Saturday, November 26, 2005

TNT- Ch. 54

It was about 20 minutes later that Eric burst into the dining room.
"We got it Vlad! We found the lead - it's in Florida!"
"Is it now?" asked Vlad, startled by the sudden interruption to the Berljottsennian breakfast conversation.
"It is," said Gina, "DeLeon Springs - listen: Legal Dispute Arises over 'Springs of Life' - Mike Dodson, Associated Press - Legend has it that Juan Ponce DeLeon, the discoverer of Florida, searched his whole life for the Spring of Eternal Life (also popularly referred to as the Fountian of Youth). Now a small group of believers near DeLand claim they know why - the name, they say, refers to metal coils and not to a fountian of water. And furthermore, they say that they've found the springs in a cave beneath the popular tourist location of DeLeon springs.
"These are definitely the springs DeLeon was looking for," said James Brixon, one of the divers who discovered the springs, "Their life giving properties are obvious."
The group has refused to release proof or any specific details about the springs' properties, but this has not stopped a dispute from arising over ownership.
"Of course we don't believe these springs have magical properties," said State Park Ranger Melissa Hastings, "But they do seem to be rather old and they were found within the park grounds. They're clearly the property of the state of Florida." - It goes on for a while, but that's the important stuff."
"That certianly sounds promising. When do we leave?" asked Vlad.
"As soon as we can," Eric cut in, "We have to get there before the legal dispute is over if we're to have any chance of getting them for ourselves."
"But we have no claim to them at all!" exclaimed Vlad, "We have absolutely no legal standing in this case."
"We'll think of something," said Gina, "But we should really head out right away."
"About that," said Vlad, "Do you think you two can handle this one without me?"
Eric and Gina were taken aback.
"What?!?" they said in unison.
"My whole family is here. I haven't seen them all in a long time. I care about family. Why back when I was a wee boy and we'd just come to this country, we still had family in the old country. We wrote to them all every week, even if there was nothing to say. Even when we hadn't gotten a reply for many weeks and then we got a reply from Uncle Sven telling us to please stop sending things to him, we kept writing. Why? Because family is important to us. Now I consider you like my family now, but my real family is returning to the old country for a family vacation, and I can't leave them. Plus, I can investigate that tongue. Remember, I told you about the tongue? It might be the Golden Handle. I was hoping you guys could come along, but you've got to get those springs."
There was silence (a very odd experience for most of the Berljottsens) for several seconds.
"Alright," said Eric, "We'll just get packed up and head out. We'll keep the cell phone, you keep the lobster, ok?"
"Ok. You are not angry with me, are you, Eric?"
"No, Vlad, we're not angry. This is just the way it has to be. Keep in touch, we'll meet up in a week or so."
So Eric and Gina packed up, said goodbye to the family Berljottsen, and jumped into the Ringo Harrison, feeling like the little car was as big and empty as Iceland itself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The motorcycle weaved through the traffic jam like threads on a loom. Screaming to the world with its lime green exterior, it seemed to know just when, where, and how much to turn. The minute it would seem there was nowhere to turn there the opening would be and the motorcycle would just slide through, as if it had always known it would be there.
In, out, in, out; it moved among all 5 lanes of the intersection. The drivers angrily honked and yelled at the mysterious driver, clad in tight black leather and a jet black helmet that revealed nothing of the biker’s face. Presently, the rider looked up, directly at Charlie and waved. Charlie dropped the binoculars in surprise.
“Todd, Todd, come in!” Charlie shouted into his shortwave.
“Todd, she waved at me!”
“The biker chick?”
“Yeah! Looked right up at me and waved, didn’t miss a beat.”
“Maybe she just likes helicopters.” Todd was annoyingly calm. Why didn’t he see it?
“Todd, this chick’s been cruising through a traffic jam at 15 clicks. When would she have had time to scan the sky for helicopters? She knew right where I was, looked right up at me.”
“What’s your point Charlie?”
“She knew I was up here. She knows what’s going on. This isn’t just some Harley trying to get ahead of traffic. She’s coming for us.”
“I don’t think so, Todd. I think we have a code red.”
“Shit, Charlie, are you sure?” Todd’s tone had changed completely. “I can’t sound the alarm unless you’re sure.”
“Do it, Todd. And fast. She’s almost there.”