This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
From Part 8
The news caught Claire's attention. "What is going on in this world? The president surely needs help. I'm glad to be on his team."
The news story jived with what Kinsley had been reading. “Mom, look at this.” She turned to Revelation 8:8-12.
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
Claire stared in disbelief - not in what she read, but in her daughter. “And since when have you become a Bible scholar, Kins? That’s just an old, outdated book of fairytales. I can’t believe you’re falling for this.”
“Mom, I can’t believe you’re falling for it. Look, a burning mountain. It’s the asteroid, Mom. It’s the asteroid. The contaminated waters, they’ve turned to blood. The clouds of dust from impact - you can’t even see the sun. And Mom, it all ties in with Revelation 13, the antichrist. I think it all ties in with Marisol somehow. I’m not sure how, but you can be sure, I will find out.”
Kinsley pressed the button and waited for a moment. The black screen lit and she began to type. Who is Marisol? The Google search revealed Marisol Valles Garcia, Marisol Maldonado, Marisol Delko, and a slew of others. None of which was the one she hoped to find.
On Claire’s nightstand lay her tablet. She was gone for the day so Kinsley took advantage of the situation. She clicked on the tablet, typed in Claire’s username and password and she was ready to go. She entered Marisol’s name in the search bar. Bingo! Mari . . . took her straight to Marisol; Area 51.
What she read would have been unbelievable if she hadn’t already heard about it on the news. Kinsley also found it rather disgusting. Claire detailed her meeting with Marisol but wrote more about her hopeful night with Jeff. This much she knew. The journal connected Marisol with Area 51.
Area 51 was the next item placed in the search bar. The bottom line to Kinsley’s research was that Area 51 was a secret government location. Many theories were advanced as to its purpose, but it remained unclear what took place at Area 51.
Most reports pointed to a secret government base. What was the secret? Why was it a secret? Was it used for developing and testing new aircraft? Was it a secret hide-away for government officials? A place to plan a world takeover? Maybe a secret alien base?
The barrage of questions overwhelmed Kinsley. She sat back to think. Could it be that President Dickinson was planning a world takeover? How did Marisol fit in? Was Marisol the one planning the takeover? Were they hiding aliens at the base? Maybe aliens were already here and they were planning the takeover? Questions continued to float in and out of Kinsley's mind.
The door rattled. "Kins, I'm home."
Kinsley hurried to the door. "Hi, Mom. I wasn't expecting to see you back so soon. You said you'd be gone most of the day."
"Change of plans. I picked up a pizza for supper."
Claire dropped the pizza on the counter and walked into her bedroom to hang her coat. In Kinsley’s hurry, she left the tablet on the bed. Claire immediately noticed and fired it up. She checked the search history only to find the searches Kinsley made earlier.
“Oh, um, Kins, do you know how my tablet made it from my nightstand to the bed? Just curious, you know.”
Kinsley was at a loss for words. She didn’t need to speak. Her face and neck turned a bright red.
“We better have a talk, young lady. Have a seat.”
“Mom - I’m not a little child anymore so don’t treat me like one.”
“You need to show some respect, young lady.” I’m still your mother.”
Kinsley’s anger rose. “Young lady, this. Young lady, that. Mom, who is the one acting like a schoolgirl with a schoolgirl crush. Mom, this guy is dangerous. And, and Marisol. She’s trouble, too. I don’t know how she fits into the picture right now, but she can’t be trusted. And what about President Dickin . . . "
“Sit, young lady.”
Outwardly, Kinsley sat. Inwardly, she was defiantly standing. Claire rambled on.
“Kins, don’t mess with Marisol - or Jeff. You could get yourself in a lot of trouble. This is top-secret stuff, you know! After all, they murdered your father because of what he knew.”
“Come on, Mom. I know you don’t believe that. You think Jeff is such a great guy. You have a deep respect for Marisol. Don’t try to play on my emotions. I know where you stand. I read about your sweet Jeff and your wonderful Marisol. If I’m in danger, so are you, don’t you think?”
“I’ll not discuss this further. I’m just saying for your own good, don’t get involved.”
“Okay. I get it, Mom, but it’s too late. I’m already in whether or not I want to be.”
“And just how did you reach that conclusion, young lady?”
“Oh, come on. Knock off the ‘young lady’ stuff. They murdered my father. That’s reason enough to be involved. And from all I’ve been able to put together so far, they means Marisol and lover boy Jeff. You’re involved. Don’t you think those are enough reasons for me to find some answers?
“From here on, I have no choice but to see this through. Dad left a clue. He would want Marisol brought to justice. He knew something I don’t - yet. But you can be sure, I will get to the bottom of it.”
“Kins, look. This is my chance to do something for my country. Don’t ruin it for me. This is one time I can do something worthwhile, something that matters.”
Kinsley tried to be patient, but both she and Claire knew she was approaching a boiling point.
“Mom, you want to do something worthwhile? How about finding who murdered Dad? How about finding what Marisol is really up to? How about putting Jeff in his place? What do you know about a world takeover? Nothing, Mom! Nothing! You’re in over your head and you’re just getting started. Where is it leading?”
“Whoa! Slow down, young lady . . .”
“One question at a time, please.”
Kinsley tossed her hair back and strutted out of the room, leaving Claire to think about the questions. Claire chose to think about Jeff.
Claire’s cell was vibrating. She picked it up. Jeff spoke quickly and to the point. “Claire, get your things together. The president wants us at the capitol tomorrow. We need to join the protest. It’s scheduled to take place at 10:00 in the morning. I’ll swing by in about an hour to get you. Be ready.”
And with that, he hung up. Claire raced to the bedroom to get her bags. Marisol taught her to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Within minutes, she stood in the driveway with her suitcase in tow, waiting for Jeff.
“Hurry. Get in. We need to beat the rush hour traffic.” Jeff’s order was more terse than usual. His charm was less noticeable. It annoyed Claire.
“Here are the plans for tomorrow.” Jeff gave Claire a stack of papers one inch thick.
“And where do I begin?” She wanted to know.
“Just look through them. I have to drive, and I hate the traffic this time of day.”
Claire noticed her usually charming Jeff was becoming more nervous by the minute. His nerves gave way to panic. This was a side of Jeff that she hadn’t seen before.
“Jeff, something doesn’t seem right. How can I help?”
With his eyes on the road, he slammed the back of his hand into Claire’s face. “Shut up. Just shut up.” Blood began to trickle from Claire’s mouth. She thought to herself, George would have never done that.
Marisol’s plan to discredit President Dickinson was underway. The protest started in grand fashion, and Claire proudly held her sign which read, The world is hurting - and where is Dickinson?
Truth be told, President Dickinson was working feverishly to conquer the many problems that infected the world. Asteroids, earthquakes, the burying of thousands of bodies, the list went on. In the end, he knew he would be the star again. The demonstration would temporarily cause the public not to trust him, but when his work was finished, he would once again shine. The world would follow him without question. Marisol’s plan was working perfectly.
Jeff pulled Claire aside. His head hung low. “Look, Claire. I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to hurt you. There is just a lot of pressure right now. I want to make it up to you. Here.”
He handed Claire a wad of money. She looked incredulously at the pile of banded one-hundred-dollar bills. “Jeff, what’s this!”
“It’s my way of making it up to you. Take a break. Go shopping.”
Claire started down the street. She first entered a restaurant to use the restroom.
Once inside the stall, she counted the money - $8,500, all bills sporting a beautiful portrait of Benjamin Franklin. She couldn’t believe it. She made her way to Upstairs on 7th. Within an hour she filled several bags with clothing, jewelry, and purses. Total purchases - $8,486.
The cashier checked each bill for authenticity. All passed the test. Still, she hit the silent alarm behind the counter. Within minutes, the police arrived and promptly circled Claire.
“Officer, what seems to be the problem? Surely, I've done nothing wrong.”
“Every one of the bills you used to make your purchase has been taken in a bank robbery yesterday. The serial numbers check out. May I see some identification, please?”
Claire was sure this had to be a mistake. She handed the officer her license.
"I see you’re from Ashburn. Are you familiar with the BB&T Bank at Junction Plaza?”
“Why yes, Officer. That’s where I bank.”
“I guess you know it all too well. The money was taken from that bank.”
“Oh, my. Did they take my money?”
“Ms. Oliver, you just purchased nearly $8,500 worth of inventory with stolen money. I’m placing you under arrest. Let’s go down to the station.”
© 2020 William Kovacic