Chapter 6: The Island
The boat moved slowly through the dark waters as it passed the nearby docked boats, making its way to its own little docking haven.
As it pulled up alongside the dock, Anne listened as Marco walked up next to her. “If this were a usual docking, we would go inside the dock alcoves, where we could lock her down, like all these other boats you see tied up from the stern or bow. But we’re going to dock for about ten minutes, so we can go let our other partner know where we are.”
“Should be back on the boat within a half hour, give or take. You can come along if you want.”
Anne nodded. Marco said, “Well, last call is when we go, so make up your mind.” He laughed, before peering over the rail and jumping over, landing on the dock. He grabbed one of the ropes as he did, tying it down.
He called out something in Spanish, and the boat began to drift. Pete came out of the cabin, dropping down from the outside ladder rather than coming out from the first floor. He, too, leaped over the boat, landing with a thud on the dock, and trying the other rope down.
Anne watched as a part of the wall around the boat disappeared, dropping down to create a ramp to the dock below.
Marco stumbled up. “We have a small walk from here. This is a small docking area alongside the road that leads to the major docks north and south up the coast, including the rim to Montezuma. There’s a small town nearby, a bit inland.”
Anne followed him back down the ramp, catching a glimpse of Pete watching them both nearby, before Marco helped her forward.
“Come on, Pete.”
Anne and the two men walked away from the docks, up the beach, where they came to a dirt road skirting the jungle, which went off to their right and left. Across the road was the entrance to a small plaza with several bungalow-like buildings scattered around it. Large, torch-lit poles rose around the “town,” illuminating the area in the darkness.
“Homes, I’m guessing,” she said.
Marco nodded, “Yes. Mainly the outside ones. There’s a small store, there.” He pointed to a bungalow in the dark closest to them. “If anyone needs anything big, they just walk or ride about two miles or so down the road. The docks are here for these people, who are mainly fishing-families, and this is also a good spot for transporting things down the road if the other docks are crowded.”
Pete led them to a bungalow hidden just outside a circle of torchlight. A light on inside seemed at first glance to Anne that she could’ve ever seen it. Pete knocked, and the door opened, spilling out light on them.
Anne heard jumbled Spanish, before Pete and Marco opened up the screen door guarding the open, wooden door and stepped inside. Marco said, “Would you like to come inside?”
She felt a bit nervous, out-of-place. “No, no…I’ll wait out here. Maybe just walk around.”
Marco smiled blandly in the light, before he turned away from view. Anne leaned against the outside wall next to the open door. The screen door had shut itself, but they had left the second door open.
She listened to them, her thoughts drifting every once in awhile. Marco said, “We’re going to Isla Nublar.”
“Why?” It was the man they had come to meet. His voice seemed rough.
“We’re getting paid to drop her off, and then pick her up later.”
“Seems odd, drifting out in the middle of the night.”
“Hey, she offered us one-hundred-and-fifty dollars to bring her there and back. Something you know we wouldn’t pass up.”
“Are you sure she’s capable of paying you?”
There was silence. “We…think so.”
They continued talking, and soon after she heard a thump, followed by the sounds of someone coming closer to the door. A shadow was thrown upon the ground in the light of the open door, but it squeaked closed moments later.
Anne pushed herself away from the wall, listening to the crunch of her footsteps as she walked around a bungalow to the center of the small village. She walked past the store, seeing that there was no light on inside, before crossing the road back toward the docks.
The boats swayed in the water ahead of her, the ocean shining in a streak in the moonlight passing above. Across the harbor she could see a dark outline of the other side of the country, little specks of light here and there reminding her of civilization behind.
Why is this happening?
She lightly kicked a rock, watching as it rolled across the sand, thumping against the wood of the dock, and dropping over the edge, plopping into the water.
The dock creaked under her steps, as she walked toward the end of the dock. “I know I’m going this time…I know why I’m going…”
She stopped, listening to the faint trace of voices behind her. She waited, looking over the water in silence, as someone came up behind her. Pete’s voice broke the silence. “We’re taking off now, so get on. Marco’s coming soon.”
He followed her up the ramp, splitting with her toward the outside ladder the second floor cabin patio. She listened to the clank of his shoes on the metal, followed momentarily afterward by the light crash of the cabin door returning to its closed position.
Two figures soon came up the dock toward the ramp: one was Marco, the other was another man. The man they had to have come here to meet and had talked to.
He turned, talking with Marco, before coming up the ramp. He watched her, nodding to her when he got to the top. There he stood, while Marco untied the ropes and threw them back on board.
Marco ran up the ramp, grabbing the rope at the base and pulling it back shut, once again part of the wall. He locked it up and turned to the man, moving him toward Anne.
The new man was older than Marco looked; early sixties, Anne guessed. He had graying-black hair and a grizzled old face. He wore a jacket and long pants that looked warm enough, and he was several inches shorter than Marco.
Marco said, “This is our partner Heraldo Juan Jevalle. Heraldo, this is Mrs. Anne Jones.”
Heraldo spoke in the same rough-voice she had heard back at the bungalow, and he moved forward, extending his hand. She shook it, warily, as he said, “Pleased to meet you. I hope these two have kept you good so far.”
“Yes, just fine…Lucky I found them this late, too.”
Marco broke in. “Heraldo’s coming along with us because he’s curious as to what the island looks like. He’s always heard the stories, and…”
“I’d like to see it before age will take away my sea-days.”
Marco said, “So hopefully we who set off will all see it safely and live to tell.”
It was three-thirty before Anne could finally make out the distant shadow of an island in the distance. They had been sailing for nearly four hours now, ever since their departure from Costa Rica shortly after eleven-thirty.
The air was chilly now, Anne was shaking. She had thought of going into the cabin, maybe resting, but her thoughts kept pulling her mind and gaze toward the dark horizon, preventing her from leaving her spot on deck.
She had seen no sign of Pete, Marco, or the man who had joined them, Heraldo, milling about on the deck like she had, except for the sound of their laughter in the cabin once or twice, and an occasional step outside to check up on her.
Now she listened as someone walked across the deck toward her. Heraldo stopped next to her, gazing out into the dark, chilly waters. “Aren’t you cold out here? It’s warm in there, if you’d like to come in.”
“No, I’m fine.”
“So, we’re taking you to the famously dreaded Isla Nublar. Interesting.”
“Why do you feel you have to go?”
“I have duties. A cause that I can’t fight against. I just have to let it carry me.”
Heraldo paused, thinking what she had just said over. “That could sound as wisdom, maybe, but then again, seeing where you are off to, it may come off as craziness.”
Anne gave a small laugh. Heraldo looked back at the cabin, before lowering his head. “I’ve always loved the sea…Have you?”
“Sometimes it may seem welcoming…Other times, well…”
He returned his eyes to the water. “Thing is, whether you think life is good on it, no matter every hour you spend on it, even if every hour is your whole life, sometimes it will get rocky. Some things you just can’t fight, you have to let the sea carry you. That seems to be your case. You are a traveler lost at sea. Now, I don’t know why you’re lost at sea, hell, or even why you are even on the sea, but be careful.”
Anne was confused. To her, he seemed to just be babbling, but he looked at her. There was some emotion caught inside of him, and something in his eyes seemed to change. His demeanor appeared to change.
Marco had come out on deck, and he said, “Heraldo.”
Heraldo looked away quickly, before turning back to the cabin, stopping only to nod to Anne.
An hour later, Isla Nublar was much larger. Night had lightened up only the tiniest bit into a mean shade of gray.
They were another half hour or so before they’d be close enough to make it out enough in the dark, but Anne could see it was quite large already.
She turned from the rail toward the cabin, awkwardly stretching out from the slight cold she had stood in for the past several hours. The door to the bottom cabin was closed, cast in an orange haze from the above light.
She reached for the handle, leaning in. There was a ruffling coming from the other side. She heard a cough, and grabbed the handle, swinging it open.
Pete jumped, spinning to look at her. She looked past him, as he called for Marco. Next to him she could see her suitcase, open and lying on a pull-out table, taken from its storing space in the room where she had put it. Her clothes were hanging out, several of them on the floor.
He was holding the bag of bathroom materials, his thumb inside the open Ziploc.
Is he robbing me?
“What are you doing?”
There was the sound of the door slamming closed from the cabin patio door above, and the clop of hurried footsteps as someone—probably Marco, she thought—heading for the ladder.
She turned, as Pete started moving forward, and headed out the door. She was greeted by Marco, who shot his hands out, grabbing her. “Well Ms. Jones, you caught him.”
“What? What’s going on? Why is he in my suitcase?”
“No regular person carries one-hundred-and-fifty dollars around unless they’re loaded Ms. Jones. Any person who has that sort of money has more, and we want it. This trip is worth more than that, we think, for we’re putting our butts on the line from the government to get paid.”
He looked up at Pete, who stepped out of the cabin. Marco asked, “How much did you find?”
“Five dollars in one of her pockets. That was it. No jewels, wallet, valuables, anything! Just clothes.”
Marco looked coldly at Anne. “You have to have a wallet. It’s in your pocket now, isn’t it? Hand it over.”
“Why not? You have no place to go?”
He was right. She reached down, pulling out her wallet. I’ll give it to you pal if you want it, but I’ll get you while you’re searching.
She handed it to him, watching him take it with one hand and tossing it to Pete. Damn, she thought.
Pete opened it, taking out what was in it. “Thirty bucks, that’s it. No credit cards. No nothing!”
Marco seemed angry now. Anne saw for the first time that Heraldo was also watching, with a look of worry on his face, yet with a smile of satisfaction.
That’s what had changed about him…He knew and changed his mind…
Marco grasped her even harder. “So you thought you could lie to us? Just try and persuade us thirty is enough once you got there? Thought we’d be reasonable?”
“Or dumb, as I can see you are.”
Marco shook his head. “No. You brought us out here expecting us to take you here and back with the belief we’d get paid one-hundred-and-fifty dollars: seventy-five once we got there, seventy-five once we got back, and yet you only have thirty.”
“Even if I did have the money, you’d still of robbed me anyway.”
“Yes, but at least you wouldn’t have lied. Now I don’t like being lied to.”
“Do you now?”
She felt Marco shove her into the wall, followed by an impact in her stomach. She slid down, passing out.
“Why do we have to kill her now? So she didn’t have the money? We can’t kill her over it. Take her back, give her her things, but keep the money we got.” It sounded like Pete’s voice.
The voice that followed had to of been Marco’s, which it was. “It’s never been about killing her. Besides, we’re not killing her. She wanted to go to Isla Nublar, well she can go to Isla Nublar. We kept our side of the promise—she lied to us. No round trip for her and no easy passage to the island, for she short-changed us.”
“What do you mean?” Hernando’s voice.
“She’s going for a little dip.”
“Oh my God, you’re throwing her overboard? Tied up?”
“No, we’ll untie her. If she’s still asleep when we do it, she’s going overboard asleep. It’s not our fault she can’t wake up. We’re not killing her. If she wants to go to the island, she can swim. If not, she can drown.”
Pete spoke up, “How close are we going to get to the island before you do this?”
“Whenever I feel like it.”
Hernando muttered, “At least give her a chance. Get to where she’ll have a shot at getting there.”
“Fine,” Marco said, after a brief pause. “Just one chance.”
With that, he climbed up the inside ladder to the upstairs cabin. Pete whispered, “Not right…Not right,” before heading out to the deck. Hernando was left behind, and he glanced at Anne, her body tied up and lying against the wall next to the ladder. Her eyes—although he couldn’t see them—were slightly opened, and as he moved toward her, they closed, tossing her back into unconsciousness.
In her dreams, Anne felt herself bouncing up and down as some hidden pressure was removed from her wrists and legs. Relieved, for the moment, and then light.
It was the cold jolt of the water that shot her awake. At first she didn’t know what was happening, what was going on. Just the mad rush of trying to get out of the water.
She kicked through the dark cold, her head breaking the surface. She gasped, rubbing her eyes, kicking herself around.
The boat had already rumbled to life and was starting to move away. She would’ve called out, but she knew there would be no point.
She was abandoned.
The sky was a lighter-grey, daylight would eventually break within an hour or so, she supposed. The island was massive now, stretching out to her right and left, the jungle lining the beach.
She paddled forward, the waves helping her momentum forward as she swam in the morning water. Her body had acclimatized to the water, but it was still cold, and she couldn’t wait to get out.
She felt her knees hit the ground near the shoreline, and she scrambled up on all fours out of the water, rolling over. Her clothes stuck to her, and she immediately felt déjà vu.
But she knew: she had been through this before. That sense was just a memory kicking in that she was reliving.
She moved toward the jungle, seeing several large, climbable trees with thick branches. She got to the nearest one, fighting through her tiredness as she climbed, hoisting herself finally up onto the branch, where she rested, her back against the trunk.
I’ll sleep until the sun comes out, she thought.
So she did.