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Blackbird Fly Part Six
"Hey mom," Jack mumbled as he stumbled into the kitchen wearing his boxers and an oversized t-shirt.
"You look horrible Jack. You look like you were up all night partying. What's going on?"
"No Mom, I was not partying. You're not going to believe me if I told you."
"Sit down Jack," his mom motioned toward the kitchen table. "I love you and I'm here for you. I'm here to help, not hurt."
"I know mom. It's just very personal. I don't know if I want to talk about it."
"Okay Jack, that's fine. But if you need to talk I am here for you."
"I know thank you Mom. You're the best mom a guy can have."
She leaned over and kissed Jack on the head, "How's scrambled eggs and avocado sound?"
Two Crazy Birds
"You know mom, come to think of it, I do want to talk. I mean I usually talk about this stuff with Angelita. She really gets me and she doesn't judge. She believes in me. She and I are like two crazy birds trapped in the same cage."
"Yes, I know, son. She's a very special girl."
"She is and I'm so scared of what may have happened."
"I'm also worried, Jack. But we have OPD and OFD as well as Tustin's PD and FD canvassing the area. A lot of people are working on this."
"That's true. It's just that I feel so helpless. I wish there was something I could do."
"Well, let's look at what we have. First the taxi driver said she knew exactly where she wanted to be dropped off. He also said she was very confident about where she was going. She did not give him an address. She just wanted to be dropped off in the parking lot of Pizza Shack. He said when she got out of the car she did not hesitate in the direction she walked."
"You've got a lot of information mom."
"Yes, Sheriff Sampson is keeping me up to date on all the details. The police department and fire department work hand in hand in most cases."
Sheryl took a sip of her coffee and continued, "The sheriff does not think this is an abduction. He thinks Angelita has gone to stay with a friend. It's important that you don't repeat this to anyone Jack. This is all part of the bigger investigation. They've opened the case into Xochitl's disappearance again."
"Really?" Jack exclaimed, "Why would she stay with a friend?"
"That, we don't know. But Sheriff Sampson seems to think it has something to do with Xochitl."
"I… have something else I need to talk about," Jack said with hesitance.
"What's on your mind Jackie?" Sheryl rubbed Jack's arm as she asked.
"You know yesterday morning I woke up on the side of the freeway and I…"
Just as Sheryl was listening to Jack, the phone rang, when she picked it up it was the sheriff on the other end.
Jack finished eating his breakfast and noticed the time. He left the kitchen to get dressed for his job interview.
As Jack was getting into his car Mitchell Gannon showed up.
"Hey Mitch, surprised to see you. I'm on my way out. Why don't you call me in about three hours."
"Do you have time to hang out later on?"
"Yeah after my interview at around three."
"Just stop by my apartment later than."
Mitchell handed Jack a card with the address.
After the interview Jack found a pay phone and called his mom with the news. "I got the job with the Orange County Flight Center. I even have a title." He chuckled and said, "They'll be calling me "janitor." Anyhow, I'm heading over to Mitchell Gannon's apartment. I'll be home later. Love you mom."
Mitchell was waiting out front for Jack when he arrived.
"Hey Jack, get in my car. We're gonna drive to the liquor store and get some vodka."
"Wait, woah, what? Vodka? I've never…"
"I know, you've never had vodka."
"No, no, I've never drank liquor," Jack said.
"Well today Jack, you're going to become a man."
"I'm already a man Mitchell. I don't need liquor for that. And anyway, how are you going to get it? You're only 18 and I'm 19."
"I have a fake ID that says I'm 23."
"Okay well if you feel you must get your vodka then go ahead. I'll get myself a soda."
Don't Be a Wimp, Jack
Back at the apartment Mitchell is mixing vodka with tonic water and ice. Meanwhile Jack pops open a Royal Crown Cola.
"Oh come on Jack. Give the vodka a try. It won't hurt you. The worst is that you might enjoy yourself."
Mitchell filled a short tumbler more than halfway of straight vodka and gave it to Jack.
"Are you kidding Mitchell? This stuff smells like turpentine."
"Don't be a wimp Jack. It's just us guys, it's not like anybody is going to get pregnant."
"Pregnant? What do you mean by that, Mitchell?"
"Nothing, just talk, that's all." Mitchell raises his glass and takes a huge gulp.
"Are you making a pass at me Mitchell. If you are, I don't swing that way. Not that I have anything against you if that's your bag."
Mitchell laughs as he takes another big gulp. "Nah, you got me wrong Jack. I'm a straight arrow. I just think you're a cool bro. I wanna hang and shoot the breeze. Have some fun."
"You're right Mitchell. I am always uptight. I need to mellow out and chill."
Jack picked up the tumbler and looked at vodka. He slowly took a small drink."
"Jack, bro someone must teach you how to drink."
Jack took a second drink. This time a bigger gulp.
"That's better. You've graduated to toddler," Mitchell said as the two of them broke into laughter.
Jack took his third gulp and almost finished the entire drink.
"Hey Mitch, where's the tunes? We need some tunes bro."
Mitchell turned on his turntable. "Listen to this cool tune "Volcano for Hire."
The two sat back with their vodka listening to the funky jazz fusion tunes.
"Now, that's some good tunes Mitchell. You have good taste in music for a white boy."
As the Weather Report album played on, Mitchell grabbed the vodka bottle and topped off Jack's glass.
"Well wait a minute Mitch, I didn't ask for the refill."
"Jack, it looks like you got one anyway."
"You're lucky that that rhythm section has it in the pocket and that distorted bass is smokin'."
"That bass is Jaco and we talk only praise for the man."
"Praise," Jack exclaims, lifting his glass in a celebratory gesture, before taking another sip. "Crank up the volume. I'm feeling good," Jack declares, his words slightly slurred.
Mitchell jumped up from the sofa, announcing, "Gotta take a whiz," before heading towards the bathroom.
Upon his return, Mitchell had removed his t-shirt, revealing his toned, blond, muscular torso.
Jack couldn't help but look, "woah! You've got the six pack, pecs, and all. You're all muscle."
"This is what two hours a day, four days a week in the gym gets me," Mitchell said while flexing his biceps.
"Come here, check these pecs out," Mitchell said as he flexed.
"I'm okay, I can see them from here."
"They don't bite Jack."
"I'm uncomfortable with this Mitchell.
"Oh yeah, that's right Jack, you think I'm trying to make a pass on you."
Jack just sits there confused as he lifts his glass for another sip.
"That couldn't be further from the truth Jack. I'm as straight as they come. I'm just proud of my muscles. I've worked hard for them."
"Okay, I get it. I've got my things I'm proud of."
Jack stumbled as he walked toward Mitchell.
"Watch it bro," Mitchell said as Jack collapsed into Mitchell's arms.
Face to face Mitchell says, "Now who's making the pass on who?"
"Sorry, the vodka's affected me."
"That's alright Bud. Here feel these pecs."
Jack cupped his hand and grabbed Mitchell's left pec. "Man, that's solid muscle. Rock hard."
"Yeah, I have a trainer that helps me with these babies."
Mitchell grabbed Jack's hands and put them around his waist like a hug. "Feel the lower back muscles. We've been working on those lately."
"Solid bro solid." Jack slurred his words as he backed away from Mitchell. "Woah, I'm dizzy. I need to sit down."
Jack stumbled as he tried walking back to the sofa.
"Here, let me help you back." Mitchell put his arm around Jack's shoulder and guided him back to the sofa.
"I'm feeling sick. I think I'm going to vomit," Jack said as he crouched his head down between his knees.
Mitchell brought a small waist basket over to Jack.
Jack took the bucket and held below his chin for a few minutes but was unable to vomit.
"I feel really uneasy Mitchell."
"Okay Jack. Here, sit on the chair for a minute."
Mitchell pulled on the sofa and the bed came out.
"Lie here on the sofa bed Jack. Stay as long as you need."
Jack put his head down on the pillow and was out within two minutes.
Jack woke up at 10:30 pm. The apartment was dark and Mitchell was in his room sleeping. Jack quietly left to go home.
The next morning Jack finally woke up at 11:45 am. His head was pounding and stomach was uneasy.
He took a quick shower and stumbled his way to the kitchen. The house was empty. Jack sat at the table and found a note from his mom:
"Jack, we've gone to the mall. Should be back around 3pm."
Jack scrambled some eggs and made some toast.
Shortly after he sat down to eat the doorbell rang.
Jack answered the door.
"Are you Jack Amsbury?"
"I was told not to answer any questions and just to give you this envelope."
The teenage kid handed Jack the 9" x 12" flat manila envelope.
Jack went back to the kitchen and took a bite of his toast. Then he picked up the envelope and opened it.
Inside there were two envelopes. One light and flat and a larger one that was heavier and thicker.
Jack opened the small envelope first inside was a typed out message:
Jack, stop talking about Xochitl or else the photos in the accompanying envelope will be distributed to your mom, your friends at school and the gym, as well as your supervisors on your new job.
This notice sent a chill through Jack. He pushed his plate away and sat, staring at the large envelope. He wanted to open it but was afraid.
Jack unsealed the envelope and put his hand in it. He could feel a stack of thick, glossy paper. His curiosity was piqued, so he pulled the contents of the envelope out.
What Jack saw greatly disturbed him. It was a stack of photos. The first showed Jack feeling Mitchell's pecs. The next showed Jack hugging a shirtless Mitchell. Another photo had both Jack and Mitchell, shirtless, embracing each other in bed.
Jack became incensed. He took the photos and put them back in the envelope, then brought them to his bedroom and locked them up in his lockbox in his closet.
As Jack locked the envelope with the incriminating photos safely away in his closet, a mixture of anger and determination welled up within him. The warning and the intrusion into his personal life had crossed a line that could not be ignored. Jack knew that he needed to uncover the identity of X and the motive behind this sinister act. The battle to protect his reputation and privacy had just begun, and he was ready to confront it head-on, whatever it took.
About the Creator
Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Original narrative & well developed characters