Phantom Island-Story 7-Part 2-“Derek and Lauren”

After the awkward photo shoot and a long, silent drive, Derek and Janet reached the hospital.

He was trying not to get lost in his thoughts and he could tell Janet was struggling to keep from asking him what he was thinking.

They went about getting themselves and Lauren out of the car without speaking. It wasn’t until they reached the entrance that Derek finally broke the silence.

“When they call you back for the exam, do you want me to go with you?” he asked.

“I’d rather you didn’t.” she replied.

Derek nodded his head and opened the door for her.

“Thank you for offering.” She said before walking inside.

He nodded again.

Once inside, Derek led Janet to the sign up desk and told them his name. Janet was surprised to see two nurses rush to open the door to let her come to the back immediately.

Her surprise must have shown on her face because Derek shrugged and said, “I called ahead.”

She shook her head and they started toward the door but halted when they heard a male voice calling Derek’s name. They turned to see Kast making his way to them.

“This is going to take a while, if you need to get back to work Officer Fisher.” One of the nurses said.

Derek hesitated.

“Go ahead.” Said Janet. “We’ll be safe here.”

Derek nodded then turned and closed the remaining distance between himself and Kast.

“Is that who I think it is?” Kast asked.

“My ex-wife, Janet.” Derek replied.

“Tell me on the drive to the scene.” Said Kast. “I told them to wait until we got there to get started.”

Derek took one last look at Janet as she disappeared with Lauren through the double doors.

“Lead the way.” He told Kast.

As he recounted the story, he took notice of Kast’s reactions.

He was relieved when he heard Kelly was alive. He hadn’t even flinched at the news.

It was when he said Joseph’s name that earned a raised eyebrow. He was about to ask why when they pulled up to the scene.

They got out of the car and came around the front of it, stopping just in front of the hood.

Derek couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

A truck had somehow managed to fly from the shore line and into the side of the cliff. Literally fly; literally into the cliff rock.

“How does one go about getting the front half of their vehicle stuck in the side of a cliff like that?” Derek asked. “And over… what?… a good thirty yards of ocean?”

He looked at Kast for some kind of answer but he just shrugged and started walking toward the guy who takes crime scene photos.

Derek stared after him and wondered how a man got to this point; where literally nothing was shocking. Except, of course, when he had announced his decision to go after Byron; even then Blake had recovered himself almost immediately.

After saying a few words to the photographer, Kast turned back to Derek. “Do you recognize the truck?”

“Should I?” Derek asked.

“Considering the goings on at your place last night, I thought you might.” Kast said.

Derek locked eyes with the man and waited for further explanation.

“We ran the tag. This is Joseph’s truck.”

Derek’s eyes widened as he looked from Kast to the truck. “I never saw the truck, just the man; and that was inside my house.” He said. “When Kelly…”

His words trailed off as realization struck him. “Kelly.” He said.

“Kelly.” Kast repeated. “Though how she managed to persuade a truck to fly into a cliff is beyond me.”

“She saved all of us.” Derek said as he turned his eyes back to Kast. He had mixed emotions about the situation and he knew Blake could see them all.

Kast slapped his hand on Derek’s shoulder. “I’m not planning on going after her, son. As far as I’m concerned she’s still dead from jumping off the cliff.”

He let out a ragged breath as relief flooded him. He was more grateful for Blake Kast every day. The man knew Derek would never go after Kelly now, except maybe to warn her into hiding. More than that, he wasn’t sending anyone else after her either and he wanted to be sure Derek knew it.

They held eye contact for another second; Derek’s expression reflecting his gratitude and Blake’s expression saying “no thanks necessary”. It was a look that reminded Derek of his own father. Then, the two men nodded and got to work.

Hours later they were still at the scene, exhausted and ready to be done with it.

They had taken care of as many of the details of the incident as they could while they waited for the special rescue teams to arrive.

They’d had to call in a local fisherman and have him to bring his boat. Derek was surprised to learn that the police department had no boats and did not patrol the water at all; ever.

“Mr. Crane seems to be the only one on this island who can get away with going into the water.” Kast had said.

Derek had raised his eyebrow at that but already had so much on his mind that he just nodded and moved on. It was a story for another day.

Mr. Crane had given the rock climbers a ride out to the cliff. They were all terrified of going on to the water. Derek had never seen such a reluctant rescue team; especially one trained to perform search and rescue in the most dangerous places. They were only persuaded to board the small boat by Mr. Crane; whose only words the entire day were, “No harm will come to you as long as you’re with me.”

With that issue out of the way, Derek had asked how Blake planned to get the truck. His reply was one that turned into yet another story for a later day.

“We’ve called the only man on the island allowed in the air, of course.” Kast had said with a wink.

“Of course.” Derek had retorted. Apparently there was still plenty for him to learn about this little island he called home.

The helicopter arrived just in time; with a giant harness hanging from it. He hovered over the truck and lowered the harness down to the climbers, who then climbed out onto the truck and began securing the straps around it.

It was really something to see the small group climbing all over a truck hanging from a cliff, under a helicopter. Was this really the same group who had been so terrified of boarding the little boat earlier?

“Will that helicopter be able to haul the weight of the truck?” Derek asked Blake.

“Sure will.” He replied confidently. “In case you haven’t noticed, things tend to work a bit differently here than they do anywhere else.”

“Oh, I’ve noticed. I just haven’t been able to wrap my head around it.” Derek said.

“Attempting that might drive you to madness.” Said Kast. “It’s best to just roll with it around here; for your own sanity.”

“Got it.” Derek nodded and looked back at the spectacle at the cliff.

The climbers were back on the rock now, two men on each side of the truck. They had gotten long rods with hooks on the ends from somewhere and were signalling the chopper.

It took off, pulling the truck nearly all the way free, then hovered again to await another signal.

The climbers attached the hooks to the side mirrors of the truck, braced themselves and nodded to the pilot.

He moved the chopper forward, more carefully this time, and pulled the truck the rest of the way out while the climbers used the hooks to keep the truck steady.

Derek thought it was like watching the strangest circus act of all time.

Once the truck was hanging steadily from the helicopter, the climbers withdrew their hooks and the pilot made his way to the shore.

Everyone gathered around the truck to look inside.

Joseph was still buckled up in the driver’s seat. The front end of the truck had come out of the ordeal without so much as a scratch, but Joseph hadn’t been so lucky.

If he didn’t have so much going on already, he’d be on his way to find Kelly right now. He was itching to know how this all had been accomplished.

He looked over at Blake who was clearly thinking the same thing; Kelly was a force with whom one shouldn’t trifle; A precise and deadly force.

*Thank You for reading!*

End of Story 7-Part 2

Copyright©2019 Jennifer Treece

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