Sunday, July 2, 2017

Land … Hmmmm

By Crystal Brewton

Josh Greene landed the helicopter at the gas station and got out.  He was approached by Chuck, the attendant.

“Refuel her, Chuck.”  Josh told him.  “Do the other birds have full tanks?”

Chuck nodded.  “Yes Sir and the reserves are full now.”  he reported.  “Good thing, since we might be cut off from the mainland for a bit, eh?”

Josh nodded as Chuck went about refueling the copters tank, ignoring the younger man as he called after him about the fact that his tank was almost empty.  It shouldn’t have been.

Walking back to the Alexandra Police Department, he checked in, not answering any questions.  He knew he was off duty, technically, but he also knew that his babysitter would not be expecting him.  Whatever had happened to them had knocked out everything … the Ferry had vanished, anything that wasn’t already hard wired into the island itself was disrupted.  He almost called out for Mert, but then realized that, even BEFORE the beginning of this disastrous summer she had retired and moved to the mainland with her husband.  The station felt so much … quieter … without her.  So he only told the cop at the desk that he would be stopping by the mayor’s house and then picking up his granddaughter and going home.  He paused before going through the door to tell him that, effective immediately, gas powered vehicles would be for emergency use only.

Even though he did not walk slowly, he did not run either.  But he also did not take one of the PD’s gas vehicles now that he had made the use of the vehicles emergency only.

Passing the Alexandria Fire Department, he looked through the window and into Hank Stanley’s office.  The Fire Chief was finishing up paperwork, by the look.  He had lost one of his firefighters - Jasmine.. And sighed before Josh knocked on his window and beckoned for him to join him.

Three minutes later, Hank did join him.  As they walked to the corner, Hank remained silent.  He knew his friend well.  The new Police Chief would speak when they got to the mayor’s house.

Mayor Adum Brate had been expecting them and invited them to sit on his back porch, where they could have a modicum of privacy during their meeting.

Drinking of the iced tea he was offered … the summer was suddenly a lot hotter than it HAD been before that quake … or whatever it was.  Josh looked between Hank and Adum, who he knew were waiting on his report on how he found the mainland.  He sighed deeply.

“It’s gone.”

Adum and Hank looked at him for a long moment, blinking in apparent confusion.  So he continued.

“I flew up to the ‘point of no return’, which is a hundred miles further than White Rock.”  he explained to them.  “Then I had to turn around and come back or go down in the water.”

Glasses halfway to mouths, both Adum and Hank froze, staring.

“That’s impossible.”  Hank Stanley declared.

“Maybe, but that’s what happened.”  Josh defended himself.

Adum inhaled deeply and sipped a bit to wet his mouth.  “If I didn’t know better I’d say you headed in the wrong direction.”  he sighed.  “But I know better.”

Josh sighed and looked out over Alexandra Inlet.  “Noone’s GPS works … no ones internet.  Only the hard land lines for LOCAL communication.”

Hank nodded.  “Well, maybe .. I don’t know … I don’t know WHAT to think,”

These three men were logical thinkers … but try and they might … it made no logical sense.

“Well, how about you and Lynch take the other two birds and check the water north and south.”  Adum finally ordered.  “And then you both fly west.  I really hope you find land ….”

So did Josh.

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