Chapter 10)- Don’t Give Up Your Dreams. Just Shrink Them Continued…


Some people can handle having information and not being able to share it, but for me it’s not easy. I am worried as hell as what to do concerning the possibility of an impending mega storm. I don’t know what the ramifications and I have no control. I think that’s what bothers me the most. We have worked very hard to get Karpland up and running. To think it could be over in one fell swoop is mind-boggling. It’s no wonder why I drink and drug.

I decided to talk to Katherine about it. She is always so level headed. “Ivan, we umons have a sixth sense so to speak. Believe it or not we are preparing for what may happen. There is a storm brewing but to what degree we do not know. I have been in touch with the Australian and New Zealand governments just in case we have to take temporary refuge. I am concerned mostly about you.” “Me?” I said shockingly. “What about me?” Never in my life had anyone actually verbalized concern for my wellbeing. Not in the way she did. “Well,” she began, “I love you. You are my hero. You gave up a pretty cushy lifestyle to help a group of people who were in need.” She turned away for a second. When she turned back I could see she was unsuccessfully holding back her tears. “I did it out of guilt Katherine. You know that.” I said defensively. “Besides, I was bored with my life. Needed to shake things up a bit.” I was lying but what else was I to say? “Ivan quit the bullshit and be straight with me for once, no pun intended. All I did was ask and you were there. You pulled your strings and we embarked on a new beginning. No matter how uncomfortable you are with what I just said, bottom line is you have done more for us than anyone else. You are the brains of Karpland. In a way I’m glad you are taking the formula. Prolonging your life means you just very well be around to watch the triplets grow up.” I smiled and gave her a hug.

It was a very rare moment and I wanted to hold onto it as long as possible but I had to get back to business. “Katherine what about this storm? When should we start evacuating?” “Ivan, Miro and I have been in contact. He is waiting for the weather report and is setting things up. We have to see which direction the storm is headed and how strong it actually will be if and when it gets here. We will know as soon as he does.” “I’ll talk to him as well.” I said and with that I walked back to my apartment to check on Renaldo.

I entered my apartment and found Renaldo asleep on the couch. There was an empty bottle of scotch next to him on the floor. He was dead asleep and snoring rather loudly. My heart sank. I thought I was bad in terms of drinking and drugging, but it appears that Renaldo’s drinking problem is way worse than mine. I had a feeling this would happen having seen so much death and loss. I suppose entertaining the fantasy that it could be right with a little work was aiming too high. And like so many others I have known, drinkers are a very difficult group to deal with. It’s all about their irrational warped sense of self and no matter how hard you try it’s a useless endeavor. So the question is should I continue to entertain the possibility of a relationship? It’s all very disappointing. I was looking forward to the remote possibility of finally having a life partner. My hope all is not lost but I’m not optimistic. In the meantime he is staying with me so we will see how this all plays out. Hopefully it’s not a full-blown train wreck.

The problem with evacuating is dragging the dead weight. By dead weight I mean our prison population, which has grown considerably due to the transfusions administered by Ash.

I decided to visit Ash to see if he would be interested in cutting a deal. If the storm was as severe as predicted, I couldn’t just leave him to die, but I wanted him gone for good.

Our makeshift prison was dank and smelled like a toilet that hadn’t been cleaned in years, if ever. There I found Ash sitting on his cot playing solitaire. He looked up and gave me half a smile. “To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit Ivan?” He smirked. He was starting to sound like Miro. “Just want to talk Ash. We need to settle a few things.” “Always the diplomat” he said sarcastically. “Cut the bullshit and tell me what you really want.” He said. I could see he was starting to fume. I was hoping to somehow get around his anger but I could see it wasn’t going to be easy. “O.K.” I began,” I’ll cut to the chase. There is a threat of a major storm headed our way and I am told this could cause some kind of shift in the ocean floor. In which case we may be looking at a Tsunami. Anyway I’m not clear on the details but long story short, we are looking to evacuate. That includes you and your band of not so merry men. I’m here to work out a deal with you. We need to come to an agreement. The conditions of the agreement are the following: if we set you free there will be no violence, no revenge and after the storm subsides you are never to come back. I can’t have you undermining our system of government and forming another coup d’état. Those days are over. You’ll need to find another place to play emperor.” He stared at me for a moment then roared with laughter. It was so loud that it made my ears hurt. “You make me laugh Ivan. You are no match for any of us, especially my so-called ‘not so merry men’. Besides I lost most of them in THE DRONE WARZ. However I will abide by your wishes. I appreciate you are not leaving us behind to fend for ourselves and or drown. It is good you have a conscience that eats away at you unlike me. I show no mercy to those who have shown me injustice. This is your downfall and my advantage.”

I know at times I’m a soft touch. But I can’t leave them to die. “Look Ash, I just want to be fair. Leave us alone and let us continue to try and carve out an existence.” I was trying to do the right thing but I had this terrible feeling it was like unleashing a virus into our environment. He nodded his head. “Agreed. I will leave and not come back. My police will come with me. You will never see us again. I promise.”

“O.K. I’ll give the orders. We will escort you off and away from the islands. At that point you’re on your own.” He smiled his big toothy smile and laughed. Again I didn’t trust him. I know sometimes doing the right thing has its consequences. We’ll just have to prepare for whatever lies ahead. UGH!! I don’t know when exactly that UFO landed and dumped all these crazy people, but apparently aren’t coming back for them.

In the meantime due to the impending storm, all plans to make Karpland a better place had to be put on hold. We were considering putting a few floating food forest eco systems in the ocean. MallArt wants to invest in the building of another petropolis. Seems as if they here to stay. All this is contingent on the fact that the islands survive the storm. Speaking of which the evacuation has begun. We can safely say we are in phase one.

Stay tuned…


About cherylgross

Illustrator and author of the Z Factor. Professor Pratt Institute and Bloomfield College. Motion graphic collaborations with poet Nicelle Davis include: In The Circus Of You, Becoming Judas and The Poster Reads; ACTIVE SHOOTER EVENT, travel the video poetry festival circuit. See resume at for other accomplishments.
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