Chapter 7

Red woke up to a loud crashing sound that sounded like it was coming from outside their window.  He sat up quickly, checking on Doc, “I’ll be right back, baby.” Red whispers, and he quietly disappears through the bedroom door.  Red passed a couple of windows but couldn’t see out. He made his way to the staff quarters.  Red turns the corner into the kitchen, seeing Matt and Andy kneeling on the benches and peeking through a small hole in the tarp.  Red nods as Matt holds one finger up, making his way to the small hole. Red peaks out, great Art, Red thought, motioning to Matt and Andy to keep an eye on him. They nodded as Red disappeared as fast as he appeared.  Making his way to the main cabin, he ran into Don and Beth, both looking through a small rectangle window in the hallway.  Red nods at Don and Beth; Don motions to Red that it’s Art and he’s doing something outside the boat.  Red peaks through the small window, “what is he doing?” Red whispered.  Red could hear the banging getting louder as Red moved through the boat, with occasional buzzing from power tools, even the occasional hushed cursing.

Red made it to the main cabin, where he found Nathen, Tammy, Dave, Jase, and Kevin all peering through tiny openings in the tarp over the windows.  As Red peaked through the window, he could see Art below him. “What are you up to, Art?” Red thought.  Tammy quietly whispered in Red’s Ear, “Is Doc okay?  Is she awake?   Red whispers to Tammy that she is still in and out and still in the room. “I’ll go stay with her in case she wakes up.” Said Tammy.  Red thanked her as she disappeared up the stairs. “Where’s Shane? Red quietly asked as Kevin pointed to the outside deck.

Red quietly slipped through the door open; looking back at the group, he held up a finger, squeezing through the crack in the door Red could see Shane and John on opposite ends of the deck.  Red slowly approached Shane, making sure each step was calculated and silent.  Shane pointed over the deck, just below him. As Red looked down, he could see Art with a small pile of wood, a small pile of scrap metal, a worktable with some tools on it, and something Red couldn’t make out.  Red points to a small area with water, a couple of wooden crates, and something else, something alive?  Shane as well unsure of what was just behind him, shakes his head no.  Red double-checking the knots on the swim deck, he slowly makes his way along the outside deck, ensuring nothing looks disturbed.  Red, Shane, and John reappear in the doorway of the main cabin, where everyone had assembled.  Red motioned for the group to follow him. They made their way to the wheelhouse and the captain’s office.

The captain’s office is a small room just off the back of the wheelhouse, as they all follow Red in and close the door.  The room was a 10 X 10 box. It had a small desk and chair, a cute captain wheel lamp, and a small map bench in the back corner with a filing cabinet next to it.  The walls were covered with vintage maps and topped off with a “Don’t Tread On Me flag” on the ceiling.   Everyone except Tammy and Doc filed into the small room and closed the door.  Red quietly starts, “first, we can whisper in here; this room is sealed kind of like a panic room, we can even lock it from inside here, and no one can break in without the key.” “Did anyone see anyone with Art?” they all shake their heads no. “Okay, did anyone get a good look at what Art was doing?” Shane looked at Red and said, “I think he’s building something right outside the boat, but why in the middle of the lot?  And Why here?” “Because he doesn’t want the rest of them to know what he’s up to,” said Red. “But what?” Beth sitting on the floor, looks up and says, “he’s going to go after them when he’s finished with all of us.” “Being outside this boat is a coincidence; that’s why he hasn’t come on board yet, but the question is, will he?” Don put his arm around Beth, “he’s not coming on board. Think positive people.” Red is looking down at his watch, 11:32 am.  The sunsets around 6 to 630pm, so we will need to take shifts keeping an eye on Art while he’s working on whatever he’s doing.  I think the view from the main deck is the best, Red continued.  We need to stay in pairs for safety reasons.  Doc is still on the mend, and she needs a bit more sleep, some cannabis, and water she can submerge in so her body can rejuvenate.” “Doc has “connected” with each of you, you can feel her, and she can feel all of you, as well as Art, Andy, and Jr.  She can keep us hidden in plain sight.

Doc wears 3 Blood diamonds at all times. One is to alert her of any danger by glowing or not glowing if danger is near. The second connects her with nature, and the third allows her to see into people’s hearts.  She cannot take them off, but her blood creates new ones. There is a hole in her abdomen, and when Doc connects to the heart of someone, or she heals someone, a new blood diamond is born for that person, and it hatches from that hole.  Shane feeling like this was a cue, stands up and pulls a chain out from under his shirt and, sure enough, a small blood diamond.  The blood diamond was about 3 centimeters long, clear white, and when you look at it close-up, you can tell it’s alive.  The blood diamonds will not only protect you but needs your energy to grow continually. That’s why Doc’s are more prominent. “Thank you, Shane,” said Red as he sat back down.

Okay, pair up. I will check each floor’s windows, doors to the outside, intercom systems, and make sure all power is off, said Red. I’ll go with you said Shane to Red.  Awesome, now remember this is the only room that seals, so if you need to talk, do it in here. There are fewer chances to be heard said Red and opened the door.  Red and Shane started in the wheelhouse, all the windows were closed and sealed for the winter, covered furniture, boxed up linens and fine China, boxes of canned goods and cleaning supplies, and staff uniforms cluttered the staff hallway.  At the end of the hall, before you leave the wheelhouse, is the captain’s bedroom.

The captain’s sleeping quarters were decorated plainly. There was a small bed in the far corner of the room with a simple desk facing it.  A small TV was hanging on the wall opposite the bed with an old coco clock hung next to it.  The wall above the door and closet had all kinds of hats hanging in decoration or for safekeeping.  The cabinet and the footlocker were empty for the winter, and the hooks looked bear behind the door. All personal belongings and memorabilia were missing, leaving a cleaned and covered area.  Red made his way to bedroom 2 to check on Doc when Tammy heard a scream followed by cursing and loud banging outside the window.

Shane made his way to the outside deck just before all the commotion started saw as Art smashed his hand in the metal box, he was building.  Blood gushing from his hand, he threw the metal saw and started making his way to the shed just inside the dry storage lot fence.  Shane motioned to Red to join him on the deck, whispering he’s gone, but you know he will be back.  What the fuck is he making Red whispered to Shane.  Shane shrugging his shoulders, leans over the side of the deck, trying to get a better look, “what is it?” questioned Red as he was making his way towards the bow of the boat.  Shane struggling to get a better look, notices Art has made several 2x2x2 boxes. Some were made of wood and some of the metal.  You could tell the quality of each box was slightly improved from the next, but what the hell.  In the close distance, they could still hear the hissing and hollering of Art bellowing in the shed with the occasional banging of him throwing everything he could find.

Shane and Red stood frozen, listening to the distant cries of Art as they slowly faded into the distance. “Do you think he left” Shane looked up at Red? “I can’t know,” said Red, “you never know with these cityites” “Cityite?” repeated Shane. “Yes, you know an idiot from the city.” Shane snickered, muttering, “Cityite, I have to remember that one.” Red looked at Shane and said, “it should be easy. You’re a cityite,” chuckled Red.  Shane shook his head, and with a large shit-eating grin on his face, both men entered the main cabin and closed the door.  By this time, everyone except Doc, Tammy, and Beth were still upstairs in bedroom two waiting for instructions.  Red looked around; he quietly took a seat in the chair at the head of the table and quietly started.

Okay, Art is here, in dry storage, and he is the worst of the bunch.  I don’t know what he’s making, but I promise it’s not for fun and games.  Don you Shane and I will check it out, and we need to find a good lookout point and take shifts covering.  Normally I would have us rotating shifts in a different location from the rest of the group but not with this group.  I know a few of you are veterans a have had combat experience. That is not what this is.  We keep the group tight, quiet, and safe; we’ll rotate every 2 hours until sunset.  Remember, we are no longer on our island paradise, and they will find out sooner than later.  Tammy and Beth are with Doc, so I’ll take the first watch.  The rest of you, get something to eat, rest up, and don’t turn anything on.  I know how tempting a shower would be, watching tv, listening to music, or cooking, but we will be off the lake tonight and away from whoever these people are.

One by one, they started making their way back to the rooms they borrowed for the day while Red, Shane, and Don exited back onto the deck.  Red looks at the 2 of them and say’s in a low deep voice.  We need to find the best lookout spot so we can see Art and whatever he’s building.  We may need to make additional small unnoticeable holes in the cover, but we will decide together where to place them.  Both Don and Shane shook their heads and started looking down the side of the boat pulling at the cover until Don motioned for Red and Shane.  Art is coming back, What said Red, maneuvering around him to see.  Shit said Red.  Shane and Red enter the cabin, gathering anything left out by the current residents as they rush to meet everyone except Doc, Tammy, and Beth in the Captions quarters, where they sat for almost 2 hours while Art welded metal.  Sanding the wood boxes, even burning words, they couldn’t make out down one of the sides of the wooden boxes he was designing.

The air was still, the noise outside was quiet, and Red deciding he needed to check on the girls upstairs, got up, holding his finger over his mouth.  Motioning to Richard to follow, Red Says, “We will be right back. I need to check on the girls and Richard. I need you to check the main deck and see if you can hear anything or see anyone.” “Jase, I need you to head up to the captain’s deck and check the area around us.  See if you can see the main gate and anything suspicious in the dry lot. This boat is the tallest here, so you should be able to see everything around us.  If you see Art or any fake lake patrols, take note of where they are and what they are doing. It’s 1:30 now. We will meet back here in, let’s say, 10 minutes. Everyone else stays comfortable until we return.  All three men head through the captain’s door, instructing Don to lock the door behind them.  All three head down the main corridor. When they reached the stairs, they split up.  Red headed to the second bedroom, which was conveniently located on the same floor. Jase took the stairs up as Richard headed down a floor.

Red standing in front of Bedroom 2 door, he knocks three times and slides his hand down the door to signify safety.  Tammy opened the door, letting Red in. How’s she doing? Asked Red? She’s still sleeping, replied Tammy, Beth’s asleep as well.  Good said Red as he approached the 4-poster bed. I think Art left said Red.  Tammy shook her head and said, “yeah, I saw him walk out the front gate about ten minutes ago. He was moving at a swift pace, said Tammy, right after he had a call on the radio.” Did you hear the call? Asked Red, No said Tammy, and he didn’t have that much to say either.” Red sits on the side of the bed, pulling the covers over Doc’s shoulders. “I’ll get you into the water soon, babe. I know this is hard.  Tammy looks at Red and says, “Okay, you can tell me to mind my own business, but I have to ask why does Doc has three different stones, three different colors, and one glows?  You said her body makes them as she helps people? It’s a long story that I don’t have time to share right now, but the short version is yes, her body makes them for specific people, including herself.  All the stones glow for different reasons, even the stones that she makes for others. It’s meant as a warning to each owner for a variety of troubles.  When Doc disappeared into the woods this morning, “when Doc’s stone started glowing?  Interrupted Tammy.  Yes, replied Red. She ran into Alo, and he wasn’t doing so good, and she helped him putting her body into jeopardy. She will recover, but she needs water, it’s rather beautiful to watch, but that puts us back on the lake.  I need to meet the others in the captain’s office. I will be back. Said Red, looking at Doc. I’ll be here with these two said, Tammy. I rather enjoy this job.  Tammy smiled and sat in the chair opposite the bed.

Red, Richard, and Jase met back at the office with the others. Okay, Red started Richard what, yeah got?  Nothing said, Richard. There was no one outside. I believe Art is gone, but the boxes he was making are very odd. He has five metal and five wood ones; I still can’t see what’s written on them, but they all have an inscription, and all the inscriptions look different.  I didn’t see anything else, but something was missing if more than Art is working here in dry storage from where I was standing. I only see his footprints or only one shoe tread design anywhere on the ground around the boat.  Red, shaking his head, turns to Jase and motions for him to go next.  Jase sitting on the edge of the desk clears his throat and says’s.

dry lotI saw Art leave through the front gate. He was walking like he was pissed and on a mission.  I didn’t see anyone else at or near the front gate to the dry-storage lot.  I couldn’t tell if anyone else has been working in here with Art or if they even know he’s up here working at all.  Art had a radio hooked to his belt loop. I saw him pick it up to his ear, but he never said anything into it.  However, the strange thing was a side-by-side at the front gate that wasn’t there when we went through it, but Art walked right past it.  Why would it be there if Art wasn’t using it or if someone else is in here with us?  Maybe it ran out of gas said, Mary. Perhaps, but isn’t there a fuel tank in here he could have filled the side by side up with?  Red looking around starts okay these are good points, and we may need to investigate, especially why Art may be pissed.

Doc and I found Alo in the boathouse, he wasn’t doing well, and well, Doc did her thing.  After healing Alo, they switched a CPR dummy for him, we put him in a canoe, and he headed back to the reservation.  Now, if one of them noticed Alo MIA, I’m sure that would piss Art off, but there are still a million reasons for this to happen, so we need to stay vigilant.  Tammy is in with Doc and Beth, who’s still sleeping.  Tammy said she heard Art’s radio; she couldn’t hear what was said, but it appeared Art was pissed when he left.  She confirmed only seeing one set of footprints and no one else around the boat said Red; Red, pausing to think a moment, I think we need to take a better look around.  Shane, Nathen, and I are going to check things out a little better. We need to be prepared for anything if we’re going to get out of here tonight said Red.

Red, Shane, and Nathen crawled out from under the boat cover, Richard standing on the captain’s deck looking out towards the gate and watching the guys congregate at the back of the boat peering around each side as if back in high school smoking behind the gym and watching for teachers as not to get caught.  Red looking at Shane and Nathen raises a hand pointing in different directions.  Nathen takes off towards the gate, checking around each boat before carefully climbing in to check them.  Shane took the middle of the dry lot, checking around each boat before quietly climbing in when he stumbles on a small fishing boat, it had a small tight cover, and when Shane started pulling it away, he revealed something that just about stopped his heart.  The boat he was staring at looked precisely like Jerry’s boat.  As Shane pulls back the cover, he reveals a story that painted a very different story than what the group was told.  Shane shuffled around in his pocket, pulled out his cell phone, and started taking a few pictures before moving to the next boat.  Red was checking the back of the lot.  There were a few boats in this section, along with three small buildings.  Red decided to work his way in, headed straight for the first building.  The first building looked like a tool shed that someone had thrown tools around everywhere. How the hell does anyone find shit in here?

Red mumbled to himself.  Digging around, Red found a couple of flashlights, unopened water bottles, a first aid kit, and a large crowbar he could use as a weapon if needed.  The second building looked like a small makeshift office with a desk, filing cabinet, a small handheld radio, and a phone that Red quickly picked up to find nothing but dead air on the other side.  Red found a backpack that he quickly emptied and filled up with the supplies that would fit.  Red, heading towards the third building, notices a razer on the far side, a gas pump, several unopened quarts of oil, and something moving in the window.  Red ducks down slowly and quietly makes his way to the building, checking around him as much as he could.  Red peers through the window, his heart pounding in his chest. He sees what could only be described as a gruesome horror story.  Red taps on the window. Is anyone alive in there? Red thinks as he squints, looking for any kind of movement.  He waits a moment and taps again. Scanning the building, he sees no signs of life.

Red, not seeing any movement, decides to enter the building. He slowly opens the door again, waiting for any signs of life.  Nothing.  He opens the door the rest of the way, lighting up four hanging bodies.  Red looks around and carefully enters the building. Pulling out the flashlight in his backpack, he checks the first body.  It was a state trooper, and it looked like he was assassinated with one bullet in the head.  The officer’s firearm was missing along with his radio, badge, and finger?  The second body was a very familiar one. Jerry hung there lifeless and stiff.  I guess we know where you ended up, my friend. I’m sorry said Red and moving to the third body.  He looked like he may have been the mechanic that resided here day after day. He was an older thin man with a significantly worn face.  Awesome thought, Red when he looked up at the last person hanging.  It was a plain woman with dark curly hair, wearing a pair of cut-offs and tank top, one of her shoes was missing, and she looked like she had been put through the wringer before she died. Red saddened exited the building and headed back towards the boat when he felt a warm sensation on his chest.  He ducked behind a boat. Pulling his collar open, he noticed his stone had started to heat up and glow.  Red understanding, he was running out of time, heads towards their boat quickly wiping away any footprints he had made.

Red and Shane made it back to the boat at the same time. My stone got really fucking hot, said Shane.  Yeah, so did mine. It’s a warning, Red said, looking around. Have you seen Nathen?  No, said Shane.  Did you wipe your footprints asked Red?  Shane nods his head said I must show you something.  Not yet, said Red. I need to find Nathen. You stay here and keep an eye out if Nathen gets back here before me. Get on the boat.  If you hold your stone, and it will get hot, it will send a warning to me; however, don’t let go of the stone until it cools down or you see me.  Shane nodded his head and watched as Red disappeared.

Nathen made it to the front gate, first checking the side by side for keys and fuel. It appeared to be a dry storage side by side. It was a 2-seater with a little bed on the back. It had about half a tank of fuel.  Curious and Curiouser whispered Nathen, why didn’t he take it with him? Is there someone else here with us? Thought Nathen.  Nathen was checking each boat, not finding anything.  He peered around the back of one of the boats to find a petite woman kneeling on the ground.  Nathen, stopping dead in his tracks, watches the woman for about 10 minutes, trying to figure out what she was up to.  Nathen was trying to get a better vantage point, rounds the other side of the boat. He quietly watched.  Still not seeing much, Nathen looked around.  If he went back the same way, a few boats over, he could maze through to the other side and maybe see what the hell she was doing.  Nathen, quietly turning around to try his new route, comes face-to-face with Red almost nose to nose. Nathen’s heart skipped a beat, and it was all he could do to not scream like a little girl.  Red, holding a finger over his mouth, motions to Nathen to follow him, and they make their way back to their boat.

Seeing the two men approaching, Shane climbed under the boat cover and held it up for Nathen and Red to slide under.  Red tied the cover back up and retreated to the main cabin.  Red held two fingers up, motioning to the boat’s inhabitants to the captain’s office.  The group quietly made their way into the small office while Red and Shane retrieved Richard.  Shane, stopping Red before they entered the office. I need to show you something.  Red studied Shane’s face shaking his head.  Shane pulls the phone out of his pocket and shows him the pictures he took.  Red nodded his head. They enter the office.

Red sat on the edge of the desk for what seemed like a lifetime.  Choosing his words carefully, Red starts, We are not alone. There’s a woman in the front of the lot doing God only knows what. However, she seems to be very focused on what she is doing.  Shane found Jerry’s boat, and I saw Jerry along with three other bodies. They weren’t pretty. I don’t know who these people are, but they aren’t friendly, and the sooner we can safely leave this area, the better off we all will be.  Can Doc help them? Asked Tammy quietly, entering the room?  Sadly, no, they are beyond her help, said Red.  Is she okay, Red asked as he stood up? She’s awake and asking for you. She said it was urgent. Okay, everyone, get some food and rest. We leave here at dusk.

Red quickly rushes to bedroom two as everyone else heads to their area of the boat.  Red sits on the edge of the bed, gently sweeping Doc’s hair behind her ear Doc’s eyes open and a slight smile breaks her lips.  Are you okay? Asked Doc.  Yeah, why baby, replied Red.  Your stone was hot somethings wrong said Doc as a hot tear streamed down Doc’s cheek.  Red, softly wiping it away, looked deep into her eyes and spoke. It’s okay. I’m okay, baby, don’t worry replied Red. Everyone’s back on board and safe. Don’t leave again, pleaded Doc something isn’t right; this place is broken, unfixable broken, Doc said as the tears welled up in her eyes.  I know, Red said, I know.  Red laid down on the bed next to Doc and Beth, who was still sleeping.  Red blinked a couple of times before closing his heavy eyes.  Tammy sat in the recliner on the other end of the room, keeping a close eye on the 3 of them.

The sun was starting to set when Red opened his eyes.  He sat up, stretching quietly. He looked at the recliner to find Tammy fast asleep.  He turned his body to get out of the bed to find ten people stretched out all over the floor. Some were sleeping while others either read a book or magazine. He looked over at Doc, who was writing in a small journal she kept in her bag. She looked tired and weak. Her face looked like she had aged ten years since he fell asleep.  Are you okay asked Red?  Doc, looking up at Red. A small smile breaks her lips as she nods.  Have you eaten anything Red asks Doc as she continues writing in her journal?  Doc shakes her head no when Tammy jumps up from the recliner, grabs a tray with cut-up fruits, vegetables, and some crackers, brings it to the bed, and sets it down.  I was hungry a little while ago, said Tammy, so I made enough for all of us. Well, as much as I could find, whispered Tammy as all the bodies on the floor started to move around quietly, stretching, closing their reading material, and placing it back where they found them.  They all sat on the bed, sharing the snacks Tammy so kindly made.

Shane starts, Art left the dry lot for the last time about 2 hours ago, and we haven’t seen or heard anything since then. We’re not sure when the lady left in the side by side, but it hasn’t been back either.  Nathen is on the captain’s deck, keeping an eye out. I’ll relieve him and get his report. Okay, said Red, hold on, Richard go with Shane, and relieve Nathen.  Shane, I want you and Nathen to meet me in the captain’s office so we can make a plan and get the hell out of dodge.  They nod as they leave the room.  Everyone else gets cleaned up and meets us in the main cabin in 30 minutes.  Everyone agrees, and Red looks at Doc, and without saying a word, Doc looks at Red and says, I’ll be okay. I’ll eat a little more and get ready to leave this hellhole.

Nathen and Shane enter the captain’s office, closing the door behind them.  Red sat behind the small desk in the middle of the room.  As Shane looked at Red, he started to notice the dark circles under his eyes, the tired gaze his eyes held as he examined a map in front of him, and the sweet smell of cannabis burning in the ashtray in front of him.  Red looks up at the two men. He picks up the joint, takes in a deep inhale, and passes the joint to Shane, who inhales a couple of deep drags, trying to catch as much lingering smoke as he could and passing to Nathen.  As Nathen inhaled, Red looked down at the map and said, this boat must belong to the owner or operator of this lake docks.  I found this map on a shelf, and it gives us an updated map of the dry storage, the docks, the ranger station, storage, the lake, and the parking lot.

As Shane and Nathen sat around the little desk, Red pointed towards the dry storage lot.  We are here said Red in the middle of dry storage, and we need to get here the upper parking lot.  Now there isn’t another exit for this lot, so we will have to scout it out before moving the group.  I will scout the exit first said Red. I’m not sure if Doc will walk, so Shane, you will help get her to the gate. Red’s finger follows the outside fencing of the dry lot up to the top of the hill. Here is going to be our best vantage point. We should be able to see the parking lot and the docks and lake below and anyone catching up to us.  Shane and Nathen were nodding their heads. When Nathen says it’s going to be dark soon, I know we have flashlights. Will we be able to use them?  Red, shaking his head, answers no, we should have a full moon tonight, so we will have to make do with the light from the moon. Any extra light can be seen for miles and will get us caught, especially if they use side-by-side.  What about the ranger trucks? Do they have them here?  Good question, said Red, thinking, I’m not sure, but if there are other vehicles in the parking lot, we probably should disable them, so we need to grab the bag of tools I left on the swim deck.  Red stood, rolled up the map he borrowed from under the bed, and put it in the backpack.

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