Come on an adventure with Jack and follow along as he writes his new book in real time! Here is chapter 15.
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
A shrieking whistle ripped open the tense evening air, drawing an annoyed grimace from the attractive face of a woman’s slender form. Distracting lovely eyes from a relentless vigil, the raucous kettle demanded her immediate attention and wouldn’t accept no as an answer. Under its exacting design, the water had been meticulously boiled, allowing a head of steam to reach the precise pitch for a human ear to recognise the alarm and in keeping with its princely duty, the coffee was required for immediate brew… now! Frustrated, dainty hands reached for the gas valve and shut down the hissing flame, prompting the simmering kettle to respond with a unimpressed warble before cooling substantially and finally bowing its head in defeat, its whistle falling silent.
Returning to her post, the kitchen blinds were drawn wide apart and the spacious window gave an unhindered view to the scene beyond, and yet worry had been her companion ever since the matriarch of the property had been discovered missing and the men had disappeared into the late afternoon gloom in search of her. Pressing her face to the window glass, Dani tried to follow the contours of the forest and the starkness of the property’s cleared land, but a slight rise in the terrain’s profile and the deepening evening hue prevented her from identifying the full complement of its borders. Many times Dani had seen a flash of Ish’s powerful torch like a lighthouse beacon against the darkening sky, but as the searchers had moved further away, even that small comfort had evaporated, making her feel isolated and terribly alone.
Staring at nothing in particular, Dani’s uneasy thoughts wandered back to Caylin’s earlier story describing the events of the previous night and the unwelcome visitors that had approached his car with unknown intent. The whole episode seemed bizarre, as if the trespassers on arrival were expecting a completely different scenario and when they were confronted by Caylin’s BMW, the light show projected by their own headlights onto the cottage wall may well have been nothing more than a misguided error. Even so, the thought of the late night escapade sent a shiver down Dani’s spine. What kind of people were they who would creep around abandoned ruins in the deep secrecy of night? As she reflected more on Caylin’s description, her imagination began to wander, suddenly realising their home-on-wheels would now be parked on top of where the unknown offenders and their suspect vehicle had been. If Dani could rewind the clock less than twenty-four hours, she would soon be face to face with these same criminal people and Ish would still be a long way away.
Deliberately shutting out her thoughts, the darkness had almost completely engulfed the trailer home. Carefully placing each step, Dani ambled into the loungeroom, stretched her hand to the wall and slid open the cover to an insignificant wall panel. Reaching in, she flicked a switch then turned a key. Instantly, a small generator under her feet and housed in the chassis of the trailer burst into life and flooded the extensive mobile home interior with harsh light. Squinting with the sudden ambush, Dani reached again for the same light panel, isolated the interior circuit and switched the electrical load to the powerful outside spotlights. Responding to the command, the generator grunted under the heavy burden, but levelled out as the lights bloomed into full luminescence, once again throwing the trailer core into complete obscurity. Positioned back at the kitchen window, Dani watched in awe as large white moths evacuated the forest in enormous numbers. Circling around, flying blindly and attracted by the beaming floodlights, the ghost-like insects indiscriminately bumped into the searing light lenses before fluttering away to repeat the same process with the next contender.
Washed in brilliant white light, every part of the cottage, the near ruins, and Caylin’s expensive BMW were clearly visible. Beyond that, the light faded out into a smudged ring where darkness reigned and whatever existed there did so undisturbed. Studying the distant tree overhanging the cottage and then the memories of Lisa’s strange existence there, Dani wondered what would drive a woman to take up residence in such an inhospitable place. Haunted by spiders, crawling things and totally devoid of amenities, Dani shivered with repulsion at the thought, then took a long, distracting glance at the BMW parked in the decomposing driveway. Recognising yet another stark contrast associated with this peculiar property and its curious new owners, Dani contemplated how many more were waiting to be discovered. Time itself would bear truthful witness, and somehow Dani’s intuition sensed things were about to escalate beyond normal and into the macabre.
Glancing away from the whitewashed and spot-lit scenery and needing a break, Dani stiffly massaged her neck. Taking a sweep of the dark interior, her attention focused on the trailer oven and then its glowing digital clock, realising almost five hours had passed since Ish and Caylin had begun their search. As the sense of uneasiness made her stomach feel queasy, she wondered whether something to eat might appease the cocktail of stress and worry. After all, it was well past 10:30pm. Ish would be famished, as always, but Caylin was another story altogether. Understanding how she would feel if she were in Caylin’s shoes and the length of time which had passed since Lisa had last been seen, Dani reckoned his state of mind wouldn’t consider hunger to be even the smallest point of issue. Thinking of preparing a meal anyway, the distraction would give her something to do while she kept a guarded lookout over the cottage.
Flicking a switch above the stove area, a small, twelve-volt LED gave enough light for Dani to work, but not so much as to drown out the happenings from outside. Many moments went by and ultimately drifted into an hour as the dinner preparations eventually morphed into a full-blown meal. All she needed now were the men to return with Lisa in their company and perhaps things would settle enough to figure out this mess. Carrying one of the lightweight kitchen chairs up to the same window, Dani took up her position and waited. The longer the men were away, the less hope Dani held for Lisa’s safe return. Wishing she could somehow contact Ish and get a news update, Dani continued to pray, covering her man, Caylin, and most of all, Lisa with the Father’s protection.
Catching a tiny glint from her periphery, Dani quickly changed her stance and tried to follow the source of light, but it was fleeting and darkness viciously stole the canvas and painted it out—totally black. Holding her gaze in the same manner, the strange night was becoming stranger, and soon it would be no longer night but early morning. Searching for signs of life with an anxious, pounding heart, Dani caught another glint and it stayed for just a second longer before collapsing back into the night.
Once again the glint emerged. This time it became a solid glow and hung like a halo over the border between the darkness and the ruins, but it was moving and coming slowly closer, and soon would be bathed in the trailer’s spotlights. Jumping up and joyfully turning the stove back on to heat the food, Dani expected Ish to return at any moment and the trailer to be crowded with much needed company. Hoping for good news, she skipped back to her seat at the window to wait, but the haloed glow had unexpectedly disappeared, and the spotlights were devoid of anything recognisable.
“What’s going on?” Dani thought to herself. Frantically searching the outside light for an explanation, she became increasingly anxious, knowing Ish wouldn’t be playing these types of games on her, making her feel less than certain and starting to doubt the legitimacy of what she’d seen. Pushing the chair back from the window with her knees and contemplating shutting down the generator, Dani stood and with nervous eyes searched the restrictions of the dark hiding behind the floodlights. Offering a prayer for her own safety this time, Dani’s mind drifted back to Caylin’s report of intruders, and then realised this would probably be the time they’d showed up last night.
Unable to retain her courage for one second longer, Dani carefully ducked below window height and crawled along the floor until she came to the stove. Quickly standing up, she flicked the LED off and then dropped to the floor again, crawling her way to the lounge and the generator controls. Recognising the wall panel from her position on the floor, Dani counted to ten, trying to calm her nerve before attempting to douse the generator. In the reflected light from outside, Dani could easily see the generator key, but she mused over the prudence of total darkness and her safety should she extinguish the light altogether.
Hey Jack ! What a business !! Creeping around a huge HUGE property in the dark….man ! Probably mine shafts everywhere?? Dani is safe …she will have an Angel with her but don’t know about Lisa …me thinks NOT !!
I had trouble with my iPad again so didn’t read Chapter 14 BUT today 15 came so read the two together…well done old son…well done..luv it ! Tell me what is growing around the property…or is it just rock and earth…??i still think there is oil there ???maps..old…old shack…no loo…old fellas lived like that eh ? ANY NIGHT ANIMALS around?? That would give me a clue as to where it is set eh
Glad you are enjoying it, Gwennie.
Next chapter should be posting next week, so stay tuned to find out.