This week provides the final chapter in Hybrids, which means the free downloads are now available! You can click here to jump straight to the story's page and grab an ebook of Hybrids, or you can click on Short Stories in the page menu above to navigate there. (Also checking out the other completed stories on your way!)
I didn't get any writing done this week. Anxiety and generally being busy ate up most of my available writing time, with re-reading some of my favorite books a very nice distraction away from any other hours I might have been productive. Regrets about it? Ha! No. I was a walking ball of anxiety all week due to a few major stressors popping up on Sunday and Monday and the wonderful escapism of reading is a balm to my frazzled brain cells.
Wouldn't it be great if anxiety monsters could actually be smacked down with logic weapons and buried under reality-based argument boulders so they can't escape? I suppose the down side of having anxiety monsters as physical things which can be attacked is that those of us fighting them would have to see what they look like. Then again, everyone in the "have you tried not being worried?" crowd would see the monsters, too... wonder how many of that crowd would still ask that question with physical beasties slinking around after friends and family members.
Time to shake off that thought before it takes root. I have enough stories trapped in my head without time to write them right now lol. Today is so far a good day. Fingers crossed for good luck I didn't jinx it by writing that... (Hurriedly knocks on wood to counter any jinxing that may occur.) I hope you stay safe and well this weekend!
Ray gave Fuggy one more hug and then got into the car waiting to drive the retired General to the airport he would leave by. Nate was still talking and laughing with Lex and a few of the other teens not far away, but that wasn’t a problem as Nate’s transportation hadn’t arrived yet. Jerry shook hands with Kaff and then Fuggy before Neah surprised him with a hug. Jerry returned the quick squeeze, grinning and shaking his head at how she was being sentimental. Neah stepped back and Jerry smiled at all three of the living experiments in front of him.
After blowing up the base, they’d been picked up by an air transport and taken to a military hospital to be treated for radiation sickness, thankfully without anyone getting ill from exposure. The carriers’ armor had shielded them from the worst of the fallout. Ray, Nate and Jerry had been brought with the teens into their new facility after treatments, and this base had much better security.
The debriefing took weeks of interviews and reports and paperwork… Jerry was sick of staring at the laptop he’d been given to work on by the time the Three Geezers (as the teens now called them) were cleared to leave.
The bombing was reported to the public as a military test. No civilians were killed accidentally so the incident barely made the news. Fuggy and Kaff were working with the team investigating where the mercenaries had come from and how they’d infiltrated the Arizona facility. Neah and Lex were on the team looking for the Professor. His blood had been found in one of the crashed vehicles furthest from the explosion’s epicenter, but his body hadn’t been recovered at the end of the trail away from the vehicle.
“You kids don’t forget to do your homework,” Jerry teased. All three of them rolled their eyes at the now familiar teasing. “It’s a ten o’clock bedtime, lights out by ten thirty. Eat your vegetables, and –”
“No dessert after nine o’clock,” they all said in unison. Their voices were as nasal and whiny as possible while they were laughing.
“We’ll see you around, Geezer,” Neah said. She was smiling as he got into the waiting car.
“I’d like that, but I doubt it,” Jerry replied. He closed the door and waved through the window. They all waved to him, watching as the car drove out of the parking bay. None of the Three Geezers were allowed to travel together.
The drive up to the surface was long and winding. The tunnel was brightly lit and the view of mountains once outside was beautiful. The driver handed Jerry an envelope holding his needed identification and the plane ticket for the flight home. Jerry had never heard of the town he was flying out of, but he’d been lots of places he’d never heard of before going to them.
“How long is the drive to the airport?” Jerry asked the driver.
“About an hour,” the man in a suit replied. Jerry sat back and settled in for the trip. The day was sunny and the view was beautiful. He stared out the window, not seeing anything. He was going home to his small apartment, where he lived alone. Being single his entire life hadn’t bothered him until right now. He’d already started missing the kids he’d lived with for the past two months.
The airport was tiny. Its control tower was so small it made the two eighteen-seat planes on the ground appear large. Jerry checked his single suitcase and went through security in less than half an hour. There was still over an hour until his flight boarded. He was debating a walk across the single gate’s sitting area to the coffee machine when Neah’s favorite song began playing beside him. Jerry was the only one sitting in this row of seats. His jacket pocket vibrated.
“What the hell…?” he said. He slapped at the pocket to confirm that it did, in fact, have a phone in it. But he hadn’t been issued a phone before leaving the base…? He took it out and stared at the bright pink case and black screen that only showed ‘answer’ and ‘decline’ options without showing a phone number. He tapped the answer button.
“Do you have any idea how hard it was to get that in your pocket without the security cameras seeing me? And how much it personally hurt me to use the last of my nail polish so the case looked nice?” Neah whispered before he could say anything. “Kaff and I were planning this for more than a week, and I’m going to be sad for this entire whole week coming up,” she added.
Jerry chuckled, shaking his head, and didn’t say anything.
“Talk to you soon, Geezer. And don’t worry, we’ll see you again,” she whispered. The call disconnected with a click.
“Screwball kids,” Jerry said. He was still chuckling when he dropped the phone back into his jacket pocket.
He looked out the window, smiling, and watched the small town ground crew’s antics and activities around the planes. After a moment, he tapped the phone in his pocket and chuckled again. The view out these windows really was spectacular, and he decided it would be better enjoyed with a nice coffee.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!