That was all Jack could see. He couldn't hear anything, either. He didn't know where Jonathan was. There was just this powerful smell of burning sulphur that hurt his throat every time he took a breath.
Then his eyes opened.
He was tied to a chair, in what looked like an interrogation room. There was one window in the entire room. Jack looked out of it, and saw a perfect white beach, with a blue sea stretching off into infinity.
Oh, and there was a gigantic man sitting in front of him behind a desk.
"Hello, Jack." The man's voice sounded like a dog growling, but it seemed calm. He was wearing a black suit, which contrasted quite nicely with the tiki mask he was also wearing.
"Where am I? How did I get here?" Jack asked, beginning to panic.
"You were judged by your actions, and it was deemed," the man paused, "Necessary for you to be here."
"But where am I?" Then Jack realised. Sunny beach, clear seas, palm trees. All was not what it seemed to be.
"Welcome," another pause, "To H-"
"Argh! Not here!" Jack yelled, struggling against his bonds. "Anywhere but here!"
"That's the case." Jack could feel the man grinning behind his already smiling tiki mask. It was starting to look even scarier now, something Jack thought was impossible.
"There has to be a way out, there has to be!" The strings didn't even shift, no matter how much he struggled.
"No way," the man said, and he let loose with a hideous laugh that made Jack's spine chill.
"As I was saying," the man continued, "Welcome, TO HAWAII!"
-was Jack's response, this situation vaguely reminding him of a movie where people fought each other with flashlights and wore potato sacks.
The man took off his tiki mask, revealing a clean shaven face and a neat crew cut.
"I'm Fred, your travel agent," he said. "You've won our Exploding House sweepstakes, and a f-reeeeee trip to Hawaii!"
"GET ME OUT OF-" Jack stopped mid wail. "Wait a minute, what about Jonathan?"
"Oh, he died," Fred replied, his grin unchanged.
"What, just like that?"
"You underestimate the danger of exploding houses, Mr. Lim."
"Ah, all right then. Now, where was I?"
"You were wailing, sir.'
"Thanks. GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
"I'm afraid you have to stay the entire four weeks of your paid-"
"I meant out of this chair!"
Without a word, Fred took a small knife out of his pocket and cut the strings loose.
"What kind of travel agency ties people to chairs, anyway?" Jack asked skeptically.
"You'll have to tune in to the next chapter to find out! Coming soon," Fred said.