Posts Tagged ‘weekly’

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 (Part 6)

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

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Chuck was going to die. There wasn’t another way around this. The engine had sputtered. An array of lights flickered across the control panel. An alarm rang. This was it. The only thing left for him to do–other than be graceful in his death–was to steer clear of the commotion below and preserve the lives of the valiant men and women.

“God save the queen!” he declared. Which, to anyone in the know, meant Bridget, his queen. His bride. His life.

He threw his weight to the left and sent the Mosquito Lite into a tailspin. Instinctively he maneuvered the controls down which meant that the machine itself was supposed to go up. Only it didn’t. Chuck was going to be sick. Could feel the acidic burn roaring up his windpipe. Clenching his teeth, his lips, he blew air out his nose. The burn seared his nose hairs. Caused his eyes to tear.

June of 2000. Three months after he married Bridget. Two years before they bought this estate. The couple lived in a single bedroom apartment in Red Bluff. He worked as a deputy. Bridget, at the time, worked as a sketch artist for the justice system, traveling up and down I-5 as needed. She worked a big case out of Lodi. He had doubles for the next two days. If it weren’t for the work, he’d have gone mad being away from his true love for so long.

The day before she returned, his only day off for the next five, he spent it preparing something special. Something exquisite. Something to herald his wife’s return. Make it that much more special. Show her how much he missed her. How much he appreciated her. How much he loved her. Money was no object. But then again, it was.

He stopped by to visit his pal, Oscar, who at the time owned his own shop. There, Oscar customized vehicles. His specialty, the hot dog mobile as he called them. The shop, therefore, was appropriately known as Oscar’s Wieners. Oscar was all ears when Chuck told his woebegone story. As he lamented, Oscar came up with an idea.
For the next eight hours the two worked arduously. And while Bridget started her trek home, they took their creation over to the apartment complex and hoisted it up on the rooftop of the four-story building. They didn’t have time for a test run. On Oscar’s way out he slapped Chuck on the back and said, “Well it’s do or die, buddy. Good luck.”

Chuck sat inside the thing for over an hour, his field glasses trained on the main road. When he saw Bridget’s dark blue Taurus rumbling his way, he readied himself. Threw his entire weight into pushing the wiener glider off the ledge. It swooped and soared. Caught the wind as it should. Pulls to the levers allowed him to guide it down over the roadway as the banner unfurled in his wake.

Except he got giddy. He’d seen Bridget look up. Saw the recognition on her face. Saw her beam. It’s what he didn’t see that got him into trouble.

He managed to avert the glider before crashing into the flagpole. However, the directional change he created in the wind current sent the banner whipping towards the pole. The eddies churned and once the banner’s tail slipped around the pole, it began winding itself. The glider yanked back against the pull of the banner.
Without an engine, his simplistic controls were worthless. The glider lost its momentum and began plummeting to earth. He may have screamed while he tried to push-off the bubble cover–which didn’t budge. He definitely screamed when he used his fist to hammer at the plexiglass–which didn’t budge.

That stupid joke about the last thing that goes through a bugs head popped into his own head. The punchline: his ass. Chuck thought for certain that he’d know first hand how that bug felt. And just when the earth came into view by a microcosm instead of generalized shapes, the wiener glider yanked back. It was like a giant hand came down and plucked him out of the air. The glider shot back up.

Dear lord, he might have said out loud. He knew what would come next. As soon as the glider lost momentum, it would shoot straight back down. Any chance of Bridget recovering his body was lost. He hoped she had a big enough soup tureen.

An ear popping whistle accompanied the return descent. When retelling the story, he would leave out the part about him sobbing as he slammed his eyes shut. Usually he said he faced death like a real Jedi. Eyes wide open. Beating his chest. Come at me bro! being his war cry.

The silence and stillness begged of him to open his eyes. When he did, he found himself staring at Bridget’s face. She had tears running down it, her mascara like deadly rivers trailing down her cheeks. With her, a crowbar. She wedged it in and pried off the bubble of plexiglass. Two seconds later both heard a horrific tearing noise. The banner had given out. The same banner that now hangs in their living room. The one with the heart ripped in half. “No, we never split up,” Bridget would explain when guests asked. “But in the seconds before that happened, I thought for sure my heart was going to break into a thousand little pieces.”

He couldn’t do that again to Bridget. He couldn’t break her heart again like before. And he wouldn’t. Because this time he had a back-up plan.

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Jake & Chuck’s Adventures is a weekly interactive never-ending story. You, the reader, can chime in at any time and leave ideas on where you want to see the story headed in the next issue. Make sure you sign up to be notified of when the next installment comes.

As always, votes and likes are appreciated!

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.

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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).

 

 

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Jake and Chuck’s Adventures is something new to this site, but not new to me. The characters were developed eons ago, intended to be spear carriers–characters that got the reader from point A to point B in the book. Partners with Winslow Police Department with some colorful dialogue providing a bit of comic relief. But Jake was having none of that. And Chuck? Well, he came along for the ride–begrudgingly.

Several years back a short story was born featuring Jake and Chuck. The pair was required to attend Weapons of Mass Destruction training and elected to go to a class held in Nevada just outside of Vegas. They were tasked with building their own bomb on the final day of class. Being Jake and Chuck, they wanted to make the biggest bang they could. And being Jake and Chuck, all kinds of mayhem ensued.

Since then, Jake and Chuck have taken a backseat. That lasted only so long. And now they’re back behind the wheel, inviting readers to follow them on a slew of their wild adventures–and inviting the readers to become active participants!

Here’s your opportunity to lead the pair into catastrophe or help them out of a pickle. When you finish reading an installment, rate the story and then add in the comment section what you’d like to see happen next. It’ll be completely up to the duo as to whether they follow your lead–one thing I’ve learned, I have no control over these two. And who knows? Maybe the ideas will bear an entirely new storyline and new characters. So have at it and leave those suggestions!