Doc had a rough night, bad dream after bad dream. Red said Doc talked in her sleep all night, a loud crash abruptly waked Doc up, sitting up looking around, and there was no sign of Red.  she had a shorts pajama set on. She jumped up out of bed, rushed to the door, opened it, and slowly peered out. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for. Still, she didn’t see anything or anyone, so she opened the door and crawled out, staying low but periodically sticking her head up to see, when she saw Red walking towards the boat laughing and people sitting around the fire, which was smoking this point.  She stood all the way up as if she wasn’t doing anything and said, “good morning to Red.  As Red boarded the boat, he motioned to go back in the cabin, so she did, and he followed her.

“So, Jerry is gone, we don’t know when he left, but he took his boat.” Said Red. “Maybe he went fishing; you heard him yesterday,” said Doc.  “No, this doesn’t feel right,” said Red. “I have a bad feeling I want you to stay with me and the dogs, period. You are my priority,” Red very seriously demanded.  She nodded quietly, “what happened? What was that loud crash?” quietly whispered Doc “that was Dave and Jase’s boat they were pulling it over, we decided to put all the boats closer together so we could move the ice chests along the bank at the front of all the boats, and they bumped into Kevin’s pontoon boat, it’s ok they didn’t break anything.” “What do you mean Jerry is gone, and you have a bad feeling?”  “How do you know Andy and Matt didn’t do anything?”  “Red looked very seriously at Doc and said, “Andy knocked on the side of our boat about 4:30 this morning they said they heard something, and they were going to investigate, so I got up to go to the bathroom, and Jerry was standing by the fire, his boat tied up over there when I got out of the bathroom him, and his boat was gone.”  “I stayed up and watched Andy and Matt come out of the tree line. They had no idea what was going on.”  “Jerry and his boat disappeared in the 10 minutes I was in the bathroom, without a sound, and we’ve all seen Jerry can’t seem to do anything quietly.” Doc just nodded, quietly turned around, and started pulling out her black yoga Capri’s with a wild hot pink design down the legs, a bright pink sports bra, and a black zippered jacket.  Red pulls up the end of the bed, pulls out a long black yoga mat, and hands it to Doc. Doc picks up her phone and pulls some headphones out of the drawer under the couch, and climbed through the window and onto the bow of the boat. She laid the black yoga mat at the front of the bow between the bow running lights and the first popup window.  Doc sat cross-legged on the mat closest to the open window and started shuffling through her phone. As the earbuds disappear into her ears, she closes her eyes and slowly starts stretching, laying completely over her legs, the group silently watching in the distance. It looks as if she had been folded in half. She slowly rises to the beat of a silent song, looking peaceful.

Beth and Mary stop a moment looking at Doc, then Red as if not sure what to do next when Mary says, “Hey Beth, let’s make coffee and start breakfast, it’s already 6 am,” Beth Agreed.  Andy and Matt had made their way to the larger tent saying good night as they went, after being up all night and Red now taking over for them.  “You can’t be too cautious. We need to stay vigilant. We watch this island 24/7 until we know what’s going on and who we can trust” It keeps playing over and over in Doc’s head as she’s going through the downward dog position. Who do we trust?  What do we trust?  Doc sitting in the middle of her black mat, legs crossed, her right arm pulled over her left side stretching. She opens her eyes to see a small canoe paddling towards her. She lifts her hand above her brow to help adjust her eyes.  She keeps looking back towards Red as she sits there, watching as the canoe is getting closer. She was able to get Red’s attention.  As Red approached the boat, he walked along the side and into the water instead of getting on the boat. He noticed there were 2 passengers in the canoe, and they looked very familiar.

As Red was grabbing the front of the canoe, a familiar voice “you guys missing a boat over here.”  “Alo,” yells Red, “It’s great to see you, man.”  “Alo is the chief of the Indian police around here. His name means protector,” introduced Red to his companions. He was a tall, slender guy with an unusually big beer belly as he clumsily got out of the canoe, splashing his passenger.  “This is Shane. He is a famous actor. We found him drunk and wandering the desert. Can you and Doc take him? Our leaders have locked our borders down. No one is in or out,” Alo said as he and Red had a hold of his arms and dragged him out of the canoe.  They dropped his wet, limp body in a chair next to the fire.  Beth and Mary recognized Shane and started excitingly chatting and pouring coffee, which got Tammy and Nathen’s attention, who was quietly peering out of a small opening in the tent door. They slowly opened the door the rest of the way, as they were arguing movie titles he had been in.  Red and Alo still standing over Shane, as if waiting for him to strike, but nothing no movement, except him sitting up and shouting incoherently, falling back into his chair to sleep off the rest of his drunken stupor, “ya we got him” replied Red laughing.

Doc jumped off the boat, the dogs start barking, and Shane starts his drunken jabber, “dogs, what, Dogs? I want to play with the dogs.”  Red whistles loudly, and the dogs jump off the back of the boat and stand on either side of Doc.  Mary hands Doc a cup of coffee in her large white and black malamute cup, and she walks over and Hugs Alo “it’s so good to see you, Alo, how’s the reservation? Are your people ok?”  Doc and Alo move a couple of chairs next to the small table and sit down.  Alo sits and collects his thoughts a moment, then says, “My people are ok the ones left, that is, when did you and Red get here?”  “Red and I set up camp here Friday night,” replied Doc.  “How much do you know?” Alo replied while nervously looking around.  “Very little,” said Doc.

Alo looked around as everyone was walking closer to listen. Matt and Andy came stumbling out of the large tent looking very curiously at our guest as he starts “It happened sometime Friday Night, Saturday morning some time people were mysteriously getting sick, really sick, by 10 am Saturday the hospitals were overflowing, and they started announcing not to go to the hospital, stay in your homes, stay away from large crowds of people that it was a virus and spreads very quickly.  Then the President of the United States, President Trump, came on the radio and claimed it was worldwide.  President Trump must be going out of his mind because his tweets are getting wilder and wilder.  Doc apologizes for the interruption “did you say he’s tweeting? Is the internet back up?” “ya, the internet was only down for 12 hours. Things are still running. Once you leave this canyon, you’ll have phone service.”  Doc looks at Red; he nods and walks back to the boat.  “President Trump’s first tweet when service was restored was where all have the 1% gone.”  Alo was interrupted very abruptly by Shane’s drunken jabber this time, he was able to get out of the chair, as everyone turns to watch Shane, he starts very incoherently singing “and then another one bites the dust” as he starts dancing, moving closer to the boats, “it’s hard to lose a chosen one.”  Tammy starts flipping through her phone. Once she finds what’s she looking for, she walks over to Nathen’s boat and plugs a cord into her phone, the sound of an electric keyboard and a women’s voice singing over the speakers it was Sia Elastic Heart.  We watched in silence as Shane danced around the sand.  This went on for several minutes. When Shane just stopped and walked back over to a chair, he sat down and tearfully watched the fire.

Doc looked at Alo, “I have no idea if he’s taken anything other than alcohol,” Alo reluctantly said.  “I can’t take him back with me. You know the rules,” said Alo apologetically.  The music still playing in the background, “I’m alive, I’m still breathing,” Alo and Doc continued their conversation.  “Ok, so some celebrities and most politicians vanished between Friday night and Saturday morning. It looks like they packed up and moved out.  No one has taken credit for it, and I don’t think anyone group could do this, so people’s imaginations are coming up with some pretty crazy ideas.”  Doc looked at Alo quietly asked about the boat. He found Alo, looked at Doc, and quietly described the small fishing boat. It was, in fact, Jerry’s.  Alo said when he had gone past, the boat was up against some brush just off the shoreline, and it looked as if it had floated there.  Alo saw it as he came around the bend, no one was around, he stopped to make sure everything was ok, but the boat wasn’t tied or anchored, there wasn’t anything in the boat, and when he walked around the area, he only saw animal tracks, giving him the thought that the boat floated away from camp.

Alo had been coming to the island for the last couple of weeks looking for us, and he knew it was our year to clean up the island and lock the river down for the winter.  The tribes use the island during the wintertime. They have a very devote religious heritage. They are even more devoted to the earth, so Red and I are only allowed on the island via invitation during the wintertime.  Red and I have attended a few rituals where they praised Mother Earth. We planted the cherry trees that year. They had come into full bloom during one of the rituals, the white and purple blooms floating through the air and softly landing in the water, the sun setting behind the mountains and the gold and red ribbons of light streaking across the sky, the sweet smell of cherry blossoms and vanilla overwhelmed my senses.  If I could only go back to this moment, safe, free, happy, fulfilled, and with my best friend, Red.

Everyone is now gathering closer and all the way around the table, leaving Shane still sitting staring at the fire. Red walks up behind Doc and puts her black and white bag on the table. Doc pulls out a white and black dab mat and a bright yellow and red glass pipe. Alo smiled and pulled a small wooden box out of his backpack. Alo places the wooden box on the table, Doc, Alo, and Red bowed their heads.  Himmat said a few phrases in an unknown language, Red and Doc, in unison “Peace be with you, my friend.”  Alo picks up the colored pipe, and says’s “I can’t believe you guys still use this thing. You guys know it was a joke, right.”  “ya,” as they are all laughing and passing the very colorful peace pipe.  “This pipe was given to Doc and Red during their first ritual here on the island to remind them always to give back to mother nature.” Alo said, “and it was a complete joke we don’t pass the peace pipe anymore, with outsiders,” still laughing.

Shane gets up with a loud commotion, bumping into things and mumbling. Calvin Harris’s “This Is What You Came For” starts playing on the stereo. Everyone turns to watch Shane as he is frantically searching through the ice chests.  This reminds Doc, “Hey Alo, have you seen Adam” “Who” replied Alo, “you know the lake patrol Adam guy.” Alo taking Doc gently by the arm, “lake patrol doesn’t have an Adam.” “Excuse me,” belted Beth.  Looking directly at Doc and Red, Alo asks, how well do you know these people.”  Without any pause, Alo continues, “there hasn’t been any lake patrol this weekend, so if anyone comes around claiming they are lake patrol be very hesitant, the only lake patrol guys we have during the winter is Patrol Scott’s crew, and you know all of them.”  Alo standing up and scanning for Shane, shaking his head as he sees Shane hunched over one of the ice chests guzzling a beer, “Uh Oh I Got Stamina” by Sia whispers in the background. Tammy had put her phone down, still hooked up to the stereo.

Doc gets up and quietly walks over to Shane and takes the beer out of his hand “hey,” yelled Shane, I walked 50 miles for that beer.” Doc, frustrated, turns back to Shane, and with a hushed stern voice, says’s “Get your shit together, Shane, I know who you are, and there aren’t any special treatments here, have some coffee and sober the Fuck up!  Shane, Looking startled, nods and takes the coffee that Beth was holding out for him. He sat down and quietly took a sip.

Alo thanked us for taking Shane off his hands and boards his canoe, Red holding the canoe as he gets his legs in and looks at Red “you guys good” “ya were good,” said Red “I’ll be back in the morning, be cautious of everyone my friend.” Red and Alo shook hands, and Red pushed him between the boats and onto the lake.

Doc looked around; everyone stood there silent with anticipation, and “how do you know Alo?  I thought this was the first year your boat was on the lake, but you’ve clearly been here before.”  At that, the small groups of chatter opened up. Doc looks around a moment and says, “Yes, we’ve been coming to this island for about 5 years now, I met Alo on Facebook 6, or 7 years ago when I started gardening at home we occasionally talked online, I was planting Cherry Seeds that year, and he was having problems getting his seeds to grow, so I brought my seeds out and met Alo at the T in the river on some friends boat, we followed him here we planted the cherry seeds probably in late September 2012, and we’ve been coming back ever since this was just the first year this boat has been running.”  Doc looks down at the time. “It’s already 8 am. Thank you, Beth and Mary, for making coffee. I’m going to start breakfast if anyone is hungry,” Doc walks towards the first Blue and white cooler. Tammy quickly walks over to Nathen’s boat and picks up her phone. As the sound gradually loudens the sounds of base and xylophone, the sound of a woman singing, “oh uh, running out of breath, but I’ve got stamina.” Nathen starts twitching his head up and down. He jumps up and starts lip singing “don’t give up” and dancing, briefly bending over and grabbing some sand and rubbing it down his cheeks. Tammy joins him, smiling and laughing, recreating the music video.  As some danced, Doc, Red, Matt, Mary, and Beth start working on breakfast. Red grabs the firewood as he is slowly putting small pieces around the edge of the fire, he’s softly whistling tapping his foot, Beth hands Doc the freshly peeled potatoes, she can hear Doc softly singing as she looks around, “just a moment of normalcy is what we needed.” Doc says, smiling.  By this time, the sun was just above the mountains. The sky was an ocean blue except for two small white puffy clouds.

As Shane stumbled back to his chair with a plate of food in his hands crashing over the arm of the chair, potatoes, and eggs hitting Raffey on the head, Tigger jumps up and starts cleaning Raffey’s head.  Shane finding this quite amusing, occasionally drops smaller pieces of egg on his head and quietly giggles.  Doc clears her throat and looks over at Tammy. Without saying anything, Tammy handed her plate to Nathen. She slowly walks to the boat, “I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again,” starts playing softer and softer to a whisper in the background.  “As you all have been curious, I’m,” Doc Paused a moment. “I’m a writer, and I have been writing short stories and articles for the New York Times for several years now.”  “My brother is a famous Muay Thai fighter, and my son is an up-and-coming DJ, or at least they were. We all have traveled the world for the last couple of years.” Doc Continues, the island was silent with anticipation, “I think this is bigger than any of us. It’s Sunday Morning. We haven’t seen Adam, “the lake patrol,” Doc motions quotes as of yet.”  I don’t think Adam knows about Alo yet, and Adam has already told us we can’t leave the water until Tuesday at the earliest.”  “Listen for the lake patrol boat. When we hear it, Shane, you need to be in the tent or the cabin of our boat. If they see you, they will know someone has been here.”  Shane lifts his arm and salutes as he goes back to dropping a small piece of eggs on Raffey’s head giggle quietly to himself.  It’s Storytime “I’m a healer,” Doc professes, “at any given time there are 5 primary elements Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void, yes void.”  “Like these elements, there are 5 Elementals that can manipulate these elements within their environment, and there is always 1 elemental, but never more than two for each element.  An Elemental is born in human form every 40 years. The last elementals were born in 1974.”  Doc slowly Continues trying to explain fully, “An elemental is never born of the same family, and can only be identified by an elemental or their protectors.”  Earth is a solid element stone, hard, and resolute. The elemental for this element is purity, new growth. This Elemental is for the Earth, and they will always do what is in the best interest of the earth.  Water represents flowing and purity, life, new beginnings, this elemental, is a healer, me, we can see into the very soul of humanity, this Elemental or me, can’t harm a living thing to our peril, we see your soles all the way through from beginning to end, and it’s not as black and white as you think, people are both good and bad,” chuckles Doc.  “Fire representing force, and energetic energy they are protectors, they protect all the elements and Elementals.”  “Wind representing spreading, expansion freedom of movement, this Elemental protects thoughts and ideas, he or she would document and record history.”  “Last but definitely not least, Void representing sky or heaven, this elemental protects pure energy, every living thing feeds on pure energy, he or she would protect that energy.”  Beth waving her hand, says, “Have you ever met another Elemental?”   Doc shakes her head softly and hesitantly says, “not yet.”  “There are rules for us, and I can heal others but not myself. We feel when other elementals are in pain, hurt, sad, happy, close, and we feel when they are born and when they die.”  “We have to have protectors, we don’t have the skills to protect ourselves, and people will naturally accept an Elemental and gravitate towards them, a feeling of trust and purity.”  “Three years ago the next generation of Elementals were supposed to be born, but they were born Friday Night, three years late, legend says humanity and the earth will be tested, Elementals will die without being able to pass on their knowledge to the next generation, there isn’t a lot of information about this period of time, it’s referred to as the dark ages, and it’s never happened before now.”

The silence was broken by Shane fumbling out of his chair, dropping his plate onto the fire, looking around, “what? Breakfast was good if I help clean up. Can I have that beer back?” Doc, Mary, and Beth start dancing and laughing in the kitchen area while washing the dishes. Shane was dancing and collecting plates and cups, mostly to drop crumbs on the dog’s heads. Matt and Andy start 2 stepping, Red watching out over the lake, tapping his foot, and whistling along, always watching. Nathen lets out this blood-curdling scream, everyone spins around and stares at him, “Tension release” Nathen giggled, I’m sorry, things are too tense. Can we lighten things up for a little while,” everyone looking around started shaking their heads and laughing, and Tammy walked over to her phone and turned up “it’s going Down, Timber,” starts pounding.

Red jumps up, looking intently at the lake opening from the river. He starts waving at Shane to get in the tent as he approached the water.  Tammy turns down the music as everyone else starts walking towards the shoreline.  “Hey guys,” yells “Andy,” “we’re going to pull over here and park. See you in a minute,” says Andy as he slowly sputters past.  The closest Andy could park the boat was around the bend. Doc told tammy to have Shane meet her on their boat and turned to board the boat.

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