When Dallas opens his eyes, the plane is no longer moving. He’s belted into his seat, a stream of dried drool is crusted to his cheek, and his head feels all kinds of fuzzy, but fuzzy in a good way. It’s like someone ran a feather duster through his brain and cleared out some nasty old cobwebs, cobwebs which haven’t been inhabited by spiders since before Dallas got dragged through the clouds to Boca Raton with his folks. He looks over his shoulder and sees into the cockpit – it’s empty. Dallas is alone on the plane.
‘Huh, I guess I was dreaming,’ Dallas thinks to himself as he unbuckles. ‘There’s not even a door up there, how did I not notice that when we took off?’
As he’s stretching his stiff back, Dallas hears footsteps behind him. He turns just in time to see the pilot boarding the plane. “Ah, hello Dallas. Ready to take off?”
“What?!” Dallas says, his facial expression dropping as fast as the pitch of his voice rises.
The pilot grins the most dastardly, toothy of grimaces. “Only messing with you, Dallas. You slept straight through the landing, so I figured I’d take care of the formalities inside and get your luggage and whatnot into the car before I woke you up. You’re all set to go.”
“Oh. Word. Thanks, Mister… uh, what’s your name?”
The pilot says, “You can call me Mister Kyng,” then drops a wink and sits back down in the cockpit.
Dallas thanks Mister Kyng, then exits the Citation and walks off the runway without going through the airport, as the pilot took care of all the formalities for him. He finds his uncle’s car waiting for him in the long-term parking area and climbs in, thanking God it’s not a manual.
A long stretch of gradual downhill road takes Dallas through the forest to County Road 511. He takes this first leg of the drive slowly so he can take in just how green everything is up here in north Jersey. It’s literally a rain forest; well, not literally, as it’s not raining and these woods aren’t quite as impassable as a jungle, as far as Dallas remembers, but still, compared to the golf courses and ocean views of Boca, north Jersey may as well be a different continent.
The drive down the county road is much faster, as the other Jersians on the road with Dallas threaten to rear-end him through the guardrails if he doesn’t drive at least ten over the speed limit, but that’s fine. He’ll have plenty of time to reacquaint himself with the area after he’s found his brother’s bat dagger.
“Wait, am I really gonna go looking for that thing? That was just a dream… wasn’t it?”
Maybe, or maybe not; still, he was planning on going to the old house anyway, so he might as well look. Even if he doesn’t end up putting the dagger behind his brother’s gravestone – if he finds it, and that’s a big if – it would be a nice little memento to have.
Dallas was planning on stopping for a quick walk across the Monksville Dam before heading over to the old house on Fricker Drive, but the moment he turns off the county road, dark clouds move in from the south and the air temperature drops ten degrees. It appears as if a storm is coming – to avoid setting himself up to be struck by lightning on his first day home, Dallas keeps driving. The rain starts a minute later when he turns on to Fricker Drive and matures into a torrential downpour when he pulls into his old driveway, which is empty.
‘Huh, I guess the owners aren’t home. Looks like I’m breaking in, then. Hope they don’t have any security.’
Having missed out on feeling the rain on his skin for the past handful of years (nobody living in the Hinton Boca compound was allowed outside during inclement weather, because what do they need to go outside for? There’s an indoor pool, a movie theater, a bowling alley, I own a greenhouse the size of your parents’ old house for Christ’s sake, Dallas! Why do you want to leave your poor Gram’ma to suffer the pain of her arthritis all by herself?), Dallas gets out and walks calmly through the refreshing storm to the front steps. The front door is locked, but the new owner never got rid of the spare key his parents kept under the mat, probably because his parents never told the new owner about it in the first place. One man’s inconvenience is another man’s convenience, what more is there to say?
Dallas tries the spare key. It doesn’t work. ‘Fuck. I guess I’m going around back.’
Around back, between the old turquoise deck and the kitchen, is a sliding glass door with a faulty lock – if one works the door with enough determination, the lock will loosen and the door will open just wide enough so something skinny (like a spare house key, for instance) can fit into the gap between the door and the catch, thus allowing a burglar the opportunity to get in without breaking any windows. Dallas is no burglar, neither potentially nor actually, and though he successfully breaks in to his old house, he makes one mistake that no self-respecting burglar would make: he triggers the silent alarm which is advertised by the stickers in the corners of the front windows of the house, the very stickers he didn’t notice because of how feverishly the stormy sky is wetting the Earth. Oh well, what you don’t know can’t hurt you, right?
Hello Commons, this has been the fourth 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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Be well Commons~