Come on an adventure with Jack and follow along as he writes his new book in real time! Here is chapter 19.
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
Surrounded by strong, early morning hues, the newborn sky promised a pristine dawn. Held in an enormous hand, a powerful torchbeam followed the graceful lines of a dusty mobile home’s exterior, the light jiggling against its structure as the giant walked. Stopping every few metres, he checked each unfamiliar shadow and compartment with the utmost diligence, searching beyond the floodlight rim for the signs of conflict that had been so amazingly described in a shockingly bizarre account. Still frightened and obviously shaken, Dani wasn’t one to exaggerate or concoct fanciful stories and that made it all the more concerning. If the tale had come from any source other than his precious bride, Ish would’ve had difficulty in accepting the narrative at all.
Peering up at the roof and the spotlights attached to its seam, Ish caught a blinding flash from one of the light sentinels, forcing him to look away as he blinked to clear the blemish seared onto his retinas. Waiting for his view to normalise, a dark spot took moments to fade and when he finally could see again, his attention was fully focused on the floodlit cottage some distance away. In the process of listening to Dani’s report and intent on finding the evidence to collaborate her story, Ish had forgotten all about Caylin and the search for his estranged wife, Lisa. Pulling in an exhausted breath and wearily releasing it, Ish turned back to the job at hand and continued to pursue the evidence which would corroborate Dani’s description, and moreover, give him an indication of the type of threat they were facing. At this stage, Ish was ninety-nine percent certain somebody didn’t want them here and was going to extreme lengths to make them leave.
Pulling open the door to the generator’s electrical enclosure, he was immediately met with an abrupt increase in mechanical noise while he carefully checked every aspect of the working engine. Tugging at the wiring loom and looking for a fault and the probable cause of the sudden blackout, Ish found nothing that he considered instrumental in an unexpected shutdown. Scrutinising the computer control panel for an active code, Ish had to concede there were none and with the manipulation of the touchscreen with a massive finger, even a historical warning code had evaded being captured by the electronic brain. Checking the glass bowl water trap situated in line with the fuel system, not a grain of a contaminate was present to indicate a fuel flow problem had occurred. Closing the compartment and muffling the engine noise, Ish climbed onto the truck fuel tank and heaved his massive frame onto the trailer neck. Reaching for the shiny steel ladder attached to the trailer wall leading onto the trailer roof, Ish stood just two steps above the truck frame. From his vantage point, Ish’s towering hulk could gauge every part of the trailer’s long, dusty crown, but there were no signs to indicate a scuffle or anything impacting the location of where Dani had heard the commotion.
Turning his head and following the floodlit rim, Ish could clearly see the cottage and its exterior then following the beam in a complete circle, the nearby forest reflected a plethora of elongated shadows making it impossible to identify shapes. With a further sweep, his eyes settled on the washed-out ruins, but something about them he hadn’t picked up on before was bothering him. Taking a glance to the lightening sky, the stars were pale and strangely dim and as he watched, distant flashes of purple light strobed against a troubled orange horizon. With his spirit on edge, Ish could almost sense the smell of acrid spiritual cordite from a deadly skirmish, and the cautionary sirens echoing into his head warning of a looming conflict still to come.
Shaken from his wandering thoughts by a sudden bleek bleek and a flash of orange light emanating from the place where Caylin’s BMW had been parked, Ish watched the slender man’s determined gait striding for his car. Seconds later and as the door opened, the engine burst into life while Caylin postured to enter.
“Where are you going, Caylin?” Ish’s tired baritone voice rattled across the ruins from the trailer roof, making Caylin jump.
Hidden by the floodlights, Caylin searched with a hand shading his sight, looking for Ish’s familiar voice and then finally seeing an outline, consented to answer. “I can’t sit around doing nothing while Lisa’s still missing,” Caylin’s pathetic voice cut across the early dawn. “I’m going to search the tracks and roadways around here and then expand out until I find her.”
“Why don’t you have something to eat and a few hours sleep, then I’ll come with you and we can search together.”
“Would you want to eat or sleep if Dani was missing?!”
The flat and accusing response slapped at Ish and he knew he would be doing the same thing as Caylin if the roles were reversed. “Let me get something for us to eat from the kitchen and give me time to pray with Dani and then I’ll join you. Okay?!”
Ish heard the whispered and sarcastic… ‘pray’… spit from Caylin’s lips and drift up to the trailer roof. It was obvious the slender man’s shaky faith had collapsed right when he needed it the most.
“We’ll find her, Caylin! If you can’t trust God… then trust me to trust God. I feel like we’re close and I’m asking the Lord to keep her safe until we can get her back.”
Caylin’s downcast face pointed to the ground and his chin rested on his defeated chest, wanting to vent his frustration. He wasn’t quite sure who he was angry with, but it certainly wasn’t Ish. Ish’s phrase… until we can get her back stuck in Caylin’s mind and seemed like an odd way of looking at the situation. Feeling like his shoulders were dragging on the ground, Caylin nodded and finally agreed to the proposal, but then went to sit in the idling BMW to wait. Watching Ish and Dani in his rearview mirror exchange affectionate hugs, Caylin tilted his head in wonder when he saw Ish break the cuddle and dip his finger in the neck of a small bottle and then anoint Dani’s forehead. Intrigued by the action, Caylin questioned the effectiveness of the simple gesture, but when he anointed the only entry door the same way and then offered a booming prayer for protection, he was deeply cynical at the faith Ish was placing in an unseen God to guard his beloved wife.
Finding the door handle and shoe-horning his massive bulk into the passenger seat, Ish threw a bag of food onto the floor and closed the door. By now, the sun had risen just above the horizon and everything had been bathed in peace-bringing light. Even so, Lisa had been missing for almost twelve hours, but Ish was still confident that God would come through.
Peering out of the kitchen window, Dani watched Ish and Caylin drive away, but this time there was a strong, comforting and powerful presence surrounding her, leaving her feeling surprisingly calm as the men disappeared from view. Searching the sunlit ruins, the fears of the previous night had all but disappeared, however, the trying ordeal had exhausted her. Reaching for the key switch, she extinguished the generator with a twist of her hand, dousing the pale floodlight beams and forcing the isolated forest scene into deafening silence. Laying down on the kitchen sofa, Dani opened her Bible to read but quickly fell asleep, hours passing by while her mind played with a tranquil dream.
Awoken with a start, Dani thought she heard a voice clearly calling, telling her there was a choice to be made. Confused and rising from the sofa, Dani ambled to the door, searching the mid-morning sunshine to see if anyone was around, but the ruins were still and not even the slightest breeze caused the long forest grass to stir. Overwhelmed with the need to connect with her Saviour, Dani opened the trailer door and stepped down into the ruins and began to wander, talking silently to her God about the strange night, the dream, Ish, and the fact Lisa was still missing. Not expecting to go very far, she left the door unlocked while the loving conversation inadvertently took her further from the trailer, with every step filling Dani with astounding love and peace.
Before long, she’d walked some distance away from the ruins and when she topped a slight rise, she stared at a deep, eroded and dry riverbed prohibiting her from going any further and cutting the substantial farm paddock in half. Turning to gauge how far she’d come, Dani was surprised and began to feel uneasy, but the peaceful presence stayed and she felt okay with the wide open spaces expanding to the forest boundaries some distance away and the fact she was completely alone. Curious and taking a small step, she intended to investigate the river’s steep banks and the sandy bottom some twenty feet below, until suddenly, the earth gave way beneath her feet. As the edge broke and threw her off balance, her feet skidded on loose gravel and her body twisted. Struggling to remain upright, the sudden collapse knocked the wind from her lungs and eventually rolled her over and over before brutally depositing her onto her knees and staring at the sandy floor of the dehydrated watercourse.
Down on all fours and peering up at the steep, crumbling riverbank to the paddock above, panic began to call, wondering whether she had the capacity to climb back out. Stiffly raising herself onto her feet, she tested her offended knees. Everything seemed to function, albeit laborious and slightly sore. Taking a glance at the craggy place from where she’d fallen, it was obvious an escape bid wouldn’t work there. Turning in one direction and then the other, she surveyed the dry river bed as far as she could see, but the same high, fragile walls met her gaze, keeping her firmly restrained. In the direction that would lead her deeper into the paddock, Dani’s mind repulsed at the desiccated remains of a large animal’s skeleton blocking her from taking her preferred route. Turning to face the opposite direction and the way of the forest, the sand became cleaner and more appealing, although it would ultimately lead her off the property.
Taking a second glance to the skeletal remains, Dani curled up her nose in disgust and slowly trudged the sandy bottom and trekked towards the forest, hoping at some point not too far ahead the treacherous slope would relent and offer her an easy exit back to the ruins.
Hey Jack ! !! You sure have got me wondering now…not one lost ..two lost and aloneona property full of mystery. I know there is an Angel watching over Dani and one watching over Ish and Caylin as they search for Lisa…but I wonder what’s got hold of Lisa and and what evil has beovertaken her???Glad it’s not me in that situation! Say hello to your Editor! Lotsaluv…Gwennie
Next chapter should hopefully be posting next week, Gwennie, so stay tuned to find out.