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PREVIEW: Jack in the Box

September 13, 2018

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Old Friends and the Sea, Part Two

Friday, December 15, 2017

David went for the harpoon, while Eric pulled back and punched the shark on the nose as best he could, as blood dribbled and pooled on the ocean slicked deck. Kate dropped the camera as the Polaroid slid out of the slot while Elsa just stood there screaming. David, upon reaching the harpoon, moved back over to where Eric was, and rammed it full hilt into the spine of the creature, snapping cartilage and flesh as he sank three feet of steel through the creature’s midsection. It continued to bite and gnaw on Eric’s shoulder, thrashing its head about a bit, causing Eric to slide about uncertainly in his own pooling blood.

 

Pulling the spear out of the shark with a sickening crunching noise, David continued stabbing into the scarred body of the aquatic menace, tearing off long stretches of shark skin and muscle tissue. Finally, after thirty second of stabbing and ripping, the shark let go of Eric, dropping him with a wet splat into his own cooling blood.

 

David looked down then to Kate, “Quick, get the first aid kit!”

 

She nodded and ran to go below deck where the living quarters of the boat could be found, a pair of bunk beds, a small kitchen, a fire extinguisher and spare gasoline tanks for the engine should it run low. The first aid kit was built into the wall and, once opened, revealed to have four smaller boxes. Kate grabbed three and ran back upstairs, slipping on some of the frothy blood seeping into the cabin where the controls were from the main deck.

 

As she came above deck, she found Elsa holding her hand over the gushing wound that ringed Eric’s right shoulder, crying as the boy seemed to fade in and out of consciousness. She was kneeling on the deck, his head in her lap, while David was finishing the shark off with a few stabs to the head. Turning, he saw her with the medical supplies and nodded toward Eric.

 

“Patch him up as best you can, we need him!” David commanded, turning back to the thrashing shark.

 

She dropped to her knees, ignoring the splash of blood that spattered over her thighs, and dumped the medical packages onto the deck before opening one up. Inside she found some antiseptic, a roll of gauze, some bandages and a number of other small injury tools. Luckily, Kate was in school for pre-med, so she knew her way around a human body.

 

Though they were normally already dead. Taking the fishing pole and, using a knife strapped to Eric’s side, cut the fishing twine free from the shark. Unrolling a good deal of it, she grabbed Elsa by the shoulder and told her to start cutting long lengths for Kate to use. The poor girl was in such a state of shock she didn’t ask what for, only nodding dumbly while tears leaked down her cheeks.

 

Opening the small bottle of alcohol, Kate poured it over the bite wounds as she stuffed the holes with wads of gauze, causing Eric to cry out in fits as she worked. He didn’t resist, thank goodness, but one could tell he wasn’t enjoying the process.

 

“Good, he hasn’t gone into shock…” Kate muttered to herself, pulling him up into a sitting position to treat his shoulder. The wounds were horrid, gaping half inch long, quarter of an inch wide holes that sawed through the tissue roughly, leaving flaky bits of graying skin to hang off the injury like paint peeling from an old car.

 

Using the knife and the alcohol, she cleaned the wounds as best she could before packing them with gauze, trying to staunch the bleeding.

 

Turning to Elsa, who’d already cut several foot and a half long lengths of the thick fishing line, Kate smiled and grabbed her shoulder. “You’re doing good, keep it up.”

 

She nodded shakily, handing over the lengths she’d cut before moving back to cut some more. Her face and stomach were smeared with blood, both the sharks and Eric’s. Kate hoped that Eric was a clean guy and that he didn’t have any diseases or anything, but now was hardly a time to actually worry about that kind of thing.

 

David walked over, harpoon in hand dripping with gore, his chest heaving. “Is he going to be alright?”

 

Kate nodded slowly. “I’m sewing the wounds up with alcohol soaked gauze inside them. I’ll have to change them in the next four hours, but he’s lost a lot of blood; he won’t be able to stand for a while.”

 

“Damn it!” David cursed, slamming the butt of the harpoon into the deck. “He’s the only one that can drive the boat… do we have enough supplies to get him healthy enough to stand for a few hours by tomorrow?”

 

“He won’t be able to do anything for us until thirty six hours from now, at minimum.” Kate said as she looped the twine through a long needle. “Now hold him down, he is not going to like this.”

 

David moved and placed both hand on Eric’s chest. “Okay buddy, you’re gonna make it through this. Just gotta hold out a little while and we’ll have you good as new.”

 

Eric just groaned until Kate began placing the needle through his flesh of the first tooth wound. Screaming as she slid it through the haggard skin, he tossed and fought as she pulled through the twine slowly, piercing the other side and pulling the twine through after the needle, slowly closing the wound. While each wound was relatively small, there were a lot of them, some larger than others because of the sharks thrashing. Over the course of the next half hour, as the afternoon sun began to turn to descend in the west, Kate sewed up perhaps a fourth of the wounds, when Eric finally passed out from the pain.

 

Turning to Elsa, who was white as a ghost, she snapped her fingers. “Go lay towels down on one of the bottom bunks, hurry! We need to get him somewhere where it isn’t so damp. And you,” she said, looking to David, “clean off this deck would you? I don’t want my sister traumatized any further by her walking around in some guys blood.”

 

“Sure, let me get him down below for you first.” David agreed, hefting Eric’s pale frame up off the bloody deck. Half his body was drenched in dark, clotting blood while the rest had dried flaking layers of brown and red plastered over him. “Dude is going to need a serious bath after this,” David grumbled, walking into the control room and slowly down the stairs with him to the bunk lined with towels. Elsa stood off to one side, her bloody hands up by her face, trembling, eyes locked on Eric’s half sewn up frame.

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