The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 9.3 – Marooned

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It had taken some time to locate the third tree. As I burst through the canopy I saw that the balloon had stopped.

The thing hovered over the thicket about a football-field away.

‘Shit.’ Had they seen me? How would they? There would be no reason to scour the treetops. Unless these were Saturn’s soldiers.

I doubted this hypothesis. Even if someone was scanning for interlopers; the chance of them spotting a beige clad idiot roosting in the branches was low.

‘Maybe they are having afternoon tea.’ I chuckled as I noted odd flashes of light from the gondola. I was pretty sure these flashes came from mirrors. Though I couldn’t for the life of me tell you why.

As I sat guessing the thing shot upward at astonishing speed. It was now no more than a mere speck in the sky. I suctioned the Nikon to my eyes. The mirrors no longer flashed and in the span of half a minute the balloon resumed its south-easterly course.

My heart sank. It was now moving at a much grater rate than I could follow. I felt marooned.

I took a sip from my dwindling flask. The refreshment did help steel my nerves. Though not by much. I guess I forgot to mention that my comm equipment was out of commission.

I reviewed the events leading to this conundrum. The act of reviewing made me remember Thornton’s recent pop-quiz and how abruptly it had ended.

I got an idea.

I retraced my steps. Once I was in the vicinity of my vanishing, a point I plotted with the improvised tree-top map…I let my mind go completely blank.

I heard Sam’s voice. I heard the lunchroom ambient polyglot chatter of Arawak, Portuguese, and god knows what.

“Holy shit it worked!” I cried out.

“Ah!” Sam screamed in surprise at the sudden noise.

“What the hell man…what worked?” He inquired.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I wheeled round to greet Graham’s enigmatic smirk.

“Good, and how will you get there?” He echoed Thornton’s last communication.

“Zero is the only true philosophy.” I answered. I again allowed my mind to empty and was once more marooned in the strange thicket.

“That’s a neat trick.” A voice came from behind me.


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe is a weird fiction thriller. Follow the adventures of five quirky Black Ops pharmacologists as they globetrot their way to the Mato Grosso jungles. Philosophy, psychedelics, and banter are infused throughout this literary comic-book.


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