Home – Under the Hood: TIoJK (44/44)

Electric hands with pins and needles for fingers plunge into Jonathan Knox’s purged brain, surging him lividly back into consciousness. The sensation of burning ice floods through his body, down his arms to the tips of his fingers, through his internal organs and into his legs, finally stopping in his toes. He is awake, but his eyes do not open. Not yet. Not until the slimy hands release their hold on his head.

Gold – Under the Hood: TIoJK (43/44)

Warm golden rays melt the sleep from Sarah’s eyes, her lids fluttering open like the fragile wings of a butterfly just crawling out of its cocoon. She finds herself in the passenger seat of the smart car, the wheels still rolling along, the one who calls himself Al Sharpton still behind the wheel. All seems well, but…

Jim – Under the Hood: TIoJK (41/44)

The second, then third, then fourth, then fifth gunshots do not break Jim Hubert from his trance at the edge of the police dock. Neither does the sixth, nor would a seventh. Jim Hubert’s staring up at the sky, watching that big red blob called Rock get bigger and bigger until it’s about the size of a cantaloupe above the relative watermelon that is the police boat. Jim Hubert watches Rock fell into the water, obliterating the police boat and everything on it into a hailstorm of debris which flies to every corner of the lake’s shore.

Hope – Under the Hood: TIoJK (38/44)

“Well Sarah, I suppose you might be wondering what’s go’n’a happen to you when we get out to the middle of the lake.” The boat left the police dock a few moments ago. Maxwell flips the red’n’blues back on, then turns his face towards the petrified Earthen girl standing with her back against the closed cabin door. “It’s all right, I had Officer Hubert stay back on dry land. You’re safe out here.”

Chalak – Under the Hood: TIoJK (37/44)

Heeding his Gran–… Chief’s words, Jim Hubert stays put in the middle of the parking lot until the red’n’blues give the lake a second’s reprieve from their pollutive flashing. Then, walking slowly with his shoulders slumped and his hands buried like corpses in his pockets, Jim drags his feet to the main dock and leans against a pole.

A Little Chat – Under the Hood: TIoJK (36/44)

The Fellers’ drive through the center of Wuester to the public docks of Atacama Lake is, on the whole, a periless voyage, neither slowed nor interrupted once, not even by a car turning off Cannonball Road before the dirty cops make their own turn. The only peril which occurs does so inside the van; the grown men fart, belch, sweat, and occasionally mutter to themselves the whole ride. Not a single coherent word is spoken and Sarah Hammond is forced against her will to bathe in that verbal silence, to simmer in that soupy stew of odors and noises even after Chief Maxwell parks and sends Vern VanDunk to scope the place out and make sure the boat is ready to go.