Posts Tagged ‘interactive story’

June Bugs, Part 8

[Read first installment here]
[Read second installment here]
[Read third installment here]
[Read fourth installment here]
[Read fifth installment here]
[Read sixth installment here]
[Read seventh installment here]

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Bridget’s wails only concluded when she came to stand alongside the now deflated boat. Leaping onto the rubbery plastic which pooled at her feet like puddles and acted as if it were quicksand, she neared him enough to determine he still had breath. Once assured, she gave way to the incoming emergency personnel.

“Be careful,” she hollered at the female firefighter who’d begun trudging over the plastic. The woman didn’t seem to hear her. Seeing Jake, Bridget ran straight at him. “You all need to be very careful. You’ll kill him trying to rescue him!”

“What are you talking about?”

“The boat, Chuck, landed on that damned spiny palm!”

“Jesus,” Jake breathed as he raced away towards the scene. A  few more personnel joined him in the race while the remainder of the crews were finally making progress with the fire. Just in time, too. Any further, any higher, and the deadened branches above would have surely caught fire.

Bridget shook her head and turned her attention back on her beloved.

“Abbey! Don’t!” Jake screamed.

As much as she wanted to close her eyes, Bridget couldn’t. So she offered her prayer up while watching the devil dance in the balance.

“You’d never guess what I had to take care of this morning,” Chuck yanked off his work gloves and kicked off his boots before entering the kitchen where Bridget had a tall glass of iced tea already waiting.

“Something to do with that cursed palm?” She knew that was one of several things he planned on doing that morning. He hated pruning that tree and came to detest the previous owners because they planted it. More times than she could count he’d come in from the task bleeding out of numerous puncture holes dotting his body. Enough so that this time she made him wear a cup and his Kevlar vest to protect his most vital areas. The last time came far too close to the family jewels. Of course Jake chuckled  about that saying that it if it had actually happened, they could go into business performing vasectomies and call it the Natural Vasectomy. Until, of course, Chuck pointed out that given Jake’s playboy behavior, he ought to be their very first customer.

“Yep. Go on, love, guess.”

Her eyes searched his body looking for any signs of injury. Surprisingly she found none. Or rather, worrisomely. Before making any attempt to guess, she peered out the window towards the palm. Oh why couldn’t they just tear it out and be done with it? She nearly said that when it occurred to her that Chuck would take it to task and they’d lose the entire house. Knowing him, he’d plant a ton or so of TNT underneath the cursed thing and kaboom. No more house. Maybe even no more Chuck. She slammed her eyes shut and swallowed.

“I have no idea,” she turned back to face her husband who was in the process of grooming his mustache with the spread of his fingers.

“No, no. That’s not how this goes, love. Three guesses.”

“Fine. You found a nest of rats, a beehive, yellow-jackets.” She doubted it was any of the aforementioned simply because they’d had all of the above. Odds were that he wouldn’t be having her guess if that’s what was found.

That devilish twinkle in his eyes lit up his face as he shook his head. “Raccoons,” he then said. “But that’s not the half of it. They were all dead. Skewered like they were about to go on the barbecue. Two clean through. I think the others might have been attempting to help.”

“What? That’s impossible. How could that even have happened?”

“From the looks of it, a family of five were out and about for a midnight ransack and two of the adolescents lost their grip on the neighboring oak. I’m guessing that one was DOA and the other struggled for a bit, probably crying out which prompted the other three to jump to the rescue.” He certainly had the skills and making to be a wonderful homicide detective.

“That’s sad. Incredibly sad.”

“I agree, love,” he said as he pulled her into his arms.

She began crying when she imagined finding him in a similar pose, his body skewered at the ends of those needled branches.

“What is it, Bridge?”

“Promise me that from here on out we hire an arborist or a gardener to handle that damned thing. I couldn’t bear the thought of you becoming its next victim.”

Thankfully he agreed and come every February and September, Bert’s Trees comes by and trims it up nicely.  It’s an all-day task and quite expensive seeing that they had to buy special tools to manage it properly. Worth every penny as far as Bridget’s concerned.

“It’s all right, Bridge.” The sound of Jake’s voice tore her from the memories. “He got very lucky. It looks like the thickness of the boat combined with the bag his parachute was in, the jacket he wore, and the carcass of a possum worked collectively to save him from serious injury.”

“An opossum?” Bridget’s head got stuck on the imagery.

“Never mind that. Let’s get you into the ambulance and off to the hospital. He broke a few bones, but nothing life-threatening.”

Bridget only heard about half of that. Because right then, another explosion tore through the night. A rapid succession of bangs, pops, and whistles. Up in the sky, the fireworks wrote out a message. Bridget was still wondering how he managed to get them to write in the sky when Jake grabbed her up and carried her to the waiting ambulance.

Chuck was conscious though maybe not very lucid by the time she reached his side. She leaned over him and kissed his cheek, whispering, “I love you, too, you big dummy.”

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The Adventures of Jake and Chuck is an interactive (meaning that you can jump in and add your own take on the story by leaving a comment), never-ending story about the crazy hijinks partners on the Winslow police force seem to get themselves into on a fairly regular basis. Find their newest adventure posted here weekly (subscribe now so you don’t miss another exciting episode).

As always, ratings, likes, and comments are much appreciated and help fuel the muse!

 

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June Bugs (7)

[Read installment 1]
[Read installment 2]
[Read installment 3]
[Read installment 4]
[Read installment 5]
[Read installment 6]

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“Put on the damned belt,” Abbey screamed up the ladder towards the bucket, her hands swiftly moving over the controls at the base of the apparatus.

Much to her disbelief, Jake did put on the belt and grabbed ahold of the railing. Without a moment to lose, Abbey raised the ladder and bucket up high enough to clear the top of the engine and then pivoted the entire contraption towards the right in the direction of the sputtering helicopter.

“Back it off!” Jake screamed. She didn’t hesitate. She lowered the boom and reversed the direction while her brain questioned why. In a beat, she understood. Chuck had jumped.

He had a pack secured to his back. Presumably a parachute. The only trouble with that: he didn’t have the height or the wind speed to make his landing. She bit hard into her lower lip and swung the bucket back, jostling Jake like a Szechuan stir fry. Lucky for him he hadn’t just gone through the motions of securing himself. The belt kept him in place and earned him a few points in his favor.

One of the chiefs headed her way while shouting something unintelligible. Probably telling her to stand down and that as soon as this was over, she could head straight to the unemployment line. But Chuck wasn’t going to die. Not on her watch. So she ignored the chief and kept her focus on navigating the bucket to where she hoped Chuck would land.

Nothing prepared any of them for what would happen next. The thunderous clap shook the earth below them, sending out a strong fiery gust of wind that blew Chuck off course as a cannonball of fire chased after him. Her reaction was perfectly in sync. The bucket followed the redirection as smooth as she could ask of it. Once again, Jake wobbled but remained in place, his arms outstretched and ready to catch Chuck. Except the odds were his arms would be broken if not sheered off completely. Chuck’s weight combined with the natural pull of gravity coupled with the force of the explosion meant the chuck wagon barbecue would now become a shish-ka-bob, the two men skewered by limbs and apparatus.

“Back it off!” The chief screamed while motioning towards the firefighters who followed. “Get out the boat,” he commanded.

Boat? And then it clicked.

At the start of their tour, Price–the head of the swift water rescue team–had shoved an enormous box onto the back of the rig in preparation for an upcoming drill. The team’s newest addition. An instant blow-up “boat”. She’d seen the prototype in action. All of them had. Sadly the sales rep, his second day on the job, had failed to put on his show in a space large enough. He proudly pulled the boat out of the box and then pulled the rip cord. Bah-bam! Every last inch of the bay was nothing but boat. The force, so strong, it broke Jerry’s leg as if it were a dried up twig. The city retired him out a week after the doctors determined he wasn’t fit for duty.

The engine’s motor groaned in protest along with Jake as she re-centered the bucket over the roof of the apparatus. Meanwhile, Chuck was blowing past at the speed of a comet.

What felt like minutes yet was mere seconds finally came to an end. Two sounds ripped through the night. First the whapabam and then the thud.

“Chuck!” Jake screamed from halfway down the ladder while continuing to race towards the bottom. “Chuck, man, talk to me! Are you okay? Are you alive?”

Abbey stepped back away from the engine to get a better look. Her heart shot down into the earth through her boots. Somewhere behind her she heard the wails of Bridget.


The Adventures of Jake & Chuck is a weekly installment of an interactive (you, the reader, get to participate by adding your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below) never-ending story. Be sure to sign up and receive notifications of the newest release or follow Kathie on Twitter (@kathieblog) where announcements are also published.

Ratings/likes and comments are always appreciated and fuel the muse.

June Bugs (Part 5)

[Read first installment here]
[Read second installment here]
[Read third installment here]
[Read fourth installment here]

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Abbey scouted the sky for the helicopter as she climbed up on the back of the rig. The engine idled under her feet, vibrating up through her boots into her spine. Hand on the railing, she moved up towards the bucket, eyes still on the sky. She’d located the whirlybird and wasn’t about to let it out of her sight a second time if it could be helped.

“Do you think he’ll be able to see us?” Jake screamed at her over the commotion below. She gritted her teeth and plunged forward. It was an idiotic idea. Why she ever agreed to do this was beyond her. She should have walked away. Should have gone straight to the chief. But no. There she was, moving towards the bucket and closer to the end of her career. If this worked, she might be promoted. If it didn’t, she’d be collecting unemployment by the day’s end.

Did she do it because she still felt something for Jake? No. Hell no. What he did to her was reprehensible. He could be the last man on earth, she could be the last woman on earth, and that wouldn’t matter. She’d rather let mankind die out than ever let him touch her again.

Not that he was bad as a lover. Far from it. Even now under the weight of her turnouts, the oxygen tank, the memory of his hands on her body threatened to undermine her resolve. Dear Lord. Why hadn’t anyone warned her about him? But she couldn’t put that on her brethren. She had to take the fall on her own for not paying attention to the signs, to the flags that he flew. Who were they to say, “you know he’s a player, right?”. How were they to know she was in it for the end game?

She’d arrived at the bucket. Wrapped the straps into place and hooked them properly. All the while, she kept her eye on the whirlybird. What the hell was he doing up there?

“Belts on,” she ordered Jake once he arrived in the bucket. She’d moved into place at the control panel.

“I’m good,” he said a moment later.

She risked it by glancing over at him. He stared back at her with a challenge in his eyes. He hadn’t secured himself.

“We’re not going up until you’re secured.”

“I’ve got perfect balance. I’ll be fine. Abbey, we don’t have time for this, just get us up in the air.”

She said nothing. Just stared at him. Screw the copter. Screw Jake. Screw this whole fiasco.

“Abbey, come on!”

She grabbed up the belts and thrust them at him. He didn’t take them. Abbey dropped them back into place. Unhooked her own from the railing. Pushed past him. Kept on going back towards the rear of the apparatus.

Yes, it was a good plan. Yes, it might have worked. Yes, they might be saving lives by doing this. But this was one too many risks.

She was fully determined to leave and head right straight over to the chief, but then the helicopter swooped low. The engine sputtered. The machine hovered as if frozen in place. And then it lifted straight up and kept climbing higher and higher. In that brief moment, she caught sight of Chuck’s face from inside the helicopter. A look that was more horrifying than anything else happening at that moment. If someone didn’t do something, that poor man was going to die.

——

Jake and Chuck’s Adventures is an interactive never-ending story. Chime in and take their capers to a whole new level with your own bizarre twist! Leave the idea in the comments below and then check back later to see where the adventure heads (note that these posts are written weeks ahead in advance, so it might take a while before your ideas are incorporated).