Author's Note: This story is a collaborated effort between my friends, Wrestlemaniac829, Princess Heather Blossom, BronyDan, Zion Kraze, and I.
Disclaimer: I do not own Jumanji nor any of the characters related to it. They belong to author Chris Van Allsburg and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Enjoy. :)
On an open road, alongside the number of cars passing through, a seventeen foot U-Haul truck passed a road sign that read 'Fleming Welcomes You. Population: 35000". On the side of this truck, it read '#83 Venture Across America Michigan, 37 Acre "Humongous Fungus"'. Along the picture were four giant mushrooms in a forest, its roots buried deep in the ground.
As the moving van made its way through Fleming, a quiet little town where every neighbor knew each other, it was not alone as two other vehicles led the way. At the very front was a silver 2011 Highlander Toyota, slightly aged yet still in working order. In between the two vehicles was a more modern, cherry red mid-size 2004 Camaro Their arrival drew the attention of several townspeople, who could tell from a glance that some new homeowners were coming. One even waved hello to their new neighbors, the only response came from the passenger in the Highlander. A feminine hand by the look of it.
Inside the Camaro, a young man two years shy of twenty casually drove along the road with white ear plugs in his ears connected to his cell phone in the cup holder. He was a clean shaven young man and with the driver side window down, his short bushy brown hair blew along the wind. He wore a dark gray hooded jacket over a tan brown T-Shirt and blue jeans, his one foot with the sketchers sneaker pressed on the pedal. With the sun gleaming off the front mirror, he wore sunglasses to keep the sun from piercing his eyes. The sun gleams along his muttonchops, and along his black pub cap sitting on the passenger seat. His name was Johnny Roscoe, a young man moving toward this small Georgia town with his mother, one he barely heard of because it was just inches from the Florida line. And he had to settle with the old hand-me down car, even though the radio and air conditioning were broken hence why he had the phone and headphones.
As the three vehicles continued down the road, through the town and past a giant mall a few miles away, they turned toward a cul-de-sac neighborhood. Most of the houses had the classic touch, the white picket fences that matched the walls of the house, red-bricked roofs, rusty mail boxes, and wide backyards. They pulled into the last house on the right, the two vehicles in the driveway and the moving van parked along the street. As Johnny put the car in gear and shut down the ignition, he removed his sunglasses and placed them inside the glove compartment. He took his cap, placed it on his head and put his cell phone in his jacket pocket, the music continuing to play in his ears. He stepped out of his car, allowing his dark brown eyes to take in the scenery.
"You sure this is the right house?" John called out to the Toyota.
His mother stepped out of the Highlander. Judging by appearances, she appeared to be in her mid-fifties. She wore a button flannel shirt and blue jeans, and laceless shoes. Her brown eyes turns to her son while her dirty blonde hair flows gently along the wind.
"Yep! This is it!" She replied, cheerfully. "This is where I grew up when I was your age; now it's ours again."
"That's great, mom."
"You'll learn to love it," She replied. "Now come on, help me unpack."
"You better be right," John said to himself as went over to help unpack the moving truck.
For the next few hours, Johnny and his mother gathered their belongings in the van while the movers handled the heavier loads, mostly setting the furniture in all the empty rooms in the house. The movers had just positioned a couch into the empty living room, as Johnny came in with a thin briefcase. As soon as the movers left, he sat comfortably on the couch and unzipped the bag. Inside was a Surface Pro computer which turned on after he lifted the screen.
He plugged his headphones into the laptop, mostly to drown out everything else happening around him. He clicked a few keys and enters a link leading him to the site of a community college in Fleming. He casually searched the site and filled in some information, as a news ad aired on a television already set on the counter. Yet Johnny was so busy on the computer, he didn't notice.
"In other news," A news anchor began. "Mysterious circumstances led to the crash of a cargo plane over the Atlantic ocean, just a hundred miles outside the United States. The plane was on its scheduled overseas flight from Paris, when it unfortunately entered an incoming storm and was struck by lightning. Weather teams have chosen not to comment on the event, but rumor from a source says the storm emerged from under it's radar. No word yet on any survivors, and all local airfields around the area have been given a word of caution…"
"So," said Johnny's mother, "applying to the community college?"
Johnny looked up and saw his mother approach. He removed one of the ear plugs as he responded to her question.
"Yeah. I just thought I'd get to know the place before applying. It's different."
"I still can't believe it, my son is now a college man!"
"It's just community college mom," Johnny replied, rolling his eyes.
"Not just 'a' community college," His mom pointed out. "This is the very same school your father went to, when he was your age. I think he'd be very proud that you're attending. And believe me, every other college we could apply to was beyond our price range."
"I know mom and I do appreciate it, really," Johnny answered, assuredly. "As long as I can get through my studies, find a job, and get my degree in Arts, we'll have all we need."
"You know tackling a job in the arts is not going to be easy."
"And you know I had a tough time in science, so getting a degree in Biology was out of the question."
"Okay, okay, Mr. Smart-aleck. I get it. Just as long as you remember I didn't insist you apply just for your studies. I really hope you take the time to make a few friends while we're here."
"I'll try, mom."
"And don't wait till 'after' to get a job. There are plenty of part time jobs in Fleming to consider."
"If I find a job that suits me, I'll take what they offer."
"I know you will. Now come on out and help me unpack. I want to get some stuff upstairs for your new room and I could use a hand."
Plopping the box on top of the bed, Johnny tore the tape off the lid and proceeded to remove his stuff. Most of it was just some junk he kept from his old home, but he still brought along for the move. But there were a few things inside the box that he definitely wanted to bring. Among them was a photo of his father. He was dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans, he was also working the soul patch look. There he was crouching besides Johnny, who was seven years old at the time. They were going fishing that day and Johnny held a fish that he caught that afternoon, the proudest moments of his life. But then a month after that, his father got sick and had to go to the hospital. And when they heard the news... Well, Johnny never liked to think about it.
With a heavy sigh, Johnny placed the photo by the lamp, facing it so in a way he could see his father. He laid on top of the bed, not even bothering to change out of his clothes and decided to just close his eyes and sleep this off. It was quiet at first, when he heard a faint noise.
Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.
Johnny opened an eye for a moment and he could've sworn he heard… Drums. Like the type he heard on those jungle safari documentary videos. But they were really, really faint. For all he knew he was probably just imagining it. So he closed his eye and went back to sleep, knowing these next days were going to be very busy.