Death Cache

Death Cache by Tiffinie Helmer Page B

Book: Death Cache by Tiffinie Helmer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tiffinie Helmer
    She didn’t know whether to thank him for his insight or tell him to butt out. Instead she said nothing and copied Lucky’s pose. He started her out with yoga that had her muscles screaming and then into a meditation that had her insides singing.


    A scream tore Tern from a deep sleep.
    She bolted up in bed, glanced over at Nadia’s bunk and found it empty. Throwing back the sleeping bag, she ran barefoot for the door.
    Nadia stood by the cold ashes of the fire pit, bathed in the crimson rays of the insomniac northern sun. Her hand over her mouth, as though ready to vomit.
    Mac rushed out of his cabin, wearing sweats and a t-shirt, rifle at his shoulder ready to shoot something. Robert and Gage hurried to join them, Gage bare-chested and wearing tan cargo pants with the top button undone, and Robert in flannel pajamas dotted with moose.
    “What’s going on here?” Robert asked.
    “Nadia?” Tern inched toward her. Nadia reached out a shaking hand and stepped toward Tern, revealing what her body had been blocking.
    Lucky’s severed head sat on the stump. His pasty face was frozen in shock, his black soulless eyes frozen open. His mouth caught in a silent death scream. “Play or Die” was carved into the flesh of his forehead.
    Tern gasped, her hand coming up to cover her own mouth as tears flooded her eyes. She was not seeing this. She couldn’t comprehend what was before her.
    A raven gave a death caw from its perch high up in a tree before catching flight. Tern shivered.
    “I-I-I found him like t-that.” Nadia’s tortured words turned into a soul-wrenching moan. “Who would have done such a thing?”
    Mac stepped over and laid a hand on Nadia’s shoulder, giving her a push toward Tern. “Take Nadia, and return to your cabin.”
    “No.” Tern wasn’t going to be treated like the little woman to be protected from all that was unpleasant in the world. Though she badly wanted to run screaming from this place.
    Not Lucky.
    Not the sweet man who loved life. How could he be dead? Her eyes had to be playing tricks on her. But how could this be a trick if everyone saw what she was seeing?
    Mac stared at her for a long moment. “I want you to take Nadia and stay back. Understand?”
    Tern gave a jerky nod and took Nadia’s arm. They backed out of the way. Nadia’s muffled moans answered the silent screams of horror inside her head. They wrapped their arms around each other and tried to offer as much comfort as they could in the awful, gruesome reality.
    “I need a camera.” Mac glanced at Robert and Gage. Gage was the first to respond. He silently headed to his cabin. Robert hadn’t moved. He seemed trapped, his eyes large and opened wide, fixated on what remained of Lucky. Gage returned and handed Mac the camera, who methodically took pictures of Lucky from every angle. “We need something to put…store his head in.”
    “The cooler?” Gage suggested. “We can store it in the ice of the glacier and mark it with the GPS for the authorities.”
    “Good idea.” Together they packed the head into the cooler. “Robert?” Mac turned toward Robert. “Robert!”
    He jerked free from his trance. “Yeah, what?”
    “Stay with the women.” Mac handed him a pistol from his waistband, thought better of it and walked over to Tern and offered the weapon to her. “Keep an eye out.”
    Tern tightened her fingers around the butt of the gun and looked around the clearing. She gave a tight nod.
    Gage entered the cabin for his GPS, and then returned to help Mac dispose of what was left of Lucky.
    “Guess his luck finally ran out,” Robert said, watching the men head out of camp.
    “Oh God, you…you bastard.” Nadia hauled off and slapped him.
    That seemed to break the spell Robert had been under. His hand covered his reddening cheek. “Sorry, I deserved that.” He looked around the campsite. “Let’s…uh…return to one of the cabins. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to

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