Anne Jones wandered out on the landing platform. The ocean lay miles and miles below her, the sea a wailing, black death calling for her. Everything seemed to be folding in.
Animals were coming from all directions. Nightmare creatures will claws and teeth, that hissed and shrieked, all snapping at her.
There was no chopper. Nobody.
No way off the island.
The animals lunged, and the ground disappeared. She fell through blackness.
Anne Jones sat upright in bed, shaking. The room was dark, and it took her a few minutes to realize where she was. A light flickered on in the hall, and the door was pushed open. There was a click, and the bedroom light came on.
“Anne, are you alright?”
Anne put her palms over her face. She was sweating. “I’m… fine.”
“Come on Anne.”
She willingly let her wrists be pulled delicately, and she looked up into the face of her mother. Sixty-seven year old Sandra Jones stroked back the smooth, brown hair of her thirty-eight year old daughter. She smiled, but there was a hint of uneasiness in her voice as she spoke.
“Anne,” she said. “It’s been over five years now. You’re safe.”
“I know. But, these… these nightmares. They happen almost every night. It’s like I’m back there. Living it all over, but I never make it.”
“But you did Anne. You’re here, right now. In the house where you grew up. Everything’s all right.”
Anne nodded, her breathing returning to normal. “It was just horrible…”
Sandra nodded, kissing her daughter’s forehead. “Well…” She stood up, rubbing her wrist. “It’s six o’clock anyway. We’re up. Are you hungry?”
Anne thought for a moment of declining the offer, but then said, “Yes.”
“Ok, I’ll go start getting everything ready. You come on down when you’re ready, dear.”
Sandra Jones left the room, turning off the hall light as she walked. Anne got up, pulling open the drapes of her window. Sunlight filled her room, and she yawned. She peered out the window, at the empty yard out front. It stretched on, towards the road, where the equally large, two-story house loomed at her. On both sides of the houses was a dozen yards of forest-land, blocking out the next house on either side.
Her parents’ house was a two-story house that Anne liked to call, “the Mansion,” although it really wasn’t. She had lived here as a child, and ever since the end of 1998, she had been living here for nearly six years, trying to get away from the bustle of city life to help get rid of the memories that haunted her.
There was a car pulling up in the driveway as she pulled on a fresh pair of clothes. She looked down once at it, recognizing it, and then, turning off the bedroom light, stepped into the hall.
The phone rang downstairs, and as Anne started down she heard her mother speaking, “Jill… Ah, yes, she’s coming down right now.”
There was a knock on the front door, and veering off from her path to the kitchen, she opened it. “Anne?”
“It’s been awhile.” Anne stepped back, motioning her uncle in. He was carrying a suitcase, and he dropped it, giving her a hug. He smiled at her, and then there was a voice from the kitchen entry. “Anne, it’s Jill… James?”
Anne looked into her uncle’s face. He was Sandra’s brother, two years younger than she. He was a tall, black-haired man, who looked younger than he actually was. He was thin, dressed in casual clothes. Anne smiled, and said, “I have to get that.”
He nodded, smiling. “Go ahead, we have all the time in the world to talk later.”
She walked past her mother, who was smiling, walking forward to James. Anne heard her say, “I’ve missed you. You said you would be here later.”
“Ah, well… Got a chance to get an early drive.”
Anne picked up the phone, which was resting on the kitchen counter, the phone wire slightly bouncing. As she put the phone to her ear, she said, “Jill?”
Jill Truman’s voice filled the phone. “Anne… It’s been lonely without you back here. No more setting you up!”
Anne laughed. “Come on Jill. I’ve been more lonely.”
“Yeah, about that…” Jill snorted. “I’m trying to get a flight out there, want to see you again. How are you, uh, holding up?”
“It’s been five years, I’m trying to get over it. It’s getting better.”
“You don’t sound too confident.”
“Jill,” Anne said, a note of impatience in her voice. “Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.”
“You think I need another vacation?” Anne smiled on her end.
Jill laughed. “Making jokes about it now, are we? If I had know something like that ever would’ve happened, I wouldn’t have even told you.”
“No, it’s my fault. I listened to you.”
They both laughed. Anne gazed at the wall blocking the living room as Sandra and James laughed too. Jill said, “I’ll try and make it out there in another week or so.”
“I’ll bring a guy for you, then?”
Anne laughed. Jill kept going, “Just kidding. Don’t go anywhere.”
“Miss ya’ Anne.”
“Same here, Jill.”
“Well, talk to you later.”
“Bye.” Anne listened to Jill hang up the phone on her end, and then hung up her own. She walked out of the kitchen, returning to the living room.
Sandra looked up from her spot on the chair, as Anne said, “Mom, I think the eggs are going to burn…”
“Oh, right!” She got up in a hurry, brushing past Anne to run into the kitchen. James laughed. “Your father sleeps in until noon then?”
Anne laughed. “Yeah, well. You know him.”
James smiled. “I do.”
Anne sat down on the couch, next to her uncle. A small television rested in front of them, and there was a reclining chair on both sides, at an angle to face the TV and the couch. The fireplace was on the far left wall, on the kitchen side. Behind them, Anne could glimpse the stairs, as well as the hall running past it to three other rooms.
The living room was a cozy little place, with the fan swirling at a low spin, and two large windows on either side of the TV brightening it all up. Anne said, “How have you been?”
“Ah, same old stuff. I’m trying to keep the house like it was since your Aunt died. The kids come over to help sometimes, we’ll have dinner together. I’m keeping in shape and keeping up.” He smiled. “How have you been? It’s been a few since we all got together last time. What was it? Once, right? Ever since that little incident in 1998.” He looked down at the floor.
“Yeah, well… I’m getting along. Trying to, anyway.”
James opened his mouth to speak when Sandra came yelled out from the kitchen. “Breakfast! I made some for you too James.”
James nodded, getting up quickly. “Well then, breakfast it is.”
He smiled, turning away and marching off to the kitchen. Anne raised a brow, following. As she walked in, James had already started sitting down, and Anne sat across from him. There were four seats at the circular, wooden table.
Sandra set down their plates, packed with food. Eggs, sausage, bacon.
“Great cooking Sandra. You’ve still go it!”
“Thank you James.”
There was a thump from upstairs. Sandra set a third plate on the table, and then sat down with a fourth. “It’s nearly seven o’clock, and Bill’s just getting up?” Sandra asked.
Anne and James laughed. Sandra smiled.
They listened to the pounding of the stairs as they ate, talking about James’ trip. Bill Jones entered the kitchen at ten minutes past, yawning. He moved to the table, plopping down on the chair. He started eating without a word, and then looked up at James. “James?”
James smiled. “Good mornin’ Bill.”
“How you doing,” Bill asked, clapping James’ shoulder. Sixty-eight year old Bill Jones was a work-at-home farmer, with aging brown hair, and a thick build. He wore a white tee-shirt and a pair of jeans, looking ready to go out for a day’s work.
“I’m doing fine,” said James. “You?”
James glanced at Anne, and his eyes faltered for a moment. Anne couldn’t help but notice, but didn’t say anything.
“Crops aren’t doing so good, but we’ve got enough to keep living.” Sandra shot a stare at her husband, but Bill had stopped talking.
They sat, talking, for a good fifteen minutes as they ate: Anne keeping to herself.
Eventually, Sandra took everyone’s plates, taking them to the sink. Bill got up, stretching, mumbling something before heading outside through the back door. Sandra looked toward Anne and said, “Show your Uncle his room, dear.”
James set his suitcase on the bed, opening the window slightly to allow a light breeze to enter the room, ruffling the drapes. He was across the hall from Anne.
Anne was at the doorway, looking at her uncle, who was staring out the window. “Uncle James?”
She stepped into the room, turning to sit on the bed behind her uncle, who was standing at the window. He turned around, moving to sit next to her on the bed. Anne said, “You were trying to tell me something on the couch…”
“Yes,” James said. “I guess I was.”
He looked nervous, ready to leave and run away. Anne said, “Well…”
“Anne,” he said, after a moment’s pause. “Can you tell me anything about…”
“… Jurassic Park.”
Anne almost fell to the floor. Her blood drained away. “W-What do you want to know about it?”
“You’ve been there…”
“No,” Anne said. “I was on… Site B.”
James looked up at her. “Site B?”
“InGen’s second island. Where they bred the, um, dinosaurs for Jurassic Park,” she sat there a moment, in silence, trying to fight away the memories.
“A… Second island?”
“Yes,” Anne said. “But… why do you want to know about it?”
“When you came back, we all listened to the horrible recalls those officials were trying to get you to make. We were all horrified, trying to get them to leave you alone. The whole family came to help.”
“Well,” James continued. “Lisa…” He trailed off again, wiping his eyes. Lisa was his daughter, Anne’s cousin who was two years younger than she was.
James finally continued. “Lisa felt horrible about it all. But, for some reason, she seemed interested. She found that book, and read it several times. She wanted to see for herself, but she was keeping it a secret from the rest of us.”
“She’s been going off on trips for the last year or so, coming back and forth between somewhere. When I found out it was Costa Rica, I started putting two-and-two together.”
“She didn’t go to the islands, did she?”
“No, no. Thank God. But, she was going with a friend named David. He was reluctant to learn about it, didn’t believe it was true. Then after she came back from one of her trips, she started getting calls from a group in California… Cupertino, I believe.”
“What did they want?”
“I don’t know. She mentioned it once on one of her visits, but seemed to shy to talk about it.”
“Then, yesterday, before I was packing, I found a note from her. She said she was going to Costa Rica for a few days, that she’d be back. She was going with David and that group from Cupertino. They were going on a photo gathering on one of the off-shore islands.”
“Oh my God…”
“I knew where she was going. She was going to go to this island with these people. I tried to call her, but she was already gone.”
“Did she say when she was leaving Costa Rica for the island?”
“Two days from now. A boat is taking her. They’re leaving at noon.”