Now for Part Three…..
The next day was pleasant and relaxing. Khristine traversed on Will’s day hike, but I didn’t go. I stayed back like a lazy bum and just laid back on a warm rock getting some rays on my skin.
Will, Khristine, Eric, Thomas, John, Paul, Alycia, Pam, Judy, and George trekked up to a few other lakes and also to some peaks. Michael Truman, the other adult along with us, stayed back with a sore knee. I don’t know how he got it sore, but it’s none of my business so I’ll leave it at that.
After a few hours of burning up on that rock, I decided to cool down by swimming, actually just wading; there was nobody left in camp but me, since Michael went off to a waterfall a few miles away, and a rule of ours was no swimming unless you have someone watching you.
I entered my tent to change and then left for the righteous spot, somewhere on the other side of this huge lake. I grabbed my towel from my pack, also putting on my water socks; they aren’t real socks, but shoes, I don’t know why they are called water socks. They are cool though.
On my way over there, I heard some weird sounds. I couldn’t figure out what they were and that made my stomach fill itself with some of that adrenaline; you know how you feel before the curtain opens to the most important thing in your life, that was the feeling, but it made me think not of the most important thing in my life, but like something bad was going to occur. I didn’t like that feeling, so I stopped; even though it might only be some dumb animal trekking along just performing his daily routine; or it could be some of the guys giving me a scare. Well, whatever it was, I did not like it; therefore I decided to leave it alone and head on to the lake.
I reached the meadow and dropped my towel there, right near the water. This meadow was gorgeous. The grass glowed a luminous green with red, yellow, purple, orange, blue flowers towering above the grass. This meadow angled slightly until the rocky part where you had to have a rope to walk over. Facing towards the lake, towards the west was the only way out of this celestial garden. I gave the view over the lake from that meadow a ten plus. The short ripples riding across the top of the water sparkled the sun’s rays into millions of little tiny suns; unlike how when the water is clear and you view only one sun. Eyeing the opposite side of the lake making you never want to leave. To the right of where I was standing and near that eastern wall that blocks off the exit from this Garden of Eden, stands the waterfall descending on a sheer cliff for about one hundred feet. The waterfall nurtured hundreds of life all around the waterfall. Continuing to the left were some monster sheer cliffs like the front side of El Capitan in Yosemite. Except, on top of the cliffs, tons of plant life germinated from all the rain pouring down in that area. This cliff continued for quite a while until regular flat land, with a few hills here and there dissolved the cliff. In the background of these few hills, slept giant peaks a mountaineer would love to traverse. These peaks were the top of the world, standing at around thirteen, fourteen thousand feet, with snow all year long shading some of the gorgeous red slates from the sun and wind. These peaks continued all the way around to my backside where they almost hovered straight above me. When I stare up there I feel meek and hear those famed words, ‘how’s the weather down there?’ thunder down upon me. That is a marvelous meadow to be in.
Just before I even put my feet in the water, Alycia ran through the opening on the west, looking like she was pounding her heart out of her chest to find me. I turned to her and just then, that foreshadowing-type feeling hovered over me once more. Something bad happened.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked trying not to fear the worst.
‘Khristine is missing, and so is Eric.’
I knew it!
I asked Alycia if she knew much about what happened and where she disappeared at. She didn’t know too much but she said that if I wanted to look for her, which was a serious understatement that I had to have someone else to come along.
‘For the same reason Khristine and Eric are lost. They were both by themselves when they vanished.’
‘You mean they happened at different times?’
‘Yes. Khristine disappeared and we searched all around by ourselves to find her. We set a meet point and Eric didn’t show up. We waited thirty minutes and he didn’t show up.’
I didn’t want to think what could have happened to those two. I didn’t care as much about Eric as I did about Khristine; nothing personal against Eric, but I love Khristine, and am not in love with Eric.
‘All right, let’s search. Do you know where the others are exploring?’
‘No I don’t. But I do know that Khristine was on her way back here to be with you.’
Then it hit me. It struck me hard like the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. I was a fool not to have listened and prepared myself. I should have gone ahead and looked over that rock when I heard those strange sounds. I wanted to be anybody in the whole world my dear was there somewhere.
My anger rose and I ran in that direction, through the western opening and out of the celestial garden. Alycia followed and said a few things. I didn’t pay attention though. I climbed atop the rock and eyed somebody’s camp.
What a fool I was!
But just then, there sounded a female muffled scream and a few laughs. After the laughs came a loud low voice saying, ‘shut up. No one is coming to save you. Soon the rest of your friends will die, and you will be mine.’ Another hoarse laugh. What did he mean by the rest of your friends? By assuming he was talking about our group, which probably meant someone was killed. Eric. A sick feeling flowed through my body.
I then heard from below, ‘Travis,’ it probably came from that dude again. I couldn’t see his face from up here and I already figured Khristine was in their tent. ‘What could that kid, Eric tell you before you bumped him off?’ I head a cry from the tent. It was Khristine. Eric was killed.
‘Just that there are ten of them including him and the female,’ Travis replied. Revengeful anger powered me to crunch my teeth together whenever I heard the word Travis.
Who were these guys? What were they doing there? Those two questions popped up in my head. Also another question, which frightened a lot of the cells in my body, ‘how many of these terminators were there?’ I shuddered to think about that, and I did not want to turn around to se who it was standing behind me; even though Alycia was a total 100% possibility.
There was more of a conversation from below and it went like this:
‘Hey Travis, if you want to have fun with the girl, go ahead in about ten minutes. I gotta go check on the guys in the cave. But I’ll be back in ten minutes. I don’t want you to be alone in there when there are eight more scrambling around to fine those two. You hear?’ I wanted Travis dead. I hoped he was an eager guy and disobeyed his boss.
‘Sure thing Bob,’ answered Travis. Could that also have meant that this Bob guy already raped Khristine? Why, how could I just stand there and take this? For one reason, how was I going to stop them? Did I have any weapons? No. But if this Travis guy was as dumb as he looked, I might have had my chance. I just had to wait.
But if I did kill Travis, and steal back Khristine, I’d still have Bob and at least two other guys hot on our trail. That was not comforting news to me. But as I viewed all possible solutions this was the best. So I began my quest to save the beautiful princess without regard to calling for backups or police. I slid off the rock and looked back. Alycia was still there and she asked a question.
‘Go get the others. Tell them to go to the ranger to get the police.’
‘Where are you going?’ I didn’t answer but walked away.
I don’t know what she did, or whether or not she tried to locate the others; but I really didn’t care; because I knew what I was doing. I had everything planned to the point of taking back Khristine. After that, I had unfortunately had no idea of what to do. I could have led the bad guys all the way back to the rangers at Philmore Reservoir. That was an idea, but Philmore was 12 miles away. Something also had to be planned, but what? What? I asked myself that question as I walked down the hill and around to the back of the camp where I could see the cave Bob was talking about. It seemed small from where I was but as I walked on, carefully trying not to be spotted or heard, the cave enlarged.
Then, I heard a noise from somewhere around me. I wished, no I prayed, it was some animal, because I would die if it weren’t. And it wasn’t. It wasn’t the wind either. I stopped dead in my tracks and dropped down below the tall blades of grass. There was more than one thing moving out there. I began to pant, but I tried hard to relax. I kept telling myself I wasn’t dead yet. Then there was quiet; no noise from everywhere around me except for a weird bird whistling out of the blue. It quickly halted and there was movement in the grass again. The rustling of the blades then stopped and someone’s voice cried out: