Sunday, 6 May 2012

Fiction Installment #20: (Part II, Ch 1, Jake) "Kerplunk" con't

  The men drove away from the flat, overgrown town and ascended a long-haul hill on the black ribbon of highway leading south. Jake was pleased that the location matched the photo slideshow Nicos had emailed. “Dehydrated as a mummy,” he’d written. It was an apt description and a surprise considering the valley’s pooling lake water: from the shoulder of the asphalt all the way to the tops of the blunt-edged mountains, the austere terrain was devoid of green—sun-blasted grass patches, low scrappy brown-leaf bush clusters, rusty scars of raw rock, no shade anywhere. A bitch to work in, he could tell, but it would be a perfect stand-in for eastern Mediterranean desert.
   “Are there snakes out there?” Jake asked.
   “Probably. Looks like it. I’ll check into it if you want.”
   “I would. Snake bites, crap, those would be a headache.”
   “I’ll say.” Nicos tugged at a cigarette package in a pocket of the plaid cowboy shirt bunched on the seat.
   “That’s not going to happen while I’m in the vehicle,” Jake said, deciding that They’ll stunt your growth tipped the scale and was only plain cruelty dressed up as guy banter. 
   “Right, I forgot. Gotcha.”
   Jake stared out the window. In this blistering heat, a swimming pool might be the best part of the day.  “Let’s go directly to the office. I’d like to check in with Lora. I’ll give her a call now, tell her to update them on my check in time.” 
   “No problem. We’ll be there in 20. That was Kaleden by the way.”
   “That fruit stand we passed a couple of minutes back, that was Kaleden. Next stop, Bridal Falls. No, make that Okanagan Falls. I heard there’s tourist traps there, a Foamhenge and something called Mystery Manor, but saw a grand total of nada.”
   Jake slid a finger across the surface of his phone.

[That's the conclusion of Chapter 1, Part II. Twenty-one chapters to go.]

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