Epps Recovery an Eppilog
Ok, we start out on the dry desert of Utah in the badlands with our heroine Epp roughing it in the great outdoors as part of some physiotherapy.
The magnificent blue sky and endless curves of the rocky spires that surrounded her were enough to make her forget. Forget for a short time that which she had obsessed for over two years. She was base camped down by the pinnacle of rock that was shaped like an upside-down amphora. She had been here for a week yet it felt like only hours. She enjoyed the solitude and quiet of the rugged landscape. The bones she occasionally saw were those of ancient sea creatures and dinosaurs. When she got out of this mess she would tell the museum people, who knows, maybe there would be an Eppsosaours in the deal for her. Dinosaurs were big in the badlands. Few people ventured here and her reason was therapeutic more than anything else.
That eerie sea tug adventure of hers had drained her of all reality. Could it be that such things existed or had the doctors been right about the lack of water hallucination explanation? They had told her that the sea tug had exploded due to the poor maintenance of one of the diesel engines. That she was the only survivor. They poked holes in her story about Jack. Why, they asked would a Canadian airplane be patrolling US waters between Alaska and Russia. Canada ended in British Columbia and did not touch water till The Artic up north. She had simply given up maintaining her story to preserve her sanity.
The next rise was across a sand washed dune with a hard rock spine. As she neared the ridge her eye caught yet another set of bones. She was happy she was so far from the sea and the events that had almost ruined her life. She closed on the bones most of which were on the side facing her. A giant sea monster with all of its body, fins and neck visible exposed by recent wind and storm. She walked along the 120 foot length of the skeleton until it's neck turned up and over the ridge. On the other side of the ridge she expected to find the long triangular skull with the razor sharp teeth set indicating that this was a fish eating sea creature. But the neck turned down and into the soft soil. She decided to dig it up with the small tool she carried. As she dug deeper the neck seemed to slide in her hands. Then with a movement as slow and as patient as all time itself the neck vibrated and slid back into the air. The skull on the end cap of the neck was visible, but nothing like she had expected. Instead of the triangular skull there seemed to be a human faced skull. The tendons still clung to a fleshy, puffy face just attached beyond the rotting outer layer.
Hello Epp , said Jack's face in a very mellow and smooth tone. Not near the sea anymore, Epp? I've been waiting for you why, ..... seemingly Forever! , he chortled.Have you brung any more souls with you ?
Epp answers back, Jack you have lost weight, as she looks at his boney ribs. Jack responds, Not bad eh, maybe we should have hatchlings? eh Epp ?
Epp fainted and fell back onto the other side of the ridge. She fought with her imagination and sanity. Then blackness. When she awoke she could not tell how long she had lain there. Her watch was broken on a rock and her water bottle had emptied it's contents into the soil. She screamed and swore violently as was her nature, but nothing helped. The sea creature was lying there with the neck still running over the ridge. She panicked. She ran in any direction but toward the sea creature. Could Jack get her here in this sea of sand? Was she hallucinating again?
Epp was thirsty and had no water, she walked for hours lost without any direction to guide her, night fell. She knew she needed to get to safety. Then see saw the road. A long black ribbon against a darkening sky and morose geomorphology. Her only way to safety now was to get a ride on the road to get the other way from Jack. She waited for a long time by the side of the road and then she saw the twin set of lights approaching. No it was just a reflection against some rocks from the full moon. She hated this and held the empty bottle to her lips as if that could magically coax more fluid from the canister.
This time it was real, two lights one darker than the other. They approached and she held her thumb out. Whoever, what ever, she needed this ride.
A sign by the side of the road, half blasted away by desert sand read Ghost Gulch Welcomes you. She makes out two dim lights coming her way which transform into two motorcyclists who stop to pick her up. Then through a misty haze her senses now playing tricks on her thirsty mind she thinks she sees they have ghostly heads, the rest of the bodies are kind of putrified but ok. One rider has a cool chopper style bike with an American flag motif the other, his sidekick has a dirt brownie/red bike with cobwebs all over. She trys to think as she gets on the back seat of the leaders bike and rides off with them but the lack of water and the halucination theory is running rampant in her mind.
As they ride off our view stays at a vantage point from the road side were she got on the bike, watching them as they leave motoring down the dark road and disappearing ........... toward an ancient saltine sea called Salinejacks.