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Teaser Tuesday – The Plants Of Rio

It's another Teaser Tuesday for HIGH FLYGHT!

When it comes to the planet of Rio, everything is a mystery. Not only are the animals strange and alien, but so are the plants, as evidenced by Vivian's cache of superhero seeds. In HIGH FLYGHT, Vivian treks into the jungles of Rio with the guys on the hunt for something in particular. What they see there both chills them and surprises them…

We break through the underbrush and end up right next to the river again. Out across the expanse of water, only fish are hopping along the currents.

“Here!” Darmit beams as he stretches out his arms to a bush with giant, white bell-shaped flowers hanging from waxy, dark green leaves. “Watch.”

Darmit approaches the bush, and after a few paces, when he’s less than a meter away from it, the bush shudders. First, a tendril stretches out, followed by the branches swaying towards Darmit and his out-stretched hand. A smile broadens his cheeks, and his eyes soften as he edges in closer.

“Aw, listen to it. It’s so sweet.”

I furrow my brow as I strain to hear what he hears, but I hear nothing.
The man is entranced, almost hypnotized. It’s like he’s fallen in love with a puppy or some adorable creature, not an alien plant.

“Hey, maybe you shouldn’t,” Gus insists, reaching out to grab Darmit’s coat.

Darmit blinks himself out of a trance-like state, and he clears his throat. “It’s okay. It’s always like this at first.” He breathes in through his nose, a deep, chest-expanding breath. “It smells like those vanilla pastries I got as a kid in Segundo.”

I shake my head. “I don’t smell anything.”

Darmit’s men stand guard at the river, but I call one over.

“Are you sure your boss is fine?” I ask, keeping my voice low. “Any knocks to the head or anything lately?”

He frowns and shakes his head. “Nah. He’s the same as ever.”

Before I can stop him, Darmit steps into the clutches of this plant, and it wraps its stalks around him. His eyelids droop, and my heart races into a panic. If this plant kills him, we are fucked. I have no idea how to get back or what else he has to say to me.

What happens next? You'll have to read to find out!

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HIGH FLYGHT publishes Friday, November 8, 2019!

S. J. Pajonas