The waves were choppy this evening, rocking the fishing vessel back and forth as they cruised from mainland towards the docks of Blackhollow Cove. The party had already started, with Suki and Jacob took to a contest of seeing who could drink the most beers in under two minutes with Suki winning by two, leaving Jacob gasping and hacking as he tried to get air into his lungs. When asked how she could possibly drink so much so fast she smiled and winked at Nathan.
“No gag reflex, which means I don’t choke nearly as often,” Suki replied with a cocky grin.
John, Kevin and, Craig had sparked up a joint, passing it between everyone who took long hits from the tightly rolled packed cigarette. Lacey seemed to enjoy the weed far more than anyone else, taking numerous hits from it before passing it. By the time, the island’s silhouette was in sight everyone save Nathan were giggling drunk and stoned to the point where they were about to break out the “munchies”. Nathan announced their arrival to stop them from doing anything of the sort, as he knew they’d just make a mess. They’d been tossing empty beer cans into the ocean as the sluiced through its waters, slowing as Nathan turned on the radar to see how deep the cove was.
“What’s that?” Suki said, leaning over the captain's seat with her hands snaking to Nathan’s shoulders, small hands rubbing at his muscles which proved to be stiff and aching in a way he would never have noticed if the young Asian girl hadn’t touched him. Nathan heaved a sigh and stared at the radar screen, a circular screen that showed a three-dimensional copy of the surrounding waters and the ocean floor, allowing him to avoid shallow waters or coral reefs.
He tapped the glass. “Keeps us from crashing,” Nathan said with a sigh, closing his eyes as Suki’s skilled hands worked a knot out from behind his neck.
“Huh?” Suki said, pausing her ministrations. “I thought that was your job, cutie.”
“Oh no, I’m just the ferryman. The boat has enough gear to survive several days at sea, though not with the number of people we’ve brought aboard.”
Suki slipped a hand under Nathan’s chin and turned his head up to gaze into her black eyes. “Well, maybe you can give me a private ride sometime?”
Nathan fought the urge to gulp and merely nodded before turning his head back to the rocky outcroppings that he was sailing around, looking for the entrance to the cove. He heaved a sigh of both relief and frustration as he felt Suki leave from his presence, walking out onto the main deck of the Anne-Marie. Pulling his cell phone, Nathan frowned; he had no service this far out. It did tell him that he’d made it to the island after twenty-five minutes.
The radar pinged, alerting Nathan to a large school of fish swimming beneath the boat, perhaps six feet in length if judging, by the way, it measured against the image of the boat superimposed over the glass.
“Strange,” Nathan said, adjusting the radar with a dial. “The fish swam underneath us and are now following us.”
“I see the Cove!” Jacob called out, a series of cheers erupting from the inebriated teens. Looking up out through the windows, Nathan frowned as he noticed the narrow entrance to the cove, a forty foot entryway into a large lagoon. Looking to the radar, ignoring the fish, Nathan slowed the fishing vessel down to a slow crawl as he slid over the water and through the two cliffs that seemed to form a doorway into the darkened lagoon. Unlike the dark, choppy waters of the ocean, the lagoon seemed alive with fluorescent algae and fish, the water crystal clear and, according to his thermometer, some sixty degrees.
“Warm for this time of year,” Nathan commented mostly to himself. He turned the searchlight looking for a dock he could pull up to, frowning when he saw a half-rotted wooden dock jutting out from the sandy beach some thirty feet. It looked rickety, the barnacle covered posts holding up the rotting wood of the dock.
“Jacob! Kevin!” Nathan called out, gathering their attention. “We have a gang plank and some rope. I’ll drop anchor close to the dock, you tie us down with a mooring line before laying out the gangplank so we can unload.”
“Aye aye Captain!” Both boys chorused.
Nathan reached under the console of the vessel, grabbing the pistol that his father kept in case he ever encountered someone while out in the wilds of the Ocean. The .45 was more than enough to drive off even a Great White, and would blow apart any man, woman, or child that drew the ire of Nathan’s father.
Pulling the two spare clips, he slipped the gun and clips into his jacket. He may not believe the island to be haunted, but it was very much deserted. Beyond the wide beaches, there was a thick forest, with no lights shining from within the woods. There could be some homeless people out here or hermits that they’d decided to abandon years ago.
Should any of these wild men or women come out while Nathan and his friends danced about the beach, presumably around a bonfire like the savages of old, he would have something to keep them at bay. Suki popped her head into the cabin just as Nathan stood up, a wide smile on her face.
“Come on handsome, the party can’t start without the ferryman!” She said, rushing to Nathan’s side and grabbing his arm.
“Just let me lower the anchor and we’ll be good to go,” Nathan said, turning to pull a lever down, the anchor dropping into the water. Nathan killed the engine, pulling the keys and sticking them into his other coat pocket.
“Do the others already have everything set up for us to go ashore?” Nathan asked.
“Oh yeah,” Suki said, running her hands slowly along Nathan’s bicep. “They threw the rope over to the docks and leaped over the edge of the boat to tie it off on one of the columns.”
“I hope they used a good knot,” Nathan mused as he walked out of the cabin, watching as John and Craig walked over the gangplank with the last ice chest, Lacey standing at the bow of the boat, staring out at the island while she smoked a cheap cigarette, hood pulled up.
Nathan excused himself from Suki, who smiled and skipped off the boat and onto the pier while Nathan checked over the knots used over the mooring line, as well as hooking the gangplank onto the boat via a pair of hooks into the iron hooks meant for that very purpose.
“You happy now?” Nathan asked, standing back up, wiping his hands free of some of the rust he’d gathered on his fingers. “Got you to some cursed island, now you can party with the restless dead and demons that roam the island by night.”
Lacey turned, her face broken into a wide grin. “Couldn’t be happier!”