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Absolutely Historical – Chapter 7

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 09/23/2013

Princeton

Princeton Prof. Henry Nickels, his T.A. Josh Styles and grad student Mary Winthrop go on adventures to discover the true origins of America…

Chapter 7 – Dead Men Tell No Tales

(Mary Winthrop rolls out of bed, wraps herself in a silk gown and walks out to the terrace. She looks out over the rolling blue ocean waters, glances down at five texts from Josh Styles and sighs…)

~~~

(One year earlier Mary, Josh and Prof. Henry Nickels are on a private jet owned by Don Giovanni Mottabene — head of the Sicilian Mottabene crime family — heading south from New York…)

Mottabene:  My a-pilot says there are serious a-storms over the Atlantic. I have a nice estate in Havana. We’ll a-stop over there and leave for Italy tomorrow, where we will a-kill you.

Josh:  Havana? Wow! I’ve never been to Florida!

Mary:  How are you in college? And we were just in Florida like a month ago, looking for the Fountain of Youth.

Josh:  Oh, that Florida.

Professor:  Don Mottabene, you can’t kill me. I’ve brought you all these priceless artifacts. I thought we had a deal.

Mottabene:  Yes, well.  (shrugs)  A-what are you gonna do?

(Don Mottabene speaks to his henchman and Prof. Nickels turns to Josh and Mary…)

Professor:  This redirect to Cuba might be our only chance.

Mary:  What are you talking about? Why are you even talking to us? You’re the whole reason we’re in this mess. Selling artifacts to mob bosses; you oughta be ashamed of yourself, professor.

Professor:  Mary, I know you think I’m a bad person and I apologize if I’ve let you down. I never wanted to involve you in any of this. But if this plane is passing over the Bermuda Triangle, we could all get a second chance.

Mary:  Oh, please. The Bermuda Triangle? That’s the silliest conspiracy theory of them all.

Professor:  But it’s true, Mary. The Navy instituted a weather control program known as HAARP in the early nineties, in an undersea base at the center of the triangle. A way of warfare without conventional weapons. HAARP is able to take down enemy aircraft, ships and disrupt communication and navigation with advanced sound and light waves. If we pass over the Triangle, there’s a chance this whole plane could go down.

Mary:  And we’d all die.

Josh:  I don’t like this plan.

Professor:  Please, you have a better chance of dying in a car crash than a plane crash.

Mary:  I don’t think you have that right.

Josh:  What if a plane crashes into a car, what then?

Professor:  Just buckle up and use your seat as a flotation device. We might just get out of this yet.

~~~

(That evening, the private jet passes the southern tip of Florida and crosses the imaginary border of the Bermuda Triangle. The pilot speaks over the intercom in Italian and Don Mottabene lowers his wine glass…)

Mottabene:  My a-pilot says some a-choppy clouds ahead. Better a-buckle up.

(Prof. Nickels glances back at his students and winks. Mary rolls her eyes. The jet shudders and quickly drops before temporarily stabilizing. Josh grabs Mary’s hand and she squeezes back…)

Professor:  (grins maniacally)  It’s working! God bless HAARP and god bless the United States government!

Mottabene:  Hey, what’s you a-talkin’ about?

Professor:  I’m sorry that I let you down, Mary. If we don’t make it out of this, I just want you to know you would have been one helluva history teacher.  A better teacher than I ever was.

(The plane rumbles and Mary clutches her chest…)

Mary:  Thank you, professor.

(The plane shudders left to right and Josh clears his throat loudly…)

Professor:  And Josh, you were a…satisfactory teacher’s assistant.

Josh:  (eyes well up)  Professor, that’s all I ever wanted to hear.

Mary:  Really? That?

Josh:  Mary, I just want you to know — since we’re all going to crash into the ocean and be eaten by sharks — that I always loved you. And I always will love you. Even when I’m inside a shark’s belly. You’re the smartest, funniest, nicest girl I ever met.

Mary:  Aww, Josh. That’s…you’re…you were a…satisfactory teacher’s assistant.

(Josh nods, smiles meekly, purses his lips and stares out the window at the fastly-approaching ocean…)

Mary:  (smiles)  And a good friend.

Josh:  (beams)  I’ll take it!

(The plane shudders one more violent time before dipping nose-down and falling, everyone screaming in terror…)

~~~

(Mary’s head bursts out of the choppy waters, clinging to her seat back as plane shrapnel and bodies float around her. She starts swimming toward a nearby beach before noticing a familiar body floating face-down. Mary struggles to pull the body to shore, dragging him up the beach and turns him over to find an unconscious Josh Styles. Mary begins administering CPR and in a few minutes, Josh spits salty ocean water into her face. He opens his eyes, looks up at Mary — her lips mere inches from his — and goofily grins…)

Josh:  Hey, alright.

Mary:  Ugh.  (pushes away)  You’re welcome.

(Josh leans up on his elbows and the two Princeton students look out at the destruction of the plane crash floating on the waves as the sun rises to the east…)

Josh:  Are we the only ones who made it out?

Mary:  (nods)  I think so.

Josh:  What about the professor?

Mary:  Even if he did survive, we’re probably never going to hear from him again.

(A soggy Prof. Nickels quietly sneaks behind his two former students and heads up the beach…)

~~~

(A year later, schoolteacher Mary Winthrop is standing at her desk in a small Cuban schoolhouse as her teacher’s assistant Josh Styles hustles the fourth-graders into the classroom…)

Josh:  Come on, let’s go. Into your seats. Ándele! We’ve got history to learn.

Mary:  Good morning, class.

Students:  (in unison)  Good morning, Ms. Winthrop.

Mary:  Now who here knows about the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy?

(A number of students’ and Josh’s hands shoot up…)

Mary:  (smiles)  Well, now I’m going to tell you what really happened.

THE END

~~~

Send all hate mail to ethanrbooker@gmail.com

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