Hurley Island.

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Panther v.s Paul and Benny

Paul:

Several hours earlier.

He had to admit this island is beautiful. Everything looks untouched, no signs of man. Sailing around the world Paul had seen the imprint that man leaves on his environment. This island has no trash, buildings only nature. Since departing an hour ago for the mountain Paul has seen dozens of different bird species.

Currently Paul is pushing through some thick brush, he uses a machete to cut his way through. He couldn’t believe that his father trusted him with something as important as this. Thank god that Ted had covered for him. Ted is easily his favorite brother, Marty well, he was a total dick.

Paul wants to make Ted proud of him, he wants to prove that he is capable of more than cleaning up dog poop. Paul has the thick limb of a large torn bush blocking his way. ‘Gosh this thing is huge’ Thought Paul. It was the width of his waist; he wouldn’t have the strength to chop through it.

Taking his pack off his shoulders, Paul places the machete into its scabbard, inside of a pocket of his pack, Paul removes a hand-held saw, its teeth are long and sharp. Setting to work he cuts the limb where is connects to the rest of the plant. After about ten minutes the limb drops to the ground. He is careful as he moves the limb of the bush to the side. Once the path is clear, Benny, who is sitting waiting for Paul to finish the hard work. Benny wags his tail as he pushes through the path that Paul cut.

“A lot of help you are.” Says Paul to the dog.

They walk for several more minutes, Paul has walked to a point of higher elevation. Paul can see the ocean, down below he can even see the boat inside the bay. He spots the progress on the dock and is astounded how quickly his brothers and father are building. Half the dock had been completed during the three hours it took or Paul to cut through the forest.

After the thorn bush, Paul had to climb up a large hill, once at the top there is another section of the forest. On the hill above Paul spots a deer. It is a large Buck, he is a 8 pointer, meaning that the deer has eight points to his antlers. Before he can raise his gun Benny bounds after the deer!

“Benny!” Shouts Paul, the dog runs in the direction that Paul is heading, he runs after the animals. The deer outpaced Benny and he trots over to Paul’s side. The shade from the forest shields him from the bright sun over head.

Soon he came to the foot of the mountain, it was much bigger than the drone made it seem. He may need to climb to where the drone crashed, he sees tall trees as he pushes forward up a steep incline, of course the dog paces up the incline with ease.

While he climbs Paul wonders what life would be like for them, his father said they were going to live their lives on this island, what was he to do for fun? They were officially out of range of television, internet and even radio. When they were sailing at least they would go to cities with other kids, now who was he to play with. Marty is a jerk, Ted would be busy helping mom and dad. Who would hang out with him? Last thing he wanted to do is pal around with Leanne, he loves his twin, but she is always nitpicking at the things he did.

At the top of the incline, Paul briefly stops to wipe his forehead, it had become really sweaty. Continuing on he and Benny were getting close. In fact, they should be on the drone right now…

Paul is on a ridge, he walks to the edge he saw below on a ledge lays the drone. It is upside down. Below the drone is a section of trees, it was a fifteen-foot drop to the trees it would not be a pleasant fall if he lost his footing. Shedding his pack and rifle Paul slides down to the ledge using a rope he tied to a tree. Paul slides down with the extra battery and blades.

First he has to lift the drone, it is awkward and slightly heavy nonetheless Paul gets it to stand up. He slides the battery inside and changes out two of the blades. Paul is about to radio to his father, then he remembers his radio is inside his pack.

Once climbing up the rope, Paul retrieves his radio. His hand is very sweaty and he does not have a good grip on it, it fall from his hand! Worse is slides down to the ledge and keeps rolling! It fall into the trees twenty feet below.

“Shit” thought Paul.” He leaves his gun and pack where it is, it would be a pain to make the climb up with the excess weight

Benny takes the tip with him, he walks down the smallish hill that led to the drone and soon found himself wading through a healthy olive grove. He stops and picks one. Taking a bite his eyes light up at the taste. Then he sees it, his radio is near the foot of a tree, walking over he picks it up, when he does his eyes spot something else. They were wild green grapes.

Paul loves grapes they were his favorite. He makes his way to the grapevine, he walks across a grassy section of the grove, two feet from the vine, Paul spots thick grass, it is overgrown and in a cluster. He steps right into the center of the cluster and whack!

Something heavy, sharp and metal closes around his ankle on his leg. The pain causes a loud scream to exit his lips. Falling to the ground Paul feels tears swelling in his eyes! His heart is racing a mile a minute. ”Ow what is this!” Says Paul out loud.

He had fallen to the ground and sits on his ass, he lifts his leg, which causes extreme pain! But he sees it, it has a long-rusted chain, the device featured rusty teeth, blood runs out of Paul’s leg where the trap closes around his leg. Paul puts his fingers in the gap of the trap. He tries to pull and nothing.

Panicking Paul pulls the chain to see if it was attached to anything, it has a massive bolt securing the chain into a tree. Nothing he does will free him. Benny looks at Paul he looks nervous for the boy. Then Paul remembers his radio. It was no longer in his hand. It was nearby he could see it. Paul crawls over to it and reaches, his finger tips are six inches to short. He is exhausted and in so much pain his eyes feel sleepy. He closes them for a moment.

By the time he comes to again the sun had set. He sees Benny is gone. Paul doesn’t know where the dog went, maybe he went to get help. The Radio is still very much out of reach, Paul then spots something he didn’t notice before. A stick. Paul picks it up and uses it to pull the radio closer.

Success, Paul presses the button he is so scared.

“Daddy, I need help.” Says Paul meekly. Only static is heard for a moment, he is worried no one heard him. Then a slight bit of relief washes over him when he hears his father Jack’s voice.

“Paul what is the matter?” His father sounds worried. Paul is in so much pain that he has to struggle to speak.

“My leg, it is caught in some kind of trap. It is metal and rusty, and I can’t pull it off!”

“How close are you to the drone?” Asks his father.

“It is twenty feet above me; I am in the olive tree grove.” Says Paul.

“I am coming for you son!” Assures his father. Like that he heard no more, all he could do is wait. The first hour isn’t hard, that is partly do to Paul passing out, when he woke the pain was much worse. All he could do is wait. The longer he sat helpless in the olive grove the more sounds he hears.

Then he hears the sound of coyotes which makes him wet his pants. Paul hopes to death that Marty wouldn’t be with his father. Paul is so wrapped up in his pain and fear that he does not notice the sound of something moving in the olive tree across from him.

Then it drops from the tree, solid black with shiny yellow eyes. Saliva drips from its mouth. Paul is now staring into the eyes of a black panther!

Whatever urine remained in his bladder now completely soaking his crotch… It inches closer, putting one foot silently in front of the other. Paul is frozen in fear, he should fight. The little voice in his head shouts at him. ‘fight him? Are you and idiot with what?’

His gun was next to his pack, he was stuck.

The panther springs into action! It was so fast, at least his death would be quick was the only thought in his mind. Then just as Paul could smell the foul breath of the giant cat as is bares down on his with his claws, Benny comes from behind. He sinks his massive jaws into the shoulder of the panther.

Benny knocks the panther to the ground with his two massive paws and takes another bite of the panther’s shoulder, the big cat bucks the dog off, Benny lands in front of Paul. The dog holds its ground baring his teeth, his growl is loud and seems to freak out the cat just as much as Benny’s equal size.

Paul notices blood pouring out of the two bite marks that Benny inflicted onto the panther. Then the two animals lunge at each other. Benny is swipes several times by the panther but, the dog uses its massive jaws, to grip flesh on the Panther’s underbelly. Benny rolls and keeps his jaw locked, his movement opens the guts of the panther. Benny is relentless no sooner had he ripped open the panther’s stomach that he attacked the monsters throat.

Silence swept the wood, Benny walks over to Paul’s the dog has several nasty wounds, but the dog seems more concerned with Paul, he lays down and rests his head on Paul’s lap.

Twenty minutes later Benny stands up growling, Paul wonders what fresh hell this could be but then his heart leaps as he spots the distant glow of a lantern.

“Paul!” Shouts the voice of his brother.

“Paul” shouts the deep voice of his father.

They had come. Luckily Benny has started barking hearing the family. Several moments later Paul sees his father’s face illuminated by lantern light.

“Is that a Panther?” Asks Ted.

Jack.

Jack has no time trouble prying the trap open enough that Paul can pull his clearly broken leg. Jack was a doctor in another life. He would need to get the boy back to examine him. “Dad Benny looks hurt too.” Worrying about infection Jack asks Paul.

“Son, did the panther bite you?”

“No, he scratched Benny.” Says Paul.

Jack follows the bear trap chain and sees that it is bolted into a tree, he drives his hatchet into the chain freeing the trap he can analyze it back on the boat. Placing the trap into his back, he carries his ten-year-old son. His son had wet himself in fear, he would need to toughen him up. Then again he did just face down a panther.

“Ted, hook his gun and pack to the drone, we will fly it back once we are at the boat.”

It was an hour and half walk with Paul to the boat, hearing his and Ted’s footsteps walking across the wooden dock, his wife Kelly comes to greet them. upon seeing how quickly Jack is moving she sprints back into the boat.

Jack lays his son down on the Galley table, Kelly retrieves his medical bag. The first thing he did is inspect the wound it was nasty. Jack takes out what he needs from the bag, Paul had passed out the second he laid him on the table, Kelly had already begun cutting Paul’s pants away as Jack injects a painkiller into his leg.

It took Jack two hours to treat his sons leg. He had to cut away the flesh from the puncture wounds. Luckily a boys bones heal quickly. He had broken his leg, Jack could feel the fracture. Once the wound is dressed, and sealed Jack bandages Paul’s leg.

“What happened to Paul!” Shrieks Leanne. Jack is dripping sweat as he wraps a soft cast around Paul’s leg. His twin is visibly shaken. Paul’s had been passed out for several hours.

“Honey he stepped in a nasty trap, he will be okay he will need to be off his feet for a few weeks.”

“Great so Ted and I will have to pick up the little twerps slack.” Says Marty. Leanne looks up from her twins side, she storms over to her older brother. “It’s not enough he constantly breaks are stuff, he nearly gets himself and Benny killed.” Continues Marty until Leanne pokes him in the chest.

“Leave him alone! You always pick on him.” Jack needs to get a hold of the situation or things could spiral out of control. He still needed to tend to Benny, lord knows how bad the panther injured him.

“Leanne that is enough, I need your help holding Paul’s leg.” The prospect of being able to help her twin is the only thing that tears her away from Marty. Jack admires Leanne’s fierce loyalty.

“Marty, Kelly go check on Benny.”

Once Paul had been given a tetanus shot, Jack lifts the boy in his arms, the boy weighs five and a half stone, yet Jack has no issue carrying him as if he weighed nothing. Walking below the left pontoon, Jack carries Paul to his bunk. The girls shared a cabin that is near, Jacks and Kelly’s cabin. The boys had this Pontoon all to themselves, Marty has his own cabin, Ted could have had the cabin, yet he didn’t want to leave Paul at Marty’s mercy.

Leanne holds the door for Paul’s cabin. There are two twin births, Jack sweeps into the stateroom and sets Paul into his bed. Leanne sits down on the bed.

“Leanne honey, are you going to stay here with Paul for a bit,” She nods her head. “I am going to help mom with Benny.”

Jack makes his way though the boat, walking out of the saloon to the aft deck, Jack notices that his wife has lit the deck up with their brightest lights. “How is he doing?”

Kelly laughs at her husbands question. “You would think there was no panther at all the way he is acting. Theses are some deep slashes.” Jack looks at the wound.

“Marty, there is a pot of boiling water in the galley, please bring it here.” Marty leaves the two of them. Jack injects a antibiotic into the dogs hind quarters.

“Kelly you should have seen, what Benny did to that panther. If Benny hadn’t been there Paul would be dead.”

“Thank god. Jack, does that trap mean that there are other people here?”

“I didn’t want to say anything about that to the children, but yes there is a very real possibility that we are not alone on this island. Or at the very least this island’s game is being poached, regardless I am going to need to get the measure of the land, but I need extra hands. Working on building a home and exterminating any dangerous life on the island is difficult enough without having to worry about poachers.”

“What are we going to do? We can’t hire guards we spent nearly everything on this island.”

“In six months there will be another disbursement of royalties, in the meantime I was thinking about calling my brother. He may be sailing in the area, if anyone knows how to clear an island of dangerous game, it is Nathan.”

“Jack, Nathan could be on other side of the world.” Says Kelly.

“I will call him once we get Benny stitched up.” Replies Jack, he ended the conversation with Kelly once Marty came outside with the bucket of water.

Once the wounded were tended to and the children safely tucked into bed, Jack walks along the dock and steps onto the island. He dials a pre programmed number in his sat phone. The line rings twice and it connects.

“Jackey, how are you little brother?”

“Nate, I need some help.” Jack told him about the leg trap that Paul stepped in.

“Poachers, that is a rather rough predicament. I doubt it is some old man trapping a few bucks, if it is poachers you can expect them to operate in teams of 4-8. That is too many men for you, I assume you don’t have enough cash to hire guards. You know Mandy and I are sailing to London from Miami, if I alter course to your island I can be there in 17 days.”

“That is about when the kids new governess is coming over by charter, Nate I can’t thank you enough for coming.”

“Jackey this is family, I would do anything for you and yours, any case, I think the boys will be happy Mandy has her daughters with her. I’ll see you in a few weeks, try and keep your head down.”

The line cuts out and Jack makes his way to the state room, he sees Ted sitting in a saloon, Jack’s AR-15 is across Ted’s lap. He pulled first watch; Marty would take over in three hours then Jack would take the rest of the shifts until morning. Jack has something tucked into his lower back; he pulls the slick yet dense object from his waistband.

“Teddy son I want to speak to you for a moment, today was a strange day, do you know what that trap meant?” Asks Jack.

“That we may not be alone on the island?” replies Ted.

Jack nods his head. Ted is always quick to the punch; he often places to much on Ted’s shoulders, yet he never fails to exceed expectations. He was worthy of being Jack’s pride and heir. “Yes son, that is right. In a few weeks my brother is going to be here, we will get to the bottom of this, for now we will focus on finding where we will build our new home. I want to give you something, I wanted this to wait until your sixteenth birthday but. Hell, you’re more of a man than most 20-year old’s.”

He watches his son feel the gun in his hands. It is a solid black 1911, with a brown handle. “That .45 is a man’s gun, it is to be in your possession at all times. You will be safe with it, your brothers aren’t to hold it, shoot it or anything. It is your tool, to protect yourself and this family. You’re a good boy and you make me proud. Good night son, I’ll see you in the morning.” Says Jack.

Laying down he finds Kelly is already asleep. He wraps his arm around her and closes his eyes…

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