Part 7 of a collaborative story between myself and Sharmishtha Basu where the main character Angelique is neither on a boat nor alone. At least for now.
In case you’re behind on the story, our heroine Angelique has been kidnapped and brought to a temple in the jungle by two men. They are going to sacrifice her to get through a door to steal a large diamond. However, a huge tentacled monster attacks them before they can. She runs away and finds other monsters, but comes across an old man who is Australian but now lives alone on the island. He takes her back to his cave for the night so they will be safe from any monsters or creatures that are around.
Sharmishtha has posted all the previous installments here.
Alone on a Boat – Part 7
The only light in the pitch blackness was a tiny, blinking red LED on the emergency distress beacon. Nowhere near enough light to see by, even if she wanted to.
Angelique lay in the sticky darkness, the hay crackling under her whenever she moved. She tried to lie perfectly still.
She heard a faint rustling at the entrance of the cave, like the branches of the bush that hid the entrance being moved aside. She wondered if John, the old man, had gone outside. The sound came again and then a long, drawn-out scraping sound, like something being dragged across the dirt.
She wanted to say something, but she was too afraid to move or make a sound. If it was John, then there was no problem, but if it was something else… She heard it come closer. There was a long hiss, like air escaping from a tank.
Pop! The cave was lit with an explosion of smoky red light. In the sudden glare, Angelique saw a grotesque, multi-headed monster looming over her, fangs bared. She screamed and rolled to the side, shielding her head with her arms. There were sounds of struggle, but she did not dare to look up.
“It’s okay. It’s over.” It was John’s voice and he sounded shaken. Angelique looked up to see him standing over a thick cylinder of flesh and holding a bloody machete. A flare sputtered and popped on the floor.
“What is it?” she asked, backing further into the side of the cave. John had cut the thing in half, but still a few of the heads twitched spasmodically.
“It’s a naga, or at least the thing the nagas of legend are based on,” John said. “I’ve only seen one before this, in much different circumstances. I keep a few flares here for emergencies and when I woke up and heard the sound, I thought I should use it. I’m glad I did.”
“That’s what troubles me. The situation is obviously much worse than I thought, if these monsters are able to find us here. There is only one place where we can be safe now. Quick, before the flare dies.”
He held out his hand to her and she took it and stood up. John crossed to the back of the cave and pushed away a large boulder that was resting against the back wall, revealing a small, dark opening. He picked up the flare and motioned for her to enter. He followed and pulled the rock over the entrance.
“This is both the safest and most dangerous place we could go,” he said as he took the lead and began to descend the tunnel. “It is safe because no monsters will ever find us here.”
“Why is it dangerous?” Angelique asked after a moment.
“Greed. Even I was taken by it once; it took years to let go the fantasies and dreams of luxury and power that could be.”
“I don’t have any dreams of wealth,” Angelique said. “I just want to sail around the world, then have a comfortable life. I don’t want to be rich.”
John gave a low laugh. “You say that now. Normally, I would never take you here, but we have no choice if we are to live through the night.”
They came to a large door and John pushed it open. “We are here, the temple of Laxmi, goddess of wealth.”
Gold glittered everywhere.
(to be continued on Friday on Sharmishtha Basu’s blog)