This is Part 3 of a collaborative story between myself and Sharmishtha Basu. It’s a bit difficult to name stories that are written in this way, since the authors have different ideas of where it will go (my last story written like this was simply called “The Adventure” since I had no idea what was going to happen.) Anyway, you will notice that the main character, Angelique, is now neither alone, or on a boat. But that’s life. Here is Part 1 and Part 2, if you missed them.
Alone on a Boat – Part 3
Angelique lay on the cabin floor with her hands tied behind her back and felt the boat slow. They must have reached the island. Now the two kidnappers would take her ashore, and if they had been telling the truth, they would kill her.
She thought of what her father had said before she had left, when he had pulled her aside during the farewell celebration. “You’re a strong girl,” he said. “You can do this. But know that at some point, you will get into trouble. It’s inevitable on a voyage this long. At some point, your engine will break, or you will be robbed or you might get lost. I hope and pray that when it comes, it will be minor. Still, be expecting trouble, be resourceful, and most of all, don’t be afraid to call for help.”
He had given her an emergency distress beacon. It was in the drawer by her bed—five meters away at most, but could she get there without them noticing? Slowly, she crept across the floor and opened the drawer. The drawer was packed with small items, but her probing hands soon found the plastic rectangle that was the transmitter.
“What are you doing?” Tom was standing in the doorway, frowning at her.
“Just . . . water . . .” she said. He strode across and put his hand into the drawer. A second later, he pulled out a jackknife with a triumphant look.
“Nice try, but we’re here now. Come on, get up.” Angelique forced herself to her feet, the small emergency transmitter clenched in her fist.
The light was fading as they came out on deck. The boat was anchored in a small inlet. Henry was already lowered her small dingy into the water.
When they got onshore, Henry led the way into the jungle, shining a flashlight ahead of them. Bats were flying in the trees above them and bird cries echoed through the dusky foliage.
“It’s gotta be around here somewhere,” Henry said. He was cutting through the underbrush with a machete, leading them further and further in. Mosquitoes whined and bit Angelique, delighting in her inability to fight back.
A few times, Tom and Henry stopped and stood close together, talking quietly and shining the light on an old scrap of paper that Tom carried. Hours went by and the forest descended into pitch blackness. Weird sounds came from the darkness.
Henry was chopping at vines over his head when there was a loud ting! of metal hitting stone and sparks flew from the machete blade.
“We got it,” Henry said, his voice trembling with excitement. “Here’s the southern arch.” He shone the light up and Angelique saw an ivy-covered arch of carved stone. Just above her, the face of a fierce Hindu goddess glared down at her.
Tom unscrewed the cap of a water bottle and tipped it up for her to drink. “Your part’s almost here, but I figured you’d be thirsty anyway. Call me soft-hearted.” He laughed.
Angelique looked into the eyes of the man who was planning on sacrificing her soon—ending her young life, all for the sake of a treasure. She spat the water back in his face.
(to be continued…)