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Day: March 23, 2022

La Isla de Aquinas

If you don’t feel like reading my thoughts about La Isla de Aquinas, here’s the direct link to the story page.



The complete story is published!!!! I also uploaded the eBook (in both .PDF as .ePub format), the complete Audio books are online and I edited the original Audio book page where all my audio books can be downloaded (you can find it here).

I really hope y’all enjoy the story! Please!! Let me know what you think of it. Both E-o-F and I want to learn from you how to improve our writing.

I can finally say that the new story is ready. The last two chapters still need some rework and polishing up, but since I’m going to publish this one with the same pace as I did with ‘Smoky Mountains,’ we’ve still got some time left.

E-o-F and I started talking about the outline of this story in late April early May 2021. I tried talking E-o-F into full co-authorship, but he didn’t bite 😊, and to be honest, I’m glad he didn’t. Our styles differ just too much (and I think this is true for every author out there) to create a story together. It’ll show. And that’s not a good thing.

Besides our style difference, we both use a different approach. Maybe you’re familiar with it, maybe not. E-o-F is an Architect, where I’m a gardener (more info: https://www.grantwriterteam.com/blog/grant-writing/whats-your-writing-style/). I honestly think both approaches have their pros and cons. But since E-o-F DID offer to write a chapter, I had to adapt. Not because an architect can’t work with a gardener (or the vice-versa), but because he needs to know WHAT to write. All the characters are in my head, and I know stuff like hair color and such, or I’ll just make it up when needed. E-o-F obviously doesn’t have that info. So I needed to become more or less an architect so that E-o-F could do his part.

Doing so, was quite an eye-opening experience. I won’t say I’m going to change my style. But I will prepare myself better when I start a new story. That’s something I’m taking away from this experience, and I want to thank E-o-F for showing me the advantages of thinking things through.

As I mentioned before, it’s a big one! 150K+ words is enormous! There are nineteen chapters and (I know…) an epilogue. As with Smoky Mountains, I don’t recommend reading the epilogue. But if you need closure, be my guest. There is no sex or anything in that one, just the tying up of loose ends. The big E-o-F chapter is chapter seventeen. That chapter alone is bigger than most stories you’ll find here. It’s got 36K+ words! But I promise it’s worth it!! It took me a few tries to get to the finish 😉

The story itself centers around Scott. He’s moved around a lot and lived primarily on a lot of different army bases. But when they meet Glenn, his life changes dramatically. Scott’s dad wants him to be a manly man, but Scott wants to be creative. And Glenn’s a professional photographer, so they hit it off instantly. I hope it isn’t too confusing, but there are two timelines. One with a young Scoot, and one where he learns to live to cope with Glenn’s passing.

The island, La Isla de Aquinas, is completely fictional. I needed a nice place in the Caribbean, so I checked Google Maps. There are a lot of islands out there, but I needed it to be fictional. And since most of these islands are named after some sort of Catholic Saint, I needed something like that too. So I stumbled upon Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the island was born. The friction between Colombia and Nicaragua is completely made-up too! So please, don’t feel offended by it! I needed a backstory, and this seemed plausible.

I know it took me almost a year to write, and I didn’t publish anything in that period. But I’m not the kind of writer who can put a story on the back burner and let it sit there for a while, in the meantime writing a completely different story. It just doesn’t work like that for me. But I was invested in this story and the characters, and so was E-o-F. So that’s why I felt the desperate need to finish it. This made me realize I need my next stories to be (much) shorter. I’m not necessarily a ‘quick wank story’ kind of guy, so there always be some kind of development. But 150K is something else…

And E-o-F deserves a lot of credit on this one!! We outlined the whole story together, he had a few good ideas we incorporated, he urged me to start writing in the present tense, which I did in about half the chapters. And he was there when I needed him! I had a few moments where I wasn’t in a good place with this story and wanted to drop out. But, each time, he put me back on track and helped me out whenever he could.

So as much as it’s my story, it’s E-o-F’s!!! Thanks again, Ed!!!!

I’ll update this post each time I publish a new chapter. If you subscribe to the email list, you’ll get an email from me the moment I publish the latest chapter (and other new stories, for that matter). I promise that’s the only goal of this list! No spam, unnecessary emails, or other annoying stuff. I’m paying all of this out of my own pocket here, so why would I do that? There are easier ways to make money off this site, but I choose not to.

I really, really hope you enjoy the story! After all, that’s why I write. I’m not a fan-service kind of guy, and I don’t NEED to write it down. It’s already inside my head, you know? But it’s relaxing to me, and the reward of getting comments (and I mean it that both good AND bad comments feel rewarding) is what drives me forward at the end of the day. Enjoy!!

La Isla de Aquinas story page

La Isla de Aquinas – Chapter 1

Chapter 1 – He’s dead

La Isla de Aquinas – Chapter 1

“Try to see it my way…” I say to Jack, who’s looking doubtful at me, “I want to do something more with my life. Maybe I’ll…”

I’m interrupted by Kevin shouting at us from the comms tent, holding up the satellite phone, and waving at me. I look at Jack, who just nods, and I hurry over to the tent.

“Hello?” I ask curiously after I take the phone from Kevin.

“You’re mister Scott Harris, correct?” the voice on the other side of the line informs.

“Yes. Yes, I am,” I say, fearing what will come after hearing the formal voice on the other side of the line.

“I’m afraid I have some bad news for you,” he says, and after a short pause, “I’m sad to inform you that Mr. Taylor passed away this morning.”

It’s as if time stands still, and I feel like someone kicks me in my stomach. Glenn dead? But how? And what about Audrey? And, what happened? It takes me a few moments, and as I steady myself against the table, I regain my senses.

“Mr. Harris?” the voice says calmly.

“Yeah… sorry… I’m here. It’s just that… I didn’t expect this.”

“I understand. Mr. Taylor died this morning because of heart and lung failure. He was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of lung cancer just last week. I’m sorry for your loss, Mr. Harris.”

“Thank you. I’m… why didn’t he let me know he was sick?” I hear myself ask, knowing perfectly well that the person on the other end won’t or can’t tell me this, but there were just too many questions popping up in my head.

“I don’t know, Mr. Harris. But it all happened very quickly, that much I know. But… em… the main reason I’m calling you is because of the last will of Mr. Taylor. And, of course, about his daughter Audrey. Are you available to come to my office to take over the testament and settle some urgent matters?”

“I’m currently abroad, but I think I can arrange something for tomorrow afternoon. Is that an option for you?”

“Of course, Mr. Harris. Does four p.m. suit you?” he asks politely.

“I think I can manage that, yes,” I say, a bit blown away by it all.

The man gives me the address and extends his condolences again. I thank him, hang up the phone, and sit down on the nearest chair.

“Bad news?” I hear Jack ask.

“Yeah. Glenn died this morning. I need to get back to the states.”

“Fuck! That’s bad. I’m sorry, man,” he says and puts his hand on my shoulder.

“Yeah. Me too,” I say, fighting to hold back my tears. The last thing I want is to cry in front of the guys.

“Well, the job’s done here anyways. So that won’t be a problem. I’m sure if I ask Mike, he’ll fly you back to the mainland immediately,” Jack says, his hand still on my shoulder.

“Thanks. Appreciate it. You know I’m getting out now, right?” I say softly.

“I know. And we’ll see. It’s been long enough here anyway, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much now. So you get your stuff, and I’ll go ask Mike.”

I watch Jack leave the tent we’re currently sitting in. Right now, we’re in the middle of the jungle, searching for a wanted drug lord and rebel leader. This is our fifteenth consecutive job on this island I have come to love so much.

We’re at a reasonably sized island in the Caribbean called Isla de Aquinas. With its location a bit north of Colombia and east of Nicaragua, the climate is fantastic. But geopolitically, it’s a nightmare. So that’s the main reason my group and me have been here on and off for five years in a row, doing all sorts of covert operations for different reasons and different parties.

We’re currently at a small camp owned by the Colombian army. Our job is to eliminate the drug lord during his inspection of the production fields. These drugs are supposed to fund his campaign against the current, Colombian-oriented leader. Combined with Nicaraguan funds, this drug money would give him a serious chance to overthrow the current leader. Several mighty people didn’t want that to happen, so they called us.

We planned this job for over a month, and we spent more than a week in the jungle. So staying in some form of civilization now is nice, but getting this news by satellite phone sure as hell isn’t.

After high school, I joined the army. I didn’t do it just to please my dad. No. I aimed for the elite forces because I wanted to do all sorts of crazy shit all over the world and be damn good at it. THAT was what I wanted to do and eventually ended up doing.

I’ve done all sorts of crazy missions with our small but close crew. We’re the guys they call when it needs to be done, preferably without anyone knowing. And they almost always deny our presence and existence. This is fine with me. I get to do what I like best, and the pay is more than excellent.

But lately, after another covert operation in another jungle and another briefing by yet another bloated suited guy, I felt tired and fed-up. I wanted to do something more with my life. My entire life, I never really grounded anywhere. And after all this time, I want a place for my own to call home. Despite the fantastic teammates I work with, I have had it with being alone.

Between missions, I always visited Glenn as much as I could. He was more of a father to me than my real dad. My father served in the army for as long as I can remember. He is a high-ranking officer and changes base at least once a year. He dragged my mom and me with him across the world. By the time I turned eleven, I had lived in fourteen different countries around the globe. But when we met Glenn during our time in Seattle, my life changed. My mom and dad became friends with him and his wife, and I stayed over at his place a lot! I finally had a normal place I could go to and feel welcome.

My mom did everything she could to build us a comfy home each time we moved, but it was always on base, and the houses all looked the same over there. So it just never felt like home. But when I was at Glenn’s place, I was home.

And now he’s dead.

I gather my things, lost in my thoughts, hearing Jack yell at me. “Mike’s ready to leave, Scott!”. So I quickly drop the last of my stuff in my bag and walk over to the chopper. Jack waits there with a serious look.

“You okay, man?”

“Yeah. I’m good. Thanks.”

Jack gives me a firm hug, slaps me on my back, and steps aside to let me through. “We’ll talk later. But, first, we need to get you home. Take care.”

I nod, walk over to the chopper, and quickly get inside. Before I know it, we’re airborne and on our way to the big camp on the Colombian mainland, where a plane will take me back to Seattle. As we get higher, I notice a few of the guys looking. I wave at them, and they wave back. But at that moment, I’m sure I’ll never see them in a setting like this anymore.

“Bad news?” Mike’s voice asks, his voice sounding tinny as always through these headphones.

“Yeah,” I say as I keep looking outside, ”my best friend died today.”

“Shit, man. I’m sorry,” he responds thoughtfully.

Like most helicopter pilots, Mike is a strange but very likable guy. He‘s the typical adrenaline junkie, but he’s also the best damn pilot I ever met. He pulled us out of a tight spot numerous times, and I owe him my life. At least three times.

“Yeah. Me too,” I softly say, lost in my thoughts.

Mike drops me off at the large Colombian Air Force base, where a plane is already waiting. This is all very unusual, but the Colombian army is grateful for our help, so they help us out in return. Before I get out, Mike looks at me, pats me on my back, and smiles weakly.

“Take care, man!”

“You too. Don’t crash, okay?” I smile.

“Stay alive, okay?” he smiles back.

We always say this to each other when I exit his chopper. It became a running gag over the years, but we both like it, and it kinda grew on us. We bump fists, and I wave goodbye as I walk over to the plane.

It is way past noon when I enter my Seattle apartment. I shower, shave, and as I browse through my closet for decent clothes, I stumble across an old picture of Glenn and me together in his backyard. I take it in my hand and need to sit down on the bed as tears start forming in my eyes. This sure brings back some memories…

Copyright 2022 – Jason Crow
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Here’s the download link to this chapter’s audio file: Link

But I recommend downloading the complete audio file (.m4a, .m4b or .MP3) for the best experience. There’s also an eBook in both the ePub and PDF format available for download here.
Click here to go to the Audio book/eBook page

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