Chapter 4

2 0 0
                                    

"So where to?" asked Bobby as they merged onto the 110 freeway. "Burbank?"

Jinx scrutinized the plane ticket. "LAX to New York, with a connecting flight to Cairo."

"And you got your ID?" asked Bobby.

Jinx reached into the bulging hip pocket of his cargo pants and pulled out a passport. "After our little trip to Guatemala, I make it a habit to carry it everywhere I go."

Bobby took his right hand off the wheel and ruffled his cousin's spiky brown hair. "Why does that not surprise me?"

"You got the money, right?" said Jinx.

"Yeah," said Bobby. "I grabbed it from Mom's stash box when I ran upstairs to get my passport. All we need now is your permission paper work and hopefully a vacant seat on the plane."

"I've got my paper work already," said Jinx, producing another set of documents from his voluminous pants. Bobby braked hard to avoid rear-ending the car in front of him.

"What?" said Jinx, sticking out his lower lip to give Bobby a wounded look. "I downloaded everything I needed from your dad's computer while you were upstairs. Chief showed me how to forge documents months ago."

Bobby checked the time on the dashboard and silently implored the car to go faster. "I guess all we gotta do now is get there in time."

** *

Arriving at the terminal with less than half an hour until departure, the boys combined Bobby's cash and Jinx's paper work to purchase the last remaining seat on the flight

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

Arriving at the terminal with less than half an hour until departure, the boys combined Bobby's cash and Jinx's paper work to purchase the last remaining seat on the flight. Thankfully, the terminal proved nearly empty, with only a short line at the TSA checkpoint. Since neither boy had any luggage, it was a relatively simple matter for them to take off their shoes and belts and pass through the metal detectors.

The only holdup was Jinx emptying his seemingly bottomless pockets into the gray plastic bin for X-ray screening. The TSA attendant on duty, a heavyset black woman with neon pink fingernails, raised her eyebrows, looking astounded as Jinx unloaded the contents. Thankfully, despite the huge quantity of items, nothing raised an alarm.

Jinx took a puff on his inhaler as they arrived at the gate with less than a minute remaining in the final boarding call. Handing over their tickets, the boys hurried down the ramp and onto the plane. Bobby was up front in first class, while Jinx sat near the back.

As Bobby found his spot in B4, he noticed a tall, athletic man with a black eye patch over his left eye sitting across the aisle. Impeccably dressed in a dark gray suit, the intense glare of the man's jet-black eye made Bobby squirm. Turning toward the window, Bobby busied himself strapping in and adjusting the seat belt.

The plane rolled back from the terminal, and Bobby folded his arms, trying to relax as the plane prepared for takeoff. A few minutes later, the engines rumbled and the plane shot forward, climbing steadily upward toward the clouds. The instant the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign turned off, Bobby jumped up and made his way to the rear. Jinx sat next to a pudgy, middle-aged man with thinning hair and an expansive birthmark shaped like a pear beneath his right ear.

Scions of the SphinxWhere stories live. Discover now