Sorry this story is so late. Usually I post my chapters of this story on Mondays. However, this weekend was adventuring on a remote island (not unlike our heroine) and was unable to post it.
If you’re behind on the story, here’s all you need to know: Angelique is 20 years old and sailing solo around the world. Two men kidnap her in the Indian Ocean and bring her to an island where there is an ancient Indian temple. They get killed by monsters but she escapes and meets an old man, John, who brings her into the temple, which is full of treasure. Her father arrives the next morning because of a distress beacon she activated. He sees the treasure but before he can go in, Angelique is transported into the temple alone and confronts a naga woman. Because of Angelique’s honesty in not trying to take the treasure, she is rewarded with a nagmani, a naga’s third eye, that will take her back to the temple if she needs to go.
Sharmishtha has posted all the previous installments here.
Alone on a Boat – Part 11
Angelique slipped the nagmani medallion into her pocket. “Nothing much. Where did you guys just go?”
“Where did you go?” her father said. “Suddenly you disappeared and then a moment later you were back, blinking in the sunlight. This is the craziest place I’ve ever seen.”
He turned back towards the temple doors and Angelique saw that same look of entranced greed in his eyes.
“Let’s get back to the boat,” she said quickly. He turned towards her and after a moment of thought, nodded.
“Yeah, that’s probably best. I’ll send the helicopter back to Phuket once we find it and determine that everything is okay. Then, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to sail with you for a while. Just until we make it out of this area. You can drop me off in Singapore or Jakarta if you want. Is that okay?”
“I’d like that, Dad,” she said. He nodded and went to talk to the pilot.
As soon as he had gone, John stepped up next to her. “I see that you received a nagmani. You are truly favored, but guard it carefully. Do not let it out of your hands.” He threw a meaningful glance over at her father.
Angelique’s father came back and they said good-bye to John. He did not want to go down to the beach with them, but shook their hands and watched them climb aboard the helicopter. Angelique saw him quickly move back into the jungle as soon as they were airborne.
It did not take long to find the boat. It was anchored by itself in a small cove a few kilometers away. Angelique was a little wary about climbing down the swaying rope ladder to the boat below, but her father went first and held it steady at the bottom. Finally, when they had searched the boat and concluded that everything was safe and normal, her father waved the all-clear to the pilot and the helicopter flew off, disappearing over the crest of the island.
“Shall we take off right now?” Angelique said. “It’s still early morning; we can make it a long way today.”
“Let’s just take it easy today,” her father said. “You’ve been through a lot and it might be nice just to take a day here and relax. Go swimming if you want. It’ll give me a chance to look over the boat too and make sure those guys didn’t mess with anything. If they did, it’s better to find it here than out there on the open water.”
“I guess that’s true,” Angelique said. She did not want to spend another day at that island, but her father had a point. She relaxed and did some swimming while he tinkered with the engine and the various instruments. That evening, they had a fire on the beach and watched the stars from the deck of the ship.
Angelique woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. She had had a nightmare about things crawling over the side of the ship and into her bedroom. She had reached for the nagmani, but it had burned her hands.
Now, she sat in the dark, listening for her father’s breathing. He had taken the fold-down bunk on the side by the door.
She could hear nothing. After a few minutes, she turned on her penlight and shone it towards him. The bunk was empty.
She went out on deck. “Dad? Where are you?” There was no answer. She searched the whole ship, from bow to stern. He was not there. She was alone.
(to be continued on Friday on Sharmishtha Basu’s blog)