See Previous Chapter: Stranded: Part III
Trudging through the muck and the mire, Kellen found himself wishing for an ice cold anything. He could only assume that it was about midday based purely on where the sun was located and how badly he was sweating. The heat that was emanating off of the island was unbearable. Sweat was raging down his head soaking every inch of his body. To make matters worse he had no water to compensate for the loss. He was hoping that his search for the plane would pay multiple dividends. He had only been searching for an hour or so but the results proved worthless. He had started his search back at the beach but the fire from the explosion had nearly destroyed everything in the area. From the way that the engine (what was left of it) was positioned (to the North) he figured that his best bet would be to head in that direction.
He had taken note of his surroundings as he walked along searching for any sign of wreckage. The island was rather small but what it lacked in size it made up for it in the sheer amount of jungle that he could get lost in. Kellen was never one to lose to his cool in situations like this but this particular instance was causing him to doubt himself. He missed his family. He missed the sight of his daughter playing in the backyard. He wanted to hold his wife again. For so long he struggled with the guilt of being away from home. These thoughts constantly haunted his mind. Amidst his own worries he wondered if people even knew that the plane had crashed. He was sure that someone would have noticed if the plane never arrived but the doubts continued to swell in his mind. The heat, his exhaustion, and dehydration were all beginning to get to him and there was nothing to rid his mind of the penetrating anxiety. He knew that he needed to find the plane quick and hope to God that there were supplies that lasted the crash.
The scenery never really changed on his hike through the island “paradise” but he definitely noticed where the plane had left its mark. What was strange to him though was the complete and utter lack of wildlife. Sure, he had noticed a few birds singing here and there and some insects roaming about but not a thing more. Ducking under vines and traipsing through the mud he made his way through the woods hoping for a breakthrough when he came upon a clearing. Trees lay to the side crushed to near ash and the earth’s debris was strewn about. It was almost as if a war had been waged.
Kellen picked up his speed, knowing that he was closer to the plane with every single painful step he took. By this point he had removed his shirt in hopes that the air against his skin would somehow present him some relief from the extreme heat of the island; but it failed. With every step and breath he took he climbed closer and closer to complete exhaustion but he pressed on. He pushed through one last tree and beheld the mangled body of the airplane.
The roof of the plane had been completely torn off; or was that the bottom? He could see that the plane had been ripped into multiple parts with each separate piece twisted into a sick jigsaw puzzle. He could also see the bodies of the passengers thrown about the area. Limbs hanging from branches, blood painted along the canvas of the forest floor. This was as close to a horror movie as you could get. As he pushed closer and closer to the plane he noticed that some of the deceased passengers were still strapped in, only they were left hanging by the very device that was supposed to save their lives. The entire scene looked like an excerpt of the Salem Witch Trials.
Nearly sick to his stomach, he climbed into the first section of the plane searching for some something to hang on to. He knew that the plane carried a first aid kit, some food from the snack bar, and hopefully some water but he first had to locate which part they were in. He picked his way through each and every single aisle pulling out anything that he could possibly use. He found an empty backpack and began to pack anything he could into it. He desperately tried not to think about the stench from the rotting corpses but with every breath he took, he was instantly reminded that he was walking through a graveyard. Some of the bodies stared back into him silently screaming, “Save us!” Others couldn’t stare into his soul because the impact of the crash completely destroyed whatever facial features they had. Nausea overwhelmed Kellen’s body and he couldn’t help but bend over and throw up anything he had left in his stomach.
Soon enough, he came upon the flight attendant’s station and was overwhelmed to see that a few bottles of water, snack foods, and a first aid kit had indeed survived the crash. He packed anything he could into his backpack while downing a bottle of water. Scrambling through the cabinets and shelves he found a small pot that would be absolutely perfect for boiling water as well as a few knives. Packing away his newly found lifeline he noticed the Air Marshall’s body curled over a seat. Reluctantly, Kellen walked over and began to search the corpse for anything of use. Of the things he found, the most important was the gun he had strapped to his waist. Kellen didn’t think anything was on the island large enough to harm him but what’s the worst that could happen by taking it?
Darkness was beginning to set over the horizon and Kellen knew that he wouldn’t make it back to his camp before the sun disappeared. Spending the night in a graveyard definitely wasn’t an ideal situation but at this point he had no choice. Kellen set up his camp, built a fire, and settled in for the night.
Despite his joy of finding supplies something was unsettling him. It wasn’t that he was sleeping on hard ground or that he was sleeping around a multitude of dead bodies. He felt like he was being watched. The snap of a branch threw Kellen into alert mode. He reached for the gun by his side and readied himself for anything that would come his way.
Another snap and he turned his head toward the direction it came from…nothing…Then another came from the opposite side. Kellen’s mind began to race but he remained calm…He stood up, constantly bouncing his eyes to his surroundings. He could hear soft footsteps moving about in the trees but he couldn’t see a thing. One more snap from the forest brought his attention to his left only this time the sound was closer. He walked towards the noise, gun drawn, mind ready for action. He paced himself and kept his breathing to a minimal but when he saw what was watching him, he couldn’t help but stop breathing. There, not but 50 feet in front of him was a breathing reincarnation of his father.
His face was covered in blood, his body twisted and torn. Kellen stopped in his tracks unable to scream, unable to breathe. He couldn’t think and couldn’t move, only stare. This was the nightmare of his nightmares. His father had somehow found his way back into Kellen’s life. Here his father would exact his final vengeance. The contorted figure took a step towards him, obviously grimacing but smiling as he moved. Kellen saw that his father wore the same clothing from the worst night of his life. His shirt was torn and tattered, his leg looked as if it had been snapped in half. Kellen’s mind kept flashing back to the multiple blows he landed on his dad. Gathering his thoughts, he raised the gun and pointed it at his “father”. Bang! A shot rang out but the figure continued to move towards Kellen. Bang! Another shot rang out but this time the figure let out a demonic laugh that echoed through the wooded jungle.
“You going to beat me again, boy?” He said gurgling his own blood.
Kellen turned and ran, desperately trying to find a place to hide from this demon.
“How is this happening? This can’t be real, this can’t be real!” He screamed
“Oh, but it is!” the ghost shouted back but this time from right behind him.
The incarnation leaned down and got into his face, maniacally laughing at the mental state his son was in. Kellen once again couldn’t move…He couldn’t comprehend what was happening. Then, as if it was never there, the face disappeared. Kellen looked up, looked around but didn’t see anything around him. He couldn’t believe what he had just saw but his mind raced to come to some sort of conclusion when his eyes caught something off in the woods.
He drew his attention to the trees when he once again saw the figure of his father, only this time doubled over on his side, laughing hysterically; beckoning his son to follow him into his playground of death….
See Next Chapter: Stranded: Part V