It’s a simmering morning in Boca Raton, Florida. The sky is bluer than the ocean – much bluer, in fact, as the Atlantic is about as green as Dallas Hinton’s gills when it comes to flying – the clouds are whiter than the yolkless fried egg Dallas had for breakfast, and the tarmac is the skillet upon which that egg was fried. Dallas and his uncle Darrel are walking towards the private aircraft together, but only one of them has luggage.
“Thanks for carrying my suitcases, Unc’,” Dallas says, trying to break the silence and distract himself from what he’s walking towards.
“Sure thing, kid. Sorry again that I’m making you fly alone. I just… uh, I don’t…” he sighs. “Well, I’ll be honest with ya, John: I just don’t want to go back to New Jersey. You see, I love myself, buddy, and New Jersey is the land of the self-haters. If you love yourself up there, you’ll just get pushed over and kicked when you’re down, because what right do you have to be happy when everybody else forces themselves to wallow in their own misery?”
“Uh… my name’s Dallas, Uncle Dee.”
“Oh right, John’s the one who died. Whoops!”
Dallas Hinton has only flown once in his twenty-one years on this planet, and that flight was the one that brought him down to Florida in the first place. He wasn’t of legal drinking age at the time and his parents were real sticklers about making Dallas sit through the three hours sober whilst they got blasted and talked shit about his Grandmother, whom they were on their way to visit. Little did Dallas know, his parents secretly made arrangements for them to permanently move in with his Grandma; the only reason Johnny didn’t come along was because he was still mourning over the loss of his friend George. The parentals saw George as a bad influence on their Johnny, and when their Johnny chose to be sad over his dead best friend rather than celebrating life in the present moment with his very alive parents, they decided to issue a little payback in the form of letting Johnny take care of himself. He’s a grown man with grown man feelings of his own, now, the mother Hinton slurred to Dallas on the flight to Boca. He can clearly take care of himself.
But Dallas wasn’t aware of his parents’ little plan, not until the third week of living under the golden umbrella of his loaded Grandmother. That’s not to say he was exactly unhappy about it, either – living in Treeburg got pretty lonely for Dallas when high school ended. Johnny was the only human Dallas really had to talk to, as most of his friend group split off for different corners of the country after graduation, but Johnny was usually busy with his own friends, anyway. Dallas didn’t have a lot of ambition, didn’t really have any plans for his life; so, when the Universe brought him to Florida and let him live on his Grandmother’s dime, he accepted it, just like he accepts everything else that’s handed to him. After a few years of it though, he’s grown tired. The well has dried up, so to speak, but not the well of the Hintons’ money – that well will never bottom out… until it does, anyway. But regardless, it’s the well of Dallas’s patience that’s gone empty, and now he’s off to find a new hole to dig.
When he first came down to Florida, Dallas thought the flight itself was the cause of his massive anxiety, nausea, and inability to sleep through the night, but the flight was only a few hours long. The flight happened over the course of hardly a quarter of a day and then ended; the trauma, however, only got worse as the clock ticked on and the days turned into weeks into months. Dallas now understands it’s his family that’s the problem, and so he’s going back to Jersey by himself to get away for a little while and pay his respects at the grave of his late older brother. Little does the rest of the Hinton clan know, Dallas isn’t planning on coming back, but they can figure that out for themselves after three weeks or so. They’re grown men and women, after all, and they can take care of themselves. Clearly.
The jet, a Citation CJ4 with a shining white body and deep streaks of navy rising from its belly and running from its nose to the base of its tail, is all prepped and ready to go; all it needs is its single passenger. The pilot takes the luggage from Darrel Hinton and climbs into his flying tube, giving the man a moment to pass some knowledge on to his sister’s only living child. He wraps a sweaty arm around Dallas’s shoulder and walks him a few steps away from the airplane.
“Listen buddy, I know you can’t stand flyin’, I know it makes you wet your pants or whatever, but trust me: it ain’t that bad. I was originally plannin’ on comin’ back with ya, as you well know, but… well, plans change. I figure, since I’m down here, I might as well spend some time in my Mom’s mansion with my sister and her boyfriend,” he says, referring to Dallas’s father in the same way he usually does: jealously. “You can drive, right Dally? Well, regardless, my car’ll be waiting at the airport for ya, so just don’t crash it and you’ll be fine. Here, I got somethin’ for ya, too.” With his free hand, Darrel slips a bundle of plastic into Dallas’s pocket – deep into Dallas’s pocket, like, a bit too deep for comfort. “Don’t you open that ‘til you’re up in the air, and don’t let the pilot see it. I don’t trust his face, his hair looks like a mane for God’s sake.”
With that, Uncle Darry abruptly walks away with a skip in his step. Dallas just shakes his head. When he turns around, he sees the pilot standing at the top of the plane’s steps.
“Sorry, my Uncle uh… wanted to say goodbye.”
“It’s all good, Dallas,” the pilot says with an easy smile. “I’ve worked for your family for a long time, I know how they are. You all ready to go?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Dallas says. The pilot ducks inside the jet and Dallas climbs up the stairs, then looks back at Boca Raton one more time before ducking in and leaving it behind him.
Hello Commons, this has been the first subchapter of the fourteenth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~