Thunderbolt City

Michelle was surprised and yet not surprised when Jack kissed her. Part of her had been hoping the music and close physical contact would spur him to do it, but at the same time really didn’t expect it to happen.

She saw in his eyes the idea forming, then as he leaned in, she closed her eyes and let it happen.

All things considered, it was nice, not that she had anything to compare it to; but it made her want to get kissed again, so she decided it was good.

He pulled back, and as she opened her eyes, she saw the fear in his.

“Sorry,” he said. “I guess I got carried away. Please don’t hit or kill me.”

She giggled. Boys could be so insecure some times.

She decided to have a little fun with him.

“On the downside, fireworks didn’t go off and angles didn’t sing,” she said with mock seriousness.

She held off for a few seconds, letting him dangle.

She said. “But then again, you didn’t shove your tongue down my throat or try to grab my butt. So all in all, it was good. I liked it. Maybe we can do it again some time?”

He lifted his arm and looked at his wrist as if checking the time, but he wasn’t wearing a watch.

“Oh, would you look at the time,” he said. “We need to get some rest since we have a long day tomorrow. Well then, good night folks.”

He ducked into the tent, and Michelle giggled again.

“Boys,” she said to herself, amused.

She looked over at Alex, who was grinning ear to ear as he shoveled popcorn into his mouth.

“I don’t know what you’re so happy about,” she said.

She leaned in close to him and whispered, “Tomorrow night, I’m kissing you.”

Alex spat out his popcorn.

She giggled and made her way to the tent.

“Boys,” she said.

*****

At Deva’s Heart, Johann Schmidt watched the adventurers through the robot bird he had sent out into Jumanji to find Gaia’s Heart.

As he watched them, he came to an incredible conclusion: somehow the adventurers had minds like children. Except for the fat man, who somehow had the mind of a woman.

He wondered if it was a side effect of Gaia’s Heart, and made a note to study that possibility once he got the Heart back.

He chuckled as he thought about how Jumanji’s greatest heroes were like children.

He could send out some of his countless minions to take it back by force but knew they were no match for the heroes. The heroes may have had the minds of children, but the defeat of the queens of the Lost City of Gold showed they were skilled warriors.

Nein, he thought. Better to keep the minions here.

The heroes would come to Deva’s Hart to return the Gaia’s Heart, and then he would spring. Why bother sending out his minions when he already knew where they were going to be?

It was the one thing he was grateful to his father for. The two of them could not have been more different: Johann was a man of intellect and science, while his father had been a man of nature, constantly trying to force his son to be just like him.

His father scoffed at the progress humanity had mad; he said the only way for a man to prove himself was rejecting the progress and living off the land.

When hunting, you must go where your prey is going, not where he has been! he said countless times until Johann could recite it in his sleep.

H almost felt sorry for killing the man; it was too easy to make it look like an accident.

He laughed maniacally as he stepped out of his tent.

His minions sat about, doing the menial things they were meant for while he strived towards his inevitable greatness.

To prove his power, he shot on of them between the eyes, and the rest nearby scattered.

His laughter grew, and thunder rumbled nearby as if in response.

Soon Gaia’s Heart would be his, then he would control Jumanji, and eventually, the world!

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