Kaper's Ridge

KAPER'S RIDGE

 

A Short Story-Fiction

 

It was a dark, damp night. The damp, cold air was easy to breathe. We could see our breath with every exhale. The stars were shining brighter than the summer nights. The fire had to be fed every fifteen minutes to keep us warm. Two bright shiny eyes were staring through the blackness . It was a cute little fox curiously watching us. He was probably stalking us for a while. We didn't know how long he was there. We tried to scare it away but he didn't seem to care. He probably thought they we should be the ones that should go. With a few times of throwing of stones and looking back a few times, he eventually left. It was going to be minus two and we were headed for bed soon. We had a three season tent which suited the fall weather. When we got too tired to tend to the fire we went to bed in our very warm sleeping bags.

In the middle of the night we heard some loud rustling noises. I quickly sat up and tried to wake up Seth. He moaned and then heard the noise himself. He quickly got up and put his head lamp on and then put his contacts in. Whatever was out there sounded large and very close. We thought it was a bear so Seth got his bear banger stuff ready along with his knife. The bear banger was the size of a pen that shot some shells to make a loud bang. Both of our hearts were racing and I got in his way, he pushed me away and started to unzip the tent. He couldn't see anything around the tent or the picnic table but saw someone in the truck. Seth whispered to me and said someone was in the truck. We both kind of looked at each other but didn't say anything. I guess the guy couldn't get it started so he was headed toward are tent. We could hear the footsteps approaching. I guess he was coming for the keys. Seth grabbed his knife and I was just frozen and in shock. I didn't know what to do. We didn't have a cell phone and I'm sure it wouldn't of helped much since we were so far from the nearest town. As soon as the guy came close to the tent Seth lunged at him and stabbed him, at the same time asking ""what do you want?". Seth panicked and so would have I. It was dark and we were pretty isolated. The guy yelled and said, "I just wanted your keys", as he keeled over. He was a fairly small guy compared to the size of Seth. He had dark hair and darker skin. He was now just lying on the ground in front of our tent over holding his wound. By this time I was out of the tent yelling, "What the fuck, you were trying to steal our truck!" He said I just need a ride to the city. I retorted, "Well, now you need a ride to the hospital". Suddenly with a burst of energy, he jumped up and started running. We didn't bother to chase him, but instead proceeded to get dressed and make coffee and to figure out what we were going to do next. Our adrenaline was still running pretty high and we just went over everything that happened and what we should do next. We thought that as soon as it was daylight we would walk to the closest store up the highway and phone the RCMP. This was our plan until we heard a far away whimpering sound. We followed the sound but I guess the wind took the sound the wrong way so we didn't find the guy for a while. Finally we found him in a nearby ditch. His ankle was sprained or broken and he was bleeding a lot. He said he stepped in a hole. Coincidentally, it looked like a fox hole. Seth and I looked at each other and were thinking what should we do. We decided we would tie him up at our camp He was probably about my size 5"4 and maybe even lighter than me and I am about 150 lbs. We both supported him with his arms around our shoulder and walked back. I asked him questions like a cop. Where are you from? He answered from Kaper's Ridge. It was a low security prison that was about thirty miles away. I asked him what was he in for? He said selling drugs. He didn't really seem like a violent person. He seemed like sort of gentle person. The way he talked and his expressions. I could tell this right away but still didn't trust him. Of course, I didn't trust him he tried to steal our vehicle. I stopped and looked at his wound It was deep and Seth could tell by my expression it wasn't good. This whole mess took away from the close knit with nature I was previously enjoying the night before the incident. I loved nature and I felt like it literally healed my soul. The sun was starting to come up and what seemed like a bad dream was suddenly creeping up on me. I said, "Seth we have to drive him to the hospital right now", I started to panic. I asked the guy his name and he said it was "Chiko". He begged us not to take him to the hospital. I wasn't sure what to do but I did go and get the first aid kit. When I came back he was passed out, probably from the loss of blood. Seth was freaked out and said we should just leave now and go back to the city. "Maybe we should just leave him here". No, I can't! I held the wound and put pressure on it. It stopped bleeding and then I cleaned it up and patched him up. "He needs stitches!" Chiko started moaning and coming to. I decided to use duct tape on it. The gash seemed deep to me. Seth started feeling bad. I told I would of done the same thing.

The coffee tasted good and helped me focus. We gave a cup to Chiko and told him his options. I had tied his legs to the picnic table and left his arms free. He said that the RCMP and the police would be looking for him now. Seth didn't want to leave me alone with him so he told me to go to the store. I was just about to go when Chiko started talking.

 

Chiko said that the guards at Kaper's Ridge were trying to get him to score some drugs for them. He didn't want to do the plan that he sort of went along with at first. He decided that he would just leave and try to go back to his country. He was from Guatemala. I was wondering where he was from when I noticed he had a Spanish accent. Apparently, the guards told him if he didn't do it that they would kill him. He said they could arrange it like an accident. For some reason it all sounded believable but I still didn't trust him. He went on to say that he had a wife and child back home. The guy only looked about twenty-seven years old but seemed like he had already lived a lot. Seth and I were in our early forties but had been around quite a few drug addicts, gang members, dealers and low-life's, (as society would call them). But Chiko seemed different, maybe because he was from somewhere else. Chiko began to apologize as if his life depended on it. "I'm sorry man", I didn't mean to scaring you. I just want to leave. He started to hold his side where he Seth had stabbed him. "Seth can I talk to you over here"? We left him tied and went about thirty feet away and tried to discuss what to do next. We came back and I said, "I need to look at your wound again". Seth and decided that if we were going to let him go and he didn't want to go to the hospital we would have to cauterize it. It was still bleeding and it would get infected soon. We told him our plan, that we were willing to let him go but that we should fix him up. He disagreed and said that he would be fine. I explained what would happen. Although I wasn't a nurse, I had worked in a clinic and had learned a few things along the way. Seth had watched so many survival videos that he also knew what had to be done. Finally, Chiko agreed. We got the knife and heated on the little canister type of stove, until it was real hot. We gave him some pain killers and tried to let them kick in for a bit. Then we made him lie down on the picnic table and we tied up his arm and legs. Just like the movies we put something in his mouth so he wouldn't scream. We heated the knife more and I squeezed his wound together with my fingers far enough away. Seth seemed hesitant so I said, "let me do it". I figured I could do it fast. Same thing happened when I grabbed it. I started to hesitate. Seth grabbed and did it. Chiko moaned loud and his body shook, but it was over. No more bleeding. He seemed half-passed out or exhausted. We decided to help him into the tent and let him sleep for awhile. The campground we were at didn't have any other campers due to the time of the year. A ranger drove through the park everyday and waved. That morning we hadn't seen him yet and were expecting him anytime. We made a fire and some more coffee on the little stove. The wind was chilly but we hadn't noticed until now. We saw some deer crossing the highway, so graceful and unaware of any danger. Seth said let's just back to the city today. I quickly agreed. Our romantic and relaxing getaway was tainted. Seth said that we should drop him in the city somewhere. That could be dangerous I thought but agreed anyway.

 

When Chiko awoke we were eating. We asked him how he was feeling and said sore but O. K. "Thanks you guys are good people". I gave him a plate of breakfast hash and some toast along with two more painkillers. We told him that we were willing to give him a ride to the city but if he tried anything that we would kill him. I had said the kill him part mostly for effect. I didn't go around killing anyone but I wanted the threat to stick. He said, "thank you", "gracias". Chiko said we were from God. I am not sure people from God would stab you, I thought. Seth packed up the tent and I packed up the sleeping bags, and all our little accessories. Chiko asked if we always come here and we didn't answer. We didn't want to tell him much about us. Finally, we were ready to leave when the ranger drove by. He didn't wave but was just staring. He saw me and he might of seen Chiko. He went through the park a second time, and this time me and Seth waved while we told Chiko to lie down in the truck. We were sure that the authorities were looking for Chiko by now. Seth didn't have a licence so I was the only one who drove. Seth decided to let Chiko sit in the back. We all had a smoke while I drove down the highway.

About thirty-five minutes into driving we came to the scene of really bad accident. The ambulance wasn't on site yet but there was an RCMP car waving us by. One car was flipped upside down and it looked like someone was in it. The other car was in the ditch and there was a body lying beside the car. The windshield was smashed and the hood was smashed in. The car was smoking some very dark smoke. Chiko was ducked down and we didn't have to tell him to do that. The RCMP waved us by as we drove slowly with a dumb, shocked stare on our faces. The next road was the road to Kaper's Ridge and Chiko and me and Seth just looked down it as if we were waiting for something.

Seth turned on the radio and kept flipping stations until he found a song he liked. It was "Highway to Hell", I rolled my eyes since I wasn't a fan of it. Seth and Chiko were bobbing there heads like idiots I thought. Chiko was grinning and enjoying his chance to freedom I thought. I shut off the radio and asked if he knew where he wanted to be dropped off. He asked me if I knew where the Riel Bridge was and I said "yes". He said that was good. We would probably be there in one and half hours I said.

Seth turned the radio back on and found the song, "Crazy Train", by Ozzy. Well it seemed that they had the same taste in music. Seth lit up a joint and passed it back to Chiko. I didn't smoke pot because it gave me panic attacks. I cracked the window opened and smiled. "Were they becoming friends?" I thought.

We came up to the next biggest town and before the big city. It was called Brother's Creek. Seth said to stop at the store he wanted to get some beer and cigarettes. I pulled in and Seth sent me in. To my surprise when I came out Chiko and Seth were at the phone. Chiko wanted to call his cousin who lived by the bridge in the city. Everyone got back into the truck and Chiko said his cousin's phone was out of service and he didn't know if he still lived there. We started driving and now Seth and Chiko were drinking beer. I had a few sips of Seth and said that we shouldn't be doing this. We were now only about forty minutes from the city and I was thinking of having a nice long bath when I got home. I was thinking about our two cats that we left at home too. Chiko started to tell us all about Guatemala and his house and his wife. He said she was such a good cook and a good mother. I asked him, "Why did you leave"? He didn't answer and changed the subject saying, " I like this song".

Now we were at the bridge and Chiko asked if we could pull up to the row of houses behind the other side of the bridge. They looked like government low-rental condos. He asked if we could wait and Seth agreed while I shook my head. We saw him knock on a door and some promiscuous dressed Caucasian girl who might of been around twenty-five came to the door. She had a crying child on her hip and was trying to hear what Chiko was saying. Two minutes later he came back to the truck and said his cousin is in jail. "Where to now"? I asked. "Can you drive me downtown"? Chiko asked nicely. I said, "sure, but then that's it we have to get home".

Now were are in heavy traffic and Chiko said can I get you guys phone number? Seth didn't answer but I quickly asked "what for?" "Look Chiko we don't really know you, maybe your a nice guy or maybe your not, I don't know". He laughed and said, "Your woman doesn't trust me" to Seth. Seth said, "she doesn't trust anyone, even me". When we arrived to Shariland Street he ran out and asked us to wait. Seth said to me, let's just wait. Chiko came out and said come on you guys, come in. He had a big smile on his face and looked as though he had won the lottery. I said I don't want to go. Seth said let's go.

 

We entered the dark hallway of a two-story run down house. A plump older looking black lady came and kissed Chiko many times. She said, "come in, come in". Chiko said, "these are my friends Seth and um.....", I said "Angel", nice to meet you. "What is your name", she answered "Ellie" with a Jamacian accent. The house was full of kids and some neighbors I think. There was a party already in motion. It was only 11:30 in the morning but they insisted I have some Jamacian rum. After the day we had I accepted. The music was blasted and everyone was talking loud and laughing. Ellie said, "I can't believe you got out, I thought you had another year. Chiko glanced at us and said yeah, "they let me out they couldn't stand looking at me anymore". "Hey, Ellie do you have any money?" He asked nonchalantly. "Tomorrow I will give you money". They took off to the bedroom and left us with the three neighbors who were pretty drunk. They came back ten minutes later and continued to drink. By this time I had a little buzz going on but was leery and aware of everything around me. Seth was now smoking out of bong and then he passed it to the neighbor. The neighbor named Roy passed it to me. I took it and quickly passed it to the next person. "You don't smoke?" Someone asked. "Nope", I replied.

"Bang", "bang", "bang", a loud rapping at the door. This sent Chiko running out the back door. "It is the police, open up". Ellie went to the door and said, "Yes", everyone was quiet. "We are looking for Carlos Romero have you seen him?" asked the cop. She said, "I haven't seen that (swearing in Jamaican) little man in a year", and he better not show his ass around here. He is in jail". "He has escaped and we believe he will be headed this way. He is extremely dangerous. Please call us immediately if you hear from him". "Yes sir", she replied. She shut the door and locked it. Chiko came back in and everyone laughed and continued drinking. I told Seth, "We should go now". He nodded yes, but then ignored me. He was liking this party I guess. I said again, "Let's go", and I gave him my mad look. Chiko said where do you want to go? I want to go home now. He left the room and came back and said let me borrow your truck. Now Seth was wanting to leave, finally he sensed danger in his baked state of mind. We both got up and Chiko asked again, "Let me borrow your truck". "No, were out of here", we did enough for you.

 

Both Seth and I started walking to the door when Chiko said, "Give me your keys". "Fuck off and get away from me", I said. And now Ellie started in at me. Just then Seth shot off the bear banger and it sounded like a shot gone. Everyone was distracted wondering if it was a gun or not. We ran for the door jumped into the truck and drove off. We figured the police would be there anytime now. When we got home, we fed our cats and listened to the local news station. They had the news on every half-hour. It said that a man had escaped from Kaper's Ridge at 12:30 am and the description fit Chiko's. He was deemed extremely dangerous and was in there for murder, torcher and was accused of burning his house and family in Guatemala. Why was he in a low-security prison? We don't know, but probably had already served quite a bit of time with good behaviour. After that story they said a prison guard was killed on the highway in an accident. My guess was that he was trying to find him.

After hearing all the news and tired from the whole affair. I went into a nice, warm bath and relaxed. We locked our doors and went to bed. Seth and I didn't talk about it for awhile. What was there to say? Except, that I thought I will continue with my not trusting people.

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

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