Author: Fribe PM
The adventure spills over into our planet, as the quest to unlock the full truth sends the young travelers on a scavenger hunt on the roads of America, filled with riddles and a revelation. Part 2 of 6 in the Extra-Ordinary series. COMPLETE.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Mystery - Chapters: 27 - Words: 38,682 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 12-14-12 - Published: 11-11-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3073607
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 7: Original Home
The miles keep ticking away in the old blue car, all the way up and out of the South, to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia, an eighteen mile line over the blue, splitting bay from ocean, swooping under the water several times at manmade island stations. Several viewing platforms, one of which has given Aubna and Cory a good place for a break.
Aubna leans over the railing with her camera, snapping away.
An exclusive! she smiles to herself.
Virtually nothing stands between them and Seaford. An empty coastal plain from Virginia's eastern shore to central Delaware. More miles. More hours of driving.
Aubna's eyes were growing sore. To go without driving for a year to a marathon wasn't easy, but Cory hadn't had so much as a driving lesson, and Jason was staying behind at home. They'd realized that there was no reason for all three to travel together, one was all it technically took to move the warp point further towards their destination. Aubna didn't trust herself alone in a foreign and odd place, and needed Cory to keep her in check. And awake.
"This road never ends," she moans, on the flat, straight highway up the peninsula. "Can I ask if we're there yet?"
"You know, you're a great driver," Cory says, ignoring her question.
"Is…there a joke over here about women drivers?"
Cory tilts his head back and laughs. "You're picking up fast!"
A sign welcomes them to the town of Seaford at a drawbridge over the Nanticoke River. A small industrial town of about 5,000, with a riverfront park, a Main Street, and most importantly, the regional hospital – the exact place Cory was born.
He and Aubna lean on the hood of the car, parked at the small riverwalk on the creek. Cars breeze by on the bridge nearby, frogs croak, birds chirp. A pleasant afternoon, but they realize that something nearby may be out of the ordinary. They watch their surroundings with cautious eyes.
"Shoot," Aubna says, breaking a silence. "Maybe there's a…rifle range? Something with guns?"
"I think shoot just meant to aim and get here. Maybe we ought to drive around town a bit."
"Sounds like a plan." They swing back inside the car, Cory now shotgun in the passenger seat. "Do you know where you used to live?"
"Nah, we moved when I was still a baby. I don't remember anything." He shakes his head. "Shooting…star? I could be wrong. The shape wasn't really a star, but it said star, and it said shoot. What would shooting star mean?" He cranes out the window to his side.
"I don't know where there would be one."
They circle back onto the main drag through town. Prototypical small-town American look.
"So keep driving around?" she confirms.
"Yeah, just go all around town. Maybe there's something waiting for us somewhere. Hospital maybe, I don't know. Hope I was right about it leading us here. Has to be, right?"
From nowhere, something falls from above and strikes the hood of the car. Aubna shrieks and slams on the brakes, swerving onto a side street, cutting out of the traffic.
"The hell was that?" Cory shouts.
He jumps out of the car and retrieves the fallen object, a wooden plank. A piece of paper is taped to one side of it. Without reading the message, he wanders back out into the road, looking around at the rooftops and upper windows of the surrounding buildings. Naturally, there's no sign of whoever tossed it down.
Aubna shifts the car into park and trots out to see what he's found.
"I don't see where it could have come from. Didn't see what angle it hit us at."
He flips the wood over and looks at the note.
"THE LAKE WHERE THE OCEAN FALLS, N, TOWN AND SECURITY"
"The lake where the ocean falls…the letter N…town and security," Cory repeats. "Sounds like a riddle again.
"Know what it means?"
"Absolutely zero. Let's go ask Jason, maybe this is his field again."
Cory scans the air above him again, too shy to shout out in the middle of town, but frustrated, knowing that their agitator was nearby and there was nothing he could do about it.
Jason is napping on the main room's sofa when the other barge in from the backyard, shouting for him.
They storm in from the hallway. "We found it, next clue," Aubna quickly explains.
"Yeah, can you code it?" Cory tosses Jason the small plank.
He sits up and stares at it, holding the note out in front of him. Blank expression.
"Do you know?" Aubna presses.
Cory exhales and runs his hands through his hair. "Well, that's great, then. We're stuck."
Aubna looks disappointed as well. "Let's keep moving, head towards the next stone until we figure it out. You got it eventually last time, it needs time to stew and boil."
"Ocean falls," Cory repeats again, and shakes his head in frustration.
"I think I can come back now," Jason offers. "Where are you?"
"Still out by Seaford. Third stone is way, way west."
"So, more driving?"
"Loads more." He looks over at Aubna, already leaving the room, heading towards her bed and a dark room. "You game for more?"
Aubna flashes a thumbs-up sign behind her head. "Designated driver, at your service. In…an hour or two." She closes her bedroom door behind her.
She's driven the long way out of town, lost along the way to Cory and Jason's chagrin. Rejoining the highway at long last, her lack of proper sleep and rested eyes finally catches up with her. Lazily, she checks left, but not right before turning out into the roadway.
And cuts off a Delaware highway cruiser barreling down the road. The lights and sirens flash on.
"No!" Cory holds his head, stunned.
"I'm stopping, I'm stopping, it's okay!" Aubna stutters, rattled.
"Stop?" Cory shrieks, eyes wide, fingers curled. "Don't stop, go! Go! We can't get pulled over!"
"Why? We're days away from your house."
"It's still the same country! What's stolen there is stolen here, and you don't have a license! You two can not get arrested, your lives are over if you do! Drive!"
"Like getting stuck here forever?" Jason asks, loud, confirming it through himself as he does.
Aubna pushes the gas down, sending the needle higher up the speedometer.
"I hate going fast," she says through gritted teeth.
"Yeah, well the cops probably don't. You're gonna have to drive like a madwoman!"
Jason lets out a nervous chuckle and shakes his head, eyes rolled up. "Picked a great time to rejoin the fight, didn't I?"