Saturday, January 05, 2008

jack and the magic bean bus [REVISED]

chapter 11 - jack seeks protective reorganization

Jack awoke at Dog Bait’s just after sunrise, which was much earlier than he expected, considering the late night adventures of the beater brigade just a few hours before. Jack noticed ashes smoldering in the fireplace and wondered if they had anything to do with the pool of sweat that had drenched his clothes while he slept on the vinyl couch.

Everyone else in the house was still sleeping, and this gave Jack an opportunity to search for the lost beans while his clothes dried out. Jack sifted through the empty beer cans and spent fireworks looking for the small plastic bag that carried the beans. The bag had the word SIDI printed in white letters on one side and once held cleats for cycling shoes. It was nowhere to be found, but Jack managed to scrape together $1.98 in loose change scattered on the floor and among the couch cushions.

Then Jack stepped outside and studied the ground along the front porch and the side of the house where he had parked his bike. Still he found nothing. Jack sat down on the front porch and stared blankly into the empty field across the street. It suddenly occurred to him that he didn’t even know what was so special about the beans he had lost. They looked and smelled like the coffee beans that Sister Kim had often used for coffee at the orphanage. “What’s the big deal?” he wondered. “And why did I have to escape? What am I escaping from? Who’s chasing me?”

Even though Jack didn’t understand his circumstances, he trusted Sister Kim. In order to quiet all of the questions crowding into his head, Jack decided to get some breakfast, but his search for food in the kitchen was just as unsuccessful as his search for the beans.

“It’s time to go,” Jack said to himself as he scribbled a note of thanks to Dog Bait and stepped out of the front door. He was determined to start looking for the bag of beans along the roads and get some breakfast along the way. Hopefully, Jack would be able to find the beans by eleven o’clock so that he could catch a ride to Denver with Brendan.

At first it was easy to retrace the path that the beater brigade had taken the night before. He headed up the big hill at the end of Miller Avenue and took a right turn, passing the pile of trash cans that Sluggo had knocked down. Jack scanned the gutters but found nothing. From here, Jack wasn’t exactly sure where they had ridden last night, and he was in danger of getting himself lost again.

After wandering around on his bike for a while, Jack spotted a big Hy-Vee grocery store, and hunger took over. Jack aimed for the parking lot and then leaned his bike up against a wall near the windows. He walked into the deli area and ordered a hearty 99¢ breakfast of pancakes and sausages, along with an orange juice that Jack was pleased to see came in a sealed container. There would be no bleach accidents at breakfast today. While waiting for his breakfast to arrive, Jack sipped the orange juice and thumbed idly through a copy of the Des Moines Register that had been left behind by another customer. A small headline in the local news section caught Jack’s eye. It read Local Orphanage Searched, and a short news story appeared underneath.

"Local authorities searched the Orphanage of our Lady of Perpetual Acceleration in the 1500 block of 48th Street in Des Moines yesterday, hoping to question one of the residents there, Jack Piper, in connection with certain financial irregularities discovered within the Des Moines Register’s trial run of its new computerized auditing system."

"Authorities were unable to locate Piper at the Orphanage and would not comment further on the questioning of orphanage administrator the Sista Kim, Nun of the Above, of the Church of the Two-Wheeled Scam, and of the Order of the Air-Cooled Bus, except to say that the questioning did not produce any 'useful or coherent information.' ”

Jack’s heart was pounding in his chest as he looked up from the newspaper to find that his Hy-Vee 99¢ breakfast had been delivered to his table and that G-Pickle was sitting right across from him, humming quietly to himself.

to be continued...
[a serial by little orphan dbax]

1 comment:

the mostly reverend said...

clearly convulsed by the
escalating excitement and
elevating evolution of this
compelling conundrum,
the editor of this epic is
practically positive that no more
errors will be erased.

[at least i sure as shit hope so!]