Island of the Sun

Island of the Sun by Matthew J. Kirby

Book: Island of the Sun by Matthew J. Kirby Read Free Book Online
Authors: Matthew J. Kirby
said from the cockpit. “My cash won’t last forever.”
    â€œMine either,” Betty said.
    â€œWe’ll have to make it work,” Dr. Powers said. “It may not be long before cash doesn’t matter, anyway.”
    After that, they put twenty or thirty minutes behind them before anyone spoke again.
    â€œAre you okay?” Eleanor’s mom asked her.
    â€œNot really. The world is ending.”
    â€œYou know what I mean.”
    â€œI’m fine,” Eleanor said.
    â€œAre you hungry? Luke said he has some food.”
    â€œI’m hungry,” Finn said behind them.
    â€œMe too,” Julian said from across the aisle.
    Eleanor left her seat to raid Luke’s stash in a bulkhead compartment. She grinned when she opened it, though, and glanced forward into the cockpit. “Peanuts?” she said. “Really?”
    â€œWhat’s wrong with peanuts?” Luke said. “There’s some other stuff in there, too.”
    In addition to nuts, dried fruit, and trail mixes, there were chips, crackers, cans of beans, and a substance that passed for meat—but probably not if you asked Uncle Jack—candy bars, bottled water, and other snack foods.
    â€œYou’ve got a lot in here,” Eleanor said.
    â€œYou don’t fly into the Arctic unprepared,” Luke said. “Ever.”
    â€œThis could last us awhile,” she continued, and then added, “if it had to.”
    â€œYeah, well,” Luke said, “help yourself.”
    Eleanor grabbed a candy bar, then tossed one to Finn and another to Julian. Eleanor’s mom ate some trail mix, and Dr. Powers boldly chose a can of beans. After that, people started nodding off. Eleanor worried Luke might be getting tired, so she went to join him up in the cockpit, slipping into the pilot’s chair next to him. The last time she’d sat there had been after Luke had discovered her as a stowaway on his way north.
    He glanced at her and raised an eyebrow. “Déjà vu.”
    Eleanor brought her legs up and crossed them under her. “I know, right? Can you believe that was, like, a week ago?”
    He shook his head. “Yeah, well, a lot’s happened since then.”
    Eleanor frowned. “You do believe us, though, right? I mean, you didn’t see the Concentrator. But you believe us.”
    He nodded.
    Eleanor bit down on her lower lip with her upper teeth. “But do you think
I’m
crazy?”
    â€œWhy would I think that?”
    â€œYou know. With the whole alien thing. Even my mom seems weirded out by it.”
    â€œI don’t know, kid,” Luke said. “I mean, sure, it’s strange. Makes you wonder why you, you know?”
    Yes, it did make Eleanor wonder that.
    â€œI know a guy,” said Luke, “who thinks he can talk to llamas. And you know what? I really like that guy. So do lots of folks.”
    â€œDo the llamas talk back?” Eleanor asked.
    â€œThe point is,” Luke continued, “right now, I think we ought to be looking for what we all have in common, and just let the rest go. We need to trust each other and stick together.”
    Eleanor liked that idea.
    â€œBesides,” Luke said, “you don’t look nothing like an alien to me.”
    â€œAnd how would you know what an alien looks like?” Eleanor asked.
    Luke shrugged. “That’s a story I’ll take to my grave.And it may or may not involve an antique bedpan.”
    Eleanor laughed. “Thanks, Luke.”
    â€œDon’t mention it, kid,” he said. “You tired? Still another three or four hours until we hit Mexico City.”
    â€œI’m not tired,” Eleanor said. “Are you?”
    â€œA little,” he said. “Not bad.”
    â€œHave you ever been to Mexico City?”
    â€œSure. A few times. It’s . . . quite a place.”
    â€œThat’s what I’ve heard.”
    â€œIt’s got its World

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