But their high hopes for happiness are dashed when their charter boat captain dumps them off at the wrong island--and even worse, it's deserted. Rick and Dean must try to survive until the captain's scheduled return in six days. Curiously, Rick's discovery of some unusual berries leaves him in a highly unusual condition--he's become invisible.
What ensues is a hilarious story of Rick's struggle to cope with his newfound "talent." When the brothers return to their hometown of Vaglooshi, Mississippi, Rick seeks new ways to make himself useful around town. He manages to slip onto a movie set, befuddle a college quarterback, thwart an attempted robbery, and convince a street beggar to clean up and find a job. But Dean finds a better use for Rick's invisibility than mischief. An illegal drug is circulating the streets, and Dean needs Rick's special ability to help him crack the case.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)|
Read an Excerpt
I CAN'T SEE ME EITHER
By GREG BIER
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Greg Bier
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe day was hot and muggy. It was the kind of a day where you take a shower, dry off with a towel, and then feel like you need to start all over again. It was the kind of a day where you drink a couple of lemonades, and then feel like you need to drink a couple of beers just to quench your thirst. It was the kind of a day you come to expect in the summer in the small town of Vaglooshi, Mississippi.
Dean Walker was making his rounds in his patrol car for the Vaglooshi police department. He was sweating and bored as usual— but not complaining! He was used to the sweat and he knew that boring was very good in his job. Of course, a couple of misdemeanors would liven up the day a bit. Nothing big, but he certainly would appreciate a little action every now and then. Not that he would ever say so aloud, but a case of vandalism would even be nice. Or maybe even a small robbery.
Days like this seemed to turn into months like this. They made him wish he wouldn't have dropped out of college a couple of years ago. Maybe he would have been doing something more exciting now. Maybe he wouldn't. Still, he wondered if he should just "bite the bullet" and find a way to go back to college and finish his degree. After all, he had been a decent student, making the Dean's List occasionally. There was no doubt in his mind that he needed some type of change, even if only for a short while.
Rick Walker's day was not going any better, also as usual. Rick was pretty much a self-taught computer guru. After high school he took a few college courses, but didn't really find anything that seemed helpful or interesting. He made his living by troubleshooting fairly routine computer problems for the local townsfolk. He knew he was very good at what he did, but he believed that he could be very good at anything he wanted to do. He wished that he had a job that was more demanding, and more fun, and had more people contact. Much of the time he didn't even have to leave his home, he just told his client what to do over the phone and fixed the problem. Most of his clients were senior citizens that were not really comfortable yet with their new personal computers. He would venture outside the house if he had to do some training, if he had to fix something a bit more challenging like a computer virus, if he had to help with an installation, or if the client was female, young and pretty.
Earlier in the day, Rick had made his weekly visit to Chrissy's house. About six months ago, Chrissy's computer had stopped printing and she called him for help. It turned out that her printer was just out of ink. But Chrissy was female, young and pretty. Therefore, Rick personally checked out her computer every week or two. He told her it was part of his normal maintenance program. He knew he wouldn't make any money doing things like this, but it did help spark his day.
Chrissy and Rick were good friends from way back. Her father owned probably the largest pharmacy in town. In fact, she was studying to be a pharmacist herself. Rick knew that Chrissy was computer literate because she frequently shared interesting web sites with him. Her favorites were those websites with amusing animations, good new games, or just unusual information. Surely she knew something about printer ink cartridges. But if she wanted his company from time to time, he certainly didn't mind.
Rick has had a crush on Chrissy since late grade school, but he had never asked her out on a date. One of them always seemed to be dating somebody else. Yet she never stopped the flirting. And now that he was unattached, she was dating that idiot Tyler who was the son of the local bank president. Maybe Tyler wasn't really an idiot, but he certainly had been an inconvenience for more than a year now. And he certainly was an arrogant, silver spoon-fed blueblood. Some day, he thought, Chrissy would come to see the light.
Dean and Rick were best friends that also happened to be brothers. They both were very outgoing and had lots of friends, but they really weren't all that close to anybody else. Their dad died about four years ago and then their mom died two years later. They lived together in the small home that their parents left them. Dean was 23 and Rick had just turned 21. Dean was a little taller and Rick was a bit better looking. Dean was conservative in his dress, speech and actions. He came across as being serious, considerate and thoughtful. Rick was more fun-loving and adventuresome, and enjoyed being a practical jokester. They were good smart kids—but bored with their jobs, and right now with their lives.
When Dean got home from work that night, Rick greeted him "Hey, bro. Did you arrest anybody today?"
"I sure did. I arrested forty-four bad guys." Dean replied.
"382's and probable 719's." Of course, he was making the whole thing up. "How was your day? Did you have to fix Chrissy's printer again?"
"Yes. That damn printer of hers keeps acting up, and she just won't trust anybody but me to work on it. Hey, but I did bill over $250 today. Pretty good, huh?" Rick asked.
"Yes, pretty good. I'm proud of you, little brother. Good timing too, because it's your turn to buy groceries this week."
"Great! And I'll just bet that you already have all the coupons sorted for me. You probably even have a three-page grocery list ready." Rick replied.
"Actually, the list is four pages long. But, to be quite honest about it, my day sucked!"
"I figured as much. Dean, I've been thinking and I've got a fantastic idea."
"You've been thinking? That sounds pretty dangerous to me." Dean quipped.
"No really. We both need to get away from here for awhile, and get recharged. We need to go somewhere exciting."
"Somewhere exciting sounds good to me." Dean responded. "What are you thinking? Las Vegas? New Orleans? South Beach?"
"No. Some place we've never been, some place exotic—somewhere like Himmel Island." Rick answered.
Dean rolled his eyes and quickly asked "And where, pray tell, is Himmel Island?"
"I found it on the internet. It's in the Caribbean."
"You found it on the internet? I can't say that that turns me on. How many beers have you had today anyway?"
"We take a private charter boat from Nassau. The women outnumber the men by five-to-one, and they're all supposed to be beautiful." Again, Dean rolled his eyes.
"And the best part is that the whole trip will be very cheap." Rick continued.
Dean had some real reservations about this Himmel Island thing, but Rick was right on about their needing to take a break. He also knew that Rick spent a lot of time on the internet, and maybe he did just happen to stumble across something special. The five-to-one ratio thing sure sounded good—even if only some of the women were really beautiful. The low cost was a strong selling point.
After a few minutes more of listening to convincing arguments from Rick, Dean said "Well I do have some vacation days to use."
Rick added, "And Chrissy's printer isn't scheduled to break down for at least another week."
Dean stewed on the idea a while longer. He thought about the worst that could happen, and even that didn't seem so bad. Then, in a rare impulsive moment, he said "Oh what the heck, let's go!"
Chapter TwoOne week later and they were on their way. Their flight from Vaglooshi to Nassau was uneventful and relatively quick. Dean spent the time reading a book and taking a nap. Rick had a couple of beers and joked with the flight attendants. And sure enough, when they got off the plane, the first thing they saw was a sign with the name "Walker" written on it being held up by a pretty young lady.
Rick said, "Look at this, Dean. We have our own beautiful escort, and I'll bet she even has a private limo waiting for us."
"That would be great." Dean replied, obviously impressed. "Brother, I hope all the girls on this Himmel Island of yours are as pretty as she is!"
They approached the young lady who then introduced herself as Janie, their vacation representative. She welcomed them and explained that she was going to drive them to the charter boat dock where they would then have about a two-hour boat ride to Himmel Island. Dean and Rick were getting pretty excited by now and were anxious to get going. They didn't mind at all that Janie's private limo turned out to be a Chevy Nova. What a great week this was going to be.
Janie drove them to the boat dock and introduced them to Enrique, a middle-aged, burley sort of a man who would be their captain. Enrique looked like he had a three-day-old beard and smelled of rum. He also looked like he was wearing his only set of clothes. His English was just as rough as his appearance. But he was smiling and seemed friendly enough.
Rick chidingly said to Dean "This is a good omen to have a captain with such a fine name."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I would imagine that Enrique is a Latin version of Rick."
Dean replied, barely audible, "I'm not sure that's a good sign."
So the three of them got into a fairly small boat and headed for Himmel Island. The boat appeared to be in decent enough condition and looked like it could hold six passengers.
Dean said to Rick in a voice loud enough to be heard by Enrique "I'm surprised that nobody else on the plane was going to Himmel Island. I'm also surprised that we're the only passengers on this boat."
"That just means that there will be more girls for us!" Rick replied. Enrique did not respond.
About an hour later, Dean was watching Enrique shuffling a few pieces of paper and looking somewhat confused. Dean asked "Enrique, how many times have you made this trip from Nassau to Himmel Island?"
"No worry. Everything right here." Enrique replied showing Dean the papers he held. This was not exactly the answer that Dean was hoping for. Rick just smiled, told his brother to relax, and lit up a cigar. Dean seemed to take the advice, and the two of them began to anticipate the week ahead while marveling about how vast and beautiful the ocean was. Fortunately, the boat came equipped with a small cooler and the boys were able to sip a couple of beers.
After another hour went by, and still with no land in sight, Dean again asked Enrique "How many times did you say that you've made this trip from Nassau to Himmel Island?" Enrique's answer was the same "No worry. Everything right here."
Dean was starting to become concerned. Rick had his shirt off and was taking a nap.
Dean asked Enrique "I thought this was going to be about a two-hour boat ride?"
"Almost there." Enrique replied.
Another hour went by, and the boat was headed toward what looked like a very small patch of land. The small patch of land looked like a brown dot on a vast sea of blue water. However, the blue water was beautiful and crystal clear. When they finally landed on Himmel Island, they didn't see anybody else on the island. Dean asked Enrique "Where's the hotel?"
Enrique looked at his precious papers and pointed to a small hill about two hundred yards away. He said "Car pick you up soon and drive to hotel. I pick you up here six days from now."
Rick, still displaying no concern whatsoever, asked "What time will you pick us up?"
"The hotel people tell you." Enrique responded. And with that, Enrique got into his boat, said something that sounded like "Have good time", and waved goodbye.
As they watched Enrique ride away, Dean was shaking his head and Rick was smiling.
Chapter ThreeDean and Rick sat on their suitcases waiting for the car to take them to the hotel. Ten minutes went by, then another ten. Getting somewhat antsy, Dean asked Rick "How long did that genius say it would be before a car would come down here to pick us up?"
"He said it would be soon. But, I'll tell you. I'm getting tired of waiting. And I'm getting pretty damn thirsty and hungry as hell."
So Dean and Rick decided they would just walk to the hotel. After all, the hotel was just over the hill. They each had brought only one suitcase with them so the trip up the hill was not all that bad. But what they saw, or what they didn't see, when they got to the top of the hill was all that bad, and more.
They saw no hotel, they saw no people, and they saw no animals. The hill was located right in the middle of the little island, and from the top of the hill they could see the entire island. The widest part of the island had to be less than a half of a mile. There was absolutely nothing of any interest that they could see.
Borrowing a line from Seinfeld, Rick said, "This is not good." For the first time, Rick had a worried sound in his voice.
Taking his cue, Dean soberly said "Not good. Not good at all."
Rick tried making a call on his cell phone. Alas, there was no signal. He figured they must be out of range.
They looked in all directions from the top of the hill, and saw that a much larger mass of land was situated to the southeast, perhaps five miles from them. It was probably the real Himmel Island. Somehow, they thought, they had to find a way to get to Himmel Island.
Swimming to Himmel Island was the first idea ruled out. Neither Dean nor Rick was a particularly good swimmer, and the strong currents would make it impossible for even an expert swimmer to reach Himmel Island. Next they considered making a small raft. But there were only five palm trees on the island that they could use. Nothing else was over six foot high. They thought about making a large fire from whatever dune vegetation and brush they could gather. But there was no way that anybody on Himmel Island would ever see that fire.
Their concern was escalating into fear. Finally, after much painful brainstorming, they concluded that their only hope was Enrique. "Hopefully, your dumb shit buddy Enrique will realize his mistake when he comes back to get us in six days." Dean said.
"Yes, and hopefully, that DS-stupid ass will remember where he left us." Rick added.
"Hopefully." Dean bitterly said. "Hopefully, that DS-SA-son of a bitch Enrique will save us."
Their next thoughts turned to food and water and shelter. They decided the best vantage point would be from near the top of the hill, so they decided to pitch camp there on the side away from the wind and by one of the palm trees. From that spot, they could watch for Enrique's hoped-for return and also monitor whether any boats from Himmel Island came close to their island.
Dean wondered aloud "Well we now have our own island—an island that's about the size of a good par five hole on a golf course. What do you think we should we name it? How about 'DS-SA-SOB Enrique Island'?"
Rick mustered an insincere laugh.
Then Dean said, "No, I'm going to call this Rick Island."
Rick thanked him for leaving out the accompanying adjectives.
They emptied their suitcases, which luckily were both lined. They wiped the plastic liners—Dean with a clean shirt and Rick with his hands. The suitcases were now open and ready to collect rainwater. Of course, they didn't know when it might rain. They did the same with their doppkits.
Later, Rick said "Damn, I've never been hungrier in my life."
Dean suggested, "Why don't you chew on one of those delicious cigars you brought with you?"
Two of the palm trees on Rick Island had a few coconuts on them. That would be helpful but they would need a lot more food than a couple of coconuts. Dean used his nail clippers to fashion a fishhook out of the top of the zipper of one pair of his shorts. He attached the crafted fishhook to some of his dental floss and was ready to fish. Rick was very impressed with all of this.
"Now what should I use for bait?" Dean wondered aloud.
Rick said "How about part of this?" offering his cigar to Dean.
"Rick, you know you and Enrique have a lot in common.... How about this? I'll find some bugs or other insects to use as bait, try a little fishing and meet you back here in two hours. Perhaps you can scour this island and see if you can find anything that might be edible or useful?"
"Ok, Dean. See you in two hours. Good Luck."
Some two hours later they met at the campsite—both boys very excited about their treasures. Dean had managed to catch a couple of small fish. Rick looked at the fish and, with a real sick frown on his face, said "Yuck. Those are the ugliest fish I've ever seen. I'm not sure whether I can eat those ... things."
"Suit yourself. And what did you find?"
Rick showed him a handful of purple berries. He said "I found these berries when I was using this island's beautiful facilities. But I only found one bush with any berries on it, and I picked it clean."
Dean looked at the berries and, mimicking Rick's earlier sickly looking face, said "Yuck. Those are the ugliest berries I've ever seen. I'm not sure whether I can eat those ... things." Then he added, "Seriously, those berries may not be safe for us to eat."
Dean ate most of the fish. Rick ate some of the fish and all of the berries. Dean tried one of the berries but he spit it out because of its tart taste. They shared a small amount of coconut milk and prayed for rain.
Excerpted from I CAN'T SEE ME EITHER by GREG BIER Copyright © 2005 by Greg Bier. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Finally! A book with simplistic pleasure. 'I Can't See Me Either' is a worthwhile book to read. It is a very simple, easy-reading book that had me chuckling. The characters were so likeable, that I found myself wanting to meet them! Strange, but true! The plot kept me guessing and by the book's end, I wanted more. I hope there will be a sequel to this amusing story. Thumbs up to the author!