This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Grinner at the Wikipedia project – Loch Lomond looking toward Ben Lomond
Middle-aged American Eric Holloway was thinking that it must be almost time for the miracle to happen again. He sat in a camping chair near the section of the shore of Loch Lomond facing Ben Lomond, one of the lochs someone wrote a song about, while chewing a mouthful of his onion bagel smothered in lox and cream cheese. Mark’s Deli in nearby Glasgow certainly lived up to its Yelp reviews. He was glad they opened early on a Sunday so he’d have the time to eat his breakfast. The retired electrical engineer would have hated to be reduced to the one he’d visited last Friday in the mall, and he only went there because he had to buy some fresh clothes Barry’s size and a small pack to put them in.
As he continued to maul his exquisite deli purchase, Eric used his free hand to wave away several locks of his salt and pepper hair off of his forehead. He always neglected getting a haircut until his mane became unmanageable.
The weather forecast called for morning showers and temperatures in the upper 30s F, but so far he could still see thin rays of sunlight through the overcast sky. Putting the half-consumed bagel on the napkin gracing his lap, and without looking down, he retrieved his thermos from on top of the grass to this right next to his rucksack. Unscrewing the lid and stopper, he poured himself a cup of streaming, hot coffee. It, along with his thick, woolen pea coat, would keep him warm on this morning in late December, just two days before Christmas, while he waited.
Finishing the coffee, he screwed the lid back on top of the thermos, and as he picked up the bagel again, he felt the Lazarus Stone begin to heat up in his shirt pocket.
Samantha Gill was a terrific fan of the movie “The Martian” and was working out joules to newtons conversions in her head (which, admittedly, wasn’t difficult) as she stood at the iron grille waiting to be let in. She heard the mechanical click of the bolt being remotely pulled back, and watched the gate automatically swing open.
Her supple hips moved seductively, which was more out of habit than intent, and the brunette could smell roasting meat as she crossed the long driveway. This confirmed her prediction that Harold would have put something on the grill by now to celebrate. The front door was unlocked, and she let herself in, walked through the foyer, down the hall, past the great room and the office, into the kitchen, and then out onto the back patio.
“How’d things go?” Her middle-aged partner was just making conversation as he turned away from the propane barbecue and glanced in her direction. The eighteen-year-old’s wry grin had already told him the answer. Sammy reached in her jacket pocket and jangled the jewels, the sound confirming her most recent success.
A Delta flight comes in for a landing at Sea-Tac Airport which had record passenger growth in June. (Ellen M Banner/The Seattle Times)
The day Leon Spencer made bail, he followed the instructions of the lawyer who posted it for him and stopped off at his post office box. Sure enough, there was a cashier’s check for more money than he made in a year as a Marine Gunnery Sergeant. Those days were long gone and so, he thought, was his career until he read the email from Carson Everett. There wasn’t much that fazed him anymore, not after Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but he could still be impressed.
“Fuckin’ eh.” The six-foot tall, African-American Marine turned merc, turned “security consultant,” stared at the check in his hand and the note that came with it, which repeated Everett’s instructions to take the first flight to Seatac.
He visited his crappy apartment for the last time to pack a few things, noticing the bales of useless papers, magazines, and other junk he’d be happy to part with. Leon took everything that still had worth to him (which wasn’t much), and beat it out to O’Hare, happy to give Chicago the middle finger.