Thursday, December 6, 2007

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

XV
The following morning, John woke up to find Bill pushing a trash-filled wheelbarrow around the room in circles. Wondering briefly where the wheelbarrow had come from, John sat up with a start, realizing where he was and why he was there.

“Oh cool, you’re awake! Flapjack the Ghost says that as long as you’re here, I can stop pushing the wheelbarrow!” said Bill, coming to a stop.

John blinked, rubbed his eyes, and stood up, walking over to the door. Right as he prepared to knock on it, it swung open: Sanchez was there.

“Good morning, Mr. Morgan. We have much to discuss,” said Sanchez, dressed in the same outfit he’d worn the previous day. “Come into my office.”

“We’re already here,” replied John.

“So we are,” Sanchez replied, walking over to his desk and sitting down. “Now, as you know, Shamus chose to send you here for hiding. Due to some recent developments, this is unfortunately no longer possible. It turns out that Josiah already knows you are here, and soon his men will find you.”

“What?! How could we have been found so quickly?” John demanded.

“I do not know,” answered Sanchez. “He could have found out any number of ways; it would be useless to try to pinpoint any one.”

Suddenly, John had an idea. He quickly fumbled through his coat pockets until he found what he was looking for: Captain Arousing’s business card. Holding it up to the single light illuminating Sanchez’s office, he read it:


Captain Arousing

Pilot – Josiah Malum’s Spy – Exotic Dancer


“Damn!” he yelled. “I should’ve read this thing when I first got it! And then killed Captain Arousing! How could I have been so foolish? I’m the last person who should be foolish, what with my extraordinary intelligence!”

“What is done, is done. Dwelling on the past, on your regrets, will amount to nothing. The crucial matter at hand is that you are no longer safe here. You must leave,” said Sanchez, calm despite their situation.

“Where do we have to go?” asked Bill. “Cause Flapjack says I can’t –”

“To hell with Flapjack!” interrupted John, causing Bill to cry. “We’ll go anywhere you tell us, as long as we can help fight Josiah Malum.”

“Very well. You must travel to Antarctica. Buried somewhere there is a valuable treasure: the legendary Red Herring. Josiah Malum has been searching for it for years; we do not know why,” said Sanchez. “If you manage to find it before he does, we will no doubt hold the key to thwarting him.”

“We’ll do it,” said John, resolved to take vengeance on Josiah and his men in any way possible. “We’ll do whatever it takes.”

“Excellent. You will face many dangers on this quest, but I am certain that devoting all our attention to the Red Herring is the wisest possible decision,” said Sanchez.

“I ate herring once,” said Bill. “I ate so much I threw up all over Mom’s new shoes that I was smelling. I love the smell of new shoes! And whiteout. Mom doesn’t buy me whiteout anymore. She says I should just stop making mistakes. She says that she hasn’t made one since my conception, whatever that means.”

Then Bill started looking for his wheelbarrow, which he thought was missing but was really right behind him.

Sanchez and John both cast a condescending glance at Bill before returning to each other. John was visibly nervous, Sanchez calm. He was the first to speak.

“Then it is decided: you shall leave tomorrow. I’ll stay here and sleep in…maybe get a taco for lunch…go bowling or something…yes, that sounds good.”

John suddenly realized something. “But I don’t see how we could possibly get to Antarctica. We don’t have a plane or anything.”

1 comment:

Sandra said...

The Red Herring? I see... the all important Red Herring... It must be found! Full speed ahead!