Friday, July 2nd, 2012
Our story begins at the Indian Lake State Park, a patch of pristine wilderness a few miles outside of Manistique.
- Samuel, son of a well-to-do doctor; pathological liar, rabble-rouser, and malicious ten-year-old boy. (So, a ten-year-old boy.) Sam is on a retreat with a group of kids from the school he’ll be joining in August: Our Lady Of Mercy Academy, a prestigious Catholic institute located in Grosse Pointe. The chaperones are the Cronshaws, their valet Rupert, and Samuel’s older sister Lucy.
- John White, a former independent hitman from Chicago raised by his aunt. John’s last hit almost ended with his head being blown off, and that caused him to question his choice in career. Looking to start a new life with his on/off girlfriend, he’s staying at the campground while house-hunting the various McMansions along the shores of Lake Michigan.
- Vincent Paul Jones Jr., AKA Graverobber, a washed-out industrial death-metal singer who was thrown out of his own band when he woke up next to a pile of dead groupies. Upon leaving rehab and therapy, his psychiatrist recommended that he go fishing, see nature, and relax. Thus, he has. He is of titanic height and oversized proportions, his arm covered in tattoos of pentagrams satanic imagery.
After arriving and setting up camp, Samuel complained to a park ranger about the internet speeds, much to Lucy’s dismay. Looking for something to do, he snuck off from his group to go harass Graverobber, who was busy carving the lyrics to a new song into his picnic table using a large knife. After having a conversation about the comparative sizes of their knives, Graverobber throws Samuel’s chintzy overpriced knife at a tree, narrowly missing John White. Perturbed, John returned to his campground to find the Catholic kids were poking his rental car (a 2003 Ford Taurus) with sticks. He then chased them off.
Meanwhile, Graverobber headed down to the pier to fish, and Samuel followed behind with his pristine tacklebox and assortment of fishing equipment. Despite Graverobber’s half-hearted declarations for Samuel to leave him alone, Sam continued to talk at him, eventually wearing down his defenses and establishing rudimentary conversation.
John’s struggles with the Catholic children continued. After calling his local contact and setting up a meet to go shooting the next day, he found the kids had knocked a wasp nest onto his picnic table, and were poking his car again. Chasing them off, he followed and demanded that Oswald Cronshaw control the children. Lounging in a chair and swirling his snifter of brandy, Oswald took offense that someone would try to tell him how to handle his (and other people’s) children, but ordered the schoolkids to stay away from John’s car when he took a look at the pedestrian rental.
A fuming John stomped down to the camp’s canteen for a can of RAID, and bumped into Samuel and Graverobber, who continued to fail miserably at fishing. John defeated the wasp nest and went into his tent, where he began field-stripping his pistol. Sam and Graverobber, finding the sun setting and their stomachs growling, returned to camp so that Graverobber could cook a steak. Deciding to go into town for some fun, he got into his El Camino and began to drive away, before Lucy spotted Samuel riding along.
A tense standoff ensued, where Oswald sat and swirled and decried Graverobber as a poor influence on the children, and ordered his valet Rupert to escort him back to his campsite. Graverobber instead made a deal: he would leave, but only if Rupert went with him. Shrugging, Rupert did so. As the El Camino pulled out of the camp, Graverobber noticed Samuel hiding in the car’s trunk beneath a tarp, but said nothing.
They arrived shortly thereafter at The Antler, a seedy dive-bar populated mostly by Molly Hatchet music and locals driving large 4×4s. Said locals seemed to find the trio a bit odd—a satanic giant, a well-dressed black man, and a rambunctious child—and somewhere between Samuel getting drunk and Graverobber picking up Brooke and Daisy, some of the waitresses, a group of men came forward to confront them. Failing to intimidate them, Graverobber collected his posse and returned to the camp.
Later – 4:13 AM
A horrific, mutiliated howl woke up John White from a deep sleep; throwing on shirt, jeans, and slippers, he went out to investigate, finding Samuel asleep next to a pile of vomit in the back of the El Camino, and Graverobber naked and asleep on the picnic table with Daisy passed out on top of him. (Judging from the torn tent and line of clothes, Brooke and Rupert were inside the tent.) Graverobber took some chastising from John about the strange noise, then forced Daisy to walk home. As John returned to his tent to get dressed, Graverobber—wearing nothing but a pair of pants—started walking down the road, with Samuel in pursuit. Sighing, John jumped into his car and offered them a ride, being the only one who heard where the sound was in the first place.
While driving along the highway, he spotted a sheriff’s Jeep Cherokee parked on the side of the road, its strobelight flashing; driving up to investigate, he found it parked aside a large marsh. Several officers with dogs and flashlights were loading up something off in the swamp; another sheriff came out from the Jeep and confronted John, ordering him to leave. By then, Samuel had already bolted out of the car and dashed into the marsh. The officer promised he would return the child as long as John left; with that, he got back into his rental and drove back to camp.
In the marsh, Samuel snuck through the long grass to find several sheriffs loading something into a bag, then begin carrying it back to the Jeep as the two men with dogs began sweeping the area. As he tried to sneak closer for a better look, hoping to get into the Jeep, a mis-step found him up to his armpit in mud and sludge. By the time he’d unearthed himself, the Jeep was gone, though he’d managed to snap one blurry picture of a mutilated arm hanging out of the body bag. All the while he’d sent text messages to Graverobber, who had John turn the car around and return to the marsh.
Waiting by the highway, Samuel did a quick Google and found news about disappearances in the area: teenaged girls who’d ran off or disappeared after having fights with their parents or friends. With that in mind, he sent a text to Lucy, telling her she “could be getting killed and raped right now,” before Daisy walked by and he started to harass her.
Having picked up Samuel, the trio returned to camp. John immediately went to sleep. Graverobber began to make breakfast—a number of raw eggs—while Sam told him about what he’d saw and learned (grossly exaggerated, of course). Almost as an afterthought, he remembered to check on Lucy… finding her sleeping blanket untouched, her cell phone lying next to it with several unread text messages. The ones he sent.