016 :: The Miners and The Crawlers

 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 2 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 5joplin photonovel chapter twenty 8

“Ah!”

“Hello Miss Jordan. We need to see the Crack.”

“It’s occupied. Night workers.”

“That’s why we need to see it,” Thulani said.

“You need to see it because there has been a ton of activity here at night?” Jordan – the Audubon lady – said.

“No,” Thulani said. “We need to see it because if we don’t get to the heart of their search first, it will not go well for the people of Joplin.”

“But they’ve been out here for weeks. I just…”

“Look,” Maya said, “I know you’re worried but you’re out here to preserve the natural way of things, right?”

“Well we let the ground fallow and—”

“Good,” Maya said. “That’s all wonderful. These people, they’re trying to exploit the whole area — people, nature, the very water. We’re after the same thing you are here, but we’re under a bit of a time crunch.”

 

joplin photonovel chapter twenty 3

joplin photonovel chapter twenty 9 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 10

 

“I’ll tell you… I… Look it’s just at night these days. Sometimes I see a hundred lights out there messing around and the things I hear… the sounds are a little too shrill. I’ll take you there, but you really really need to be careful, guys. I can’t have wounded tourists on my nightly report.”

“I’m from here,” Lee said.

“Two wounded tourists and a citizen,” Jordan said.

“Right. Okay, we’ll listen to whatever you say.”

“Good,” she said. “If something goes wrong… I have no idea what they’re doing out there. I try to leave them alone, but if something goes wrong you guys have got to get out of here. We have some help nearby, but leave as quickly as you can.”

“I’m African,” Thulani said. “Didn’t you read that book about how we’re born to run?”

“You were born in a city, Thulani,” Maya said.

“Yes, but you don’t have to tell her this? Why are you always ruining my pranks?”

“Because sometimes it’s a bad idea to leave a water cannon inside the national archive.”

“Why do you need a copy of the Declaration of Independence?” Thulani said. “It’s not like the British Empire’s going to reform and take America over — you have a digital copy. What? Are the freemasons hiding something in the document? You cryptologists…”

“You wouldn’t want me to destroy The David, would you?” Maya asked.

“There’s a big difference between a hand-sculpted naked king and a piece of paper that—”

“A piece of paper! It—”

“Guys?” Jordan said. “Do you want to go or sit here shouting into the night?”

“Sorry,” they both said and followed her out.

 

joplin photonovel chapter twenty 11 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 12
joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 1

 

“So Maya,” Lee said.

“Hmm?” she asked.

“They call this Mother Nature’s Crack.”

 

joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 2 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 15

 

Lee suppressed his crack jokes.

 

joplin photonovel chapter twenty 16 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 17joplin photonovel chapter twenty 18joplin photonovel chapter twenty 20joplin photonovel chapter twenty 21joplin photonovel chapter twenty 24

 

Jordan said, “Turns out we are going to need a ride out boys. Sorry.”

 

joplin photonovel chapter twenty 22

 

“Be quick!” Jordan turned to the three and whispered, “run. Run now.

 

joplin photonovel chapter twenty 23joplin photonovel chapter twenty 26 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 27 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 28 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 29 joplin photonovel chapter twenty 31

THE NEXT DAY

joplin train depot- joplin cvb undercurrent photonovel imagejoplin photonovel ch twelve01joplin photo novel chapter 12 depotjoplin photonovel ch twelve9 joplin photonovel ch twelve04 joplin photonovel ch twelve05 joplin photonovel ch twelve06 joplin photonovel chapter 21_0000joplin photonovel ch twelve07 joplin photonovel ch twelve08 joplin photonovel ch twelve09 joplin photonovel ch twelve10 joplin photonovel ch twelve11 joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 7 joplin photonovel ch twelve13 joplin photonovel ch twelve14 joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 8 joplin photonovel ch twelve16 joplin photonovel ch twelve17 joplin photonovel ch twelve18 joplin photonovel ch twelve19 joplin photonovel ch twelve20 joplin photonovel ch twelve21 joplin photonovel ch twelve22 joplin photonovel ch twelve23 joplin photonovel ch twelve24 joplin photonovel chapter 21_0001joplin photonovel ch twelve25

“WHERE IS MY JAR?”

joplin photonovel ch twelve26 joplin photonovel chapter 21_0002 joplin photonovel ch twelve27 joplin photonovel ch twelve28

The thief whistled low and loud. He shook his head.  “Why do you care?” he asked. “It’s just a jar of dirt, man, I was just going to make some crafty thing out of it for my girlfriend.”

And Thulani told them the story.

“So you hang onto them for death?” the thief asked.

“Yes, for death,” Thulani said.

And it was quiet for some time.

“How were you all so close to the dig site?” Lee asked.

“We’ve been keeping tabs on you,” the thief said. “And on their operation at Mother Nature’s Crack.”

joplin photonovel ch twelve30

“Who’s they?” Lee asked.

“The organization that’s mining out that sludge and feeding it to the sick people. Almost everyone’s addicted to it and almost no one can live without it.”

“It helped me a bit,” Lee said.

“Look at you,” the thief said. “That’s what it looks like if you get a concentrated dose.”

“I fell into a puddle at the chat piles,” Lee said.

“Yeah, and every pill you take’s just delaying your death. Sure this stuff helps sicknesses and things, but they call it a miracle drug. It’s much more drug than miracle.”

joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 3 joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 4 joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 5

“LEE?” Maya screeched.

“What do I do?” Lee asked the waiter from Karma.

“Hit ‘em where it hurts.”

joplin photonovel ch twelve29

“What’s the name of this company?” Lee asked.

“Clark Brothers Energy.” He said it with the cigarette still in his mouth.

joplin photonovel ch twelve31

“That’s my uncle’s company,” Lee said. “That explains mom’s sickness. Get some sleep. Tomorrow morning…”

joplin photonovel ch twelve35 joplin photonovel ch twelve36

“…I take you all…”

joplin photonovel chapter 21_0003joplin photonovel ch twelve37

“…to meet my mother.”

joplin photonovel ch twelve39

“You might need to heal up first,” the thief said. “We should stop by the former mayor’s restaurant on the way…”

joplin photonovel ch twelve41 joplin photonovel chapter sixteen audoban 6 joplin photonovel ch twelve42 joplin photonovel ch twelve44lance schaubert mark neuenschwander joplin CVB

next chapter
previous chapter

chapter
credits

Click here to keep informed about the next big story

brought to you by the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau

photographed & directed by Mark Neuenschwander

written & directed by Lance Schaubert 

produced by Carrie Puffinbarger

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s