Chocolate Insomnia – Chapter 8: Getting the Hang of It

I ride silently down the magnetized highway.

And, for the first time in the month-and-a-half I’ve had these rocket boots, I’m not terrified for my life. For the first time, I’m skating several feet off the ground, flames jetting out the sides of my shoes, and I’m paying more attention to the billboards at the side of the highway than to trying to stay alive.

Huh, I knew Bustable Lemons was getting more popular as a brand, but the sheer number of ads for it suggests that it’s even further beyond mere popularity; this thing’s the next Coke, except non-sugary. The soda was pretty good the first time I tried it, but nothing to type home about, and that seems to be the common consensus. However, their lemon-with-sunglasses mascot Busty seems to be really making a breakout surge these days. Three ads focusing on her alone. That’s probably what’s fueling a lot of it.

Also, I wonder why there isn’t a Bustable Lemons tie-in to that new Mega Busters 1 movie…

The reason why I left Mr. Larkins at the coffee shop so suddenly a couple hours ago? The reason why I’m travelling down the highway on a pair of rocket boots right now? It’s because I realized the lead we have to pursue to find more on Jones’s whereabouts. Something, or rather someone, so obvious to check, yet someone who certainly hasn’t been approached by anyone else. 

That someone is Courtney Trudeau.

Remember her? She was Jones’s best friend in middle school, but they had a falling out. Then when Courtney outed Jones’s younger sister as bisexual on Netnect, that’s what set Jones off on her social media serial killing rampage. She was the first victim. The most important victim.

And she may be the best hope yet in finding out where Jones may have fled to.

When you first think of it, surely there’s no way Courtney Trudeau would have any clue where Jones is. I doubt anyone further than the police have even thought to speak to her, and that includes my own sister, who’s searching for Jones at this very moment. Thanks to the fact that R8PR holds the sole copy of “The List,” the book that our unstable friend created to keep track of all incriminating information she uncovered, I doubt anyone else has ever figured out that most, if not all, of Jones’s victims were personally connected to her family in some way. Which means Courtney, someone immensely important to Jones’s life, has likely been passed over completely.

And, knowing the way things turned out with Jones, I’m don’t think she’d have left Courtney alone. I think there’s a lead here.

The air against my face as I fly at crazy speeds is cold, a kind of cold that chills me to the core and confuses my body for how it’s the middle of June. It’s not so bad. Kind of cool, in a way.

We’re going to go to Courtney Trudeau’s house, we’re going to have a little chat with her, and if luck goes well, we might learn something valuable.

And when I say “we…”

I take the exit ramp. My rocket boots slow down, and by the time I reach the entrance, they shut off completely, my feet gracefully touching the pavement with two small taps.

Karina’s already here. She waves at me.

For everything that happened these past few days, she shouldn’t be here. We shouldn’t even be friends anymore. and yet, here she is, this crazy, amazing woman, one of only two people I could ever say have saved my life.

I don’t get it, but I’m happy that it’s turned out this way.

“Hey,” I say.

“Hey,” Karina says. “Let’s go visit Courtney Trudeau.”

“Lead the way.”

“I have to. You’d never find your way around a residential neighborhood without me.”

She’s not wrong.

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