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Second post, contains parts of chapt 1 & 2

Second Post, sorry for the delay, I was playing catch up!

Warning, this is unedited. I may have some notes to myself and it's certainly more verbose than my usual style. (Note the constant reference to the YELLOW Maverick, as if there was more than one in the story...

There were lights above the gate, otherwise she would have never seen it in time to stop. She squinted, but couldn't see anything beyond the gate.

She hoped that she would be able to call for help. The fact that her cell phone had rung a few minutes ago gave her some hope that she now had cell phone reception. Maybe this mysterious installation on the top of the lightning bolt was a cell tower.

Eddie rummaged around and finally found the cell phone, which had somehow managed to slide off the seat and into the pocket in the passenger side door. She flipped the cell open and was warned that there was no service. She tried punching in 9-1-1, but got no response.

"Dammit, how did you get a message to my phone?" she muttered to the last caller. She clicked on the menu buttons to check who that last caller had been. However, the page only revealed that the last caller was 'restricted.'

"Well, that's just peachy," Eddie muttered. "Out in the middle of nowhere and the only person who can contact me is 'restricted.'"

She knew her mother wouldn't try to call her cell phone for the rest of the night, since she expected Eddie to stop at a motel.

Eddie inched the Yellow Maverick closer to the gates, wondering if there would be a big enough clearing to at least get her off the main road.

When she got closer, she realized that there was a box in front of the gate. She could see it through the fog by the lighted of three buttons on the front.

Well, by the light of two of the three buttons, anyway. The green button on the left was not lit. The white button in the center and the red button on the right were glowing with internal light emitting diodes.

Eddie opened the Yellow Maverick's door and leaned as close as she could to the button box. She could make out the grill of a speaker just above the lighted buttons. However, she could not make out any writing that would tell her which button did what.

She shrugged to herself. It didn't really matter, did it? It's not like one of the buttons would set off the launch codes in a missile silo, right?

She reached out and punched the center white button.

"Hello?" she said. She jumped at the sound of her own squeaky excuse of a voice and silently cursed herself.

"Hello?" she tried a second time, managing to get closer to her normal speaking register.

There was no reply.

Eddie frowned and tried a second time, but managed to refrain from shouting 'Lucy! I'm home!' in a bad Desi Arnez accent. "Hello? Anybody in there?"

It occurred to her that maybe she needed to release the button and she did so.

A few minutes after she did, the speaker crackled to life. "Hello? Who's out there?" a raspy male voice, rather ragged as if he'd been taken by surprise. There was something about the cadence of it that made Eddie suspect that she was dealing with a non-native speaker. Probably from Asia.

"Hello! I'm a stranded traveler," Eddie replied. "My name is Edna Buck and I've got a flat tire!."

There was a long pause after that.

"Where are you from?" the raspy voice demanded. It was a male voice and there was something about the cadence of the speaker's words that made Eddie wonder if English was his second or third language.

In fact, she was inclined to guess that the speaker was Asian.

"I'm from Huntington Beach," Edna said.

"I mean, what company?" the raspy voice clarified.

"Oh, no, I'm not here on business," Eddie said. "I'm here because I have a flat tire... Well, I'm here because my tire went flat while I was driving on the freeway and was forced off the road."

There was another long pause before Raspy Voice spoke again. "Um, well, I don't suppose you have a spare, do you?"

"I've only got one of those mini-me donut tires," Eddie informed him sadly. "I wouldn't trust it on this road even if I could change tires.

"I was planning to change it for you," the raspy voice said in hurt tones.

"Oh, sorry," Eddie said.

"However, I agree with you about the donut tire. You don't want to deal with one of those on a road like this," the raspy voice said.

There was another pause.

"Hang on a second," the raspy voice said.

"Wait! Is there any way... I mean, what are chances that some truck will come along and flatten me?"

"Not much," the raspy voice said. "I am not expecting any deliveries today. That's why I was so surprised when you rang the gate."

"Sorry," Eddie said meekly.

"Don't worry about it," the raspy voice said assuringly.

"Now sit right there and don't touch anything! I'll be right back."

Day 2: November 2nd:

Chapter 2: Eddie meets Wang Lung, and it's not his Wedding Day

Eddie waited anxiously, not sure if she was hoping that the raspy voice was not calling the police or if she'd be just as happy to see a cop car.

She didn't think she'd broken a law, but she could have been trespassing. She wondered if she could convince the police officers that she was just lost and stranded. She really didn't want to spend the night in jail. On the other hand, spending the night in jail was better than spending the night in the morgue.

At the very least, it would give her something interesting to talk about.

She wondered if her mother would come bail her out. Maybe she should call her Grandmother Sal. She'd get a lecture, complete with cute little analogies, but at least Grandma Sal would cough up enough money to get her out of jail.

She'd just finished composing her web log entry about My Night in Jail, when the speaker whined to life and Raspy Voice spoke.

"Well, it's okay for you to come in. Just drive over to the cargo loading dock."

"Where?" Eddie asked. She was relieved. Raspy voice being helpful, so her chances of being busted were shrinking. Which was a good thing, as her Grandma Sal was in Turkey on an archaeological dig. Or maybe it was a spy mission. One could never tell with Grandma Sal.

"Um, the second building to the left," the raspy voice replied.

"I can't see any buildings," Eddie said plaintively.

"Oh, right," the raspy voice said. "I mean, hang on. Do NOT drive forward until I tell you to."

There was a long pause, then the green light came on and there was a loud clicking noise from the gate. After another few moments, the gate rattled out of her way.

Edna started to ease the Yellow Maverick forward, but then she hesitated when she remembered her instructions.

"Okay," the raspy voice said. "Drive forward until you are inside of the compound and then stop as soon as you clear the gate. After the gate closes, then follow the sound of my voice."

Obediently, she turned the ignition key and gently pressed down on the accelerator.

For a second, nothing happened. Then Edna remembered to take the brake of and shift into gear. The Yellow Maverick jolted forward and limped into the yard of the compound. She checked her rear view mirror, when the gate began to fade into the fog, she stopped the car.

A few minutes later, the gate rattled to a halt and clanged shut.

Eddie felt a shiver run up her spine. She was trapped! She shook off the sudden onset of paranoia. "You've been watching too many horror movies, girlfriend," she muttered. Of course, most of the victims of said horror movies never seemed to have even heard of horror movies. Which explained why so many cute cheerleader types wandered blithely towards their doom.

It didn't make the brown haired Eddie feel any better to remember that the brunette usually got snuffed by the end of the first act.

Of course, if there was a monster out there, it would have to find her first. In this fog, that would not be an easy task.

Of course, the monster could just wait until she drove into its den. She rolled down her window and listened. A few minutes later, she was rewarded by the sound of an amplified voice.

"Okay, drive forward, slowly. There are no other vehicles moving around, so you can drive down the center of the road."

The light from Eddie's Yellow Maverick illuminating the reflectors running through the yellow line. "Once more into the breech," she muttered. The Yellow Maverick's engine grumbled as if it resented having to limp along a ghostly road.

Eddie was worried about driving this area, she was scared that there might be potholes in front of her that would completely ruin her axle.

"You're doing good," the amplified raspy voice said.

Eddie was glad she had her seat belt on or she would have leaped through the roof of her Yellow Maverick. Which had the potential to be very painful.

The Yellow Maverick moved forward cautiously, with Eddie's knuckles going white as she gripped her wheel for dear life. Lights loomed out of the ghastly water vapor that surrounded her. One light on her right, two on her left.

She managed to make out phantom shapes to her left. Once she got past the first light to her left she aimed at the second light. She could make out the loading bay of the cargo dock and pulled in.

The garage door sized opening was designed to be on level with tractor trailers. Naturally, it was way over Eddie's head. She craned her neck to look upwards. "Surely there has to be a door here," she murmured to her spider plant and stuffed doggie."

She flipped open her cell phone. There were still no bars and the little warning message flashed across her screen to inform her that she had no service. "Gee, thank you so very much. Not!" she said.

Another light came on, this one a rectangular yellow shape. After a few seconds, the fog swirled around an oncoming form.

Eddie got out of her car and squinted in the direction of the newcomer. The fog gave her the impression that somebody very large was coming her way, so she kept close to the open door of the Yellow Maverick in case she had to dive for safety.

The fog swirled and parted and revealed ... a short skinny man of Asian descent wearing horn rimmed glasses.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Gotta get the words in? Still doing good, Jelz.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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