Publish Novellas 23 May 2021
EPISODE 6 – MASTER PLAN
Jayson and Caroline just discovered that to prevent organ harvestation, they must conceive a plan for getting off Sentinel Island within a few days, without upsetting the Indian Navy.
⚠️ Reader Discretion: Suggestive dialogue.
At Thursday morning orientation, Dr. Toussaint asks Leonid if the new guests have been cooperative. With an affirmative reply, he says they can have their wrist restraints removed.
Jayson then speaks up among a field of wide-eyed co-captives. “Sir, if I may?”
“You question… me?” asks Dr. Toussaint.
Feeding the doctor’s ego, Jayson humbly replies: “No, sir. I thank you for your kindness. And wish, if it’s agreeable with you, that Caroline and I be permitted to bathe, so as not to bring a stench upon this place, sir.”
Dr. Toussaint feels it is a reasonable request. “Leonid, after removing the handcuffs, leads them both to the spring so they can bathe and wash their clothing before anyone has breakfast this morning.”
“Thank you sir,” Jayson replies, while inwardly feeling disgusted by his own groveling.
Dr. Toussaint then dismisses everyone in the usual manner.
Leonid leads Jayson and Caroline to the spring and then unlocks their handcuffs while leaving on their ankle shackles.
Standing on the shore, Caroline is concerned that eyes remain on her.
She asks, “How does this work? Can I get some privacy?”
“No one has privacy here. You two, get in the water! Remove your clothing while submerged to bathe. Then put your clothes back on before coming out,” replies Leonid.
“That doesn’t work very well with ankle restraints and pants,” Jayson protests.
Leonid pulls a 6-inch knife from its holster and rushes toward Jayson. “Perhaps you would like for me to cut your little undies off of you,” staring him in the eye while gently pressing the knife blade just below Jayson’s navel.
“No, sir. We will get by. Sorry. It was just an observation. Forget I said it, sir.”
Leaving their toiletries on shore except for a bar of handmade soap, both Caroline and Jason wade in until the water reaches their armpits.
“I have a confession to make,” Caroline says while facing away from Leonid. “I’m not afraid of water as long as I can feel the bottom with my feet. But I can’t swim. So if I lose my balance with these ankle restraints, you need to save me.”
“You want me to save you… while skinny dipping?” Jayson asks, with surprise.
“If it’s life or death. I rather you than Leonid,” Caroline clarifies.
“Happy to be your lessor evil. You do realize, I will need to remain an arm’s distance away to save you,” Jayson stresses, with implied permission to view her bathing.
While submerged neck-deep, they both remove their tops. Jayson pulls his pants down to his knees. Caroline begins to lose her balance while trying to do the same. Jason grabs her hand to steady her.
They wash their faces and lather up beneath the water. After vigorously washing the armpits of their blouse and shirt, they put their tops back on and pull up their pants.
Emerging from the water soaking wet, neither wants to ask how their clothes are supposed to dry. By the time Leonid leads them to the dining area, the tropical heat leaves their clothing slightly damp.
Fruits of Labor
Brian is currently the one-eyed captive…
At the dining table, Brian is inquisitive. Recalling the reaction Jayson had during his first encounter with Leonid, he asks with a smirk, “How did your bath with Leonid go?”
“It was, well, intense, as usual,” Jayson replies.
“Does he watch you guys while you bathe?” Caroline asks.
“In the beginning he did. There is no real need to. We can’t swim to freedom. He probably does it for jollies, if you know what I mean. I think he soon got tired of seeing my scarred and flabby belly,” Isabela replies.
“How’s it feel to get those handcuffs off?” asks Brian.
“Much better! My wrists are red and a little swollen. The cool water felt nice,” Jayson replies. “My ankles are still sore. How have you been wearing these shackles for months?”
“Apply the aloe from your toiletries to soothe the swelling. I have developed so much callous, I no longer feel the ankle chains,” Brian says while savoring a fig.
“What is it with you? Why do you only eat one type of fruit for breakfast?” Jayson wants to know.
“We have bread with few fruits and few vegetables. Eat them all together and each day is the same. Enjoy them one at a time and each day is different,” Brian reasons.
“According to Isabela, the monotony is a blessing,” Caroline says with a smirk.
“We each cope in our own ways,” Brian rationalizes.
“Can we get our chores done so I can get back to my cabin. I need to work on some ideas,” Jayson urges, while imitating Brian with a fig.
“You’ve been here four days with hand restraints off for just two hours and you already have ideas? That does not bode well,” Brian cautions as they clear the table and get to work.
When Caroline gets back to the cabin with Jayson, she teases him about the incident at the spring.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen when Leonid was racing toward you with that knife!”
“I thought you were about to witness my circumcision by a Russian,” jokes Jayson.
“So you aren’t Jewish?” Caroline teases while laughing. “Were you able to see anything when I removed my top in the water?”
“Nothing below your waste,” Jayson teases.
“Really? I thought the water covered most of my chest!” Caroline says in defense while blushing.
“You are very… How can I put this? Buoyant,” Jason says.
“Well. Here you are sleeping and skinny dipping with a married woman. This vacation may not be all that bad for you after all,” Caroline teases to hide her embarrassment.
To put her at ease, Jayson says, “I was just joshing. I saw nothing. My focus was on getting cleaned up while keeping an eye on that knife of Leonid’s.”
“That makes me feel a little better about sleeping with you tonight,” Caroline jokes.
“So what are these ideas of yours about escaping? Are you going to fly us away?” Caroline asks.
“That is an option, but not a very good one. The Navy will probably shoot us down before getting out of the island’s airspace.
💡 Out of curiosity, what would be your plan for getting off the island?
“I’m thinking about some sleight of hand. A little switcheroo,” Jayson says while gesturing with his hands.
“So now you’re a programmer, a dancing pilot, and a magician?” Caroline asks sarcastically.
“Not real magic. But think about it, who are the only people who leave the island?” Jayson reasons.
“The surgeons and the patients, I guess. But I still don’t follow,” Caroline replies with a befuddled stare.
“Right. My idea is to come up with a way to trade places with either a doctor or a transplant recipient,” suggests Jayson.
“Does that mean you would have someone’s organs put into you?” Caroline suspiciously inquires.
“Perhaps. This lung patient may not be the only surgery for the week. If I could become a patient, would you give me your kidney?” Jayson asks both seriously and in jest.
“I hope you’re not serious,” Caroline objects.
“I am just fleshing out ideas. No pun intended. Yesterday, I saw the hospital from afar. Perhaps a plan will materialize after a closer look,” Jayson concludes.
“Well, your ideas are bizarre, and they only focus on one person getting away,” Caroline criticizes.
“With great risk comes great rewards.” Jayson says as they lay down on their respective beds, still shackled at the ankles.