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Element

By Gregory Wyche All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Thriller

Blurb

John is a dreamer. Undeniably gifted, he graduates a year early from college. His future might not be set in stone, but it is hardly uncertain. But his soul searches for something to bring meaning to his life. Stressors in his life and a defiant spirit fuel a drive to escape and so he sets in motion a daring plan. Unbeknownst to his family, he empties his bank account and flies to Europe by himself. Surprisingly, the plan goes off without a hitch. But even a meticulous planner like John can’t anticipate what awaits him when he reaches France. For it is there that he meets Katie and her rag-tag posse of like-minded youth. Radicalized by grave environmental injustices they observe in the world, they set out to be the catalyst for change. It sounds naïve. But these are no ordinary college kids. Their resources are enormous, their network of contacts spans the continent, their methods are sophisticated and anonymous, and their skills are terrifying. Before long, John is drawn into Katie’s noble crusade to rid the world of corruption. Together, they embark on an adventure as outlandish as it is vital… and come face to face with a malevolence John could never have imagined.

ONE

July 3rd

Tomorrow’s the fourth of July. La di da. Intrepid explorer’s final log entry before he’s slaughtered by the merciless forces of a European country’s law enforcement agencies. Right now, I’m sitting in a bit of a corner. The hotel room is dirty. The walls are this off-white, like a clamshell. I didn’t really notice at first. I guess I was just too tired last night. Viktor said this was a safe hideaway for a few days. Ha! I wouldn’t trust this roof with a light breeze. Lucky for us I guess there is no breeze. The windows are open but the air is stagnant and hot and humid. The dew point is probly somewhere in the seventies. What’s worse, it’s musty.

I hope I didn’t fart in my sleep this afternoon. That fast food I ate last night and this morning didn’t settle too well with my digestive tract, though I was hardly complaining at the time. I miss home. I actually almost remotely miss school. Remotely. I know I’m just getting sentimental because I’m about to die. It’s weird because for the most part, I’m actually at peace with that. Yet last night, I was willing to contemplate stabbing that man. So which one is it, brain?

Well you probly want to know how it went. Bad. Ok. Bad. I’m in over my head here. Big time. I can’t write about it now though. I just can’t. It’s too much. And on top of that, in a moment of passion, I was a willing participant in something I now realize was a terrible terrible mistake. In hindsight, I can’t believe I did it. I’m smarter than that. Yet at the time, it seemed to make so much sense. It always does, doesn’t it? I would give anything to be able to rewind. Stop my younger self. Remove myself from this universe I created. But sadly, there are no takebacks in life. No, I‘ve crossed into the mirror now. I’ve completed the rites of passage. I should’ve kept my mouth shut. God, I’m going to hell.

If things had turned out slightly differently, I wonder if I actually could have gone through with stabbing that man. Admittedly, I didn’t have much of a weapon. But I’m sure it still could have done some serious damage. When I was a kid, I was always repulsed by the idea of killing someone. Of course, every kid jokes about killing somebody. “I’m gonna kill you!” and such. But I don’t think anyone really means it. Unless you’re like nuts or something or on Ritalin, though I feel bad saying that because deep down, once their medication kicks in, even those kids are nice. God, now I know I’m resigned to my fate. I’m spelling out ‘because.’ God. Hmm… Maybe I shouldn’t write that out. ‘God,’ I mean. Mom always said it was blasphemy. (Starts to cry) I miss my mommy. I miss my daddy. (Sobs harder. Doesn’t even care that that stupid Cossack is watching him) I shouldn’t have said that. I have the utmost respect for people from Russia. Just not Viktor. He can go to hell for all I care. Asshole. Fuck him.

I wonder how my sister’s doing. She’s probably worried sick. I’m scared shitless. I wasn’t until I started crying again. God, denial is bliss. For a half a millisecond, you can actually delude yourself into thinking you’re actually halfway comfortable with your impending doom. I just know I’m going to hell. If being willing to crash a company doesn’t make that a sure bet, then all this blasphemy and swearing certainly will. Well you can thank college for that. I had a halfway decent vocabulary until that debacle. Fuck.

God I miss home. I miss home so much. I can’t take it. I can’t stop crying either. Dammit!!! I just spilled a tear on the page. That pisses me off. Some spy. (Starts to laugh) hahahahahaha!!!!! James fucking Bond. I’m such a pussy. All I want to do is go home. Fuck Katie. Fuck her mission. Fuck what I’ve come here to do. Fuck why I left home. Fuck the world. Fuck adventure. Fuck making a difference. Real men can’t make a difference like this, outside the rules. I realize that now. Dad was right. I do need to learn everything the hard way. God.

Don’t trust anyone over thirty. The very words I live by. And… NO!!! I won’t say it!!! I won’t just sit here and give up. Fuck acceptance.

Well, here is a harsh lesson in reality. Reality is cold. Reality is ugly. Reality is frightening. There’s nothing romantic about this. I should have stuck with my art. They always make heroes out to be ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances. Trying to do the right thing. Making a difference the only way they know how. Braving impossible odds. Making a difference. People like me aren’t hero material. Hell, I don’t even know how to play this game. It’s like a whole new set of pieces.

(Takes a deep breath) Anyhoo, I’m going to try to get some more sleep. I figure I might as well. If I feel a little better later, maybe I’ll writ

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