Within minutes the police and the paramedics arrived on the scene. An RCMP officer got on the Greyhound bus and first looked around to assess the situation. The first thing he saw was Garry lying unconscious on the floor of the bus. Blood was dripping from Garry’s nose, mouth and ears. Blue and yellow bruises were already starting to be visible on his face.
The RCMP officer quickly took charge. “I need all of you people except the bus driver to get off the bus now. I need a few minutes to talk to the driver and the paramedic team is going to need room to assist the man who is down.”
The officer gave the signal for the paramedics to climb aboard the bus as soon as all the passengers had exited.
A male paramedic was the first to examine Garry. He put his ear close to Garry’s nose and mouth to make sure that his patient was still breathing. A female paramedic put a finger on Garry’s carotid artery in order to ascertain that Garry had a pulse. The lead paramedic then announced to the rest of the team, “ The patient is breathing and has a pulse,”
He asked Garry how he was doing to find out if his patient was conscious.
Garry responded by saying, “ A big man beat me up and I hurt like hell.”
A female paramedic said, “ Don’t worry sir. We’re paramedics and we will take you to the hospital. Two paramedics slowly and carefully put Garry on a stretcher. Garry howled in pain.
“The patient likely has some broken ribs,” said one of the paramedics. In about two minutes Garry was in the ambulance and was taken to the nearest hospital.
The RCMP officer now had an opportunity to talk to the bus driver privately.
“What happened, sir?” asked the officer.
“Well, the young man that they took to the hospital came to the front of the bus to tell me that the bus was full of reptilian creatures who were trying to prevent him from visiting his relatives. I tried to assure the man that I would keep him safe and would let him off the bus early. Some passengers sitting close to the front heard us talking and started freaking out when the man said he had a knife. A big overweight guy jumped on the man and started to punch him in the face. He then began to kick the victim in the ribs with his steel toe work boots.”
Things had not been going all that well at work either. Last Friday afternoon Bobby got called into his boss’s office.
“Have a seat, Bobby, “said his editor, Jack Walby. It was hard for the staff at The Kelowna Sun not to call Jack, Ed, as he bore a remarkable resemblance to the actor Ed Asner. Jack was finishing off his lunch which consisted of a double bacon cheeseburger and a double order of French fries.
“I’ll get right down to the brass tacks, Bobby. Your writing hasn’t been up to snuff the last month or so,” said Jack taking a big slug off his Coke.
“What do you mean, Jack? I’ve been working my ass off for this paper. I’ve been on every lousy bus ride and road trip this season with the Kelowna Katfish,” replied Bobby as his face reddened.
“Yes, you have, but this month I’ve been reading our competition’s sports page. Their sports reporter’s writing is crisp and exciting. Then I read your description of the same game and I nearly fall asleep. Also, words gotten back to me from some of the players that you really get plastered on those bus trips.”
“Ah, come on. Give me a break. I just lost my family five months ago,” said Bobby shifting around nervously in his chair.
“Life is hard, Bobby. But you’re a professional. You can’t let it affect your work. Here’s the deal. This month you come up with a few articles that blow my socks off or I’m going to have to let you go,” said Jack Walby with a stern look fixed on Bobby. The veteran sports reporter felt a strong wave of shame and fear come over him.
Bobby was reliving this conversation in his mind and was barely aware of the other customers in Tim Horton’s. He finally broke out of his daze when he stopped to listen to the conversation at the table next to him. Henry and Harvey were both looking closely at Monique’s picture.
“Look, Henry. You can see part of the creature’s head in the second picture,” said Harvey excitedly.
“Hold your horses, Harvey. That could be a piece of log for all we know. The picture was taken from too far away,” replied Henry.
“If you had seen what I saw through my binoculars you would know that it was Ogopogo,” said Ryan.
“Come on, son. We weren’t born yesterday. This does make for a good tall tale though,” said Henry.
Ken David Stewart reads from a devotional by Smith Wigglesworth.
The Lake Demon Episode 40
Bobby O’ Connor was sitting at around able to the left of Ryan, Monique and the two fishermen. It had been another rough night for Bobby. He had stayed up until one on the morning following his usual drinking routine that started at seven in the evening. He would alternate between a Budweiser and a Jack Daniels and Coke every hour. Bobby prided himself that he only drank alcohol in the evenings. In Bobby’s way of reasoning this meant that he was not a full blown alcoholic. His learned this pattern of drinking from his father who, too, shunned the label of alcoholic. Bobby had learned the method of taking a high quality vitamin B supplement with a large glass of water before going to bed. He believed that this would either reduce the severity or eliminate the possibility of a morning hangover. If this technique did not work and he felt shaky in the morning he would smoke a joint in the morning before heading off to work.
Bobby O’Connor was still called Bobby even though he was thirty years old. He kind of liked the name as it reminded him of his youth and better days. Bobby had been a star defence man right up into the junior leagues. Hockey scouts had been watching him play and a few even said that Bobby O’Connor had the potential to be the next Bobby Orr. As fate would have it, O’Connors career was ended in the same manner as the famous athlete that he had been compared to. Bobby O’Conner suffered one too many knee injuries and even with surgery he was never the hockey player he had the potential to be.
Not a day went by that Bobby didn’t fantasize about playing with a National Hockey League team. Instead Bobby O’Conner found himself a sports reporter for The Kelowna Sun. It almost killed him to watch young kids play the game that should have brought him fame and fortune. Bobby had added an extra seventy pounds since his playing days. His right knee now hurt so bad that he knew that he’d need to talk to his family doctor about getting a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon. Bobby suspected that he would probably be looking at total knee replacement therapy within the next year. In the mean time Bobby coped by taking T3s and drinking heavily.
Bobby had suffered another crippling hurt about five months ago. His wife, Gloria asked Bobby to move out of the family home five months ago. Bobby was shocked but really shouldn’t have been surprised. Gloria had lost her patience with Bobby’s dependence upon alcohol and pain medication.
About an hour later Ryan and Monique stopped running when they approached a Tim Horton’s coffee shop. When they entered the shop it was quite crowded. They managed to find two empty seats next to two middle aged gentlemen. The two men were engaged in an animated discussion.
“Henry, what do you think that thing was that we saw in the lake?” asked Harvey.
“It’s hard to say. It was too far away,” replied Henry.
‘All I’m saying is that there have been several reported sightings of Ogopogo over the last month,” said Harvey.
“That doesn’t mean anything. A few years ago there were a bunch of ufo sightings over Brazil. Nobody captured any ufos.”
“That doesn’t mean that ufos don’t exist.”
“I suppose not but I’m not going to go around telling people that we saw Ogopogo today,” said Henry.
“I agree that whatever we saw was over one hundred meters away but it appeared to be approaching fast and then it suddenly submerged when our boat came around the corner,” said Harvey.
“That ‘s what is known as circumstantial evidence,” said Henry in response.
“Maybe not,” said Ryan after taking a sip of his coffee.
“What do you mean, son?” asked Harvey adjusting the blue lumberjack jacket that he wore over his black tee shirt.
“I’m sorry. We should have introduced ourselves. My name is Ryan and my new friend to my left is called Monique.”
“Pleased to meet you,” said Henry. “But you still haven’t answered our question.”
“Was your fishing boat anywhere near Rattlesnake Island about an hour ago?” asked Monique.
“Yes, it was. How did you know?” asked Harvey.
“Monique and I were jogging on a trail near the bank at Rattlesnake Island. Monique had just taken two pictures of the creature you saw when your boat rounded the corner,” said Ryan.
“ How do you know it was a creature?” asked Henry. He pushed his chair closer to the table.
“Oh, it was a very large living animal all right,” said Ryan also moving his chair closer to the round table.
“It certainly wasn’t a boat or a log. I managed to take a couple of pictures of it before it submerged,” added Monique.
“Fortunately I had a pair of professional grade binoculars. I got a good close up look when the creature raised its head,” said Ryan.
“You got a look at its head? Can we see those pictures?” asked Harvey.