Endless Summer Book 1 Act 1 Chapter 1: This Must be Heaven (Choices: Stories You Play)

A/N: After finishing the Breakfast Club, I decided to write about Jasmine’s adventures on the island of La Huerta! She and ten other people won a contest where they can spend the summer on that very island. Only problem, it’s completely deserted! Can she and the other winners find out where everyone went?

Hey, everyone! Jasmine Ross here with the latest blog post! Today’s the big day, the day of the trip to the mysterious La Huerta! Right now, I’m on a plane with ten other contest winners and I just woke up from the strangest dream. First, a guy with a rugged look warned us to stay down and said that whatever was coming after us was coming this way. Then Sean, the Quarterback of the Hartfield University football team, asked me for his hand. Last thing I remember was this older well-dressed man saying that I wouldn’t understand, but I would in time. One shudder from the plane was all it took to jolt me awake.

I don’t know what that dream was, but I blinked it away as my eyes adjusted to the bright sunlight outside. All I could say was… wow! My best friend, Diego, gave me a goofy smirk from the seat beside me and greeted me with a good morning. I asked Diego if I was still dreaming. He said that it doesn’t feel real, but we’re finally on our way! Like I said earlier, there were ten other winners from Hartfield and their chatter was filling the small plane. One of them was Quinn, who was looking forward to one magical week in paradise just as much as I was.

Yep, with all expenses paid! How awesome is this?

Craig even bragged about how it was all expenses paid! Raj said that it was a good thing too, because he was so deep in student debt he couldn’t even afford instant ramen right now. Which, honestly, ain’t something I can relate to but I feel bad for him. Diego asked me if I was okay and wanted to know if I had a bad dream. I told him that it was just a really weird one, I dreamt about… Then, to my surprise, the QB from my dream was walking down the aisle towards me and I said that he was who I dreamed about. Oh dear god, Diego is never going to let me live this down. The QB didn’t even speak, just smiled at me. Diego took what I said the wrong way and asked me if I really had a dream about Sean Gayle. Then Diego told me to go talk to him. Yep, Diego definitely took this the wrong way. I tried to tell him, but he pushed me into the aisle, right as Sean passed by. He and I ended up bumping into each other, courtesy of my so-called best friend. Sean greeted me with a somewhat flirtatious hello. Diego said that I wanted to say something, which I didn’t! I just told Sean that I dreamt about him. Sean smiled and asked me if that was so. Then he said that he hoped it was a good one! Dear God, why do I feel so embarrassed right now? I told Sean the truth, that the dream was kind of terrifying. Though I clarified that it wasn’t because of him, it’s just that—! Thankfully, Sean didn’t let me finish and told me not to worry. He said that he’ll take it as a compliment anyway. Sean just shot me a smile as he slipped by. I’ll admit, I am a little flattered. Not because I’m into him, I just like knowing that I have options. Diego bragged about how he got the whole thing on video and said that I just had to see my face. I told Diego that I’ll pass. Then Diego checked the time and said that it was really weird, because it was 5:15 already. According to Diego, we should’ve landed an hour ago and it didn’t feel like I’ve been snoring that long.

A little delay, but we’re still getting that vacation!

I told Diego that was real hilarious and said that I’d ask the pilot if something’s up. I made my way forward and had to pass by other students talking loudly over each other. Aleister told everyone to cease their babbling because the tour guide is trying to speak. Not that I don’t agree, but did he have to be so pretentious about it? Lila, our tour guide, thanked Aleister and said that, as our tour guide for the week, she just wanted to say that we should all try to… you know, be friends. Then Lila joked that we were going to an island after all, so… we’re all kind of stuck with each other. Then she started to giggle. Zahra asked if it was too late to jump out of the plane. Considering we’re thousands of feet in the air, I’d say yes. I don’t know if that’s accurate but, honestly, I don’t really care.

Anyway, I finally made my way to the cockpit, where the pilot had his combat boots kicked up on the dashboard. I asked him if his name was Jake and if we were supposed to have landed by now. Then I realized that the guy had his eyes closed! I demanded to know if he was asleep! Jake woke up with a jolt and opened his eyes to look back at me. I instantly recognized his face from that same bizarre dream. He was the rugged guy who told me to stay down because something was coming this way! The guy had the nerve to call me Princess and asked me if I know its rude to wake someone who’s taking a nap? I was about to counter by saying that it’s rude to sleep on the job until I realized what Jake had called me and asked him about it. Jake only gave me a stupid smug smirk and said that he gives nicknames to people who annoy him.

And it looks like I’m one of them.

I told Jake that, in that case, I’m calling him Top Gun. Jake claimed that I can’t be giving nicknames because that’s his thing. I teased Jake and said that I don’t know but I like it and I might keep doing it. Jake’s smirk returned and he told me that I’m not clever enough to keep them coming because it takes work to be as good as him. I insisted that the only one I’m giving a nickname to is him. Then Jake told me to relax and said that we’re not landing until… I didn’t get to hear what the until was supposed to be as Jake checked the time and said that it couldn’t be right and that something else wasn’t right either. He whacked the instrument panel on his dash a few times like he was the Fonz. Maybe that should’ve been his nickname. Anyway, I asked Jake if he was sure he knew what he was doing. Jake said that, if I knew half the things he’d survived, I’d bet on him to get me through anything. Though he got cut off thanks to an out of nowhere turbulence that hammered the plane! I got thrown into the wall of the cockpit! Needless to say, I gave a yelp of pain. Jake warned me that the stormfront’s coming in quick! He leaned in and grabbed the yoke and ordered me to get my *** in a seat, then to tell everyone to buckle up! I tried to protest but Jake told me to do it now!

I ran back into the aisle as dark clouds closed in around the plane, gusts rocked it side to side. Everyone started shouting and I heard Raj cry out that he was really regretting that airport Chipotle! Craig told Raj not to puke because, if Raj pukes, then Craig will puke! Michelle demanded to know just where the **** this storm came from anyway and pointed out that it was a clear day! Jake insisted that this happens and it’s totally normal! Doesn’t feel normal to me! Zahra agreed with me as she sarcastically pointed out that this looks normal! Outside, balls of orange electricity coalesced out of the dark sky and exploded into a crackle of sparks! Grace said that it looked like a ball of lightning but she’s never seen anything quite like this! Aleister said that this was all wrong and he can’t die here surrounded by us morons!

Even in a crisis, he’s pretentious.

I remarked to Aleister that I’m so sorry we’re not good enough to die with his highness! Before Aleister could respond, Sean told us all to breathe and insisted that we’re going to get through this! Poor Quinn was freaking out by chanting “Oh god…” over and over! Then a blistering crack of thunder made me go deaf as lightning struck the plane! Sparks were flying in the cockpit! Jake said that the engines lost power and he was bringing the plane down manually! Then he told us all to hang on but we couldn’t! The shouting just got louder as my classmates started to panic… with only one exception! No, it wasn’t me, it was the girl in a tight ponytail and a long scar across her eye who sat alone in the back row of the plane. I don’t know how but she was completely unfazed by all of this! She just sat there in silence! Lila told me that it was safety first and ordered me to find a seat! I looked for an empty space around me and tumbled into the one next to Quinn as the plane lurched violently. Quinn’s face was drawn tight, refusing to even look anywhere, she was panicking so badly! I told Quinn to just breath and assured her that it would pass. Quinn insisted that this couldn’t happen, not yet, and that it was too soon.

Too soon for what?

She gripped the armrests tightly, her chest rising and falling shallowly as if she was having trouble breathing. So I did the only thing I could think of, I rested my hand gently on top of Quinn’s and told her that I’m here, she’s not alone and we’ll be okay. Quinn was hesitant at first but relaxed and let out a deep sigh. When Quinn opened her eyes, they met with mine and she thanked me. Then Quinn offered me her hand and I took it. She smiled sweetly at me and it somehow made all the shouting and alarms fade to the background. She told me her name, which I already knew thanks to seeing it in the passenger’s list. I just told her that my name’s Jasmine. Jake said that it was just a little further and he thinks that we’re almost out. Just as the lightning reached a fever pitch… the plane bursted out of the storm clouds into the clear sky. Raj cheered, happy that we were all still alive. Quinn told me to look and there was the island below us! Jake told us to get a good look now, because we’re coming in fast! Then he welcomed us to La Huerta. The plane sunk toward the gorgeous, sprawling island. At its center, a volcano rose above the rainforest, breathing a white column of smoke.

The beautiful island paradise itself!

Jake called La Huerta Tower and said that this was tail number XC-DMK requesting emergency priority to land. All he got was radio silence. Jake told some Carlos guy to pick up, calling him a lazy *******, and that it was him. All he got was more silence. Jake told Carlos that ignoring him won’t make him forget the hundred bucks Carlos owes him and, like it or not, we’re coming in!

The plane landed on a dirt airstrip at the edge of the island, pulling into a hangar. I stepped down the stairs into the warm tropical sunshine with a smile on my face. I know, that was a scary landing but look at how beautiful this island is! That little bit of turbulence was totally worth it! I told Top Gun that it was a rough landing and I hope he doesn’t work for tips. Jake just gave me that smirk again and asked if I was kidding. Then he claimed that he was a damn hero for even getting us on the ground. Jake tried to call Carlos again, only to get radio silence… again. As Jake marched off, the rest of my group pulled their luggage from the plane’s cargo bay. Quinn said that this island’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, the beaches, the waterfalls! Grace pointed out that it’s also home to a plethora of rare flora and fauna! Craig remarked that there were only ten spots on this trip and they had to give one to a dork like Grace! I told Craig that was uncalled for as a I reached for my suitcase handle just as Sean did! Sean apologized to me. I told Sean that, if he wanted to carry my bag, he could go right ahead. Michelle glared at me and asked if I could be any more desperate. She draped her arms around Sean and said that people like me always hover around the spotlight like moths! I asked Michelle what that was supposed to mean? Michelle scoffed and said it wasn’t like I didn’t know who Sean is, which I do. Craig bragged that Sean’s their superstar QB, the Heisman frontrunner. Again, I knew all of this. I went to the same college they did. Sean said that it was cool and told Michelle and Craig to chill out. Michelle told me that Sean doesn’t need any famehounds hanging around! Great, I’m about to get my eyes clawed out over a guy I’m not even interested in. You know what, Michelle wants him than she can have him. I’m not about to get into whatever’s going on between them. I told Michelle that I’m not interested in her boyfriend, so she can back off. Michelle was actually stunned and then cleared her throat saying that she was glad that we had that covered. Sean told Michelle that the two of them are in reality and, in reality, they’re not together anymore. Then they started arguing and there is no way I’m getting involved in this drama. So I backed away and my foot clinked on something. I asked loudly what it was and saw a red dart on the ground!

I don’t even want to know what this was used for.

Diego asked if it was a tranquilizer dart. Then he said that the vial was nearly empty, so it must have hit its target. I agreed and said that there was a pretty big dose in the dart. I told Diego that, whatever animal this took down must have been huge. I couldn’t help but think it was the one in my dream, the one Jake warned me about. Diego teased me with a correction by saying if they took it down. Yeah, Diego, that’s real comforting. Anyway, I looked up and saw someone watching me nearby, listening to our conversation. It was the same woman from earlier with the ponytail. I asked Diego who that woman was. He said that he didn’t know and asked if I had eyes for the mysterious hottie. I told Diego that, unlike him, my main goal isn’t to get laid. Diego corrected me and claimed that his goal is to find romance, sex comes later. I smiled and told him I thought there was something off about that woman. Diego asked me what gave me that idea. I pointed out the truth, that there are too many of us. Diego asked what I meant and I told him to think about it, we’d been told that ten students from our college had won the trip but, count us off, not including the pilot or the tour guide, this woman makes eleven.

So who’s the extra?

Diego said that I was right and he doesn’t think that he’s seen her here before. Then Diego asked who the woman was. I looked in the girl’s direction once more and, this time, she stared directly back at me, our eyes locked. She still didn’t say anything. I tried to look away but, for some reason, I can’t. It was as if she was pulling me in with her gaze.

Jake broke the tension by asking Lila where her people were. He stormed back and at last the silent girl looked away. The strange hold she had over me went away and I shook it off. Jake pointed out that there was nobody here. We all looked around and Jake was right. We’re still the only ones at the airstrip. Lila insisted that her people should be here in a shuttle to take us up to the main resort. Lila then claimed that she was sure it was just a slight delay and there was no need to fret. Then she insisted that her people would be here any minute. Jake said that it was to **** with that and he was going up to the control tower to get some answers. I asked Jake what he think’s going on over there. He admitted that he had no idea and to call it a gut feeling but, whatever it was, it wasn’t good. Then Jake asked me if I was coming. Michelle offered to go with Jake instead! Hands off, *****! You’ve got Sean… maybe. I don’t really know what’s going on with that but she’s not getting Jake too! Jake just blew Michelle off, said he wasn’t talking to her and called her Maybelline. Yep, I’ve definitely got the better nickname. Lila said that she was okay with that and asked the rest of us to please follow her. She wanted us to take the short walk up to the hill resort and asked us if it sounded like fun. Quinn was about to leave and Lila asked her where she was going. She just skipped past Lila and unbuttoned her blouse. Quinn insisted that some of us wanted to explore the beach a little more first and said that we’d meet the rest of them back at the hotel. Then Quinn said that one of her buttons was stuck and asked me to help. I agreed to help and undid the last button so Quinn could slip out of her top, which she did. She gave a sigh, said that was better and asked if I was going to the beach with them. I told her that I’m afraid that I’ll have to decline and, instead, jogged to catch up with Jake. I asked him if it was cool with him if I join. Jake asked me if I ask permission for everything and told me to come on, calling me Princess again. I insisted that I sometimes ask for permission, to make sure that I’m wanted. I expected Jake to tease me about that but I guess he either didn’t hear me or was too worried about the situation to care.

Together, we scaled the rickety rusted stairs of the tall control tower. The rainforest stretched out before me, vibrant and lush. I told Top Gun that this place was gorgeous and asked if he flew out here a lot. Jake said that he flew here and every other privately owned resort island in the Caribbean. He claimed that it was the favored vacation spots of the young and the privileged. I pointed out that he didn’t sound like he liked it much. Jake only said that it pays the bar tab. Then I asked Jake what got him into this business. Jake asked me what got anyone into anything, necessity. He said that he had a plane, a pilot’s license, a dishonorable discharge, and an empty bank account.

Dishonorably discharged? What happened?

Wait a minute, dishonorably discharged? I didn’t get to ask about that, because Jake got mad and asked me if this was twenty questions. I apologized, realizing that I had hit a nerve. I fell silent but Jake continued on his own. He told me that he’s from Louisiana and, if ferrying rich jerks around a couple of times a week is the price he has to pay to never set foot back there, he’ll pay it. Then he said that he’d been sleeping in a beach hammock on Costa Rica ever since! Oh my god, what happened to Jake to reduce him to this? Though, if I asked, he’d probably get mad at me for getting into his personal business again. So I told Jake that it sounded lonely. Jake just gave that smirk again and said that it was the appeal. I said that I get wanting to get away for a little while, but doesn’t he want more? I asked him if he wanted someone to come home to, someone to listen to him, someone to hold him all through the night. After I realized what I said, my face turned a bright red. Jake just asked me if I was offering. I got defensive and told him that I wasn’t! I said that I just meant that… in theory… Jake told me that, in theory, he wanted to be the best pilot the Navy had ever seen. He said that in practice… well, you can’t beat a cold beer and a Caribbean sunset. We continued to climb the tower’s stairs when a step cracked in two beneath me and I started to fall through! I called out for Jake who reacted instantly and grabbed me, pulling me into his arms. He said that he’s got me and the rusted fragments of the metal step twirled as they plunged fifty feet to the ground! I told Jake that I think he just saved my life. Jake claimed that now I owe him one and told me to come on. Finally, we reached the top of the tower. Jake pushed open the door to the control tower and said something about Carlos which he didn’t get to finish as he opened the door to see no one there! It was something I pointed out to Jake who sarcastically remarked that he couldn’t tell without my eagle eyes. I wandered by the desk and dragged my finger across it, coming up dusty. I asked Jake if he’s sure that they still use this airstrip. Jake insisted that he was sure since he was just here a few days ago and he’s **** sure… Jake trailed off as if he was considering his own words. I called out his name again, trying to get his attention. Then turned to find him staring past me through the window, enraptured by what he saw.

Never thought I’d find Jake speechless. He actually looks pretty cute, and the lights were beautiful too.

In the distance, the island itself pulsed with red and blue light, colors fluttered over the trees, tinting the atmosphere in a rippling aurora. I was speechless and instinctively reached down and found Jake’s hand. His fingers laced with mine. I asked Jake what this was and he admitted that he didn’t know. My gaze met his, our faces were close and I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful colors play across his eyes. I was about to tell Jake something as time seemed to slow down until I blinked. Suddenly, the colors were gone. I even pointed out that it stopped. Jake exhaled, shaking himself out of it. He looked down and saw our fingers were still entwined. He coughed and said that he was sorry. Then Jake insisted that it must have been something weird with the glass and told me to forget it and follow him. Jake immediately ducked out of the tower but I hesitated a moment and looked back to see whether the aurora returned. Unfortunately, everything appeared as it should.

I followed Jake down the stairs, hearing a distant laughter and looked to see Quinn and the others playing on the beach. Quinn called to me and asked me to come look at this view. Jake told me that he was heading up to the hotel to catch up with Lila, saying that Carlos must be there. Then he asked me which way I was heading. I told Jake that I’d catch up with him later and wished him luck with finding his friend. After that near death experience, I needed some R&R. So I slipped off my shoes and stepped onto the beach, the fine smooth sand warming my toes and gave a relieved sigh. You have no idea how good it felt. Quinn twirled across the sand and laughed, claiming that this was heaven. Raj spread his arms and fell backward into the sand with a deep sigh. He said that he was staying here all week and never ever moving again, which I couldn’t help but laugh at. Then he asked if someone could get him a beer. Michelle asked me if this was wonderful and said it was like our own private paradise. Guess, now that Michelle knows I don’t want Sean, she’s being nice to me. Craig said that this was our turf. Quinn bounced over to me and asked me if this was magical. She said that it was like we had the whole island to ourselves! I admitted that it was so peaceful and that water looked amazing. I said that I wished we could go swimming, something I used to do back home during the summer. Quinn asked me if anyone said that we couldn’t. She grabbed my hand and led me out into the water, yelling at me to come on. I laughed and gave a whoa. Quinn said that she hoped I was a good swimmer. I admitted that I’m okay but not on Olympian standards. Quinn laughed and said that I was in league with the rest of them. Then I stripped down to my bathing suit. The water was warm and welcoming, its soothing current curled around my legs. I asked Quinn if she was always this spontaneous. Quinn’s eyes came to rest on the horizon. She said that she wasn’t always like this but, after last year, she’s tried to make the most out of every day. Then she fell silent. I knew that something was bothering Quinn, but I really didn’t want to pry. Prying with Jake was what ****ed him off. So I just scooped up a handful of water and splashed it all over her, hoping to cheer her up. I laughed and so did Quinn, saying that I could be pretty spontaneous myself. She smirked and splashed back at me. I kept laughing and then we splashed each other, drenching ourselves. Quinn rushed towards me and then tripped and fell on me. I fell on my back and in the surf, with Quinn on top of me. All Quinn could say was Oops. I told Quinn not to apologize to me. Suddenly, Quinn’s eyes lit up and she pulled off me! She told me to look at something that was small and dazzling. You wouldn’t believe this, but it was a seahorse in the air! It just leapt out of the water and unfurled its wings that gleamed like jewels! All I could say was… whoa! The seahorse fluttered in front of Quinn, its iridescent wings catching the sunlight and then it zipped off into the distance!

Check out the sea horse! Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you ever saw?

Quinn asked if that seriously just happened and if I’ve seen anything like that. Other than the lights with Jake, no. I said that this island must have species we’ve never even heard of before! Quinn turned back to the shore and asked everyone else if they saw what we saw. Craig said that he didn’t care and asked if we saw this. “This” being Craig burying a snoring Raj under a pile of sand. Michelle groaned that everyone else already went up to the hotel and said that we should catch up. Then she had the nerve to ask who was going to carry her bag! Apparently, little Miss Sorority is too good to carry her own bag. Anyway, the others started to head up, leaving me and Quinn behind as the surf swirled around me. Honestly, I couldn’t believe they missed that flying seahorse! It was incredible! I even told Quinn this and she said that she and I were the only ones who saw it, almost like we shared a secret. She looked at me for a long moment and laughed. Quinn said that she was glad I was with her and I said that I was too. So we headed back to the beach and got dressed.

Quinn and I caught up with Michelle, Raj and Craig. Together, we winded our way up the paved road with our suitcases. I was beginning to feel fatigued when I came around the bend. Michelle said that this must be it. “It” was a large hotel called the Celestial and Quinn even said the name with glee. Craig gave a hell yeah and said that this was what he was talking about. Raj asked if this place was even real. Michelle insisted that we should go already, since her luxury suite is waiting. We excitedly headed toward the lobby, passing under a long, ornamented overhang of white marble. My heartbeat quickened with excitement as our group rushed through the automatic doors and five of us froze. Ready for the huge shock? Other than the group of us that left with Lila, the entire lobby was devoid of life! Lila said that she didn’t understand, which makes two of us. The silence was defeaning. The front desk stood deserted. Suitcases and luggage carts lied unattended. On a table, a half-finished wine glass gathered dust. Sean asked me if I happened to know where the **** everyone is and I don’t know why he thinks I would know. I got here the same time as everyone else and I’m just as shocked as they are! What’s even more shocking, I can’t post this to my blog! There is absolutely no wireless on this island, so I’m stuck writing drafts until the vacation’s over!

A/N: What’s going on? Where have all these new species come from and, more importantly, where has everyone gone? Let me know what you think about my new recap in the comments and feel free to make your own requests.


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