|Little Hog Island at Night|
Friday, September 28, 2012
Dana crept along the tumbled edges of the ruins, carefully stepping over and around fallen stones. She pressed close to the wall, but if anyone came out with a flashlight, they would see her. There was nowhere to hide. This is really stupid, Dana thought, Why am I doing this?
When she got to the window, she tried to swallow her heart back down—it seemed to be blocking her airways. She inched up her head and peered in.
By the light of a kerosene lamp, four men sat around a wooden table playing cards. Their faces, full of weird dancing shadows, reminded Dana of the witches from Macbeth. She shivered.
The man who faced the window was the one who had warned her not to swim to the island. His lids covered his eyes as he look down at the cards in his hand and he appeared to not see her. Dana walked past the door and past the next window, which was dark. She climbed over a crumbled wall, walked along an intact wall, past three more windows, and turned to walk behind the building. She wanted to reach one of the other windows she’d seen through the first one, a window where she could look in without being spotted by someone coming or going.
A sound startled her and she paused. Someone was behind the building. Dana heard him crashing around. She watched his light moving among the blocks of granite. She crouched in deep shadow between the wall and tumbled stone. She spotted another small building. In the light of the man’s flashlight, it looked like a stone shed. The man went in, banged around a little, and then was silent. A moment later, he reemerged and went back to the card-game building.
Dana waited a little while, and then walked over to the shed. A rusty padlock hung on a hasp. She looked for a window, and then realized the lock had not been pulled shut. She slipped it off, pulled the loop from the hasp, pushed the door slowly open, stopped when it made a low eerie creaking, pushed again gently and peered in. Rusty swords and bayonets hung on the walls. Along the base of three walls of the shed, footlockers were stacked. Dana opened one. Guns. More guns. On the other side, grenades. Dana shut the lids and headed for the door.
A sudden light in her face half-blinded her.
“What have we here?” asked a rough voice. The man who had warned her about the tides stood blocking the doorway. His deeply shadowed face did not look pleased.