One Step Beyond Madness

Updated on October 29, 2019
Jacqueline4390 profile image

Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!

Getting Back to Normalcy ...

It’s been two years since that incident at the Devil’s Gap Caverns. Tracy Edwards is now Mrs. Mark Powers and she is enjoying a wonderful relationship with Mark while Dr. Rachael Weinberger has just announced her engagement to Hunter (Mac) McDonald.

Roger Edwards is also celebrating the reopening of his Edwards Resort Lodge. He gives Mac a swift pat on the back.

“You finally got the ole gal to say I will!” He chuckles.

“It took some doing. There was a lot of investigating after that incident with the Tannersville Research Center. The government did a thorough dusting of the complete facilities. The project is determined to be unsafe for the military and key documents were destroyed.” Mac responds.

“I would hate to think what might have happened if we hadn’t been able to contain that beast.” Roger reminisces.

“So, you think it is only contained also.” Mac whispers to Roger.

“I don’t know. That avalanche buried it under a couple of tons of ice and snow but who knows the results. Yeah, it’s been two years—I’m just saying.” Roger raises both hands in the air.

“What are the two of you talking about?” Ray asks, putting her arm affectionately around Mac.

“We were just saying that it has been two years, that’s all.” Mac whispers.

“You know, I’ve been thinking the same thing.” Ray replies. “We really don’t know the full strength of that beast. There was just not enough time and then it escaped—” Ray shakes her head, however she quickly changes the subject when she sees Tracy and her mom approaching.

“I hear that congratulations are in order, dear friend.” Chasity puts her arm around Ray.

“Yep, I finally gave in to the inevitable. Mac and I were meant to be a duo.” Ray smiles brightly.

“It looked like the three of you were in deep conservation before mom and I showed up.” Tracy comments, she doesn’t miss much.

“Just thinking about how time flies, that’s all.” Roger hedges.

“C’mon—out with it. You were talking about the Devil’s Gap incident. I’ve been married to you long enough to know a worried look when I see one. You can’t possibly think that creature is still alive?” Chasity asks incredulously.

“Okay, if we’re laying all our cards on the table—we don’t know the extent of survival that monster is capable of. I know Ray is the creator, but she did give that thing some pretty awesome abilities.” Mac retorts.

“Can it hold its breathe for two years?” Tracy replies jokingly.

“No, but suppose—just as a defense mechanism, it created the ability to go into some form of hibernation.” Ray suggests. “Animals are adaptive to all types of circumstances.”

“For example—” Chasity inquires.

“Koi can hibernate for an entire winter in a frozen pond as long as there is mud in it.” Ray informs her.

“Wow, that’s extraordinary!” Tracy exclaims.

“Also, West African lungfish live in a state of estivation—that’s a type of hibernation. They create a cocoon of mucus and digest their own muscle tissue for nutritional value.” Ray finishes.

“You know a lot about the animal kingdom, don’t you?” Roger states in admiration.

“In my line of work, you need to be in the know.” Ray explains.

“Especially, when you try to change the natural order of things.” Mac adds.

“I wasn’t trying to change the natural order of things. I was given the task of creating a being that could be used as a biological weapon if the need ever arrived.” Ray defends.

“Yes, but that weapon got out of control. It had a thirst for destruction and unfortunately, Tracy was the object of its desire.” Mac counters.

“Please—this is a happy occasion. You and Ray are celebrating your engagement and my beloved husband is rejoicing over the fact that after two years, the Edwards Resort Lodge is officially open for business.” Chasity craftily changes the subject.

“You are right, Chas! It is a cause for celebration.” Ray agrees, back to her cheerful self again.

Suddenly, their attention is diverted to something they hear on the television.

“Our mayor, Paul Davidson has just signed a contract with Weatherby Construction Company to create a thoroughfare in the Devil Gap Caverns. The proposed access will shave at least 30 miles for visitors to our fair town.” Each person in the group look at the other in complete amazement.

“Somebody has to stop that idiot!” Roger finally retorts.

"Somebody needs to stop that idiot!"
"Somebody needs to stop that idiot!"

Shaking Things Up ...

Rodger decides to pay a visit to Mayor Davidson. He has known the man for a number of years. Paul has been the author of a lot of hairbrained schemes, but Roger feels this one takes the cake. It is a good 20 minutes before he is allowed to see the mayor and when he does; he is not smiling.

“Roger why are you creating a thoroughfare in the Devil Gap Caverns. Don’t you realize that the explosion could cause catastrophic results?” Roger states firmly.

“What nonsense are you talking about?” Mayor Davidson begins to observe Roger closely.

“I am talking about the fact that we buried that creature under tons of ice and snow. If you have a demolition team out there—everything will be exposed. Do you want a crisis on your hands?” The hairs on the back of Roger's neck are beginning to rise.

“Roger, Roger stop being a worrier. If anything was going to happen, don’t you think it would have by now?” The mayor coax Roger from his chair and to the big plate glass window.

“The Devil’s Gap has been an obstacle to this town for years. Yes, it’s a great tourist attraction, but for commerce it’s been a nightmare. I just want to make it easier for trucking companies to deliver merchandise to our quaint little town sooner.” Roger looks out at the forbidden peaks and shakes his head in total disbelief.

“Paul, we don’t have that much commerce.” Roger states.

“Not now but with that new researcher at the Tannersville Research Center—” Roger stops Mayor Davidson cold.

“What are you talking about? What new researcher?” This is the first Roger has heard of a new scientist coming to the center.

Dr. Sydney Holloway, one man that can NEVER be trusted!
Dr. Sydney Holloway, one man that can NEVER be trusted!

“Oh yes, Dr. Sydney Holloway is coming all the way from Washington D.C. to do a special project.” The mayor states, proud that he knows something that Roger didn’t know until now.

“What type of special project?” Roger gets the feeling that this isn’t going to be good.

“I really don’t know but he was asking me if there was any way that the Devil’s Gap could be accessible to heavy duty trucks.” The mayor replies, a bit puzzled himself.

“Heavy duty trucks? So, it was this Dr. Holloway from D.C. who put the notion into your mind that we need to create a roadway through the cavern?” Roger probes.

“Well—uh, I’ve been toying with the idea.” Mayor Davidson says sheepishly.

“Don’t do it, Paul. You are asking for trouble. You don’t know anything about what this man has up his sleeve. A research scientist and the particular area he suggests you survey for a possible road just happens to be where we trapped the beast?” Roger points out.

“Roger, this will make getting into town easier. We won’t have to take the Union Detour.” Mayor Davidson tries to justify himself.

“No, Paul. I am going to get a petition regarding this. I can’t let you put us all in peril again. We may not be so lucky the next time. Listen to reason.” Roger pleas.

“It’s already been finalized, Roger. Now please—I have other work to do.” Mayor Davidson gestures in a dismissing fashion and Roger leaves, slamming the door behind him.

To Be Continued ...

© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS


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    • Jacqueline4390 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS 

      11 months ago from Memphis

      Only the mayor would be foolhardy enough to undertake such a dangerous mission!


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