Come on an adventure with Jack and follow along as he writes his new book in real time! Here is chapter 10.
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
Straddling both sides of the potholed country lane and using up every inch of its deteriorating blacktop, the long, heavy vehicle paused in its tracks while the two bewildered occupants attempted to harness their thoughts.
“This is the address on the job advertisement, isn’t it, Dani?” shocked by the scene just outside his window, Ish struggled to comprehend what he was seeing.
Every bit as stunned as he, Dani took a second for her mind to react, tearing her gaze from the same incredible view and momentarily glancing to the eyes of her man. Finally comprehending the request, she reached for the crumpled paper, untangled the folds and checked the information against the map. Diligently tracing the address and with trepidation growing, Dani secretly hoped that the facts would tell a different story, but she reluctantly conceded to the obvious truth when the map and the note colluded together. Staring at the outcome with a sense of foreboding, she eventually nodded to Ish’s enquiry. “Uhuh. Palphry Brook Lane. There’s no doubt,” Dani whispered incredulously.
“Don’t suppose this was some kids’ idea of a prank, do you?!” Ish spouted angrily, seeing the immature juveniles laughing at him in his imagination. Beginning to worry about the mountain of supplies he’d purchased, he was even more suspicious of the voice that he thought had whispered the preposterous command to his heart.
Staring at Ish with her lips shocked apart, Dani struggled to appreciate what he was saying, but when she finally recognised his thought processes, she deliberately ambushed the critical path his mind had taken. “When does Papa God ever give us an assignment that looks normal at the start?”
The irony in Dani’s reflections took a while to reach Ish’s heart, but he soon recognised the Godly wisdom in her words. “You’re so right, babe!” Ish unexpectedly recovered. ”The more difficult our circumstances, the more He loves to deliver us, and the more gems He hides in our path for us to find.”
Leaning over the warm engine cowling and trying to gaze past her massive man, Dani caught a glimpse of something that caused her throat to dry up. Taking a closer look and fixating on a distant point, Dani squinted to recognise the shape, but the noise of the idling engine was playing with her concentration and she had to ask Ish for confirmation. “That’s not… that’s not… Caylin’s fancy car, is it, Ish?!” Dani stumbled to order her thoughts, just as a savage attack of anxiety replayed her initial encounter with Lisa.
“I do believe you’re right, babe. Wow, look at this place! Looks like a tornado touched down in an abandoned junkyard and ripped it to shreds!”
Dani quickly rechecked the note and once again compared it to the map. There was literally no doubt and glaringly obvious: this is where Papa God had sent them. Panicking, Dani recalled the determined look on the face of Caylin’s wife and the fact she was about to leave him behind. Beginning to suspect that their near future would be fraught with unbelievable struggle, Dani recalled that nothing she’d said would break the ice surrounding the dark-haired brat, and it was only an act of God and Dani’s frantic prayers that had prevented the crazy woman from leaving alone. Grappling with vicious flashes of heat lighting her face on fire, Dani began to feel ill. “Can we pray please, honey? I think I’m going to be sick!”
Leaning over the cowling and taking the spiritual lead, Ish covered his petite wife’s shoulders with his gigantic, tree-limb-sized arm, offering a brief prayer for guidance while Dani agreed, although the uncertainty refused to leave and only appeared to be intensifying.
“You okay, babe?” Watching the terror rise in his wife and feeling uncertain himself, Ish tried to comfort her and drew her into a reassuring cuddle. “This might not go anywhere yet, babe. They still have to accept us as workers. Nothing matters as long as we’re obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and He will discharge our responsibility if they reject us. Maybe this is just another test of our willingness to listen and obey.”
Brightened by Ish’s good sense but remembering Lisa’s willingness to discount everything Dani had said, there was a very good chance she would reject them. Releasing an anxious breath and puffing her cheeks as the tension leaked out, Dani steadied her nerve. “Yep. You’re right, honey. Thank you. It’s just a test… it’s just a test… it’s just a test.”
Pressed into a warm bear hug, Ish placed a kiss on her cheek. “Ready to do this?”
Dani tried to show her brave face and nodded, but her eyes told a completely different story. “Ready as I’ll ever be. Okay, honey, let’s get this over with. I hope I am strong enough to withstand another confrontation with Lisa.”
Taking a glance ahead of the truck and peering through the dirty windscreen to a corridor of overhanging branches, Ish could see that Palphry Brook Lane broke up into a patchwork of disintegrating asphalt. Further down, the lane appeared overgrown and almost reclaimed by the intrusive forest, leaving the inquisitive man to rationalise that not one vehicle could’ve used the access in many a year. Certain that the truck offered little hindrance to any other road user, Ish cut the power to the idling engine and listened for a successful shutdown. Waiting for the diesel engine to come to a noiseless halt, Ish then turned off the ignition and removed the key. Swinging his door open, jumping to the ground and making a deliberate path to the passenger side, Ish swatted at a mass of vegetation, clearing it away from the truck then reached for the handle to the towering cab and threw the door open. Dani’s fearful appearance gave the impression she was psyching herself up for the battle and the next unescapable encounter, but when she saw her man with his arms outstretched and ready to help her down, Dani smiled a beautiful smile and allowed her man to lift her out and place her gently onto her feet.
Slightly reassured, Dani carried the note as proof, clasping the paper tightly in her tiny hand as if it was a document of great authority and a get-out-of-jail-free card in the event of a Lisa meltdown. As she moved towards the broken property line in the company of her man, both walked cautiously towards the familiar luxury vehicle, keeping a wary eye on the spooky property and its unnerving ruins. Approaching from the rear, the dust-covered BMW seemed inanimate while the surrounding air was still and heavy, and not a sound carried across the dry atmosphere. All around, broken buildings scattered throughout the immediate area, signifying a catastrophic event had engulfed the ancient farm, but the indicators were too old and decrepit to give any concrete support to any theories anyone might try to construe.
Level with the driver window, Ish and Dani bent to peer inside, but there were no signs of life. Recognising the crime scene from the encounter with Lisa and seeing Lisa’s impassioned face in her imagination, Dani relived the choking emotions, struggling to breathe. Turning away and leaving Ish to ponder the luxury interior, Dani fanned her burning face with a tiny hand and tried to concentrate instead on a semi-habitable structure. Leaning precariously on its ancient feet as if it was taking a pain-filled rest from a long journey under the shade of a massive tree, somehow Dani knew she was approaching the crazy woman’s den.
Slowly and carefully, Dani picked her way through the debris towards the crumbling structure, but her steps were small and measured even though she was still some distance from the door. Creeping closer and closer, Dani couldn’t escape the gut-wrenching feeling that they were trespassing, and if the lioness awoke at the slightest noise or provocation, neither her nor Ish would have a convincing reason for being there, although she purportedly carried their own handwritten note. In the cold light of reality and revisiting Ish’s previous suspicions that the note may have been a forgery, Dani began to suspect she may have been a little hasty in dismissing his concerns. As the perfect storm threatened to catch her in the open and unprotected, Dani began to feel more and more uneasy, pausing to study the looming structure.
From out of nowhere, something heavy brushed across her back and landed on her shoulders, stiffening every terrified muscle into a spasm of abject fear. When a massive dark shape descended on her and left its shadowy silhouette towering over her own and reflected in the dirt before her, Dani spun on her heels, face red and alight with horror. Expecting to see that they’d been detected and Lisa was about to tear her apart, Dani screamed when the image confused her imagination, filling the nearby forest with an echoing chill.
Yak back to Jack