Year of the Butterfly

Life goes on.. even when you lose someone you love, even when you don't know what to think, how to feel, how to act and what to say. Everything will be okay, is what people like to say, but it won't and you know it. All you can do is bury your grief and hide, and hope on the surface at least life will appear to be normal. Is there any hope?
This is a story of a young girl battling with the loss of her father. Accompany her on a journey of self-discovery and misadventure as she negotiates her way through bereavement and processes the unanswered questions. Along the way, there are dreams, visions and schemes, at least one golden urn and a kidnapping. Her story is about a metamorphosis from pain into renewal and growth. Her destination is a place of hope with a promise of healing.


34. Darkness falls

When Mack and Whitey returned to the jetty without their two hostages, Barney and Skinny went into a panic, but for different reasons. Skinny almost forgot about the bar of chocolate he'd been munching on. "Come on, Mack! We’re supposed to decide these things together, man! What are we going to do when the old lady wants to talk to her kids, much less see them?" The small vein in Mack’s neck was pulsating so much, it looked like an alien creature had taken over his body and was trying to burst free. Whitey answered instead. "We’ve got the tape, remember? Relax." Barney's face looked like he smelled manure. "Yeah! You should've asked us too! I didn't sign on for murder, man!" "Well, dude, they're just over there. Go and get them if you want." Whitey pointed out towards bay. At that moment, a flash of lightning cracked across the sky and a few seconds later a deep low boom thundered far away, out at sea. "By the time that storm hits us, their bodies will be well on their way to the other side of the Atlantic." Both Barney and Skinny wanted to argue about it some more but it was obvious there was no point. They all followed Mack inside the boat.

For a few minutes, no one spoke a word. They were all busy with their own thoughts when the young girl's cell phone rang. Even Mack jumped at the sound of it. "Yes?" ... "Give me one good reason why I should listen to a word you say?" ... "Well, lady, that just wasn't the way to do it. Do you think you're dealing with an amateur here? I thought I made it clear what I wanted from you!" ... "It’ll be a lot easier for me to forgive and forget if you add, oh say, another 100,000 to the deal. That might sweeten me up enough to put your girls on the phone for a second." ... "Oh, now you're willing to pay anything, huh? If you hadn't wasted so much time messing with me, lady, this could all have been over by now. Okay, never mind. I’m going to put your girls on the phone, but keep it short. It’s way past their bedtime." Whitey already had the tape recorder ready and on Mack’s signal, pressed play. The trick worked and as soon as Mack hung up the phone, 3 of the 4 kidnappers hooted with joy and slapped each other on the back. Barney couldn't help himself. "Guys, don't you think we should take the boat out there and see if we can find them now. I mean, the mother's giving us a good deal, so this isn't necessary any more. I mean, for us to let them--" Mack walked over to him and with his steely grin, slapped Barney hard on the shoulder. "Man, you break my heart! And the award for humanitarian kidnapper of the year goes to: Barney! Ha ha ha!" "I don't think it's funny." Unfortunately for him, none of the others shared his conscience. It was too late.

Skinny was sent out to get some beers and he brought along 2 pizzas too, just in case. Just before midnight, their supplies had run out and they began to settle down for the night. The drop-off would be around noon the next day. Mack was the first to fall asleep. Barney and Skinny were still playing poker and Whitey was cleaning up when they heard the footsteps up on deck. That was just the start. Within 20 minutes, they had woken Mack up and complained that they couldn't spend the night on his haunted boat. The footsteps, the knocking, the flushing toilet and then beer bottles rolling upwards when they should've been rolling downwards, were too much even for Mack to handle. It didn't help hearing the thunder rolling outside, which made the whole situation even creepier. They made the decision to go back to the house just for that one night, quickly began packing up their stuff and prepared to leave the boat by its spooky self…

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