In Thought

I have had an awful lot on my mind lately and I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about… the recent passing of my father has left me and my family in a state of grief over the past three weeks and for the unforeseeable future, and is something I do not wish to discuss in great detail at this moment.

But what I will say is that I’m learning something about grief ~ it is something a few have told me so far which I’ve now found true, which is that it comes and goes in waves… sometimes I feel completely normal, and sometimes I feel completely depressed. Sometimes I’ll go a full day feeling like my regular self going about a regular day, and some days I struggle to make it through. What I’m not going to do is force my grief to stay in because, as I’ve quickly found out from my friends, that everyone understands what I’m going through and not one person has made me feel bad for showing my feelings, and for that I’m grateful.

#1

#2

The priest at the funeral – a longtime family friend I’ve known since high school – had mentioned something during his eulogy as well as to me personally. That no matter what happens in life, you are the one to make the best out of your life. My father survived polio and his life could have gone a different way, but it didn’t. He fought through it and made a successful life for himself. He may be gone, and I may be struggling through his absence right now, but I’m going to keep going, keep struggling through it, and continue pushing forward. I’m going to continue to be me, and continue working on making a life for myself, and live my best life.

#3
#4
#5

I’d like to end this post with a request… I’ve numbered all the pictures in this post for a reason. I’ve been wanting to start a painting project and finally have the canvas for it, and with my recent interest in waves, I’m trying to take pictures that may inspire me to paint. Anyway, I’m picking from this group of photographs, and would love your input. If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment with the number picture you like best, and I’ll paint that one.

Until next time,

Heather

Chapter 10

They began their climb up British Landing Rd, quick with their pace and cautious with their surroundings. There were so many of them down at the water that it seemed possible that they wouldn’t encounter any more islanders anytime soon, but this was not a time to throw caution to the wind. Heather, Ric and Mila ran covered  by trees on that winding road, then through open fields, then through a thick forest of trees again before reaching the part of road just behind the airport. Heather wondered why they had run past the crack in the island, the location of Ric’s hideaway, but she didn’t think asking about it would get her any answer, so she kept running.

Ric turned right at the intersection and Heather and Mila followed suit. They continued running on, their pace slowing a bit, instead finding more of a steady beat between the three of them, somehow all three understanding that this run would take them longer than expected. The weather hadn’t changed since leaving the water, which was also a plus. They ran past the airport entrance and continued straight through towards what Heather remembered as West Bluff, and before they could see the water, Ric took another right instead of leading them towards town. He had a destination in mind…

They continued on the road, passing a few homes that they assumed were at this point empty, and every once in awhile, Heather looked over the bushes to catch a glimpse of Lake Huron on her left. They could certainly make a signal to someone on the mainland from here, couldn’t they? she wondered. They kept running.

Ric finally threw up a hand and slowed down his pace. They wandered off to the left, towards the cliffside, and finally saw what Ric was leading them to. It was a small cliffside building, a tiny, one-room building with large windows that made it almost look as though the entire thing was made of glass. A small ramp encircled the building and led them towards a door where they entered. Inside was just a small, circular room, surrounded with cushioned chairs and a coffee table in the center that held books and games from its previous owners. Everyone sat down, still huffing from the long run.

Heather glanced down at the items on the coffee table. There was a home decor magazine dating back over a decade. Has it even been read through yet? she wondered, and began to imagine herself in the dazed predicament that the islanders have been enslaved under for all these years. Would she be aware of what was happening to her? Would she remember anything that was going on, or would her memory be under complete control, too? It must take a truly insane person to create technology like this, she thought.

A glimmer of light flashed past her eyes. Blinded for a second, Heather held her hand over her face and looked towards the light, but couldn’t quite find the source. Something in the air was reflecting towards her. She stood up, looking out each window and almost completing a 360 trying to find the source of the reflection, unable to figure it out, when Ric grabbed her by the arm.

“It’s hard to see it, but it’s there.” Ric stood up and gazed out toward the lake. “When the sun catches it at just the right angle, there’s a glare. It’s a real pain when it happens, but it don’t affect you much when you’ve got a kickass pair of sunglasses.” Ric knocked his goggles back over his eyes, then pointed out into the sky. “There’s a nearly invisible barrier around this island. I say nearly because you can tell that it’s there by its reflection. We can see out, but everyone else can’t see in.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Heather replied, “when I was on the boat coming over here I could see the island just fine. When I was crossing the bridge, I could see the island from there, too.”

“The barrier must make everything on the outside look all fine and dandy over here, because I’ve done all kinds of things to make contact with others. Smoke signals, flares, hell I even once found an old firework and set it off… still, no one came.”

Heather turned to Mila. “What about extending the waterway. With the three of us now, for manpower, can we make it to St. Ignace?”

“I won’t say it’s impossible but, it took me and my crew over a year to get around Mackinac Island. I’m doubting you’ll want to stay here for several months for that kind of project…”

Heather thought again.”So we’re trapped. We’re trapped inside here until we can find a way to break this ‘spell,’ to defeat whoever is causing all of this, to break this strange force field, to break it all and bring everything back to normal.”

Mila chimed in. “If there is some kind of invisible force field here, then that has to mean that there is a source somewhere creating that force field. If there was a way for us to see this force field under a different light, like a different screen, to see it’s radio waves, then we could possible be able to pinpoint the location of its source.”

“That’s it! You’re a genius!” Ric said to Mila, a light clearly turning on in his head. “The gazebo.” Ric turned and faced north. “I know where this all started, somewhere north east of here. And I don’t know the exact location on the island, but I know how we can find out… in the gazebo! Now that I’ve got you two we can work together to get to that point safely, and I’ll bet ya that’s where the source is. But we need to get back to the gazebo!”

Suddenly, white noise filled the inside of Heather’s pocket. Her walkie talkie started spewing out garbled noise, and she pulled it out to hear it more clearly. We’re definitely clear enough to catch a signal with Scott, we must be! she thought, and waited for the noise of the walkie talkie to cease before trying to send her own message over.

Mila and Ric’s eyes peaked a little bit at the new sound, and all three tried to make out what words were coming through, even though the signal still wasn’t completely clear.

“…. island.….”

“That’s his voice! It’s Scott,” Heather said, explaining to Mila that he was her connection to reach Mackinac Island in the first place.

“…. problem…”

“Oh no, what kind of problem…” Heather thought out loud, hoping for the least horrible possible explanation.

“… three...”

Heather’s brow furrowed. She looked over to the other two, Ric looking even more furrowed and Mila looking concerned. They were only able to make out three words so far, but the last word started to trouble them. At this point they were staring at the walkie talkie, straining silently to make out more words. Unfortunately, the next voice they heard wasn’t Scott’s, but someone else’s…

“… You’re right, this has become a problem. They’re becoming too strong now, and they’ve survived longer than I had expected… It is time to put an end to them.”

And at that point, the walkie talkie abruptly went silent.

Have an idea of where you’d like the story to go next? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section:

To start at Chapter 1, click HERE and scroll to the bottom.

 

 

Chapter 3

Heather couldn’t believe what she saw in front of her.

On top of Anne’s Tablet was a man sprawled out on his back, as if soaking up the sun. He wore a thick layer of clothes, a winter hat with ear flaps and heavy hiking boots. And covering his eyes, a pair of very big goggles. Heather also noticed a strap along his waist holding some kind of weapon, but she couldn’t quite make it out over his leather jacket. He looked like a rugged man, one who may have a strong affinity for the wilderness and outdoors… or possibly, just a man trying to survive in post apocalyptic Mackinac. Heather couldn’t think of anything more interesting to ask, so she asked the obvious.

“Who are you?”

“Shh!” he pushed out the sound between his teeth. “I just new a few more seconds and…”

Just then, a green light started blinking on the man’s goggles. They were peculiar looking, although reminded her of something steampunk . Except that steampunk was just something out of fiction. Or was it? She had to find out more.

The man stood up and pressed a button on his goggles to stop the beeping, and towered over Heather. He pushed his hand out for a handshake. “I’m Ric. Scott usually tries to bring some hero over here, but they’ve never made it through town like you. Looks like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders not going into any of those buildings. Not all those cleared out entrances are what you think.”

“Well in that case, I’m glad that I got this far,”Heather replied, not sure whether to be complimented or concerned about his last sentence. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t the townspeople all live downtown now?”

“What are you, crazy!?” Ric shot her a glare seen right through his goggles. “Downtown is a death trap if you go into one of those buildings. What used to be quaint little shops and housing is now only occupied by…” Ric cut his last sentence off as he turned his head toward town at a faint sound. As he turned back toward Heather, the expression on his face grew more calm. “This town is cursed. The residents here have no choice but to seek refuge together on this island, the government won’t touch this place and the only person strong enough to make a difference here is me. Except, maybe my efforts alone aren’t enough.” Ric took a step closer to Heather and held out a hand. “If you’re tough enough, Heather, I could sure use the help.”

This call for help was a no-brainer for her as she readily shook Ric’s hand in return. “You can count on me, Ric. Now there’s just one thing. If you need my help, I’m going to need a little more briefing on how things got to be the way they are over here. And how are the residents “together?” And, why are you the only one I’ve even seen so far?” She began squeezing Ric’s hand even more mid-handshake as she asked each question, realizing that maybe she could be shaking hands with the wrong person.

“I can explain it all to you, friend, but sometimes, it’s easier to just show you.” Ric pulled his goggles off of his his face and over his hat. Heather noticed his blue eyes, and thought that there was nothing peculiar about it, which made her wonder all the more what his goggles were for. Maybe he’s just using them as sunglasses?  Heather thought. But the idea of having solar powered goggles had to give them more meaning.

Ric stepped back from Heather and turned towards the trail leading away from Anne’s Tablet. As Heather followed him she noticed the old fort standing on her left, and just ahead of her, a gazebo. One that she had seen many times in the past, but now weathered and old. A far cry from its original fairytale look. However, upon reaching the end of the trail and ending at the gazebo, she noticed the addition of a bright, brassy ring of metal at its base. Heather and Ric stepped into the gazebo, where, on the inside, it looked as though nothing had been touched in years.

“Let’s get a better look, shall we?” With the press of a button on Ric’s goggles, the gazebo started to tremble and turn in its place, then a crackling noise pierced the air as it separated from the ground. Soon they were spinning into the air, until after about 200 feet, the gazebo tower stopped.

I can’t believe this is happening. Heather forgot how much she hated the idea of falling, and gripped the railing. She could see all of the marina. She could see the main street near it, and the road leading into downtown, ripped and torn apart by what Heather had only assumed so far was an earthquake. She could see the buildings in town that were destroyed, and ones that were apparently occupied by non-residents… and as Heather circled the gazebo for her 360 view, that’s when she noticed the buttons. Along the railing, a control panel of buttons and switches had popped out, lining the inside of the gazebo. In the center of the gazebo, a periscope had dropped down, and Ric was looking through it.

“Just give me a few more seconds and I can show you everything…”

Heather stood straight on looking at Ric, shocked, alarmed, and most of all, confused. “Alright, buddy,” she said in a low and careful voice, “Who in the world are you!?”

“Well, friend, I guess you can say I’m a madman.”

Have an idea of where you’d like the story to go next? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section:

To start at Chapter 1, click HERE and scroll to the bottom.