“Ugh...my head hurts...what is this pain in my forehead?” Mack struggled to sit up, feeling dazed and confused. Began looking around the dingy room, Mack is surrounded by cots hanging from the ceiling. “Am I on a boat?” Jumping off the bed, his bare feet hit the cold metal floor. Quickly observing his surroundings, he found his shoes with his clothes piled on top in the corner.
“Even dressed, I feel chilly, where am I?”
Worried voices can be heard above, paired with frantic footsteps. He opens the door and leaves the room. In front of him, he sees narrow steps leading up to where a damp salty breeze envelops him. As he reached the first step, the boat sways heavily to the right, along with a wave of water pummeling in. Mack desperately grabs the railing, but his grip fails and he falls back. Momentarily stunned, he whips back up and dashes up the stairs. Upon reaching the top, with both hands still gripping the railing, his eyes widened from the sight of this mighty hurricane closing in.
More waves slam against the boat, following the storm's bidding. Looking to his left he finds Lane focused ahead with a telescope. “What is she?...”
“Hey! Glad to see you’re okay! We were worried about you for a minute,” Jake exclaims, grabbing my attention. He’s standing by the teller? This is an odd boat.
Startled, Mack musters the energy to reply, “What happened? Last I remember we were in the car…”
“Don’t worry about that…”
Smoke can be seen coming from the engine. “Oh, shit...that can’t be good!” Lane yells towards the brothers.
“Yeah no shit, Lane,” Jake retorts. “Mack! The smoke is probably coming from the engine, you used to work on these things right?!”
“Uhm, sure,” confused, Mack lets go of the railing and manages to make it up by the tiller. “Stay close to the boat, and don’t fall off,” he then grabs Lane and takes her to the bow.
Thunder explodes all around them. The storm is hungry. As the wind howls, and waves continue to knock around this tiny sailboat, Lane spots a ship in the distance. Remembering the flare gun in the emergency kit, she immediately stops helping Jake, and runs to the cabin. Upon finding the gun, she gazes up into the unforgiving storm, raises the firearm and pulls the trigger. The flare attains the attention of a nearby fishing boat. Please notice us, she pleads in her head.
Luckily, her plea was answered, and the other boat began moving towards them. The boat moves close in front of theirs, and a shaded figure tosses a few ropes down. The waves slam the boats together, but Mack makes it to tie them together. After the last knot is made, they throw down a ladder. “Lane, get over here!” Mack yells back. Lane quickly runs towards him, seemingly unfazed by the violent rocking of the boat. “You first,” Mack tells her.
“Aight, don’t have to tell me twice,” she wittingly replies.
“Jake! Let’s gooo,” Mack jumps onto the ladder, not wanting to stay on the helpless boat any longer.
Jake runs up the ladder nearly slipping before grabbing it. As he confidently reaches the top, he slips on the boat's gunnel, lunging forward only to land into the defined arms of a stranger. Embarrassed, he looks up to find the hottest guy he’s ever fallen onto.
“Hey, are you ok?” The stranger soothingly asks.
“Uh, sorry, yeah I’m fine,” Jake replies, flustered.
“HEY! Are we getting out of the rain before or after your guys’ whole moment?” Lane promptly interrupts. Jake sheepishly leaves Harlem's arms.
“Yeah, we saw your flare and thought you could use the help,” Harlem replies. Suddenly a door swings open and a burly older man steps out. “Come on over here!”
Upon stepping inside, the room wraps them in warmth. The bigger man walks over to the cupboard and begins passing them all blankets. Awkwardly, everyone is standing there in silence. Still feeling the cold and from their trenched clothes, Lane breaks the silence, “so...thank you for saving us.”
“Yes, thank you,” Mack and Jake add.
“No problem, I’m Tony, and this is my grandson Harlem.”
“Hey,” Harlem awkwardly adds.
“We saw your flare, it didn’t look like you guys were doing too good out there.”
“Yeah, we didn't know that storm was so close,” Jake says, cocooned in his blanket.
“What are you guys doing out here?” Mack asks.
“We’re on our way to an abandoned lighthouse not far from here” Tony replies, eyeing them all. Silence fills the room once more, the ship calmly swaying back and forth. Lane once again is the one to break the silence, “uh...why?”
“Well one, I’d like to get out of the water before this storm really picks up, and two we’re hunting Stick Indians…”
The words alone unsettle the group, but upon hearing the name, the pain in Mack’s forehead flares. A deafening screech fills his ears and he falls to the ground. Looking up, Jake and Lane are no longer beside him. Everyone is standing in front of him, staring emotionless. “What is going on?” He clenches his teeth and shuts his eyes, the pain is now unbearable.
Just as quickly as it came, it disappeared. The pain is gone, and he no longer feels the swaying of the ship.
“Hey Mack. Are you coming?” Lane asks. Opening his eyes, he’s no longer on a boat, but on a dock. Looking past her, he sees Tony walking uphill towards a dark lighthouse. Not far behind, is Harlem with Jake ogling from behind. The first guy he meets on this trip and he’s already fallen for him, typical. He looks back at Lane, “Um yeah, I’m okay I think.”
“Ok, then let’s go already, it’s cold out here, “ she replies with a comforting smile. It seems they’ve gone ahead of the storm for now, but it’s not far behind. They begin climbing the stairs towards the lighthouse.
Lane and Mack are the last ones to group in front of the lighthouse. Now that they’re closer, the base of the structure seems to look like an actual house. It's a relatively large, two story building. Tony stops investigating the front door and turns to the group, “So the door seems to be jammed shut, but I’m sure there’s another way inside.”
“You know I was kind of hoping this place would be at least a little...cozier...but I guess it’s better than sitting outside, “ Lane speaks out loud.
“So listen up, walking up here I noticed a shed in the distance with lines connecting it to the lighthouse, I’m assuming that’s where a generator must be. Harlem, I’m sure you can take care of it but one of you three should go with him, it’s best no one goes off alone…”
“Hey I can!” Jake happily interjects, “uh, I’ll go with you, Harlem.” He glances at Harlem while Lane and Mack both roll their eyes.
“Okay, you and Harlem investigate the shed and see if you can get us some power, you two come with me and help find another way in.” As Tony finishes talking, Mack looks back at his brother. Confused, he sees that somehow Jake has already disappeared with Harlem. “Huh, I didn’t even hear them go off.” Mack turns back around to go with Tony and Lane, when he finds himself alone. “What’s going on?” His search is quickly interrupted by an eerie whistling coming from behind him. Before he can turn to see, his stomach falls, he knows what’s behind him. Slowly turning his head towards the noise, he locks eyes with it. Barely visible, lit only by the frequent intervals of the incoming thunder. With each bolt, lighting the sky it seems as if another creature appears. Who knows how many. His dizziness intensifies. I need to find Lane and Tony. Luckily, gunshots are heard around the corner. That must be them, he thinks as hope rises. Mack begins running towards the noise and he sees them. Tony is firing at dozens of incoming creatures, and whichever ones make it close, Lane is standing beside him with her wrench to club em.
The area lights up, temporarily blinding everyone. Jake and Harlem must have made it to the generator! Unfortunately, now everyone can see the horde of creatures closing on them. However, they seem more focused on the sudden light coming from the lighthouse.
Lightning strikes the lighthouse, and rain comes pouring down. Invigorated, Mack is ready to join Lane and Tony. He clenches his fists only to become momentarily puzzled. Looking down he sees he’s holding a flare in his hand. I don’t remember picking this up, it must be from the boat, he convinces himself. Refocusing, he notices the rain has stopped. No, it hasn’t stopped raining, but it’s stopped midair. Lane and Tony no longer fighting the creatures, but are now facing him dead eyed, along with all the creatures. All just staring at him.
Mack raises the flare, unscrews the cap. The instant he pulls the trigger, gravity pushes him into the mud and the rain continues. The creatures, now focused on him, begin attacking. Mack struggles to pull himself free and begins running towards the dock. “If I can distract them long enough, they can all find somewhere safe to regroup.” He can no longer hear anything but the creatures close behind him. Sliding down the hill and jumping onto the dock, he nearly slipped off. Out of breath he reaches the oddly ready to work boat and it immediately turns and he speeds off.
Multiple Stick Indians launch themselves onto the small vessel, nearly launching Mack backwards. He manages to throw the dying flare at one of them, but before he can defend himself. The boat crashes into rocks. The crash, the waves, the storm, Mack flies into the water, bashing head first into the rocks. Exhausted, he’s unable to swim, in desperation he tries to breath but his lungs are only met with the salty water.
His eyes shoot open, and a choking sensation fills his throat. In a second Mack begins coughing up whatever water he had accidentally breathed in. Arms feeling heavy, he pushed himself off the wheel, now starting to feel his sore body. “Ugh, how did I get here? Where’s Jake and Lane?” He thinks to himself but unable to concentrate, he tries to pin together what happened. “I was on a boat? No, I was in the car?” He begins to rub his forehead, which is now starting to take all of his attention. Lowering his hand, he sees it’s covered in blood. He finally notices that he is in his brother's car, which is currently sitting in a slough of water.
His body begins to feel heavier, and the water continues gushing into the car. Mack feels his forehead once again, to see that the blood is thicker and flow is steady. And with that the world starts to feel wobbly. That’s when he notices something bashing at the window, its...a girl? Panic begins to set in, and he realizes his situation. All he wants is his brother. “You’re going to be okay,” she reassures him, almost as she reads his mind. Finally she manages to break the glass, as water begins filling the compartment, she sees how tired and weak he is and knows he won't last much longer. “I saw what you did, and how you saved your friends. Their medicine wont be of any use to you now, however I can to where my people reside. We can save you, but know this if you come with me, you will never see your loved ones again. You’ll belong to the ocean. Quickly now, we don't have long, the water is filling.” Heavy eyed, Mack manages to mouth the words, help, and with that Mack closes his eyes, his body feeling the ocean all around him drifting into the deep.