Honda Civic, stereo bumping.
“Jeremy, what’s up buddy?” asked a voice muffled by bass from within the car.
“Uh, hey man, I was just out for a walk, couldn’t sleep.” Jeremy answered. And please go away. He was looking for some alone time, this wasn’t it.
“Well what are you doing tonight? We’re just heading to the clubs, wanna’ join?” Suggested the driver.
Jeremy looked down at his cell phone and frowned; quarter after three had come and gone. “Uh, you know what I’m good, I think I’m going to try and get some sleep before the sun comes up.”
“Come on man, you haven’t been out with us for so long.”
Jeremy hesitated, not knowing what he should say. “Who’s us?” The driver side door of the car opened and a stocky (five-foot-six at very most, although he insisted on being five-eight) boy with styled hair as black as night and a five o’clock shadow growing darkly in around his chops, stepped out. This was the popular, cocky, but friendly enough Roger Engelmann. Roger held out his right hand as if he were Vana White and presented the car to Jeremy. “Take a look.”

         In the front seat of the decked-to-the-balls Civic was one Noah Barkley whom Jeremy recognized from school, he was Roger’s best friend. In the back, to Jeremy’s surprise sat his own best friend, Nick Hunter. Well Jeremy sort of considered him a best friend, he wasn’t all too sure if it was true though. The truth was Jeremy didn’t go out a whole hell of a lot and he was sure Nick had better friends than him, but still they had grown up together; it was a same street, elementary school, and then high school sort of thing.

With Nick in the car Jeremy couldn’t really refuse, after all their friendship was in need of some serious surgery. Anyway, he wasn’t tired so this would make a good escape, maybe clear his mind some from the dream he just had. He squeezed into the back to take a seat beside Nick who gave him a nod and a “what’s up?” Then the front seat pushed back and Roger parked himself before the wheel. He put his key into the ignition and turned. The car started with a roar, but that was nothing compared to the sound of the stereo which followed. The only thing Jeremy could relate the amount of bass to, would be a full body massage or a minor earthquake. He shook inside and out as the muffled lyrics blasted in his ears, unrecognizable thanks to the deep bellowing low notes.
“So where exactly are we going?” he asked. There was no response as it was impossible to hear a thing over the strident roar of the subwoofers. He cleared his throat and tried again, this time much more audible. “Hey, where we going?” Roger turned around to face him, pulling his eyes from the road. “The King’s Club, it’s downtown.”
“Huntington?” Jeremy questioned, Roger laughed.
“L.A. buddy, we’re going to a real club.”

Clubbing in downtown L.A. at seventeen…He didn’t really care to query the details at this point, as long as he was getting out for a change. It had been a long time since he went out partying, drinking, or anything of the sort and it wasn’t because opportunities didn’t arise, it was because he never acted on them. In all honesty he had an opportunity to go out just the night before when a girl from school asked him to go to a movie with her and maybe a little more afterwards. When the question came up Jeremy couldn’t have been more excited, however when it got closer to game time, his nerves began to sizzle, confidence fizzled, and he called the girl to cancel. She was a little bit surprised, but it was the second time he had blown her off in as many weeks, making it quite evident that he wasn’t interested…even though he was. That was the tricky thing about Jeremy’s mind, even if he wanted something he was destined to never have the ambition, or confidence to get it. He wished it wasn’t this way, but it was as if a mental block were holding him back from what he wanted at all times, in all situations. One day he would buck this trend, he just didn’t know when that day would be.

“So what’s your life been about lately?” Nick asked with a prodding interest, but Jeremy was once again gapping out, lost somewhere in his thoughts; “Huh?”
“I said what you been up to? We haven’t hung out in a week at least, probably even longer. You don’t pick up my calls anymore man, you don’t call me.”
“Hey, that’s not true!” he rejected.
“Yeah it is you know it too. You have a new group of friends or something?” his supposed best friend accused.
“What? No, who else would I hang out with?” Jeremy felt as if he had to be defensive but he didn’t know why, it was true that he only had his one group of friends.
“I don’t know man, but none of us have seen you around much lately.”
“Yeah because all week at school we never hung out once right?” he replied cynically. Nick backed off. “Alright man I’m sorry, chill.” Roger turned around, once again blind to the road ahead and tossed Jeremy a small white joint, twisted at the ends like a candy. “Spark this, lighten up man.” he said, lips cracking with his token seductive smile.

         Jeremy picked up the tube of tightly rolled green and looked it over a few times. He wasn’t sure why he hesitated, it’s not like this was his first time ever smoking weed but for some reason he just felt out of place sitting in the done up car, holding the rolled up drugs.

“Well are you going to smoke the thing or look at it some more?” Nick asked from his right. “At this rate it’s never going to get to me.”

         Jeremy nodded, not wanting to say anything incase he said the wrong thing and then brought the joint to his lips where it hung limply until he spun the metal wheel of his Bic lighter, shooting a flame that engulfed the twisted end. He sucked back as hard as he could, feeling the burning creep down his throat, and then he began to cough. Through his hacks he handed the joint off to whoever would take it, which was to his surprise Roger who for the third time ignored the street in front of him in favor of something more appealing. Jeremy’s coughs continued.

“Ah, the sound of virgin lungs.” came the voice from the passenger seat. “Here, wash it down with this.”

         Once again something was flung onto Jeremy’s lap, however this time it was quite a bit heavier. He picked up the mickey of Jack Daniels, twisted off the cap and took a swig of the burning liquid. The aftertaste on his lips even stung, yet the other guys were pounding this stuff back like it was water at the end of a construction shift, and take it from Jeremy who worked his whole summer, side by side with therapy at his uncle’s construction site in Monterey.

He had to stay there for a solid ten, hating every minute of it and making little money. Dr. Sloan was expensive his mom had told him and since this was his fault, he’d have to pay for half of it. He was outraged as any kid would be on the inside, but when she followed up the news with a sympathetic apology he couldn’t bring himself to show it on the outside. It may sound stupid, but this was no ordinary apology. This was a genuine, straight from the heart, “if it could be any other way I swear it would be” kind of apology and he knew she meant it. How moms have their tricks.

         Back to the guys pounding the JD like it was some kind of cure for cancer; Jeremy couldn’t associate. Two years and a day prior, yeah he’d probably be down for anything with his friends, but then that day happened and he lost his interest in society. Not to say he was a socially inept, but he was certainly distancing himself from the pack. To this day he still couldn’t force himself to mold into “the” group, which is why he told Roger to pull over the car not three minutes after they left the school, coincidentally right in front of his own house. Then with a certain air of satisfaction he stepped out of the vehicle to everyone’s surprise and waved goodbye. Baffled, Roger pulled away from his house with a roar and a thump and Jeremy hopped the labyrinth back to his bedroom where he could finally curl up in his sheets and unwind.

Maybe it was the Jack; he was a cheap drunk after all, or maybe it was that his last sleep could barely be classified as rest, but on his second try he felt as though he could sleep for days.

***

Eight hours later, Jeremy was once again awoken out of a dead sleep. The first time was thanks to the dream; this time was because his mom had walked into his room and ripped open the blinds. This was her not so peaceful way of telling Jeremy that it was now past noon and he’d better get up. Slowly he opened his eyes and watched his moms figure walk past his bed laughing, it was clear she enjoyed her job at times. Unfortunately for her he still wasn’t ready to get up and no matter how hard he tried to beat the devouring warmth of his bed he just sort of laid there, completely powerless but utterly content. It took a final re-entrance of his mother to move him, this time the smile was wiped off her face, replaced with a look of ire that said he’d better get his move on. “Its quarter past twelve Jeremy and if you don’t get up I’m going to drag you out of bed by your damn ears!” He mumbled an inaudible response to his mother who shook her head and left the room.

Slowly he rolled off his bed and onto the floor, blanket still half wrapped around his body. He rolled around a few times and then, with a previously concealed burst of energy he sprang to his feet. Perhaps it was because he had just remembered his dream and was eager to tell his mom, or perhaps it was the smell of bacon now filling his nostrils but he wasted no time on getting dressed and rushing downstairs. He only began to slow his pace as he made way for the kitchen, as if debating whether or not to tell his mom about the night before. Never being a very good decision maker he chose to tell her everything.
“Mornin’ mom.” he chirped in a perky tone.
“Well good afternoon, I was just cleaning up from lunch but I presume your more interested in breakfast…there is still some bacon and eggs in the oven.”
“Actually mom I’m more interested in talking.”
His mom gave a half hearted laugh; clearly not fooled by this joke. “You don’t want to talk to me Jeremy, the last time you wanted to talk had more to do with borrowing my car for the weekend than spending quality time with me.”
“No mom, I’m serious. I have something on my mind, I thought that maybe you’d like to hear it, maybe you could help me with it?”
“Oh?” said his mother, now quite taken back.
“Well, uh…” Jeremy pondered over how to present this information to his mom in a way that wouldn’t cause a most ill-tempered reaction. “You see if someone does something unbelievable once, the general reaction is to not believe them, but if they do something unbelievable twice then you have no choice but to take them seriously right?” Jeremy looked towards his mom, who it seemed had no idea about what he was talking about as evidenced by the confounded look on her face. He continued; “Well I think I did something unbelievable last year, I had a dream where I…I saw dad’s crash, and it was quite apparent that you didn’t believe me.” Once again Jeremy looked towards his mothers face, this time the look of bewilderment was wiped clean and she had an eyebrow raised, lips pursed. Jeremy took in a deep breath.
“Well I think I’ve done something unbelievable again, I had that very same dream again last night, and it was even th-.” His mother broke him off in mid sentence.
“No, no, no. We are NOT going to go down this road again. Last year was bad enough, it was straining on both of us and you know that, you know I don’t want to hear this, especially not today with it being the two year anniversary.”
“That’s exactly my point mom! It was the same night that it happened last year, not only was it the same night, but it was down to the exact minute. This can’t be a coincidence, the dreams were too similar, every single detail the same, even the parts that are missing from it. I know that you didn’t believe me last year, but believe me now mom, I wouldn’t want to put the same stress on us like last year all over again. I respect you…well I respect both of us far too much to let that happen again. Please believe me; I wouldn’t bring this up if I wasn’t dead serious.”
“Well it’s important to me that you drop this if you truly do respect me, and especially if you respect yourself.”

         The look she gave Jeremy was icily clear; she didn’t want to hear another word about his dream and he wasn’t exactly in the mood to bring on her wrath so he thought it would be best to leave it at that. Anyways, he was sure he would be able to think up a better way to get her to believe him.

With his mind being weighed down so heavily, Jeremy decided the house; especially with his mom now mad at him, was not the place to be this fine afternoon. First however, before he made any decisions he would need to put some food in his stomach, so he went to the oven and grabbed his late breakfast.

Sitting back down at the table, he pulled open the newspaper that lay before him. Skimming the headlines he saw nothing of real interest, not until he got to the business section and something caught his eye. Panning to the bottom right hand corner of the newspaper he saw a small announcement which he recognized immediately. On top was gold C & T lettering and on the bottom were the names Clein and Taylor. It was a very formal looking excerpt, a simple black advertisement that read in white lettering;
To honor those lives lost in the unfortunate events of two years ago to this date, Clein and Taylor would like to hold a private memorial in their names at the main office in Los Angeles at exactly four PM Sunday, please be there with time to spare.

Sincerely,
Robert Clein and Sydney Taylor

         He had remembered his mom talking about this and being the cynic she was, she thought it was mainly a publicity stunt done by the company. After all thirteen dead employees along with two pilots and a stewardess wasn’t reputable stuff, especially not when the whole incident occurred on their watch with their money. It had also seemed a little weird to Jeremy that they would wait two years to have this anniversary memorial, but apparently last year was “too soon”. At first he had been interested in checking the ceremony out, but after all of the rants his mom had about the subject he was quite quickly turned off.

All this was interesting to him for about a minute before he remembered how bored he was and how he had no plan of changing that, until suddenly he was hit with an idea. Quickly flipping to the entertainment section he scanned over the movies that were now playing. He found several worth going to, but was satisfied with choosing just one; a small independent film that had just opened in limited release. He rushed up to his bedroom, threw on a more presentable wardrobe and then grabbed his mom’s car keys. In the hallway going downstairs they crossed paths and he shouted a meaningless “goodbye” before leaving the house.

The California sun was out in full force today creating ripples on the pavement and beads of perspiration on the skin. The few people that actually dared to be out in their yards were being punished terribly for it, and most of them were looking for a safe haven of shade. Jeremy however didn’t need shade; he disarmed the alarm and jumped into his moms air conditioned Jetta. The leather seat shifted beneath him as he inserted the key. The car started smoothly and the air conditioning hit him in the face with an icy awakening. He backed the car out of the driveway and took off down the street.
© Copyright 2007 LostSouls (c-s-b at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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