By Dwain Campbell
“Rot my socks, another GD axe job.” Matt’s calloused, grimy fingers traced the gaping hole in the bottom of an overturned punt. “Brother Delacey and his Reclamation goons are working overtime.”
Dana grunted sourly. If there was any chance Redemption gangs were within ten miles, she wanted off the open beach and into the concealing, gnarly spruce of the boreal forest. “Small loss,” she observed. “Tiny rowboat, one set of oarlocks, not in the plan.”
Matt nodded, resigned to disappointment. They had long decided an ocean-going kayak, a two-seater, was their best chance to escape across the Cabot Strait and make landfall in Nova Scotia. A slim chance for home, but what would they find there?
At that moment, a white mouse scrambled from beneath the boat. Seemingly more jackrabbit than rodent, the snowy creature hopped from boulder to boulder toward the road.
“Let’s follow Mickey’s lead, tout suite.” Dana led off, bee-lining toward the crumbling Trans-Canada Highway immediately to their left. No matter how careful their tread, small beach rocks clattered too loudly. Oh, for a proper beach of whispery sand, but few such were to be found in the south-west corner of Newfoundland.
Newfoundland. Best bow hunting on earth, the glossy brochure touted. Woodland caribou guaranteed. Fly in destination, fantastic salmon fishing. Macho Matt, a Daniel Boone wannabe, saw the outdoors adventure package as a perfect getaway from the Google complex in Kitchener-Waterloo. C’mon Dana, you can do yoga and your flakey Shaman medicine woman hoodoo. No need to twist her arm, for petty university politics were getting her down.
Had she stayed, she would have died, along with 98% of humanity. At least, that was their best estimate. Spanish Flu redux, only times a million. That Horseman of the Apocalypse guy, Pestilence, did a lightening Paul Revere ride to every nook and cranny of the world.
Well, not all. Isolated in the hinterland for three weeks, scarfing down wieners and beans and flasks of Old Sam rum, they sat out the deadly but brief pathogen in blissful ignorance. And, evidently, so did some of the more isolated outports and fishing communities of Newfoundland. People survived, only to fall under the sway of Brother Delacey, a vitriolic crackpot who made Rev. Jim Jones look like a sweetie pie.
Delacey’s Reclamation criers wandered the roads, proclaiming a great altar was being built on lofty Gros Morne Mountain. To ensure that island survivors stayed to convert, roving gangs destroyed any vessel ashore or on the water.
Hence, the frustrating, increasingly desperate search for a serviceable kayak.
‘Right now, I would take a hollowed out log.” Dana didn’t realize she had spoken out loud. Scent of brine and seaweed faded behind her. She turned for one last look at the ocean blue and was rewarded by a spectacular whale spout. Some bruiser out there was coursing south, in their general direction.
Matt paused, using the moment to survey a huge washout on the highway. “Not ruling that out, but I’m not Noah, nor Tom Hanks in Castaway. If I built a boat, we’d drown a mile offshore.” He chose a gravelly path and they quickly humped huge backpacks festooned with camping gear around the washout. It did not serve to lollygag in the open.
“Long liner.” Dana’s one word summed up a year of argument. A gray goshawk bolted from a nearby pine, as if offended by her voice. Hopefully, it would not gobble Mickey Mouse, who streaked up here ahead of them.
“Right,” rejoined Matt, somewhat heatedly. He agitatedly scratched an auburn beard he never had living in Ontario. “Donald and Daisy Duck are better mechanics than we are. Say we find a serviceable fishing boat the gangs missed. Say it’s full of gas, the battery works, and we study the manual for a week. We wait for a sunny day and take off southwest. And it breaks down 40 kilometers out. We would be infinitely screwed.”
“That fuels my argument we should have hiked north. The Straits of Belle Isle are much narrower, 15 kilometers as opposed to the 90 we are looking at down here.”
As always, Matt had a comeback. “Delacey’s fanatics are thick as quills on a porcupine’s back up there on the Northern Peninsula. And they are rioting against non-believers, lest you forget.”
Dana did not. Could not. They had seen crosses burning outside a place called Deer Lake, and robed men setting houses on fire. Screaming people fled the scene, into the woods. Horrified, they had hiked south like mad after that. And scrounged rifles from a Canadian Tire warehouse.
The pair threaded through thick fir and passed over a squishy bog into a copse of spruce and birch. They quickly located a deep, sheltered hollow wherein a fire could be hidden. Dana assembled rocks for a fire pit and gathered what dry branches she could from the underbrush while Matt slipped to the nearest pond with his fishing rod. The last of the Chef Boyardee ravioli was gone, at least until they found another abandoned Foodmart to loot. A thick, damp fog moved in and soon the evening was dark enough to hide wood smoke. She assembled cotton balls soaked in Vaseline and used them to quick-start a fierce little bonfire.
As a little girl, Dana enjoyed gazing into flames. Her mother, a Granola gender studies professor and off-the-wall Wiccan, told her spirits lived in the elements and could be seen therein. However, since the horror outside Deer Lake, fire gazing made her nauseous.
Matt returned, several large trout in his creel and two cups of blueberries in hand. It was mid-August, time of bounty. They needed to pack on weight in case they were stuck on the island another winter. Last year Dana lost thirty pounds, with very little of it gained back. Plus, if the Gods were good and an intact kayak was found, they needed energy for the open-sea paddle to Nova Scotia.
Within an hour, the pair sat back, licking fingers contently. One never tired of crisp, pan-fried trout, fortunate since fish was a mainstay of their diet. They snared hare with mixed success, and once a fortnight, Matt managed a young moose with his bow. Largely, they existed on goods liberated from homes and stores. That supply dwindled rapidly as the Reclamation gangs systematically stripped every cupboard and store aisle they could find.
Matt must have read her mind. “I really should shoot a bear, two ideally. Greasy meat for calories and bearskins to back up our sleeping bags.” On that note, he slung hammocks and unfurled sleeping rolls. Dana set a kettle of water over the fire and fetched out the last of the orange pekoe tea bags. Hot tea to warm innards, then the fire would die a natural death. Its lingering char-scent would keep wolves and coyotes at bay.
Wolf blood was back on the island. At least lupines were natural. Religious fanatics like the Reclamationists were pure, unnatural evil. Or were they unnatural? “Many Newfoundlanders,” her mother had opined as Dana packed for the trip, “are given to charismatic religion. They get swept up in the Blood and Fire. Cut a Newfoundlander and a snake-handling Tennessee preacher bleeds.” It hurt to think of Mother, perhaps lying dead on her living room couch. How could she have survived the sweeping plague?
What societies would be on the other side? More Delacey cults? Kings or chieftains ruling over scattered tribes of survivors? Dana shivered, and not with cold. She had binged The Walking Dead, knew the score.
“Tomorrow, I think we should….” Matt stopped abruptly, head cocked. Gail caught the sound too. She dashed water on the waning fire.
From afar, to seaward: Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war; with the cross of Jesus going on before. Battle hymn of the Reclamationists.
Matt with the Winchester .30-30, Dana with her .410 shotgun, ever so quietly climbed to the lip of their hollow and, not daring to breath, gazed into the darkness. They never used the guns, too noisy, but the weapons were a comfort.
Half a mile off, a file of pine torches burned in the night. A gang of Reclamation acolytes, on the move. At least they were moving north, clear to Gros Morne, and the heavenly altar, if Matt and Dana were lucky. By and by, the flickering lights disappeared. “Too dark to decamp. We stand watch for watch, and get out of Dodge first light.” Matt bitterly added, “I thought the splintered wood on that punt looked fresh, not weathered.”
“Do you think they are patrolling the area?”
“Maybe. That just means we stay extra cautious. Extra, extra cautious.” The burning crosses had traumatized Matt too, more than he cared to admit.
Fumbling in the foggy dark, Matt found his hammock and crawled inside his allegedly good-for-minus-forty sleeping bag. Dana helped tuck the waterproof groundsheet around him. They never shared body warmth, though that would be eminently practical. A pregnancy would be the End of the World, the sequel.
He slept fitfully. It would be the dreams. They had the same dreams, which freaked them out. On some fundamental, metaphysical level the world was changing.
Dana figured it was the cough dream. Cough cough. The exact, phlegmy rasp heard from the open window of the float plane cockpit seconds before the outfitter fired engines for departure. They had been standing on the wooden dock, taking in the wilderness beauty of the camp, no inking they had avoided contamination, and certain death, by mere minutes.
Of course, the plane never returned. No one answered their radio calls. Yet the cough dream stayed, replaying a few nights per week. A night terror.
When they switched watch at 2:00 am, Dana did not have the cough dream. A new dream appeared. In the vision, she and Matt emerged from a derelict, tumble-down residential street to a wide harbour littered by half-sunk trawlers. In the middle of the glassy, pewter gray cove rested a whale. Not just any whale: Moby bloody-frigging Dick, a white whale. Not pristine white, for there seemed to be indistinct, inky markings or glyphs on its back. Noticing the humans, Dick tamely sidled up to the quay. In the dream, she and Matt did a strange thing. They stepped on the whale’s back, and –
“Wake up Dana, we’re ready to vamoose.” Groggily, on autopilot, Dana packed up her bed gear. In the Old World, on waking, she would take her Prius down the block for a Starbucks Tall blond roast. Now she hauled on hiking boots to slink away quietly in the morning mist, nothing but stale Planters peanuts and lake water for her breakfast.
Two hours later, it was surprisingly, Matt who asked, “Any new dreams last night?”
She tentatively told him of Moby Dick, how they stepped on his broad back.
He nodded somberly. “Well, more evidence of dipstick para-psychology at work. Last night I dreamed that white mouse – Mickey, you called him? – appeared before us on a trail lined on either side by towering pines. Just a regular, diminutive mouse, but its fur shone brightly as the Christmas star. He led us along the trail until we glimpsed water, then I woke up.”
“No coincidence we both dreamed of white animals on the same night. Synchronicity, cosmic sized. I wish we had a proper shaman to interpret the visions.” Or any old Romanian gypsy with a crystal ball! Matt grunted. It had taken him months to accept the Apocalypse had a weird, high-strangeness vibe that went beyond biological disaster.
Fog dissipated. Wind rose, but when did it not on the island? Around noon, they elected to hide within a gully for naps, considering they were trekking hard on half a night sleep.
Restless, Dana broached a worry. ‘Matt, we need a cut-off date. No kayak, say by October 15, we ought to hike way inland and make a winter camp in a sheltered valley that promises game. Gather wood, smoke some meat for the hard months.” And in Newfoundland, the hard months would last until next May.
Matt made to protest. He was goal-driven, and they were nigh on to Port Aux Basques and the jumping off point to the mainland. The miserable fact of winter galled him. Yet, Dana had a point. By October, the chances of storms increased markedly. Scratch storm, a late season hurricane encountered on the open sea would be the death of them. He nodded reluctantly, acknowledging the possibility of hunkering down for another eternal, icy winter.
Weather was a wild card in the escape plan. Environment Canada was likely a workplace full of moldering skeletons. Without a forecast, they could only strike out on sunny, windless day and cross fingers. If they found a kayak, or two kayaks that could be roped together. A big fat if. Newfoundland fishermen were not kayak fans.
Pelting rain arrived at midafternoon. They humped on, for the gangs did a disappearing act in glum weather. After angling back toward the road, they directly located a provincial highway works depot. Seeing how the empty garage had been picked clean, they judged it safe to pile boxes and barrels near a back door and bed down behind them. Just as well, for by dark a bloody monsoon drummed off the corrugated iron roof. As luck would have it, Dana discovered an entire jar of Nescafe Instant Coffee some hording secretary had hidden in a high cupboard behind rolls of paper towels. Such little happenstance victories made them giddy with joy.
As she carefully allotted coffee into Ziplock bags, Dana saw the mouse. “Matt,” she whispered ever so softly,” by that door, a mouse. Our pal Mickey, I think”
Matt locked eyes on the miniscule rodent. In that instant, it skittered under a door.
They solemnly looked at one another. Dumb coincidence, or metaphysical synchronicity?
Matt shrugged. “My dream. I’ll check it out.” He fumbled an LED flashlight from a side pocket of his backpack. A computer scientist, and skeptic of all things paranormal, Matt explained away their common dreams, at first. He slowly came around, though scientific default moments were common.
The unlocked doorknob turned easily. This must have been the foreman’s or mechanic’s office, for the space was relatively bare save cork bulletin boards festooned with Occupational Health and Safety notices, purchase orders, union bulletins, all the papery bric-a-brac of a world now gone. The gouged, grease smirched desk had only one piece of paper upon it. On impulse, Dana picked up the hand written note that had a small map stapled to it. Matt held the light for her to read.
Jimmy, they are raising merry old hell in Mouse Island. Potholes where I have circled on the map. Take a truck down there and cold patch the worse ones, just to shut them up.
And the map told them just where Mouse Island was, immediately adjacent to Port Aux Basques.
“Next,” intoned Matt very solemnly, “we’ll encounter a burning bush that will give us further instructions.”
Dana could only nod. Her mouth had gone dry, she could not speak.
Carefully folding the map and tucking it into a pocket of his North Face raincoat, Matt opined, “We’re meant to go there, obviously. And dollars to donuts there’s a connection to your Moby Dick dream. Man, the world really did go sideways, didn’t it? Kind of like Dr. Strange meets Professor X.” For completion sake, he checked the desk drawers. Nothing but fountain-pens and a dime-store Buffalo brand calculator.
“Oh yeah,” Gail breathed, “This dreaming is pure Joseph explaining the Pharaoh’s…” At that precise second, two All Terrain Vehicles roared into the garage.
Noiselessly, they slipped under the desk. But damn, they had left the door open a crack. And their gear, their key to survival, was in the back behind the junk they had stacked up. Springs squeaked as whoever it was dismounted the ATVs. “This might do da trick, Chad. It’s dry.” The man had a thick Newfoundland accent, but still comprehensible.
Chad wasn’t impressed. “Concrete floors, and it stinks ta high heaven o’ grease. If we stay here, I’m getting’ inna the cab o’ a truck.”
“Careful,” the first man snapped. “Talk o’ Heaven wit respect. If Brother Delacey heard yer loose mouth ‘e would smack it. Maybe I’ll smack it,” he ended menacingly.
“Friggin’ rain.” Chad sure was a complainer. “I figured the Lord said he wasn’t drownin’ da world agin?”
The more serious of the two, First Man said. “The Revelations angels are blowin’ trumpets, openin’ seals, and spillin’ vials. Maybe rain is part of the Lord’s tribulations.”
They could almost hear Chad hesitate. “These are the End Times. We should sail across da sea and be wit Jesus at da New Jerusalem. We’re Baymen, Chris, we could get ta the Holy Land.”
“Shut your heathen mouth. If Brother Delacey heard that he’d burn ya. The New Jerusalem will descend on Gros Morne Mountain, Brother says so. We all have ta be there.”
“Well, I…” A third machine jounced into the garage.
“What’s up, why stop?” asked the new arrival.
Chad, bitterly: “Rain would drown a fish.”
“I’m from around here. There’s a lake cabin a mile up the road. Soft beds. Holy Black Robe will meet us there.”
“I dunno,” moped Chad, “I’m wet clear through and sick and tired of…crap!” A second later, a loud band rang of the walls. “Rotten white mouse, I missed ‘im.”
“That settles it, this here dump is full o’ vermin. Let’s ride.”
With that, the three machines fired up and thundered off into the deluge.
Matt and Dana could scarcely breath. After months of evading the deadly Reclamationists, they had come within a whisker of discovery. A mouse whisker.
“They’re only a mile away, and it sounds like Delacey himself is with them,” worried Gail. “Let’s move.”
In a controlled panic, they repacked in five minutes flat. After huddling by the back door for a particularly heavy belt of rain, they hustled across the crumbling highway, lucky not to trip over large chunks of broken asphalt. They slipped into a particularly dense canopy of tuckamore bush, commando crawling to a point where even a vole could not pass the tangle of roots. Drenched, in Stygian blackness, they wrestled ground sheets about themselves.
“Delacey,” Dana said tremulously. “Just up the road. It makes my skin crawl.”
Matt found her hand in the dark. “That’s just black flies and grubs wiggling on you,” he quipped weakly. He paused so long Dana thought he had drifted asleep, but eventually he continued. “Until a month ago I was certain this was all about a clumsy Area 51 geek who dropped a test tube of concentrated doom on a lab floor. But hell, Dana, Mickey was acting with meaning and purpose back there. The little runt saved our hides.”
“It’s Mouse Island or bust, “Dana agreed. “Larger forces are at work here.” That jogged a thought. “Delacey’s bonkers if he thinks Jesus is starting his Victory Tour here in Newfoundland. But Matt, do you think the Second Coming is actually underway, over there on the Mount of Olives?”
A speculative grunt. “My rational self wants to debunk that, but here I am following a Mighty Mouse spirit guide. Anybody’s guess.” At that, exhaustion kicked in, and Matt was softly snoring in no time. Though still freaked out by Brother Delacey in such proximity, Dana followed suit within minutes.
The vivid whale dream returned. It was a blocky, square-jawed sperm whale, a carbon copy of Melville’s creation. It lazily bobbed by a wharf, blinking at Matt and her. As before they stepped on the animal, noting black tattoo markings on its scarred hide.
Despite growing urgency and a fixed map destination, the next two rain-drizzle-fog days were slow going. Extra caution morphed into outright paranoia, reinforced by the occasional distant putter of ATV’s. They stayed in thickets, careful of leaving footprints. Food dwindled, but luckily they snared three rabbits, an absolute record for two city folk who were rank amateurs a year ago. They cooked them in the dead of night under a protective pea-soup fog, allowing time for boiled water and luxurious, heartening coffee.
Dreams intensified. Matt’s glowing mouse moved so fast ahead of him, it steaked like a comet. Dana could now see that the glyphs on the white whale’s back were letters. All she could discern were M and D, which made eminent sense if this were Moby Dick.
“If the map is half-way accurate, we’re getting close.” Dana had to agree. The Cabot Strait to the west, the stunning Long Range Mountains to the east. Mouse Island could be only miles off.
That morning sullen clouds parted. Not a hint of wind, not even a local onshore breeze. Promising day, but within an hour mere promising turned electric.
They stumbled onto a walking path bordered by lofty pines. “This is it,” breathed Matt, gobsmacked. “This is déjà vu to the nth degree. This is where I first saw the gleaming mouse in my dream.” He looked around, as if to see an actual white mouse. There was none, but Dana, trance-like, raised a pointed finger. Matt then saw the sign. “Mouse Island Community Trail. Please do not litter.”
On the sign, a painted white mouse.
“Mickey speaks. This is Der Tag. The Day. THE day, Dana!”
Dana dared not raise hopes. Yet is was she who hurried on, and within minutes they exited the line of trees. Before them was a bare, grassy expanse pockmarked by bath tub sized ponds and grim outcroppings of rock. Beyond the open ground sat a modest collection of houses. And beyond them, an island that sheltered a broad cove. Neither liked the open ground, but they exchanged a hopeful look. “Lazy Chad and his pals are still in bed. But let’s jog, just the same.”
Before the plague, neither could jog five feet with over a hundred pounds strapped to them. But the last year had reduced them to essential gristle and bone, fit enough to pass a Special Forces selection trial. Matt charged off like a warhorse, and Dana dogged his heels. Sweat stung her eyes, but nonetheless she kept glancing up to survey the cove. Where was Moby Dick, or at least a whale symbol to guide the next move?
They slowed on entering a dirt lane. Dodge Ram muscle trucks, Arctic Cat snowmobiles, and dirt bikes rusted in driveways and back gardens. A toppled kid’s trampoline sat on one lawn, a deflated plastic wading pool with Star Wars designs on the other. “This is the very street I know from my dream, Matt. The dots are connecting. Keep eyes peeled for whale stuff.” Rather than quick marching to the cove, they surveyed back yards and sheds for a kayak. An hour later, disappointed, they passed before a convenience store where a 649 Lotto sign in the cracked window claimed ‘$100,000 won here’.
“No Moby in the harbour,” Dana said heavily. In fact, the harbour edge was littered with half submerged long liners and lobster boats with hulls staved in. “I remember these scenes from my sleep. But where’s Moby Dick? Late, on the way back from sinking the Peqoud?”
Silent, Matt turned on his heels, doing a thorough 360. A 300 actually, for he stopped and stared at a gate beside the road.
“Those are not Jurassic Park T-Rex ribs.”
No more were they. Plainly, very near them, two gigantic whale bones had been erected as an arch gateway.
“This is 1000% surreal. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” With that, Mat rushed beneath the arch, risking a broken leg as he leapt over dilapidated stone steps. They descended to a completely enclosed boathouse on the water. The shut door was held by a light chain and a dime store padlock.
No words needed. Dana poked the gun barrel of her .410 into a loop of the chain. With this lever, they both heaved mightily. The chain snapped, the door swung open, and light flooded in.
A small Nor’easter boat, painted brilliant white, tugged lightly at nylon rope moorings. On the stern, in black lettering:
Moby Dick. A Boat Built for Two.
This was light years beyond coincidence
Above the stunning print, a gleaming silver outboard motor perched expectantly. Neither had a clue as to its power, but it looked jazzy enough to shoot the craft through the water.
“I’ll check the cabin. Jeez, that’s no bigger than a phone booth. Dana, scramble over top and see about the exit.” Gingerly walking the gunnel, Dana leaned forward from the bow and inspected the latch. A simple reef knot parted with a tug, and she pushed the doors wide open with an oar.
“We’re good to go on this end, Matt. Can we operate this thing?”
“There’s a steering wheel in the cab, just like our Prius. The engine is a push button ignition. If it runs, we just push it in the drink and control it with a simple throttle by the wheel. So hell, yeah, you get the packs while I untie us.”
“Aye, aye, Captain Ahab.” No way was she driving.
Dana stepped outside to gather the camping backpacks. As she did so, she heard a trilling, demanding whistle.
On the outskirts of Mouse Island stood a stark, ominous figure. It wore a limp black garment with a hood over its head like the Grim Reaper. As she gaped, three ATVs gunned around the hillock upon which the dread apparition stood.
“Delacey? They’re here, they’re here!” With strength she did not know she had, Dana shouldered both packs and bodily tossed them inside. Matt hauled them onto the deck. As he did so, their guide Mickey wiggled out of a side pocket of his pack and skittered over the deck and under a bench. Beyond amazement, Dana leapt on board as Matt thumbed the ignition to spark outboard.
It sputtered and coughed, just like the cough in the night terror dream. Dana nearly screamed. Then it caught, and the propeller whined like an angry chainsaw. Matt ran back and tilted the propeller into the water, quite forgetting someone needed to be on the helm.
The Moby Dick scraped out the door. A livid gash of red paint marred its side.
Dana wobbled into the tossing cab and instinctively seized the wheel. The submerged hulk of a long-liner blocked their haphazard course. Dana jerked the wheel right (starboard? Port? Did it matter?), and the boat nimbly spun about. At that, she steered straight out into the cove and let out the throttle for speed. Froth creamed off the bow.
Phuuu-thip. Phuu-thip. Thin geysers of water leapt in front of them. Gunshots echoed off the hillside. Just as it registered the Reclamationists were shooting at them, glass shattered in the miniscule wheelhouse. Blood trickled down Dana’s cheek.
“Take evasive maneuvers!” Matt shouted rather stupidly. Who did he think he was, Jean-Luc Picard? Dana zig-zagged, then hit upon the idea of motoring straight into the sun. To the Reclamationists behind, it seemed like Moby Dick was incinerated in dancing, golden fire.
No more shots. Dana felt smug until Matt shouted, “They are trying to head us off.” On a track that hugged the cove, the three ATV’s bounced madly at breakneck speed. Leading them was Brother Delacey, riding on a luridly painted dirt bike. They made for a point that the Moby Dick arrowed to pass.
Dana buried the throttle, but was now entirely uncertain which way to steer. It was then that Mickey magically appeared on the bow, but not dead center, more to her left. On impulse, without thinking, she spun the wheel that way. Inspired! Now if the Reclamationists chased, they would have to go all the way around the cove again. Outfoxed – outmoused? – they simply dismounted and fired salvos like crazy. If they hit the motor, or the brimming gas cans stored on deck, it would be the end of everything. Dana forgot to breath.
Then…then white whale flukes smashed the surface of the cove between them and the shooters. Curtains of water screened them. Frigging…crazy…astonishing, Moby was real! This was like the Twilight Zone, SPCA version.
Bullets whined past. Ok, Commander Dana, evasive maneuver Delta. She flung the wheel from side to side, forcing Matt to simply lay flat and hold tight. In minutes, they rounded the Mouse Island and Moby Dick took a long ocean swell.
Dana slumped, limp with relief and possibly blood loss for she was nicked by glass in several places.
Matt assumed the wheel and set course by his hand compass. The boat purred out to sea. Not a whitecap in sight, not a cloud in the sky. Neither Mickey nor Moby were visible now.
They steamed for hours, the motor never failing them. Whoever built the Moby Dick knew their business. Matt, violently seasick, surrendered the wheel, so it was Dana who, four hours later, saw the thin gray-blue smudge on the horizon.
“Land-ho. Nova Scotia in sight.”
Matt problem-solved, refuelled without blowing them up. So it was they made the Nova Scotia coast just after a blazing sunset.
In the gathering gloom, a beacon appeared. Fire on a headland, but it shone like a pure white star. Like the gleaming Mickey Mouse in Matt’s dreams.
“Could be zombie cannibals,” Matt said flatly.
“Could be New Eden,” Dana countered hopefully. “Two animal guides brought us this far for zombies?
In the end, knowing the world had gone mad with psychic-magic, they tossed a coin. Hope won.
They steered for New Eden.
Bio: Dwain Campbell is originally from Sussex, New Brunswick. After his university years in Nova Scotia, he journeyed farther east to begin a teaching career in Newfoundland. Thirty-six years later, he is semi-retired in St. John’s and studies folklore in his spare time. Contemporary fantasy is his genre of choice, and Atlantic Canada is a rich source of inspiration. He is author of Tales from the Frozen Ocean, and has contributed stories to Canadian Tales of the Fantastic, Tesseracts 17, and Fall into Fantastic Trains. Neil Gaiman is his hero of the moment, though he will reluctantly admit to a lifelong fascination with Stephen King.
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