Sep 282011
Authors: Justin Goodfellow

_Editor’s note: This is the sixth installment of the fiction story “Inside the Hollow Sun,” which will run in Verve throughout the rest of the semester. _

We almost missed our flight. The van got a flat, and we didn’t have a spare. When we got to the gate, the flight attendant had to reopen it for us. She looked at us as if she had a grudge as the three of us walked onto the plane.

On the plane, Officer Burling read, and Elizabeth slept. I had a window seat. I watched the clouds as we flew across the country. I thought about the trips I could have taken if I hadn’t gotten my implant. Maybe I would have gone to Europe.

Spain, possibly, or France. Definitely France. I could have gone to Paris and visited the cafés like the lost generation had. That’s where Hemingway truly started his writing. Without the implant, I might have gone to those places instead of Ketchum.

“You’re bleeding,” Officer Burling said. I lifted my arm and saw fresh blood flowing. I hadn’t even noticed I was scratching. “It looks like you got it all over your pants too.” I sighed as I looked at my pants. Officer Burling went back to his book, and I reached up and pressed the call button.

We landed in Boise on time. I turned my phone on and saw a text from Greg: “Good luck. Hope you find what you’re looking for. Take some pictures.”

I still felt guilty for leaving him behind. He hadn’t traveled in years either. He had tried to visit his parents, but the review board always denied his requests. They would try to come see him as often as they could, but they were usually busy taking care of Greg’s grandparents.

I put my phone away, and Elizabeth took my arm. We followed Officer Burling through the airport. Outside, we found a small sedan waiting for us. Officer Burling drove while Elizabeth and I sat in the back. He kept the doors locked. The drive to Ketchum took us about three hours, and by the time we got there, the sun had started to set. I asked if we could go see the grave, but Officer Burling took us to the hotel instead. I considered arguing but thought better of it. He looked tired from the traveling. If he had really wanted to, Officer Burling could have kept us in the hotel for the entire trip.

Our room ended up having two beds, and I took the floor. I hadn’t been sleeping for the past few nights; so, I didn’t mind. I started thinking about what might happen when I went home. Would I actually feel any different? I wondered if Dr. Clermont would notice anything. It was really a lot to ask for, but maybe I’d even be able to start writing again. I needed things to be different after the trip. I thought about that hard. I was up all night.

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