Jenny was lying in her bed. She looked at her digital radio-alarm clock that was at the side of her bed. 11:30 p.m. it glared. It was a peaceful warm night. She thought it could be mid 60ís. She had her blanket off because it was warm. She was wearing a nightgown. On her left wall was a window. This night carried a gentle breeze that was just enough to gently move the curtains. The breeze felt good against her body.
That night she was thinking. She was thinking about the "barrier". The barrier was supposedly miles into the ocean and all around the continent, She thought, how could this be? Where did it come from? In her mind there could not be such a thing as an invisible barrier.
She sighed. She knew that someday she'd find out for herself. She has to. It wouldnít leave her mind. By this time it was midnight. She was tired enough by then that she fell into slumber...
When she awakened, the sun shown through the windows and the radio was on. It was 7:30 a.m.
"Urrgh! Morning already!? I thought I just fell asleep," she cried.
She then thought about the dream she had last night, but she could barely remember. It involved the barrier. Someone...or something was calling her out to cross it. That sure was a weird dream!
She shrugged. She thought that she might as well get up. Todayís Saturday. She has to help her dad at the store today. She went into the bathroom and took a shower. When she got back to her bedroom, her room was warm from the sunshine. Must be a warm day today. She put on a pair of jeans that were cut into shorts and a white T-shirt.
Jenny Rillan was 18. She was about 5' 9", dirty blonde hair long enough to go to her shoulders but had it in a ponytail, and hazel eyes. She had a very slight tan. She exercised regularly so she was in shape. Jenny just graduated from her high school a couple weeks before. She planned on going to college, but doesnít know what she wants to go into yet. She lives with her father, Tom in a small town, Wingsville, which was not far from the capital, Westbury. They live in a two-story building. The main floor is a small convenience store that Tom owns, and Jenny helps run sometimes. The top floor is where they live.
Ten years ago, Jennyís mom, Ally disappeared. After a year they couldnít find her. Jenny was 8 when her dad told her that she passed away, but Jenny didnít believe it. She now knows that nobody had found her mom's body, so she could still be alive out there...somewhere. Jenny had still wanted to find out if she is.
Tom was in his mid-40s. He was a few inches taller than Jenny. He had black hair and hazel eyes. Jenny got her hazel eyes from her dad and her hair from her mother.
When Jenny was fully dressed, she went into their medium sized kitchen. Her dad, Tom, was sitting at the table eating cereal. The table was slightly oval shaped. It was one of those extendible tables, but the kitchen wasnít big enough. Right now there was two chairs. Tom was in the far one. Jenny decided to have some honeyed corn flakes herself.
When she sat down her father looked up from reading Saturdayís paper, "Good morning."
"Did you sleep well last night?"
"Yeah, did you?"
When Jenny finished the cereal, she pushed the bowl to the side, "Dad?"
"Do you believe that thereís a barrier that is miles into the ocean? I was thinking about it last night."
"Well, President Northwood says there is. He claims that it goes around the world."
"How can there be? Whatís the barrier made of? Where did it come from? Whatís on the other side??"
"They say itís invisible, and nobodyís been able to make out a physical description. Theyíve tried everything from bombs to a robot they sent towards it. That android went haywire and disappeared. Nobody has any idea whatís beyond the barrier."
"Why not go over or under it?" asked Jenny
"The highest plane cannot go over it, and no matter how deep they dig, itís still there."
"What if the people that saw the barrier were actually brainwashed?" asked Jenny.
Tom replied, "Thatís probably not likely. One, if the barrier didnít exist, and if someone or something did brainwash, why would they?"
Jenny shruged, "Hmmm."
"If youíre really curious about it, shouldnít you go see it for yourself?"
"I wish I could, but the President only sends scientists and the military to it."
"Well, sometime Iím sure you will. Youíre have a strong will," Jennyís dad smiled.
By that time it was a quarter till 9am. The store opens at 9am. Jenny remembered that she was going to help today.
Jenny got up said to her father, "Dad, Iíll go and open the place up."
There wasnít too much excitement during the morning; just a few customers here and there. At about noon she took a break and had lunch. She got back from her break at about 12:30pm. The afternoon was boring until...
It was about 2:30pm. Jenny was behind the cash register sitting on a stool. With left arm, she had her elbow on the counter and her hand holding up her head. With her right hand, she had it occupied by doodling on a piece of paper. She was left handed, so it wasnít easy. She had been doing this to keep herself from being bored to death.
It was right about then when two men in suits with shades walked in the door. One had red hair, the other had black, both tall. It seemed like they were both in aged in the early 20 s.
They were talking, but she couldnít hear what they were saying. They went to one of the coolers and picked out two 20 ounce bottles of Rolec cola. As they were coming to the counter to pay for them, they were talking about something and Jenny unintentionally eavesdropped.
"When is the ship supposed to leave?" Asked the man with the red hair.
"Early in the morning on Friday," replied the other.
A short pause, and then the man with the red hair asked, "Do you think thereís a barrier?"
"Iím pretty skeptical, but weíll find out wonít we?"
"Yes, we will."
They then reached the counter. The man with the red hair asked Jenny, pointing to the miniature chocolate bars, "How much?"
The two men paid for their stuff. Then Jenny thought for a second and asked the two, "Did I hear you talking about the barrier that is out in the sea?"
"Yeah, President Northwood is taking 100 people on a ship to show the barrier. Heís doing that to show that itís not a hoax."
Jenny, acting like she had only heard that the two mentioned "barrier" perked up, "Really? Wow. Iíve been wondering about the barrier myself. I donít know if it exists, but Iíd love to find out."
The man with black hair raised his right black eyebrow and said, "Well, would you like to come with us?"
Jennyís mind was racingÖ This is the opportunity Iíve been waiting for! Iíve gotta go. I donít know these guys...but Iíll go ask my dad.
"Iíd love to, but could you hold on? I really should ask my dad."
"Okay," said the man with black hair, "Weíll wait."
"Thanks!" on her way up the stairs she said, "Donít steal anything now."
The guy with the red hair said, "Donít worry...we wonít...heh heh."
Jenny turned around and gave them a light glare, "Hey now!"
The guy with the black hair said, "Heís just kidding, go on."
Jenny lightly smiled, "Okay."
Jenny raced upstairs. Tom was in his office, sorting through financial papers. He was a little startled when Jenny came up the stairs. A couple papers flew in the air from Jenny's run.
"Oh...Jenny. You startled me," said Tom.
"Oh! Iím sorry. I guess Iím a little excited," said the slightly embarrassed Jenny.
"So whatís up?"
"I found an opportunity for something I have been waiting for. Thereís two guys downstairs that say that thereís a ship that is traveling to the barrier, and theyíre taking 100 people! They are on their way there now and theyíve invited me to come along!"
"Really, is that so? Do you know them?"
"Well, noÖbut" Jenny was cut off.
"I know, Ďyou wonít take no for an answerí. Youíre just like your mom, ambitious, adventurous, and strong. Thatís why I fell in love with her."
Then Tom said, "I will let you..."
"Thank you dad!" Jenny gave her dad a strong hug.
As Jenny was giving her dad a hug Tom continued his sentence, "But, I must still be a good father. I want to talk to those two men."
Jenny got off, still happy, said, "Oh, awlright. Theyíre downstairs."
"In my store? Eh, you must trust them pretty well already, leaving it unattended."
"Oh Dad! Iím sure its okay."
"Well, I hope so..."
It was okay. The two men were still in front of the cashier counter and everything was fine.
Jenny was in front of her dad. When they both got down, Jenny moved to the side.
Tom came to the counter and stretched out his hand, "Hi. Iím Jennyís father, Tom."
The man with the black hair moved up and shook Tomís outstretched hand, "Hello, Iím Bob and this is my friend Joe." Joe was to the right and a little behind Bob.
"Itís nice to meet you," said Tom.
"The same," replied Bob.
Then Joe and Tom shook hands.
"Jenny tells me that you two are going to the barrier and you invited her.
"Yeah," said Bob, "the president are taking a hundred citizens to go see it to sow them that the barrier is real."
"Itís next Friday," Joe added.
Tom looked over the two young men. To him they seemed a couple years older than Jenny.
"Where are you two from?" Tom asked.
Joe answered, "Weíre friends and roommates at Alcara University, but our home town is South City. We have one year left of college."
Tom was starting to get curious. Jenny looked at her Dad to see any conclusion emerging.
Tom asked the college students, "What are your majors?"
Joe took to answed this one, "Iím majoring in computer engineering. Bob here is majoring in the fine arts of music and drama.
Jenny started to see a smile emerging from her fatherís face.
"That sounds great," said Tom.
Jenny had something to ask, "How will it be determined who gets to go?"
"Itís a first come first serve thing," said Joe.
"Really. Not real organized huh?" said Tom.
"Well, yeah, but itís not for about a week, so we should be able to get in," replied Joe.
Tom was starting to feel good about letting her little girl go.
"Iím feeling good now about letting my little..."
"Errr..letting Jenny go. Just one more question...Itís dad thing but, you two havenít been arrested or anything?"
Jenny knew that was coming, so she just sighed."
Bob answered, "Oh no! Of course not."
"Kay. Again itís just a dad thing," said the satisfied father, "Well, I guess its okay for Jenny to go."
Jenny was very happy, "Thanks dad!"
"Your welcome. Maybe this is destiny."
Then Jenny wondered about something. She asked Bob, "Why are you two dressed up? It must be 90 degrees out? Not the best thing to wear for traveling, I donít think.
Bob chuckled, "Well, yeah. Thereís a story behind that.