NINE – THE DARK SHIP
Scott and Mike knew that trespassing on Frost lands was a dangerous idea. That’s what made doing it so appealing.
They’d driven their dirt bikes as far as they could down Wind Point road, past the public beach and into the forests beyond.
Neither one felt exactly sure who had first suggested a sojourn to the north side of the peninsula. They knew that the cops were tough on people caught on the estate. But it was late—real late. Who would catch them?
And the idea of exploring virgin territory—forbidden territory at that—proved irresistible to their teenage imaginations.
What kind of secrets might the Frosts be hiding up there? Treasure? Drugs? A nude beach?
Sure, the last was unlikely to yield anything worth seeing, given the time of night and how chilly it had been recently. But one never knew until one looked.
Mike felt pretty sure he knew where that Frost artist’s beach house lay—and both of them decided to stay well away from it.
They broke through the trees on the bikes and pulled up near the shore, turning off the engines.
“Cool,” said Mike, pulling off his helmet and shaking his blond hair in the stiff breeze.
“Yeah,” agreed Scott, he took off his helmet, too, and let it drop to the sand. “Nice view. Must be cool to be rich.”
The boys peered out into the surf, the moonlight playing across the water.
“Great make-out place, too,” said Scott.
“Yeah. When it’s warm, I bet.”
“Fuckin’ greedy rich people.”
“Hey!” said Mike, pointing toward the horizon. “Is that a ship out there?”
Scott squinted. “I can’t tell. Too bad we didn’t bring binoculars.”
Mike’s face brightened. “Hey, I’ve got a set in my saddlebag.” He sprinted to the bike and fished them out, then returned to his friend and lifted them to his eyes.
“Whatta you see?” asked Scott.
“Looks like a ship, all right. Or what’s left of one. I can only see the prow above the waves.”
“Why hasn’t anyone seen it before?”
“Dunno. I think there’s a submerged sandbar out there. It’s pretty hard to see.”
“Maybe no one’s seen it because the weather’s been rotten.”
Mike nodded. “Yeah. Maybe it got wrecked in that storm.”
Scott punched his friend in the arm. “Hey, maybe we can get some kind of salvage reward for it.”
Mike didn’t say anything. His eyes remained glued to the binoculars, his gaze fixed on the ship. Something had left the ship and was coming toward them very fast. Something dark. Something big.
Mike suddenly felt as though someone had grabbed his heart and squeezed. “S-Scott…” he said.
Scott gave his friend a funny look. “What is it, Mike? What’s wrong?”
Mike spun from the lake, dropping his binoculars, his eyes wide with terror. “Get on the bikes, man! We gotta get out of here!” He grabbed his friend’s jacket and tugged him toward the motorcycles.
“Why, man? What’s wrong?”
Mike let go of Scott and staggered toward his bike. “It’s coming for us, man!” he called back. “It’s coming!”
Scott looked at the lake. Now he could see it, too: a dark shape moving rapidly above the waves, headed in their direction.
He bolted for his bike, not bothering to retrieve his helmet. “It’s the Frosts, man! It’s gotta be the Frosts! They’re after us, man!”
Mike wasn’t listening. He revved his motor and flew across the beach toward the woods, the bike kicking up sand as he went. Scott did the same, not daring to stop.
Neither of them looked back until they’d reached the safety of Frosthaven’s outskirts.