This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 715 words.
The next scene was Glen on the beach near their camp. He was looking exhausted, and older than his years.
“So I swam back, and I have now been sitting here for almost two hours. The weather is closing in, and there’s no sign of any of the creatures, or Anita. I need something to eat, and a hot drink, and the sea is geting up too rough to swim back to the cave, or safely use the small inflatable. I have never needed that Sat phone as much as I do now, and I have started to wonder if they took it because they knew what it was. I am going to get some generator lights going soon, so at least ‘Nita has a point of reference if she is still in the water”.
He reached forward and stopped the filming by switching off the camera.
Pressing pause, Mel rang the police detective. It had been niggling him why she had made so many calls and left a message. She sounded upbeat at first.
“Thanks for getting back to me, Mel. I hope it’s okay to call you Mel. I need to ask you some things about the missing divers who were working for you, and I was hoping you could spare me some time today. I know it’s the weekend, but I’m sure film-makers like you work seven days a week”. He told her he had already given a statement, and that was all he knew, so there was no point in her coming to see him.
That didn’t satisfy her, and her tone changed.
“Are you aware that there is a rumour that this is all a publiicty stunt to draw attention to the film when it’s released? A lot of police time and money has been spent, both in Ireland and over here, and if this rumour proved to be true, you could face prosecution for wasting police time. I work in missing persons, so now have a case file on the Mayhews as missing. Until we know any more about what they were doing, I cannot progress the case. That means I am getting pressure from Glen Mayhew’s father while he is in London, and if it all turns out to be a hoax, I warn you I am not going to be happy”.
As best as he could, Mel assured her that he would never do anything like that. Then he told her he had a screening to go to, and got her off the phone. But the conversation had planted a seed in his mind. Once the footage was fast-edited, and he had something to show prospective buyers, jazzing up the story with the Mayhews being missing would be a great selling point.
He was glad he had returned her call.
In the next shot, Anita was on the beach. It was dark, and she was lit by powerful lights powered by the noisy generator. When she moved closer to the camera, Mel could hear her, and see how excited she looked. Glen spoke first. “Okay, ready. Go now”. Her voice was trembling as she spoke.
“It’s hard to tell you how amazing it was. They didn’t hurt me at all, just showed me their power, and their amazing swimming capabilities. It was as if they knew I couldn’t hold my breath as long as they can, so they kept taking me up to the surface to breathe. I reckon they can hold their breath for a very long time, maybe as long as twenty minutes, perhaps longer. I saw at least ten more of them. They were harvesting shellfish and storing them in those buildings. They didn’t seem at all surprised to see me, so I can only think the others communicated with them in some way. The big male showed me all the artifacts, and more in other buildings. I think they were going to take me back to the cave, but they saw your lights and led me to them. It was fantastic, Glen. I want to go back tomorrow”.
Turning the camera on himself, Glen spoke briefly.
“As you can see, this first encounter with the Lutris has been overwhelming. We need to talk tonight, and work out a plan to visit them again.”