BOOK DETAILS

Glad You're Not Here (Nowhere Island University) (Volume 1)

Glad You're Not Here (Nowhere Island University) (Volume 1)

by Adam Sherman

ASIN: B075WXXMHY

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Literature & Fiction/Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

$2.99

Sometimes, a normal person can save the world. Nathan Jacobs thinks he is one of those people. However, when he is approached in his senior year of high school to infiltrate the secretive Nowhere Island University by enrolling in their program for mercenaries, he may have gotten in over his head. On this strange island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, he must befriend and/or kill hardened killers from around the world while surviving sadistic tests from the faculty and a mad genius' idea of what food is. No one ever said it would be easy.

Sample Chapter

Track 1: Welcome to NIU (Glad You Aren’t Here)

Well, this is just great, I thought as I tripped and fell again. Fifty-five pounds of gear began to push my face into the water that had pooled in the crater I fell in every day. Ironically, five of those pounds were the water in the goddamn Camelback. At least I could take a drink while I was drowning

I considered what else I was carrying as I struggled to get up. On my chest and back were the thirty-pound bullet-resistant vest (Sergeant Krieger’s emphasis, not mine), the harness that carried six thirty-round STANAG magazines and two grenades (carrying only with ten pounds’ worth of weights instead of, you know, bullets and explosives), and finally, the ten-pound helmet. The Kevlar jacket and pants, goatskin gloves, combat boots, kneepads, T-shirt, and boxers I was wearing probably weighed something as well, but it was the helmet that was giving me trouble. When you first put the bucket on your head, you don’t really notice it. But when you’re face-first in three inches of water at the bottom of a crater with God trying his hardest to turn it into five inches of water after you’ve run four and a half kilometers, it starts to feel remarkably like someone is pushing your face into the water. This goes double if you’ve been running around five kilometers every day for the past four weeks.

Someone reached down and pulled me up. It was John Marshall. Out of the thousand people on this little run, a large group of over a hundred would lag behind. Most of those of us who did were from the First World and usually paler skinned.

“Thanks, man,” I said, after catching my breath. My hair, including my messy beard, was soaked with crater water and sweat. By some miracle, my glasses were still on.

He shrugged and said through heavy breathing, “Not a problem, Nate. Gives me a break from running.”

As we scrambled up the crater, I growled, “This crater is like my personal nemesis. I fall in every single fucking day.”

John laughed. “Just another day at Nowhere Island University.” He was right. Since training had started, it had been the same schedule every day. You got up at five thirty, fell in, and ran about five kilometers from Grunt Camp to the main campus and back. At seven forty-five, assuming you had gotten back, you took a shower. After that, you got to eat until eight. Then you would have to go to two hours of calisthenics and then two hours of lifting weights. After that, you would have from noon to one o’clock to eat lunch; then it would be back to push-ups and weight lifting until four. After that, it was run, shower, dinner, bed. The only difference in our routine was that every Saturday we would get a new piece of gear to wear during our run, and the first weight session would be replaced by parade drills. The bullet-resistant vest was the hardest piece of equipment to carry yet.

The day before this regime began, we were lined up in formation in groups of fifty for our group’s drill sergeant to shout at us. I got Krieger. He’s South African.

The lecture he gave was the standard drill-sergeant rant you see in movies, but with a South African accent. He was tan and bald and had extremely bushy brown eyebrows. Also, like most of the other drill sergeants, he was built like an eighties action hero. I will always remember the time he noticed someone start to shake (Michael was his name, I think), and he turned to him and dropped his voice to a whisper. The only reason I heard was because Michael was standing right next to me in formation. “So you want to quit, eh, boyke?” he asked. “Well, you can quit anytime you want, but I can assure you, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.”

He then resumed his shouting. “If any of you buggers want to quit, know this: only the strong leave this semester. Right now, I can tell most of you are weak! Weak emotionally! Weak socially! Weak mentally! Weak physically! For most of you, the only way to leave this island and program is to pass the course. By then, you will not be weak physically.

“However, if you decide you want to leave, you can talk to one of our headshrinkers. You will be locked in a four-by-four office with one of ’em for the entire day. During that time, they will attempt to break you. I can assure you, in the next few weeks, you will feel physical pain. But it can only tear you apart if you let it.” He paused and then continued in a low, soft tone. “The counselors will pick at everything you are proud of and everything you are ashamed of until they find the right words that will destroy you entirely. Then you will go back to the training, desperately trying to put yourself together again.”

Two weeks later (I could tell because we had added the Camelback and the vest), I saw Michael sitting on his bunk after I came back from morning run. He was in a fetal position, rocking back and forth while crying.

“What happened?” I asked. He turned and looked at me, a hollow look in his eyes. Then, in a broken, dull voice he said, “I tried to quit.” He then returned to his rocking. He never spoke after that, just kept doing the same routine like some kind of robot.

“So,” John asked, snapping me out of my reverie, “you excited for Fight Night?” We had cleared the crater and were now in the blasted-out field. Nowhere Island was little more than a glorified L-shaped sandbar. The grass and small forest were the only things that kept it from washing out into the sea. For some reason, it had been converted into an airfield in World War II, and an actual battle had been fought over it.

“Please…tell me that’s not tonight.…” I half wheezed, half moaned. Fight Night was going to be our first taste of hand-to-hand combat.

“Yup. Fuck us, right?” John’s face was set straight ahead. He hadn’t woken up early enough to shave, and you could see the black stubble on his cheeks. I didn’t really shave, so I never had that problem, but I bet you could see the bags under my eyes as well. I rubbed the rain off my glasses. “Well,” I said, “at least Krieger isn’t here.”

“I’m hurt, boyke,” a deep, South African–accented voice said behind me. I turned around. There was Sergeant Krieger, with his bushy hair and wild eyes looming high above us. Seeing as how he was the second-tallest person in the camp, it was more than a little disturbing that he was able to sneak up on us. He then maneuvered so he was standing right next to me. “And from the way you’re limping, I can tell you’re hurting, too.”

His eyes bored into me. His…intense demeanor was not helped by the fact that his eyes kind of bugged out. There was also something in his eyes that said he knew just what to say to break you, or just where to throw a punch so you’d never walk again.

“And I can tell from the way you’re moving that you’re hurting, too.” He was right. Ever since the second day, every single part of my body had alternated between fiery agony and numbness.

“You want to know what helps me when I’m in pain?” he asked. I nodded, trying to concentrate on the way forward. I didn’t really like the creepy look on his face. It wasn’t sexual, which would have been bad enough. It was more like the expression of a doctor looking at a wound or a mechanic looking at a broken engine.

In response to my nod, he said, “Cadences! Cadences, you pansy!” He then waved at the people behind us. “Come on, you pansies in the rear! Chant with me! We’ve been up since three a.m.!”

About a hundred of us responded. “We’ve been up since three a.m.!” I was surprised at how loud we were.

“Just to run a few k-m!”

“Just to run a few k-m!” More voices tuned in, but I didn’t care. I was actually getting kind of pumped.

“Come on,” Kreiger bellowed. “I can barely hear you pansies! Say it like you bleeding mean it!” He then resumed chanting. “We do this again at four p.m.!

“We do this again at four p.m.!” More voices, and the ones that were there before were louder. We were running faster. I was surprised we still had enough breath to speak.

“And we don’t rightly give a damn!”

“And we don’t rightly give a damn!” Kind of a lie, honestly, but it sounded badass.

“We don’t like this—we’re in pain!”

“We don’t like this—we’re in pain!” Not a lie. Actually a little too close to home, that line.

“So we’ll do it all again!”

“So we’ll do it all again!”

So we’ll do it all again. Oh, God. He was right. We would do this run twice a day until it stopped hurting. Maybe we’d drop dead from exhaustion. It made sense, as we were only getting six hours of sleep a night. A few of us were getting less. In my barracks, I was in one of the corner bunks. I had bottom, and the guy on top was apparently friends with the guys in the bunks to my left and rear. Lights-out would be at nine, but they would spend the entire time talking. I didn’t recognize their language, but judging by the fact that they were black and seemed like they hadn’t eaten enough as children, I kind of assumed they came from one of the less stable regions in Africa.

Luckily I had discovered that if I wolfed down dinner and ran back to my bunk, I could be in a deep enough sleep that nothing would wake me. However, that always left me with the question: How was I able to do this? Maybe I was wrong, but there was no way I should be able to run this far every day. I hadn’t exactly come to this island in the best of physical shape, and even if I had been an Olympian, I doubted that run would be possible.

After Krieger was far enough away and there was a break in the cadences, I asked John, “So, why did you enroll at lovely Nowhere Island University?” I had a standard set of questions to ask everyone I came across. First, I’d introduce myself. After introductions, I’d ask the person why he or she was here. Then, if the person asked why I was here, I’d make the joke. The stupid, awful joke. It was a way for a certain group of three people to identify each other.

“Would you believe,” John asked, chuckling slightly, “that I thought I was applying to NYU?”

I stared. That was the signal. “I’m sorry,” John said. “It was—”

I interrupted him. “What a coincidence,” I said. “Me too.” I then waited for the next countersign.

“Hey,” he said, comprehension dawning as he said the final countersign, “we rhymed.”

Continues...

Excerpted from "Glad You're Not Here (Nowhere Island University) (Volume 1)" by Adam Sherman. Copyright © 2017 by Adam Sherman. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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