Come on an adventure with Jack and follow along as he writes his new book in real time! Here is chapter 11.
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
Caylin’s bitter complaint struck the thick, impenetrable wall of the forest and bounced back, echoing around and mocking him with the pain of his own grievance. Even the bizarre vibration had joined in with the attack and its mystery had increased to the point where he could no longer hide himself in the ruins. Nagged by the persistent desire to understand, Caylin forced his focus onto a point outside of himself, ignoring his own needs and protection while the anxious hunt began. Hidden from Palphry Brook Lane and the entrance to the farm by a barrier of decaying structures, Caylin had little idea what the unusual noise represented or whether it was harmful to him, hoping a cautious attempt to investigate would prove it to be nothing of concern. Everything about this once abandoned property was turning out to be strange, noticeably affecting his frame of mind and suspecting it had been instrumental in affecting Lisa’s unpredictable mood, too. Turning in a circle and holding his breath to isolate every sound, he expected to find a clue in the silence but nothing seemed to move and everything was deathly quiet. The wind had sporadically ebbed and flowed, causing the sheets of rusting tin to again clash with the ancient equipment shed, distracting his concentration and making the source of the vibration even harder to pinpoint. As quickly as it had risen and in keeping with its fickle temperament, the breeze had dropped, and yet as the slender man strained to identify the worrying noise, it too had lost all courage and become mute, leaving Caylin entirely confused.
A bloodcurdling scream lifted its voice to the heavens and swallowed him in panic, pouncing on his ears like a wildcat. Terrified, Caylin’s legs responded with a storm of adrenaline and without any rational input from his brain, he found himself running. Stumbling through the rubble, Caylin had no idea who or what he was running to or from, but recognised the high-pitched scream of a desperate woman, and Lisa was the only one who fitted that category for a hundred miles around. Ignoring her previous admonition to keep his distance, Caylin reasoned that it didn’t apply if she was in need of his help. Almost twisting his ankle in the flight to respond, he ran with extreme agitation, sprinting along the rubble-filled path leading to the cottage.
Drifting between an imaginary world and the parallel poles of reality, Caylin’s eyes entangled in a sight that shouldn’t be there, and the mental disconnect stopped him dead in his tracks. About fifty metres in front of the parked BMW, Caylin fixated on a giant standing alone and with his mountainous back facing towards him. Out of breath and totally confused, a stab of indignation crushed Caylin’s mind. Was this the same creature who’d tried to molest his wife? How had he found them and had he come to complete his twisted plan? Nearly fainting when the giant abruptly moved, Caylin recognised a woman trapped in his arms – obviously the one who’d screamed – but after closer scrutiny, she seemed to be engaging in some kind of affectionate posture. Pierced to the heart, he wondered if this was Lisa’s plan all along and she’d arranged the whole sordid farce, and the giant had been summoned and directed to finish him off.
No longer concerned for his safety or whether he lived or died, Caylin steadied himself with the intention of confronting the two reprobates, intending to make his feelings known and to pursue them through every criminal court in the land. Bitter tears of betrayal began to form in his eyes as he swiftly walked. The event he feared the most had raised its ugly head, and now he was about to relive the nightmare of Kelly in his second wife. Dodging the debris with a calculated dawdle, his hands balled into fists. He wasn’t giving up on his tormented life – or Lisa – without a fight.
As he crept closer, expecting to see Goliath and Lisa engaged in some kind of intense lover’s embrace, Caylin paused, noticing a convenient, hand-sized piece of timber sticking out of the wreckage. Reaching for the palisade with the intention of making it a weapon, Caylin’s shaking hand grasped at the bludgeon, quietly wriggled it loose from its tangled resting place and prepared to launch his raid, incapable of reason and unable to recognise that this giant and Goliath had one major discrepancy. Clearly, the shock of red hair hadn’t even registered in Caylin’s determined brain. Tiptoeing on the balls of his feet like a stalking cougar and using stealth as an equaliser, Caylin’s potency surged as every muscle strained and stretched to the limit, flooded with keyed-up adrenaline. Holding the timber level with his head and preparing to action his own form of justice, Caylin took a misguided step and tripped, his judgement impaired by the high-energy cocktail running through his veins.
Alerted by the stumble and seeing the flash of a threat in the periphery of his vision, the giant reacted instinctively, swivelling on his heels and foiling the attempt with a powerful swipe, sending Caylin cartwheeling into the ruins. “Whoa, man! What in blackberry soup were you trying to do?!”
“Ish! Oh, I’m so sorry! I thought you were Goliath and your lady was Lisa and…” Caylin lost it and broke down, unashamedly crying.
Retrieving Caylin from the dirt, Ish shook the dust from the troubled man and wrapped him in a compassionate hug while Caylin blubbered uncontrollably. Touched by the emotion, the big redhead engaged with his pain and openly offered the heart of God towards another distraught human being. “Things that tough, Caylin?” Ish finally let the man breathe.
Wiping a stream of tears from his face, Caylin tried to respond. “You don’t know the half of it, Ish. She blames me for everything!”
“Didn’t you tell her it was due to you that she hadn’t become another notch in Goliath’s belt?”
“I didn’t get a chance… and she probably wouldn’t believe me, anyway,” Caylin took a breath and cleared his mind. “I..I don’t understand, Ish. Why are you here and how did you find me?”
Watching the scene from a distance and shocked by Caylin’s distraught and desperate actions, Dani finally recognised her cue. Cautiously approaching the trouble with the note in her hand, she warily and silently offered Caylin the proof.
Making eye contact with Ish’s beautiful bride, Caylin took the folded paper from her hand and untangled the message. When an incredulous huff escaped Caylin’s lips, it almost appeared as if he recognised the culprit offering employment to any diligent workers. “I didn’t expect anyone would respond to this. I wrote it in a hurry and slid it into the hinge of the grocery shop door just before Lisa embarked on her racing career.”
“Racing career?!” Ish interjected.
“How long do you think it should take to drive from Kirby to here, Ish?” Caylin struggled to keep Lisa’s excesses secret, but he just couldn’t manage it in the listening presence of two very charismatic and loving people.
Ish shook his head and Dani just stared, waiting for Caylin to answer.
“It’s an eighty-minute drive if you abide by the law and travel at the speed limit. Lisa did it in fifty,” Caylin admitted flatly.
Ish shuffled uncomfortably, visibly shocked by Lisa’s obvious disregard for her life and Caylin’s. “So the black skid marks leading into the lane are yours?!”
Caylin took a frantic breath and shivered, remembering the high-speed slide and the near collision with the trees. “Mmm!” the little man trembled, but tried not to show it.
Dani remained quiet, but the revelations of Lisa’s deadly tantrums were horrifying her and tying her stomach in knots. Glancing at Ish, It was becoming clearer why Papa God had given them this assignment and sent them here, but it was going to take every bit of faith and trust that Dani could rally. Lisa was the obvious problem in this situation, and as the female contingent of the marriage covenant with Ish, biblically, it was up to Dani to deal with the female counselees that God brought their way. Dani, however, was feeling totally out of her depth. Essentially, a trusting and wholesome two-way relationship had to be established between any two conflicting parties before the first attempt at reconciliation can ever be considered… and this would be Dani’s biggest struggle. Ish was much better with people than her, but opposite gender counselling was never a good idea at any point – or for any reason.
Ish interrupted Dani’s turbulent thoughts, struggling to pick up the thread as her husband spoke.
“We found the note taped to the grocery store window. That’s how I saw it,” Ish recalled incredibly, leaving everyone present with a plethora of questions. Someone else had intervened and made sure Caylin’s cry for help hadn’t gone unanswered. Taking a sweeping search of the property, Ish examined every part of the farm as far as his eyes could see, while Caylin anxiously followed his quest. “Exactly what are you trying to achieve here, Caylin?” Ish finally paused and returned his full attention to the slender man.
The unexpected question took Caylin by surprise. He hadn’t been privy to Lisa’s plans, and other than approaching the treacherous woman and asking her outright, he couldn’t answer. Judging by previous experiences, Lisa could take every bit of a month to calm down enough to be rational, and with that possibility firmly out of reach, Caylin tried to think how she would. Attempting to visualise a sensible plan, he just couldn’t figure it out, but suddenly remembered the iPad and the secretive documents she’d been working on. Turning and walking towards the car, Caylin wondered if the BMW could shed some light on the answers needed.
Following Caylin to his vehicle and watching him open the passenger door, Ish studied the slender man as he fossicked through a large linen bag, but came up empty. The iPad Lisa had hidden somewhere, but a rough, pencil-drawn sketch discarded under the seat gave the only indication of how Lisa’s mind was working.
“I’m sorry, Ish. I can’t offer any solutions, but this drawing is all I’ve got to go on, and she’s told me in no uncertain terms not to come near the cottage – or her – if I can’t somehow magically find supplies of food and water. Apparently, the whole debacle in Kirby was my fault, too – and she even blamed me for Goliath’s attempts at doing… whatever… !“
Ish suddenly beamed, realising why he’d been commanded to stock up. “We’ve got all the supplies you need onboard our rig, Caylin. Papa God knew!”
Caylin gawked at Ish, unable to comprehend a word he was saying.
“If she’s so worried about food and water, I’ll wager she hasn’t eaten for a day or two. Am I right?”
Caylin nodded slowly, wondering where this was going.
“Why don’t you take a handful of our supplies and try to offer them to Lisa. If she’s hungry enough, we might just be able to get her to engage.”
“Isn’t that just rewarding bad behaviour though, Ish?” Dani interjected, but before she could stem the flow of words, Dani found herself offering to approach the lioness and enter the cage herself, hoping the food would be enough to prevent her from be eaten.