Skimming over the moonlit ocean, Bruce and Lilac are racing for safety and freedom. Will they evade the dangerous men who are hunting them? Will they ever be able to go home?
"That island is amazing, Bruce... I can't wait to go back!" exclaimed Lilac.
Bruce nodded with satisfaction. "I thought you might like it... the others in the cluster are equally fascinating!"
"What did you see?!?!" she asked, wriggling in her seat.
He laughed. "You sound just like a kid who wants to know what they'll be getting for Christmas."
She crossed her arms over her chest, and scowled. "Well I'm no kid, so tell me."
Bruce smiled to himself. He knew that she would love it. He also knew another secret about the little cluster of islands. They were for sale!
The owner had purchased it with the intention of building a second home, but had lost his fortune in the stock market crash before ever setting foot on his new property.
"I wonder if the Goddess might grow on one of those islands? It seems like so many other species thrive - even ones I've never seen anywhere else. The place could probably keep Lilac busy for years," Bruce thought idly, as he looked out at the moonlit water.
"Hey, I thought you couldn't wait to have another pizza!" teased Bruce, coming back from his thoughts when he heard crunching.
"This fruit is even better than pizza," she admitted, in wonder. "How long until we reach civilization?"
"About three hours. I want to make sure that we don't have a welcoming committee waiting to greet us."
Lilac wiped the fruit juice off of her mouth, and put the remaining pieces back under the seat. "Good idea. I for one have seen enough of our friends to last a lifetime," Lilac said emphatically, as she settled in for a nap.
When she woke up, the sun was barely peeking above the horizon. The few low clouds promised another spectacular tropical sunrise.
"We'll be in Santiago in a few minutes," announced Bruce.
"Is it really over?" she asked, yawning.
"I think so..." replied Bruce, rubbing his chin.
He landed the chopper, but neither of them strayed from it. A mechanic strolled by, heading for a nearby hangar.
Bruce called out to him. "Hello there! Can I please use your phone?"
The older man smiled, and pulled out an ancient, battered flip phone. "Sure. I'll only be in there a few minutes, I'll get it on my way out."
When he left, Bruce chuckled. "He works on technology every day, and carries this?"
Lilac grinned. "Whatever works."
Bruce had no intention of risking their freedom by using his own phone. In fact he and Lilac had turned their phones off before getting within range of any cell towers. "No sense taking a chance on being tracked when we're this close," he'd said.
He climbed into the chopper, and began punching numbers. Several minutes later, Bruce emerged with a victorious expression on his face.
"INTERPOL is sending someone out to meet us. They should be here in about twenty minutes. The agent wasn't thrilled though. He wanted to know why they were being summoned, and I am not taking any chances."
After another few minutes the mechanic ambled out, and strolled over to the chopper. "Are you finished?"
Bruce handed him the little phone. "Yes, thank you for your help."
"You're most welcome. If you need to make another call, just shout. I'll be in the hangar over on the other side of the tarmac."
About five minutes later, a large unmarked car drove up, with three men inside. Bruce and Lilac looked at each other, wondering the same thing. Are these men from INTERPOL, or is it time to flee yet again?
To be continued...
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Cover image made in Canva Pro using their gallery