#FlashFictionFriday – Jan 12, 2018 – ’Til Death Do Us Part – Alt. Universe Bonus Scene Cont. #FlashFic

Flash Fiction Friday


Screenshot 2018-01-07 13.33.56Today’s Flash Fiction Friday scene uses the 4 words/phrases left in the comments of last week’s post:

home sweet home – rescue – safe – unknown

…and these ten words from a random word generator (see screenshot to the left):

family – worm – momentum – dominant – statement – chicken – recovery – chalk – pass – main – frequency

I used all those words to continue the “ALTERNATE UNIVERSE” bonus scene for ’Til Death Do Us Part that I started last week. Once again, it’s probably not technically “flash fiction” since it’s over 2k words long. Anyway, this scene does NOT fit with the action in the published story, but instead offers a different rescue scenario for Henry and his fellow castaways. This scene features a pair of brothers, Jonathan and Charles.

While it’s not necessary to have read the novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, to appreciate this alternate universe thread, I do recommend reading last week’s scene before reading this continuation. Whether you missed it last week or just want a refresher, you can expand the spoiler tag below to toggle open part 1 of this thread.

Til Death Do Us Part ALTERNATE UNIVERSE Scene - Part 1 – 5-Jan-2018

This scene is told from Jonathan’s 3rd-person POV:

Jonathan woke with a start as the chorus of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell blared from somewhere on the yacht. Fucking Charles and his loud music was enough to make him homesick and even miss their parents. At least they would have prevented the earsplitting music. One thing was for sure, Jonathan wasn’t going to fall back asleep, so he stretched and sat on the edge of the bed.

“It’s winter in Connecticut,” he muttered, as if that knowledge would make spending another week on the boat with his brother more bearable. He snorted and shook his head. That had to be the ultimate definition of privilege—pitying himself for spending his holiday on a yacht in the South Pacific instead of in snowy, picturesque New England.

Blame it on being stressed after a tough first semester as a university freshman trying to be the star pupil everyone expected him to be. Not that he was a poor student. He did well, but it took a lot of effort. It would help if he felt free to pursue subjects that actually interested him instead of the business classes his father insisted upon.

It would also help his stress level if he didn’t feel virtually trapped in a closet, terrified to acknowledge his sexuality to his uber-conservative parents. They would never understand his attraction to men in general, and especially to flaming Zachary in particular. He buried his face in his hands and groaned in frustration.

And of course, it didn’t help that he and Charles were both fully aware that their parents had wanted to go on a European holiday without them and had sent them on this excursion as a way to assuage their guilt—if they even felt any remorse for ditching them over Christmas and New Years. Whatever. He was old enough to handle it. Being two years younger than Jonathan, no doubt it was harder for Charles.

He sighed, threw on some clothes, grabbed the book he’d been reading (What Happened to Flight 3012?), and went up to the main deck. Wonderful. The booming tunes were louder up here.

He found Charles sitting in the lounge, feet up, eating some kind of breakfast sandwich. “For pity’s sake, lower the volume.”

Charles rolled his eyes, but the request had the desired effect. “I need to convince the ’rents to install better soundproofing,” he grumbled.

“Yeah, good luck with that.” Jonathan didn’t even try to keep the sarcasm out of his tone. He poured himself a cup of coffee and relaxed into the curve of the couch.

“That title is misleading.” Charles gestured toward the book Jonathan had placed beside himself. “It blew up. Everybody knows that.”

“It’s more complicated than that. There are a lot of questions. Anyway, the book explains about what is known, explores the open questions, and gives a little bio on each of the people who were on board.”

Charles shuddered. “How morbid.”

“It’s interesting. I think we’re close to where that one outlier life vest was found floating.”

“What? The one that was picked up by trade winds and dropped far from the crash site? How do you know we’re near there?”

Jonathan sighed. “The alleged crash site. And I know because I’ve been paying attention to the coordinates of where we are, and I know which direction we’re heading.”

“Nerd.”

“Whatever.”

Charles jumped up. “You know what? This day is looking up. Let’s go on a high seas adventure!”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Seriously, the contrast between levelheaded Jonathan and his impetuous younger brother had never been more evident.

“Let’s trace back up-current from where that was found and see what we can find.”

“Uh, mostly we’ll just find lots and lots of water.”

Mostly…I’ll give you that. But anything will be an improvement over sitting around idly watching the water go by. We can at least imagine we’re on a rescue mission or something.”

For fuck’s sake. Jonathan closed his eyes and counted to ten. “Okay. Play something calmer and softer than AC/DC for the rest of the trip and I’ll back you up on the detour request.”

“Deal.” Charles bounced in place. “Come on. Bring your book with the coordinates and shit.”

Jonathan followed Charles to the bridge deck and they spoke to the captain, who didn’t seem like he could care any less, one way or another, about the whims of the children of the rich people who’d hired him and his crew. “Sure,” he said with a lift to one shoulder. “We’re barely due east of that spot now. It won’t affect our schedule much to travel east a little more before turning back toward Hawaii.”

“Fantastic,” Charles said. Turning to Jonathan he added, “Let’s grab some binoculars.”

The captain cleared his throat. “Nothing’s still going to be floating after all these years. And even if it was, it would be far from here by now.” How the man managed to keep a straight face and even tone was a mystery to Jonathan.

But Charles’ cheerful mood refused to be dimmed. He snagged a couple pairs of binoculars and Jonathan followed him back to the main deck. “Are you proud of me?” Charles plopped onto the couch with an amused grin on his face.

“For what?”

“Not telling that smug bastard where he could shove his superior attitude.”

“Sure,” Jonathan said. Thankful anyway, if not precisely proud.

“Or you, for that matter.”

Jonathan didn’t bother replying to Charles’ barb, and instead said, “The life vest was found about a month after the crash, so even if the plane managed to cripple its way north to somewhere east of here before finally ditching in the ocean, you’ve got to factor in how long it would’ve taken the current to drag the vest here from there.”

“Yeah, I know, and of course I know there won’t be anything still visible in the water. I don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that. I figure there’s little uncharted islands around, so maybe there’s survivors on one.”

“Okay,” Jonathan said. He might as well humor Charles. There wasn’t anything more interesting to do. “Factoring in the float-rate of something like that life vest, which would have been low-floating flotsom for most of the duration, and our speed backtracking its route, it’ll probably be midday tomorrow before coming across any islands that would’ve been close enough to the crash site.”

“Assuming that life vest went in the water at the time of the crash.”

Jonathan just stared and raised an eyebrow.

“Think about it.” Charles waved his arms animatedly. He was really getting into this. “If we’d washed up on an island, we’d have probably had life vests ourselves, right? We wouldn’t immediately toss them into the ocean after getting there. We’d keep them. But, then after a few weeks with no rescue in sight, maybe we’d start floating them out, one by one, hoping someone would pick one up and trace it back to find us.”

“Okay.” Jonathan had to admit that scenario made sense if it were the case that there were survivors on an island. Not that he thought there was actually a snowball’s chance in hell that the plane hadn’t been blown to smithereens despite the wild theories the book espoused. “So it could be some time today.”

Obviously, they wouldn’t actually stumble upon an island full of survivors today, and Charles would insist they continue tomorrow until they’d followed the path back beyond what the math indicated was reasonable. Then they could turn back toward Hawaii. They had plenty of wiggle room before their scheduled flight home, so all it meant was less time for them to spend there before flying home to Connecticut.

“Exactly,” Charles said.

Jonathan approached the side table that contained a chafer dish and a covered bowl on ice. He placed one of the breakfast sandwiches from the chafer on his plate. The contents of the cool bowl consisted of a fruit salad. He took a sample of some of each of the kinds of fresh fruit in the mix.

Charles was already scanning the horizon with the binoculars when Jonathan settled back on the couch. He went back and forth between the starboard and port sides as Jonathan savored his breakfast.

“You know,” Jonathan said. “Best case scenario it’ll be at least a few hours. If they were this close to the typical boating lanes they’d have been discovered before now.”

Charles turned and leaned against the rail. “Good point.” He shrugged. “On the other hand, I don’t want to spend the rest of today and tomorrow second guessing whether or not we passed them by while I wasn’t looking.”

Jonathan spent the next couple hours alternating between reading his book and taking the occasional turn at the rails searching the ocean for any sign of treetops. Charles had pegged the section that gave a brief bio of the victims correctly when he’d said it was morbid. The images of the happy little children whose lives had been snuffed out in that crash was disheartening. In some cases, whole families had been wiped out, and in others, it was one half of a couple, or young adults just starting their lives. Most of the passengers had been heading to Fiji on vacation, including a trio of college football players. A few were on business trips. A scientist had been on a research trip.

Late-afternoon, Jonathan put the book down and scanned the port side horizon. On the starboard side, facing south, Charles yelped, then frantically waved Jonathan over. “Look! Look! Over there. That’s tree tops, isn’t it?” He pointed toward a spot south and east of their location.

With the binoculars, Jonathan could just make out what Charles was referring to. “Go point it out to the captain,” he said.

Charles ran off while Jonathan kept an eye on the spot. It was far enough south they’d almost missed it. Just because there was an island, didn’t mean there was anybody on it, let alone survivors of that long-ago plane crash. Hopefully Charles wouldn’t be too let down when it ended up being deserted.

Although, the location did fit with Charles’ theory, and even factored in that any life vest loosed from the island in later weeks might well have traveled a little to the northeast in those trade winds before deflating enough to settle in the water and simply drift with the current.

A ripple of excitement traveled through Jonathan. Charles’ enthusiasm was contagious, even though he didn’t hold the same hope Charles apparently did. It was fun to imagine the prospect of couples and families being reunited after five years being separated, thinking their loved ones had died.

He smiled. How gratifying would it be to actually be a part of such a rescue? To be a part of having pointedly undertaken the mission, not simply stumbling upon them. In his privileged life, and living under his father’s influence, it was a wonder he’d developed any simple human decency or empathy at all. He could credit their nanny for what he had.

He shuddered to think about the legal ramifications concerning how the authorities had brushed off that clue of the lone life vest with that—admittedly plausible—explanation, rather than create a new search zone.

Sure, it had been a full month after the crash, and they’d already spent a mint on the search, but as simple as it was for two amateurs on a single boat to track it back, in hindsight there would be hell to pay.

The yacht turned toward the spot on the horizon, and Jonathan joined the others on the bridge deck, the better to see forward, plus it was higher, so easier to see into the distance.

Charles turned to him. “The captain says it’s not on the charts, so it’s got potential.”

The captain’s cheek twitched, but he managed not to break his staid demeanor.

As they approached the island, Jonathan, Charles, and the first mate and a deck hand all kept binoculars glued to their eyes. Apparently, Charles’ animation was affecting the crew, too.

When they were close enough to make out more details, the first mate said, “I don’t see anyone, and I doubt they’d hang out on the south side this time of year.”

The deck hand said, “Yeah, but this time of day they could be on the eastern beach to avoid the sun.”

“Good point,” Charles said.

“Are those darker trails through the sand maybe where someone’s been walking?” Jonathan asked. Could Charles actually be right about this?

“Hmm.” The first mate stiffened. “Maybe.”

Long minutes passed, and the island got bigger. “Yeah,” the deckhand said. “I think you’re right. Those trails are from people walking.”

“That island’s too small for anybody to be living there on purpose.” The captain moved a lever, slowing the boat’s progress. “Not for any legit reasons, anyway. I’ll bet there’s something fishy going on there. We’ll call the Coast Guard to check it out instead of barreling in there ourselves.”

The first mate’s brow wrinkled. “Yes, if the island’s actually occupied, that’s the only reasonable thing to do. We’re not equipped to deal with drug smugglers.”

“But they’re not there on purpose!” Charles said.

The captain shook his head. “If it is castaways, they’ve survived this long, they’ll last another day.”

“Aw, come on!”

Jonathan laid a hand on Charles’ shoulder as the captain turned the boat around. “They’re right. The odds of there being a criminal presence here is probably greater than it being castaways.”

“But we’re only here because we tracked evidence from the plane crash to get here! It’s gotta be them.”

Jonathan kept his tone sympathetic. “Wanting it to be them isn’t the same as it likely being them. It would be dangerous to go closer. What if they have a fast cruiser docked on the other side? Automatic weapons?”

Frankly, now that the idea had occurred to him, he was glad the captain was turning. It was a scary thought. What had started as a lark could easily turn into a nightmare.

“Wait!” Charles shouted and pointed. His binoculars were back up at his eyes. “Drug smugglers wouldn’t be naked, would they?”

Everyone turned to look back at the island. A very tanned and indeed naked blond man was walking around the western bend of the island. He had a hand shading his eyes as he scanned the horizon.

Jonathan knew the instant the man spotted them. The man stopped and froze for a moment, then ran toward them frantically waving his arms. Jonathan couldn’t hear him at this distance, but he appeared to be shouting.

Charles bounced. “Holy shit! Smugglers wouldn’t do that. Turn back! Turn back!”

“That’s no smuggler,” the first mate confirmed. “That guy’s marooned.”

“Agreed,” the captain said as he once again turned the yacht around.

Two more naked men and a child—a boy—ran around from the eastern side of the island, apparently in response to the blond man’s shouts. The three men all waved desperately while the child huddled against one of them.

“Huh,” the captain said. “I’ll be damned.” He tooted the horn, a loud blast that they surely heard.

The group stopped waving and instead joined hands and jumped gleefully.

Jonathan’s heart thumped as he struggled to breath evenly. These people may or may not be from TransOceanic flight 3012, but they were clearly castaways from something.

The sound of the horn drew the rest of the crew—the service people—to the bridge. The deck hand joined them and explained the situation. As they continued toward the island, the captain got on the radio to alert the Coast Guard.

“Holy shit,” Charles said again. He gripped Jonathan’s arm, and his eyes glistened with unshed tears as he gazed into Jonathan’s eyes. “We did a good thing,” he whispered.

“You did,” Jonathan choked out around the lump in his throat. Maybe he and Charles had more in common that he’d though. Poles apart personalities, but their characters aligned. “You get all the credit.”

Charles shook his head. “You could’ve squashed it. You didn’t.”

Jonathan turned back to the island. That was true. On the surface, he’d merely been humoring Charles, but underneath, he’d loved the idea of it being true, even though he’d not believed it possible. Even so, it wouldn’t have happened without Charles.

They’d have to drop anchor soon and take the small boats in. Likely only crew would get to do that. Charles would be disappointed, but he’d get over it. Charles elbowed him. “Hey, fetch that book. Let’s see if we can figure out who they are before they get aboard.”

Jonathan scurried back to the main deck where he’d left it. It even had a seating chart, which might be helpful. If the plane had gone down quickly, the survivors could maybe be narrowed down to people located near the exit rows.

When he got back to the bridge, Charles was grinning ear to ear. Jonathan patted his shoulder and repeated Charles’ earlier words. “You did a good thing.”

“We,” Charles said. Then he leaned in and whispered in Jonathan’s ear. “Zachary will be so proud of you.”

Jonathan’s breath caught. Charles knew?

But Charles’ eyes were still merry. Certainly nothing malicious about his expression. Charles had already moved on. That’s how much of a non-issue it was for him. He was busy alternating between staring through the binoculars and flipping between the bios and the seating chart.

“Look at Blondie,” Charles said. “Check out his Husker tattoo. Bet he’s one of those three Nebraska football players.” He pointed to the biography for Devon Engels. “This kinda looks like that guy, don’t you think? And he was sitting right on top of an exit door.”

Jonathan grinned back at his brother, and the thrill of this momentous occasion was further lifted by the relief of knowing Charles knew the real him and clearly didn’t give a flying fuck that he had a boyfriend. In less than a day, his life had unexpectedly turned from gloomy to hopeful. And that was nothing compared to the changes these four strangers were about to experience.

Click here for more ’Til Death Do Us Part bonus scenes and POV switch scenes.

Here’s Part 2:

Lowering his binoculars, Jonathan looked once more at the image Charles was pointing to in the book, What Happened to Flight 3012? “Yeah, I think you’re right. That’s the blond guy.”

That confirmed it. These people were survivors of the TransOceanic Flight 3012 plane crash, not random castaways.

Jonathan added, “Take a good look at that older guy’s nose. It’s distinctive. I remember it from one of the photos, too.”

Charles shoved the book toward Jonathan. “Find him.” Charles vibrated with excitement as he lifted his binoculars again.

Captain Barton fiddled with the frequency control on the radio. He was still speaking with the coast guard as the crew dropped anchor and readied the dinghies to go out to the island.

“Hey,” Jonathan cocked his head at Charles. “Go grab some of our clothes for them.”

“Right.” Charles ran toward the staircase that led down to the main deck, then continued below to the cabins.

Jonathan found the image he’d just mentioned to Charles: Garrett Pinkham. Together with Devon Engels, that was two they’d tentatively identified. Devon had been seated next to the starboard wing exit door, and Garrett had been in an aisle seat one row behind and across the aisle from Devon. Close enough for it to make sense that they’d both escaped a quickly sinking plane and possibly been near each other in the water.

He took another look through the binoculars at the third man. Likely the dreadlocks he was sporting had developed since the accident. Nothing about the man stood out in Jonathan’s memory from his flip through the hundreds of photos and bios. It would be faster to look at others in the same vicinity on the seating chart and compare those specific photos to dreadlocks-guy.

Charles wore a face-splitting grin when he bounded back up to the bridge deck. Below in the water, the two motorized dinghies sped toward the island with the first mate, Dominick, at the helm of one, and a deck hand, Irvin, on the other. The recovery mission was underway.

“I grabbed some of our linen drawstring pants. Figured that was the best bet for reasonable fit. They can pick out shirts when they get aboard. Added my longest but tightest T-shirt for the kid to wear. He’s out of luck on pants.”

“Cool.” Jonathan pointed to an image in the book. “This is the guy with the nose.” He flipped to another page and pointed to a man named Henry Miller-Green. “I think this is the guy with the dreadlocks.” Turning to the seating chart he pointed again. “Here and here are where they were sitting.”

Jonathan’s pick for the guy with dreadlocks had been seated directly across the aisle from Garrett/nose-guy, in the aisle seat in the row behind Devon/blond guy. He was also one of several whose bio indicated he fell under the rainbow flag. He was married to another man. Being firmly in the closet himself, Jonathan was instantly drawn to this man who’d apparently lived his life openly and proudly.

Charles nodded. “I think you’re right. Any luck ID-ing the kid?”

“Not really. Hard to tell his age, and there were several blond toddlers and babies on board—none particularly close to that exit.”

“Okay.” Charles bounced in place.

They stood side-by-side staring at the activity onshore. The yacht had moored off the eastern side, up-current from the island. As the dinghies got close to the island, in shallower water, Dominick and Irvin cut and tilted up the motors so the blades would be safe above the coral, and allowed the boats’ momentum to carry them in the rest of the way.

Two of the men helped pull the boats ashore. Dreadlocks had his hands full of freaked-out kid.

“I never in a million years thought we’d actually rescue anyone when you talked me into going along with this,” Jonathan said. That was an understatement. He’d figured the odds at precisely zero.

“Gotta admit, I didn’t expect it either. Chalk it up to dumb luck. I didn’t honestly think there were any survivors out there, and seriously, it was a needle in a haystack, even calculating the likely path of that life jacket.”

“I know, right?” If they’d been traveling east on a path just a tiny bit farther north from where they’d been, they would have passed by the island without ever suspecting how close they’d been. So much of what was in that book he’d been reading was unknown. The location of that one outlier life jacket had been a fact, though. But the book’s theory for its presence where it had been found was considered pure speculation that veered sharply from the official conclusion.

Charles heaved a heavy sigh punctuated by a snort of laughter. “I guess I’m more mature that I thought.”

Jonathan raised a brow in his brother’s direction. “How’s that?”

“I’m refraining from live-Tweeting all this. Gotta admit, part of me wants to.”

With the top-of-the-line satellite dish their parents had installed on the yacht, they had the Wi-Fi to make that a possibility. Live-Tweeting this rescue would’ve been insensitive, though, giving false hope to the hundreds of families whose loved ones were not on the island. And it was definitely not the method of choice to deliver the happy news to the families of these four.

“Nah, you wouldn’t be that crass.”

“I did Tweet what we were doing early on, when it was just a lark, but nothing from when we spotted the island or after.”

“That’s okay. Nobody’ll take that seriously.”

On the island, the crew debarked from the dinghies, and the castaways put on the clothes Charles had sent out. They talked together in a group for a moment, then Dominick spoke into his handheld radio, probably confirming to the captain who the castaways were so the info could be relayed to the coast guard. After he put the radio away on his belt holster, all six of them trooped into the island interior.

“Huh,” Charles said.

“Maybe they have some…I don’t know…stuff to collect and bring with them?”

“Yeah. Right. Scraps of the kid’s clothes would help ID him if he was too young to know his name. They might have stuff like that.”

“Good point,” Jonathan replied.

“Hey, Captain?” Charles said.

Captain Barton turned toward them. “Charles?”

“Did they radio in the names of the people on the island.”

“They did.”

“Are they Devon Engels, Garrett Pinkham, and Henry Miller-Greene?”

The captain’s eyes widened. “I’m impressed.”

Charles laughed. “We haven’t figured out the kid, though.”

“They don’t know either. But, they’ve got his clothes, so that’ll help.”

The people on the island emerged from the trees. They had more than a few scraps of clothing with them. The group trooped out with each of the four castaways carrying a basket they’d apparently made on the island. The crew members would know the customs rules against bringing back any plants, plant seeds, fruits, or vegetables, so presumably there wouldn’t be anything like that inside the baskets.

They piled into the dinghies and set off.

“Come on.” Charles nudged Jonathan with an elbow. “Let’s go down and meet them.”

The emotions Jonathan read on the castaways’ faces as the dinghies pulled into dock in the yacht was an interesting mix. The kid was terrified. Jonathan couldn’t see his expression since his face was burrowed into Henry’s neck, but together with his tense body language, that told the tale. The kid’s fear wasn’t really a surprise once Jonathan thought about it. The little guy was young enough that that tiny island and those three men were probably all he knew.

Devon’s face reflected unrestrained glee. His smile was wide and echoed in his eyes. He’d just finished his freshman year at college, and although he obviously couldn’t waltz back into his old life as a linebacker for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, he hadn’t been married, or even in a relationship—at least the bio hadn’t mentioned any— so he had no worries in that direction. He was young enough that starting anew wasn’t a huge concern.

Garrett and Henry, however, were both married. Obviously, their spouses thought they’d died, and may or may not have entered into new relationships, or even remarried. The two men’s tight expressions reflected their guarded happiness and relief with a hint of hope.

“Welcome,” Jonathan said as he hauled in the dinghy with Dominick, Henry, and the kid. Charles did the same with the other one.

Henry met his gaze. “Thank you,” His voice wavered with just those two words.

“I’m Jonathan, by the way.” Gesturing with an arm, he added, “And that’s my brother, Charles. You’re Henry, right?”

“Right. You have no idea how happy I am to meet you.” The words were accompanied by a wobbly chuckle. “We call this little guy, Buddy.”

When the boats were stabilized, he helped Henry and Buddy out. Behind him, Charles had the other two men already aboard. The rest of the introductions were quickly facilitated, then Charles, the younger but more dominant personality between the two brothers, took charge.

“This way,” he said, leading them toward the stairway.

“Be sure to take them to see the captain, first,” Dominick said. “He needs to take some pictures and send them to the coast guard.”

“Of course,” Charles replied.

Even though Captain Barton was well-respected, no doubt images would go a long way toward confirming this wasn’t some kind of hoax. The families might want that reassurance, even if the coast guard officers didn’t.

They trooped up to the bridge deck, and the captain greeted them. “Welcome aboard the Sea-e-oh. I’m Captain Felix Barton. I see you’ve met the owner’s sons, Jonathan and Charles Fitch. They’ll act as your hosts, and rest assured, these two will see to it that you’re very comfortable for this first leg of your journey back to home sweet home.”

He went on to explain that they would rendezvous with a coast guard long-range cutter tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, since they had that kick-ass satellite dish, the captain could snap a handful of pictures and send it to the coast guard’s base using the yacht’s Wi-Fi.

Henry requested the captain relay that he wanted to adopt the kid, and wanted to make sure steps were undertaken to ensure Buddy wouldn’t be wrenched away from him the moment they hit land.

Lights came on throughout the yacht as the sun began its vertical dive into the ocean. The first quarter half-moon was high in the sky, and soon would be joined by more stars than seemed possible.

Although Buddy continued to keep his face mostly buried in Henry’s neck, he was now taking surreptitious glances at his surroundings. Jonathan smiled and winked at the kid when their gazes met.

The kid made a false start to rebury his face, but stopped himself from completing the maneuver. Instead he remained peeking at him from over Henry’s shoulder. Buddy was cute, and Jonathan’s grin widened as he admired the kid’s show of spunk in the face of his fear. Buddy was already beginning to worm his way into Jonathan’s heart.

Captain Barton seemed to be finished, so Jonathan asked, “Are you guys hungry? We’re still a couple hours away from our usual dinner time, but, if you’re hungry we can raid the galley.”

Devon said, “Actually, we just ate, but I’m sure we can do justice to another light meal in a couple hours.”

“Is chicken all right?” Charles asked. “I think that’s what’s on the menu tonight.”

“Chicken sounds wonderful. Thank you,” Garrett said. “And no need to do anything special before then.”

Henry merely nodded his agreement.

“Great.” Charles clapped his hands together. “How about we go down to our cabins and get you guys some shirts, and we can see which cabins are being set up for you. Get you situated.”

“Captain?” Jonathan asked.

“Yes, Jonathan?”

“Do you know how long before their families will be notified? Could the coast guard maybe alert you when that’s been done? These guys could make Skype calls to their families while they’re here with us, but I’m sure they don’t want to freak anyone out by doing that before the families have been alerted.”

The captain nodded. “I’ll check on that and let you know. I’m sure they’re moving quickly since our radio communication wasn’t private. I’ll get those photos sent immediately so that won’t slow them down.”

“Thank you,” Jonathan replied.

Charles led the way, and he, Jonathan, and the castaways paraded down the stairway.

 

Yeah, I’m ending it there #sorrynotsorry 😁. I’ll be happy enough to continue it next week, though.

Leave as many prompt words as you like in the comments, but I’ll only promise to use one from each contributor in next week’s post (although I’ll try to use them all).


2016 Rainbow Awards Runner-Up

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

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16 thoughts on “#FlashFictionFriday – Jan 12, 2018 – ’Til Death Do Us Part – Alt. Universe Bonus Scene Cont. #FlashFic

  1. And now I’m wondering if Sam is with Nash in this universe or if there will be a sweet reunion between them without fiancés in the way. Idk, maybe I’m cruel, but I kind of like the idea of Sam never moving on from Henry. Personally, I’m not one of those “move on without me when I’m dead” people. I’m more of the “mourn me forever” type…so in this universe, let Nash already be happy with Emmitt and Sam be unhappy and lonely and get his life back when Henry is found. Please? Or am I asking too much now? 😁

    Words for next week: tea, fuzzy socks, and cardigan. (it’s freaking COLD here in Malaysia this week. If you never hear from me again, it’s because I’ve frozen to death 😁)

    1. Hahaha…so you’re saying I shouldn’t have Nash answer the phone when Henry makes his call to Sam? Because I’ve been having lots of fun coming up with directions to take that scenario. I suppose if this rescue change-up is the only thing different in this universe, the time of year isn’t right for Sam and Nash to be engaged yet, since that happened on Valentine’s Day in the book. They’d have to be dating, though, and maybe moved in together.

      Emmitt is still married to his wife at this point, and their whole fun story couldn’t happy without Nash going through the heartbreak with Sam first. 🙂

      So, nope, I’m afraid there’s going to have to be at least a little angsting for poor Henry.

      1. Hey, I thought you called it an “alternative universe”?? Maybe Emmitt already divorced his wife long ago in this world and wooed Nash at a hospital Christmas party while poor Sam is alone and miserable. I think Henry’s absence is angst enough!! 😁❤️

        1. LOL. True enough, anything goes in an alternate universe. I suppose I’m limiting myself too much by trying to keep everything surrounding the one significant change the same.

          1. nods Exactly. This is the perfect opportunity for Sam to throw himself in Henry’s arms without worrying about Nash. And for Henry to get the welcome home he deserves!!

            Yes, yes, I know. I’m very demanding. Feel free to tell me to shut up 🙂

            1. Aww, I’ll consider it. I’ll have to review what I’ve written so far and see if I got specific with the number of years that have gone by. If not, it could be a year or two earlier when Sam either hasn’t even said the “L” word to Nash yet, or maybe not even met him.

        1. It’s all a question of what we’re used to. I remember when growing up in upstate NY, our cousins from Kansas City visited during the summer. We were all in shorts and a tank top with the windows wide open, they huddled in sweaters and kept closing the windows. 😬 Now that I’m more acclimated to midwestern summers, I’d be the one putting on a sweater when it’s “only” in the low 70s.

          1. Yes, that’s exactly it! Thanks for understanding. My people in Sweden have a hard time realizing that if you live in 90 degree temperatures all the time (usually except for now…it’s still chilly!) coming home to 32F is very cold even if it’s a mild winter temperature for Sweden. I’m glad you understand! 🙂

            1. My local weather is generally brutally hot in the summer and often bitter cold in the winter (basically hell on earth both weather-wise and politically). While I long for days in the 70s during either season, I still wouldn’t consider it a “summer” day for wearing shorts/tank top. I’d probably go with a light sweater (depending on the humidity going along with it).

              1. That’s the difficult thing about weather, it’s sort of like Sweden. It’s either too hot, too cold, or too rainy and you never know how to dress properly. Here you just throw on a dress and sandals and you’re done.

                Unless the new ice age is coming (like now) and I had to dig out the beautiful rainbow shawl my mom knitted for me. But at least I looked fabulous 😀

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