Nathan immediately pulled his pants up, zipping up his fly as Suki stood up, seemingly sober now that someone was claiming a party-goer to be dead.
Nathan marched over to the fire where Craig, in his nasty green shirt, sat against some rocks, his eyes wide open and his chest still. Clarissa was standing over him, waving her hand in front of his face, crying out as she didn’t get a response. Nathan gently pushed her out of the way and moved his hand to Craig’s neck, searching for a pulse.
He didn’t find one.
He stood up. “Was he drinking?”
Everyone looked at each other before they all started talking at once. Nathan looked down to the sand around Craig, which was devoid of bottles or cans. A bag of red and purple weed was sitting in his lap, several rolling papers falling out of his limp hand. Nathan sighed before noting Craig’s watch. Leaning down, he saw that it read nine thirty-two, the hands no longer moving.
Standing up, he whistled once, loud and clear. “Who has the time?”
Several phones were pulled and illuminated. “Nine forty,” Melissa said, tugging on her hair nervously.
“Why?” Jacob asked, Suki walking up behind him to prop herself against him.
“Because his clock stopped eight minutes ago and he isn’t even cold yet. He died recently,” Nathan declared.
“He’s sitting close to the fire, he could’ve been dead for a while,” Lacey said from behind Melissa.
Nathan shook his head. “No, this had been a lively party. I’ve been watching you guys all night, and you’ve all been interacting with each other. Hell, I imagine Jacob would’ve found him dead if Clarissa hadn’t found Craig sooner.”
Suki smiled. “So Captain, what do you think we should do? Technically we shouldn’t even be on this island.”
Nathan shook his head. “Well does anyone have reception?”
Everyone checked their phones again before they all let out indignant cries.
“Nothing!” Kevin cried as Clarissa shook her head.
“Same here,” she said, glaring at Nathan as if it was his fault. Nathan ignored her, looking at the faces of everyone before catching Lacey’s eyes.
She was staring right at him, her grey-green eyes unwavering. No smile adorned her face nor did she look like she was surprised. She didn’t have an expression at all, in fact. Just a cold, emotionless mask.
Nathan shivered before looking back at Suki. She was scowling down at her phone, looking as if she were attempting to text someone before growing frustrated and shoving it in her back pocket. She crossed her arms before looking at Nathan, her features growing softer. Nathan gave her a weak smile before turning to the group as a whole.
“I think we should load everything back into the boat, Craig included, and go back to the mainland,” Nathan said earning a round of groans. “People! We have a dead body here!”
“What if the cops think one of us did it?” Melissa cried, looking at Clarissa, who merely nodded.
“Then you’ll be interrogated. But who cares? Look at Craig, there’s not a wound on him for all I can tell, and nobody saw what killed him. Seeing as he was only smoking weed, he had to die from that.”
“Nobody can overdose on weed dumbass,” John said, earning chuckles from the others.
“They can if the user laces it with something,” Suki said, causing all the giggles to stop. “I know Craig grew his own herbs and mixed all sorts of stuff with his batches, made them more potent he said.”
“Maybe potent enough that they could kill him?” Nathan asked, looking at Jacob, who had Suki’s smoldering joint. He quickly threw it into the fire as if merely touching it was harmful.
“I doubt that,” Kevin said, crossing his arms. “I mean, we’ve all been smoking it all night. If it was going to kill anyone, more of us would be dropping.”
Nathan nodded as it was a valid point. He’d noticed everyone enjoying the pot, save for Lacey who had been smoking cigarettes all night. Looking back over at her she’d walked around the outskirts of the fire and was heading towards Jacob. He held out his arms for her and she snuggled next to him, sniffing once.
“I’ve known Craig since I was little,” she said. “How could he die like this?”
“We don’t even know how he died!” Nathan cried, earning a few reproachful glares from the partygoers. “Whatever, you guys pack up the stuff and bring everything back to the boat. Jacob, you and Kevin grab Craig and carry him with us. Leave the pot on him in case the cops need to check it for, and I hate to say this, drugs.”
A couple people let out weak chuckles. Nathan shook his head and turned, marching out towards the pier that sat behind a rock formation. As he rounded a corner, his blood ran cold.
The boat was gone. The rope that’d been tied to the pier looked like someone had torn it, not cut, but actually torn the thick rope. Walking to the edge of the black water, he gazed down and sighed.
They were stuck on this island now, with one of them dead and nobody but his father knowing they’d gone sailing. And it wasn’t like he’d exactly told his Dad where they were going, most fishermen tended to avoid supposedly haunted locales as they were a superstitious lot.
A rumble in the distance lifted David’s head, where he could see a distant crack of lightning rip through the clouds. John came up behind him, carrying a cooler.
“Dude, where’s the boat?” He asked, looking at Nathan.
“I don’t know,” Nathan muttered, not liking the situation one bit.
“Did you leave the keys in it?” John asked as Suki came up with a smaller cooler.
Nathan fished the keys from his pocket. “Either someone hotwired it, or this place is really haunted. You pick.”
Nathan turned and grabbed the cooler from Suki, who looked startled. He yelled out. “Everyone back to the bonfire, we got a problem!”