Lucas wants me to stay on the beachhead, in other words, our little area that Lucas has staked as belonging to us. We are the only ones who haven’t joined the ‘We’re Dead & Are Ghosts’ camp in the prison, or the ‘World Has Forgotten About Us’ group in the hotel or the third group of ‘Triangle Victims’ who have moved inland away from the beach. I don’t think there is a chance of us joining the Lobster People. Funny thought about the Lobster People, out of all the islands they could’ve emerged from the ocean onto, they picked ours.
Well I barely listen to Lucas. I go all over the island. It isn’t like there is a lot to do. We’ve not received a TV station since Hurricane Fabian, the resort runs off solar power, so the hotel people still have electricity and for a while had air conditioning, but without maintenance men or parts, everything has kinda broken down over the decade we’ve been here.
On particularly hot days I go into the ice caves. There is a special spot where the dogs live that isn’t humid tropical sunny weather, and it isn’t as frigid as the ice caves themselves. I’ve got some chunks of boar meat for the dogs. The ice caves are manmade, but make no sense, which falls into normal for this island. The entrance is located in the kitchen of the main restaurant of the hotel. It is easy to sneak into the hotel, windows have been broken by storms over the years, and I’m pretty nimble.
The window I like to use is over the employee bathrooms next to the kitchen in the back of the restaurant. The jungle of the island has begun to overtake the hotel again, so it isn’t much to shimmy up the tree that grows next to the window, then slip through the window, put my feet on the disgusting clogged toilet, I guess the plungers broke too, and hop down and exit the bathroom into the kitchen.
The kitchen was disused, dirty, and occasionally a small mammal or lizard would scurry away. All the food had been eaten a long, long time ago. In the rear of the kitchen was a large metal door with a long handle. I pulled it, and there was the suction of opening a fridge, before I was blasted with cool air.
When I was younger I was afraid to go into the ice caves, the freezer entrance still had hooks where the meat used to hang, and they had frightened me. I’d had nightmares of being impaled and hung from them by the island monster. I’d wake up screaming and Lucas would hold me, rocking me gently and promising to protect me from everything. Oddly in the middle of the freezer was a metal grate staircase leading down through a hole in the floor of the freezer.
I don’t know if the ice caves were really caves or why the hotel needed such abundant freezing space. It was lighted by long bulbs that gave off a blue or sometimes purple light, sometimes they flickered. The walls were flat, and covered in snow. You could run your hand across them and wipe off the snow to reveal metal underneath. Every so many feet the stairs would turn sometimes go down into another room or would end in a room. The room would always have a door in it.
The first time I came across the eel that turned itself inside out, I didn’t know what I was seeing. Scratch that, I still don’t understand it. Sometimes, in the ice caves I’ll come to the bottom of the stairs, and floor rather than covered in snow would be covered in a blue slush. Flopping on the floor, is an eel, it looks like its being attacked by a remora, one of those fish that attach themselves to sharks. The eel flops, bouncing, as if trying to shake off the remora, then it suddenly starts to vomit. Not sure if eels can vomit, but it gives this huge retching sound and suddenly its insides are on the outside, but not like it vomited up its guts, it has literally turned itself inside out. Then it lays still. There must be a lot of eels that do this, because I see it every time I come to the ice caves.
Then there is Felipe. Felipe is short, salt n pepper hair, unshaven, and wearing black pants with white stripes, and a bloodied white coat that has two rows of buttons. I don’t think Felipe speaks English. Felipe is always angry and when I see him, he yells at me. I once repeated the words to Lucas, and he informed me that it meant, ‘Get out of here, you are not where you belong. Can’t you see I am working?’ Felipe yells this at me, every time he sees me.
Felipe lives in a room at the bottom of the ice caves. The Blood Room. It is like all the other ice rooms, except this one the ice and snow is all pink. There are discarded fish parts all over the room, a wooden chopping block with a cleaver bigger than my head, with frozen dripping blood on it along one wall. Felipe is always in here preparing fish. I have no idea where he gets his fish, maybe the Hotel People bring it to him.
“Clunk!” That is Felipe chopping off another fish head. He turns, sees me, and begins to yell. He used to scare me, but now I feel sorry for him. I wave and leave his room. I can’t remember how I got to his room, but I follow the stairs, up or down, room through room. I won’t see him or the eel again until I come again.
I finally enter an ice room that has a small square hole in the bottom of one of the ice walls. The hole is lit with natural light. I have to get on my hands and knees to crawl through the hole. There is a space behind the wall, a few ratty blankets are on the floor, along with a few bones. The walls of this space are wooden and dusty. The natural light comes in through the hole in the roof, it is blocked momentarily by the shaggy form of a dog. The hole is light with dirty and grass as if it is a hole in the ground as seen from under the hole. The room is comfortable, warmed by the sun above and cooled by the ice cave next to it.
The dog is a big red breed. I don’t really know anything about dogs except I had one when I was a kid, we left him at home. I always wondered what happened to our dog since we never came home. I call the dog ‘Red,’ but she doesn’t obey me. The dogs, there are four of them, along with a half a dozen cats, none listen to anyone. A couple of the survivors even tried to keep them, but they escaped and always came back to the space next to the ice caves. I feed Red the boar chunks which she appreciates. I assume she appreciates them, she does eat them. I lay down next to her, and fall asleep listening to her breathing.