Chapter 4: Over Lunch
“This is a nice restaurant. I used to come here in the early nineties a lot, but after what happened in 1993 really slimmed me down for awhile. I still continued to come often.”
The Carlita’s Playa Bar & Grill sat outside, across from the Pacific itself. Although the setting seemed nothing new to Anne, it was still relaxing.
Steam from the outside grill’s scented the air and hovered up in the sky above. At least a dozen of the twenty or so tables outside were full, and amongst them were scattered the waiters, waitresses, and even chefs who were making their rounds.
Light Mexican band music played, helping settle the atmosphere, and even little lights dangled from wooden poles several feet off the ground to the next.
Guitierrez asked, “So how has it been?”
“Don’t talk much,” he laughed.
“No, no,” Anne blushed. “I’m just remembering something, is all.”
“Otherwise I’m doing fine. After I got back from Costa Rica last time, I moved in with my parents.”
Anne didn’t want to tell him why, but she went on. “I…I had memories. The ones that last. The ones that won’t leave.”
“I still do…Occasionally.”
“Then why’d you come here? Back to Costa Rica? Coming here would set off such things, especially since you are alone, wouldn’t it?”
“Some things have been brought back. But I’m living with it. Besides, there’s no reason I should fear the past.”
“But what about your relative? Do you fear for them?”
“Of course. I don’t want to take the chance of anyone having to live through that, especially is it’s because of me.”
“What do you mean?”
“My cousin, Lisa, the one who’s here, got interested in these islands because of my stories. What those people made me recall—what they made me relive—somehow triggered curiosity in her mind.”
“I could see how that could happen.”
“But it’s my fault. She wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t been so curious myself. All those people on that plane could’ve lived too.”
“It’s not your fault Anne. What happened, happened.”
“But people died.”
“But if they hadn’t, others would have. See, after you left, the government really backed up security regarding Isla Sorna. They’ve prevented many, many people from going there—it’s rumored to be a law now, although no one knows for sure. There’s only been a few mishaps, even one in 2001 where the US military even got called in. That’s how protective they are now. It’s never been your fault.”
Anne was thinking this over as a waitress came to the table. Marty said, “Ingles, por favor.”
“I’ll have a plain ice water and grilled chicken with the jalapeno pepper sauce on the side.”
“And you,” the waitress asked, turning to Anne.
“I’ll have ice water as well. To eat I’ll have a double cheeseburger, medium-grilled with American cheese.”
The waitress nodded, gave a forced, hearty smile and took off. Anne smiled, “Ice water?”
“Hey, you got the same thing. It’s too early to drink anything else.”
“Yeah, true…I guess.”
The waitress returned a few moments later with their waters, and they talked for around ten minutes before receiving their orders.
“Wow, looks good,” Anne said at her grilled burger. “Doesn’t seem like Costa Rican food, but, hey…What the hell…”
Guitierrez laughed, helping himself to his own grilled chicken meal.
Ten minutes later found Anne and Guitierrez finished with their meals. Guitierrez looked over the table at her. “So what are you going to do now?”
“Maybe go to the next town up the coast…See if I can find something, anything…”
Guitierrez nodded. “I’ll help if I can. See what I can find out myself, let you know at your hotel.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Don’t mention it. I want to help.”
Anne smiled. Her mind was still jumbled, and she felt a ting of sleepiness, even though it was just after noon.
Guitierrez asked, “You need a ride back to Jaco?”
“I think I’ll just take a cab.”
“You sure? I can take you.”
“No, its ok.”
The waitress came back, took their plates and left the check. In the end, Guitierrez paid for it, despite Anne’s insistence that she pay for it all—or, at least, her own meal.
The two got up, Guitierrez content he had paid for her meal, insisting it was no big deal. They headed to the street, where they waited a few minutes before a taxi finally came around the corner, hailing it down.
It slowed, coming up to the curb behind Guitierrez’s car. Anne thanked Guitierrez once more. He shook his head. “If I find anything out, I’ll let you know.”
Anne nodded, turning away. Guitierrez watched for a moment in silent ponder, before getting into his own car. Anne got into the back seat of the taxi, the driver asking, “Where to?”
“The Jaco Coastal Hotel.”
She glanced back out the window as the taxi started, Guitierrez turning around in his seat to give her a wave from his car before he too, took off.
Anne woke up, shrouded in an eerie fog. She could smell the jungle around her. She could sense it there, even though she couldn’t see it through the fog. She could even taste it.
She spun around and around the fog, which seemed to swirl even faster. Dizziness stepped in.
Everything stopped. She was standing straight up once more, no dizziness.
Through the fog she could see shadows.
Moving around. Circling her. Vengeful memories.
“No! Go away!”
The shadows stopped moving, blending into the fog, which began to turn a dark gray.
She closed her eyes, feeling pressure pushing in from all sides. She was trapped.
Her eyes opened, the fog was gone. Now she could see the jungle around her.
She heard footsteps behind her. She turned, seeing herself running toward her.
“Hey,” she called out, but the other her didn’t hear. Instead, the other her continued to run at her, her eyes seemingly looking through her own self.
But this Anne, the other her, looked troubled, and she remembered this Anne. This Anne was from 1998, the Anne that was the reason why everything had and was so bizarre.
This Anne was the one running from something.
But why running?
There was no past to run from. Only a darkness in her present.
This makes no sense!
The reason had to be for her survival. She was being chased, that was it.
And, as if on cue, Anne could see why she—the running Anne—was running. A Tyrannosaurus Rex was stomping through the jungle behind her, roaring.
The one with the odd limp.
The running Anne brushed within inches of her, as if she had veered off her course just to pass by stationary Anne.
Had the running Anne seen the stationary Anne?
I could’ve at least stopped to warn myself.
No time to think.
The Rex was getting closer. Maybe it too didn’t see stationary Anne.
It can’t see me if I don’t move…And even if I did move, it wouldn’t see me anyway. Heck, I didn’t even see myself!
The rex seemed to ignore her, coming closer.
What if I get trampled over?
She looked around as the rex got within a few yard from her, before she jumped to one side. The rex snapped its jaws where she had been, catching air.
It had seen her!
Or at least known she was there…Sensed her.
Like the running Anne had.
But the rex turned. She rolled over, scrambling up as the rex started toward her.
She got up, turning into the jungle and running.
She ran endlessly, the jungle never seeming to end.
Eventually she had become tired, but the rex never ceased in its pursuit.
The jungle compressed, and she felt her body rise up. Maybe the rex had gotten her.
There came a knocking sound through the air and through the rex’s footfalls.
It started again.
Was there a woodpecker somewhere nearby?
That wasn’t her voice.
The knocking was coming from her hotel room door. Anne rolled up and out of bed, shaken from her dream by the repetitive noise she had thought was a woodpecker.
“Hold on,” she muttered, unlocking the door.
Upon opening it, the face of the desk woman who had been downstairs when she had come in greeted her. “Yes?”
“Sorry, I called you from the front desk but you weren’t answering. Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just sleeping.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I woke you up then, but a Mr. Marty Guitierrez called. I was trying to patch your phone through to him, but you didn’t pick up. He said he’d just leave a message in our new recording system.”
By the smile on the woman’s face, she knew her own puzzled expression was enough to tell the woman that she didn’t know what she was talking about. The woman said, “Our recording system can be accessed through your phone. There is a record box for each phone in each room so our guests can be a bit more accommodated. It’s simple to access, all you need to do is pressed the RB green button on your phone.”
Anne nodded. “Thank you, I’ll do that.”
“Have a good night.”
Night? “Yeah, you too.”
She closed the door and glanced at the digital clock on the nightstand next to her bed. It read 8:33 PM.
“Oh, jeez…I’ve been asleep for hours!”
She moved to the bed, angry at herself that she had let time slip by without making any progress in her search. She picked up the phone, pressing the green RB button.
An automated voice spoke through to her: “You have one new message.”
There was a click and after a few moments Guitierrez’s voice sparked in. It sounded worried and a bit nervous. “Hey Anne, it’s me, Marty. I, uh… Have some news about your cousin and her group. I don’t think it would be best to say this over a recording, so please give me a call back immediately—“
She noted how he emphasized “immediately.” His voice continued, “—so we can talk. You can reach me by choosing the “Reply Call” button after this message. Will talk soon.”
The message clicked off, and the automated voice said: “To reply to this call, press pound and 1. To delete this call, press pound and 2. To report th—“
Anne pressed the corresponding buttons for the reply action, and soon heard the phone ringing. She wondered why he had seemed rushed, even wondering why he hadn’t given a straight phone number but instead gave her the fastest way to reach him, like he didn’t want her to wait.
In the middle of her thoughts, the phone picked up. “Hello?”
“Anne? Anne, good, I needed to tell you something.”
“What is it?”
“After we parted today, I drove back down to the docks to check up on the transport job I was working on. Well, I was talking to a few of the men and asked around about any suspicious questions about going to Nublar from anyone.”
“Yeah, go on.”
“Well, they had just gotten back from the docks on the opposite peninsula, the east side. Around the coast from Montezuma, across the bay from Puntarenas. They said that a group of photographers from the States had found a trawler owner named…” He paused for a moment, and she guessed he was remembering the name. “They found a trawler owner named Tito Ortega to take them to Isla Nublar. They must’ve had a lot of money.”
Oh my God…
He continued, “They came back to Puntarenas, that’s where they met him once more, because he needed to dock here to drop some things off, before they boarded.”
“What does that mean? They’re in Puntarenas? Or they’ve loaded their stuff in and they’re waiting?”
“Anne,” Marty’s voice dropped. “They’ve already left.”