By: Jordan Castillo Price | Other books by Jordan Castillo Price
Published By: JCP Books LLC
Published: Feb 01, 2013
ISBN # 9781935540601
Published By: JCP Books LLC
Published: Feb 01, 2013
ISBN # 9781935540601
Word Count: 77,000
Available in: Epub, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat
DescriptionThe foundation of superstition is ignorance. First Officer Paul Cronin has no use for magical thinking—he’s a logical guy, a skeptic who only believes what he can see. When a new assignment on Flight 511 takes him directly through the legendary Bermuda Triangle, he’s not concerned about losing his aircraft to supernatural forces. He’s busy trying to hook up with handsome flight attendant Dallas.
Dallas seems eager to oblige at the airport, but his ardor cools quickly when he finds out he and Paul are now on the same crew. Then the turbulence hits, and Paul soon discovers there’s more to the Bermuda Triangle than made-for-TV movies.
While trying to decipher his cryptic predecessor’s notes and guide Flight 511 around the Triangle phenomenon, Paul attempts to piece together a relationship with Dallas. It seems that forces—both paranormal and mundane—are stacked against them. Can Paul navigate a successful course through the turbulence while he finds a way into Dallas’ heart?
Turbulence Collection contains the following novelettes: Into the Bermuda Triangle, Autopilot Engaged, Red-Eye Dawn, Connecting Flight, Black Box, Flying Blind, Radio Silence, and Final Boarding.
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
I probably should have put my affairs in order.
The pool filter chugged to life and slurped down a hefty palmetto bug as Marlin Fritsch gazed out over the artificial blue waters. Maybe he should draw up a last will and testament. There was probably some website where you could do that, right? There must be. You could do anything online. Though what would having a will really accomplish? Material possessions—house, car, 1972 custom-finish Strat, sweet midnight pearl Harley Nightster—once it was all said and done, did it really matter how his friends and family divvied it all up? Those were physical things, and Marlin was so much more than a physical being.
His bare toes curled over the lip of the sun-warmed, faintly slimy tile that edged his pool. There was fear, and that came as a surprise to him, but he accepted the fear without judging it…until the urge to pray came upon him.
Rather than beating himself up for exhuming a childhood superstition, he turned that prayer urge inward, and reminded himself he was an expression of Source consciousness, about to embark on a journey toward pure positive energy. And that it was the right thing to do.
The only thing to do, if he accepted his role as The Guide.
He closed his eyes and saw amber on the insides of his eyelids in direct contrast to the bright blue chlorinated water, and he ran through the email he’d scheduled to go out to the other crew members later that morning, once his task here was done.
To: CaptainK, cc. Dallas.Turner
Subject: Flight 511
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
travelers in dark,
when the blazing sun is gone
find the tiny light
He didn’t suppose either of them would recognize that it was haiku…and, with a growing sense of stillness and clarity, he didn’t suppose their recognition mattered. They were on their own journeys, each of them.
And his was just beginning.
Marlin closed his eyes and found his center. He breathed, and stood in gratitude for his strong and capable physical body, and his sharp mind, and his sweet Harley. Once he was in vibrational alignment with Source, he took a single small step forward and dropped into the warm water with barely a splash. The kettlebells strapped to his weight belt, one over each of his hips, pulled him down to the pool’s bottom, where he folded his legs in lotus position and focused hard on his center.
There it was. Shining. Dimly at first, but growing brighter. Like the evening’s first star.
Marlin Fritsch held the image of that bright point of energy firmly in his mind’s eye…and he exhaled.
His earthly life fled him.
As it did, a power surge caused a circuit breaker in his house to fail.
His computer shut down, consigning his final haiku to his hard drive.
Heat blazed from the tarmac, painting the distant aircraft in shimmering waves. South Florida in July was not for the faint of heart. Not only were temperatures loath to fall below ninety, but the humidity was thick despite the ocean breezes. Heatstroke was a legitimate concern. If you stood still too long, the soles of your shoes could melt and stick you in place—so ground crew said.
Paul Cronin was fairly confident melting shoes were an urban legend.
Besides, he wore leather-soled shoes, not rubber or synthetics.
He crouched under the aircraft (where the heat of the tarmac didn’t radiate through the soles of his shoes, thankfully, due to the shade) and checked each of the antennas. All secure. Fuselage drains? Clear. Fuel drains? Boost pumps? Dry. Starboard landing gear? No leaks, no excessive tread wear, nothing unusual at all.
A few yards away, a pair of baggage handlers leaning against the shady side of a cart were engrossed in a discussion of how fuel economy was killing the American automotive industry. Paul felt their eyes on him. Aviation was an old boys’ club—an uncomfortable fit for a gay man, especially one as obvious as he was. Not that he had "GWM seeks long-term relationship" tattooed on his forehead. But the type of guy you’d find loading a plane, or servicing a plane, or flying a plane tended to like their cars fast, their steaks rare, their women blonde, and their co-workers manly. Paul’s mannerisms, while not particularly lavish or effeminate, pinged the sensors of these macho types in such a way that he showed up on their radars, bright and clear, as openly and unequivocally gay.
Let them look. He was the First Officer of this flight, and it was his job—nay, his duty—to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew. If the baggage handlers wanted to look askance at him while he performed his preflight inspection, that was their business. He wasn’t about to let their opinion of him affect his performance.
Paul straightened up, ignoring the way the conversation seemed to ebb every time he moved. He approached the starboard engine and scanned for obstructions. All clear. Landing lights, clear. Flaps and rudder undamaged. When he rounded the plane, despite his best effort to avoid them, one of the baggage handlers caught his eye. The man wore the typical navy coveralls and bright orange vest. His protective earphones hung around his neck. He was stocky, maybe even chubby enough to look deceptively “jolly” to his friends. But now, squinting across the wing at Paul, he managed to seem forbidding.
“What do you drive?” he said.
It could have been an honest inquiry, an invitation for Paul to join in the old boys’ club, at least for the few more minutes before he returned to the crew lounge to meet with the Captain and go through the flight plan. Except it didn’t sound like an invitation.
It sounded like a challenge.
“I have a hybrid,” Paul said.
The chubby baggage handler shook his head ruefully. The other one actually scoffed.
Paul turned away and resumed his inspection, backing up a step and re-checking the rudder to ensure the distraction hadn’t caused him to miss anything. What he should have said was, What does it look like I drive? A regional short range commuter jet.
But he hadn’t thought of that.