Chapter One Hundred Sixty-Four:
“Well, things may work out for Ryan and Monique. I’m happy about that. I really like Monique. I think that she’ll be good for Ryan,” said John.
The trail that they were walking on was covered with stones and loose branches. Susan stumbled and was about to fall over when John grabbed her and held onto her. It was almost an embrace and John remembered how good it felt to hold Susan close to him.
“Oh, I’m sorry John. I should have been watching where I was stepping,” said Susan. She was starting to blush. She, too, had missed the feeling of having John next to her. Both of them looked into each other’s eyes and held their gaze for over a minute. Neither one of them wanted to break the embrace but John let go of Susan, not wanting to show that he still had strong feelings for her.
They were both a bit flustered now and Susan thought that this would be a good time to continue their conversation.
“What do you think is going to happen with Stephanie and Ryan?” Susan asked. “I’ll bet that Stephanie will want to stay with you too. She won’t want to move away from Garry.”
“That is very likely but I don’t know what Garry has planned for his future,” said John.
The wind had picked up and it was starting to get a bit chilly. Susan forgot to bring a sweater along for the walk.
“John can I ask a big favor from you?”
“Sure, sweetheart,” said John immediately putting his hand over his mouth. “Sorry, that kind of slipped out. I guess old habits are hard to break.”
Susan laughed. “I thought that I was going to have to work up the courage to ask you the favor, but now I don’t feel so afraid. Sweetheart,eh? I always liked it when you called me that.”
“Really? Now you have me really curious. What’s the favor?” asked John.
“I want to borrow your windbreaker and snuggle up to you.”
John smiled and said, “My pleasure, honey,”
Chapter One Hundred Sixty-Four:
Susan Richards had overheard John’s telephone conversation with Bobby O’Conner. “What time will Mr. O’Conner be coming over, John?”
“He told me that he would be here in about an hour or two.”
“Good. That will give us some time alone to talk. Let’s go for a walk. The kids are all busy playing an old board game called Risk,” said Susan.
“Yeah, Ryan found a bunch of my old board games in old storage space that I had completely forgotten about. He found Clue, The Game of Life, Careers, Monopoly and a few others,” said John.
“So, are you up for a walk?”
“Absolutely, it’s a beautiful morning.”
John tried to sound enthusiastic, but like most men, he feared the wrath of his wife or ex-wife in this case. He was sure that she was going to reprimand him severely for allowing their kids to go on the Ogopogo expeditions.
The former husband and wife started along the curving hiking trail that was close to Aunt Meg’s cottage.
“I’ve had some time to think John. I have been thinking about you and the kids. I imagine that both Ryan and Stephanie are going to want to continue living with you in the fall,” said Susan.
“What makes you think that?” asked John.
“Oh, come on, John. Both of them are in relationships now. Ryan and Monique are madly in love and I don’t think Stephanie and Garry are very far behind them.”
“Monique will be going back to live with her mother in Montreal,” said John.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that. The day that I arrived at your sister’s place, she got a phone call from Monique’s mom. When her mother was told that I was staying here for a while she wanted to talk to me. She said that Monique had told her all about Ryan and Monique asked if she could stay in Kelowna for the fall to attend The University of British Columbia with Ryan,” said Susan.
“So, what did Monique’s mom say?” asked John.
“She told her that she could and that she was planning on moving out to Kelowna in a few weeks. She said that she had just got her lay-off notice from work and she had been thinking about moving for awhile now. She wants a new start. She said that she wants a change of scenery and that she has been doing some personal research on Kelowna. She found out that it was a beautiful part of the country to live,” said Susan.
Chapter One Hundred Sixty-Three:
Bobby O’Conner could not wait to get back to his office to work on compiling his notes and having a look at how his Ogopogo expedition photos turned out. He realized that the articles he would write and the photos that he would publish would be the coup of the century. The story about the search and capture of a live Ogopogo would be world- wide news. Bobby’s reporting would be as famous as the initial reports on the Roswell Incident of 1947. In fact, this story would be bigger than Roswell as the crew returned with living physical specimens. Bobby O’Conner was about to become a household name in the field of journalism. All this for a once small time reporter who covered the Kelowna Katfish junior hockey team.
Fortunately, Bobby kept detailed journal entries anytime he found more information about the adventures of the expeditions. He was more than happy with the pictures of the Ogopogos. The photos were taken from a relatively short distance and were very clear and focused. There was no doubt that the creatures photographed did not belong to any known living species. Bobby had enough material in his journal entries for several good newspaper articles, but he wanted more.
What Bobby O’Connor really wanted was interviews with the members of the crew. He started to make some phone calls to arrange for appointments for interviews.
The first person that Bobby called was John Richards. The reporter knew that he had a great human interest story in John’s attempted rescue of the two divers on Blake Riley’s crew.
“John, this is Bobby O’Conner from The Kelowna Sun. I would love to get an interview with you and your family. What time would be good for you?”
“Right now would be a great time. My ex-wife Susan is here now as well as my kids. You might get four interviews out of this,” answered John.
“That would be even better. Do you mind if I bring a video crew with me? A local television news show has asked to work with me on this project. We can be at your place in about an hour,” said John.
“That’s fine with me. We’ll have the coffee on when you arrive.”
Chapter One Hundred Sixty –Three:
Blake Riley was sitting alone in a chair on the main deck of his ship. There was a refreshing breeze coming off the water and Blake was enjoying watching the beautiful scenery on the shore line. The boat was now passing the forested area of Lake Okanagan.
The natural beauty had put Blake into a thoughtful mood. He was starting to re-evaluate his whole life. He had come to the unsettling conclusion, that up to this point, he had lived his life very selfishly. It dawned on him that he didn’t have any real friends. For most of his life he had only made acquaintances with people that he thought could further his own ambitions. Yes, Blake had an impoverished upbringing. Yes, he had felt unwanted and had been abused by those close to him. He asked himself whether or not this was a good enough reason to turn his back on humanity and to live only for himself. Had his extravagant and hedonistic lifestyle brought him any real, lasting satisfaction? Blake concluded that it had not.
He started to think about the way he had mistreated Jack Kimberly. Now that he had a few days of getting to know Jack Kimberly, he found that he had enjoyed Jack’s company very much. Blake had never really experienced the pleasure of bonding with another human being.
Blake also started to think about Dr. Lionel Phelge. He felt honoured to be in the company of such a renowned academic and scientist. He felt grateful for the mutual respect that Lionel had shown him.
Blake Riley was filled with self –loathing when he caught himself coming up with schemes to get the two live Ogopogos away from the rest of the crew. He had enjoyed working as part of a team and working toward a common goal. Blake had determined that from this day forward he would live his life differently.
Chapter One Hundred Sixty-One:
The smaller creature appeared to realize that the rifle that Stephanie was pointing at it would cause it significant pain. It turned its neck right around as if looking for back -up from one of the adults. This gave Winston, Wally and Garry enough time to throw a large net over the smaller Ogopogo. When the animal realized that it was trapped it squirmed and twisted around trying to break free from the net. As it became increasingly frustrated with its futile attempts to escape, it let out a loud, squealing sound that was as aggravating as a fingernail scraping along a chalk board.
The members of Blake Riley’s crew had watched in amazement what was happening aboard Winston Standfield’s boat. Blake’s video technicians were filming the whole incident.
A few minutes later Blake’s boat was attacked by one of the adult creatures. This animal was waving its tail around and had succeeded in knocking Dr. Lionel Phelge off the boat and into the lake.
Both Kyle Winter and Ryan Richards didn’t waste any time diving into the water in an attempt to save Dr. Phelge. Just as the two young men grabbed hold of Lionel and were dragging him to safety, the other smaller version of the species swam rapidly towards Ryan, Kyle and Lionel.
Fortunately, the two young rescuers and Dr. Phelge had a head start on the creature and were able to board Blake Riley’s ship on time. About a minute after the men were safely aboard the smaller Ogopogo found a way to manoeuver itself onto the main deck of the ship.
Blake, Peter Marks and John Richards were ready with their own large net. They struggled with the creature until they had it trapped. The smaller animal struggled as violently as the one aboard Winston’s ship. It, too, did not have any success escaping from the trap that had been set for it and started its own mournful wail.
Both adult creatures attempted to rescue the smaller ones but were met with a volley of gunfire by the crews of both ships. Being badly wounded the two adults were riddled with bullets and were bleeding profusely. Within minutes both of the adults sunk back into the lake.
Blake Riley, Dr. Phelge and Winston Stanfield knew they had the physical evidence that they came for. Their boats headed for the shore.
Chapter One Hundred Sixty:
By this time Sheriff George Anderson had arrived along with William Everett, Bobby O’Connor and the Harbor Patrol. They had witnessed the Ogopogo that had attacked Winston Standfield’s boat.
“Sheriff, you gave orders that no one was to shoot at the creatures,” said William Everett, the Head of the Fisheries Department.
“In this circumstance the shooters didn’t have a choice. The creature attacked them and human lives were at stake. We already know that these animals can be aggressive, and even deadly, if humans get too close to them. They are protecting their own territory. Our job is to convince these other boats to leave the area and get back to shore. I don’t want to see any more maimed or dead bodies,” said Sheriff George Anderson.
Bobby O’Connor had already been busy taking pictures and jotting down notes. He wasn’t showing the slightest sign of fear.
The Sheriff picked up a megaphone. “This is Sheriff George Anderson. I want all vessels on the lake to turn around and head for shore. That is an order. This is a very dangerous situation and I don’t want any more casualties. Your expeditions have put these creatures on the defensive and have turned them into very deadly predators.”
Just as the sheriff had finished his speech three Ogopogos surfaced right in the middle of the four boats. There were two adults and two much smaller creatures.
“These animals are obviously very intelligent,” said Dr. Lionel Phelge. “They have strategized a plan of attack.”
One adult and one of the smaller animals headed for the boat captained by Peter Marks. The other large creature and a smaller member of the species headed for Winston Standfield’s boat. One of the adults was the one who had been wounded by the previous encounter. It was bleeding from its neck area. Having been shot at only seemed to increase its aggressiveness. Dr. Phelge assumed that it was the adult male of the unknown species.
This creature and its smaller companion were attempting to jump into Winston Standfield’s boat. Winston ordered Stephanie, Garry and Wally to go below deck. The three young people disobeyed Winston’s orders and searched for weapons instead.
Stephanie screamed aloud as the smaller creature got within a few feet of her. This creature was at least ten feet long. It stared intently at Steph as she pointed a rifle at its face. She trembled and shook with fear as the creature opened its mouth displaying its row of long, razor sharp teeth.
Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine of The Lake Demon
John Richards made it to the surface and boarded The Viper. By this time, Winston’s boat, The Discovery was getting closer. Susan Richards took a pair of binoculars and could see the Viper’s diver being helped aboard. As soon as John Richards took off his helmet, Susan recognized her husband.
Susan turned towards Winston, “I can’t believe it. John just got back from a dive. He hasn’t done that in years. Why would he do that?”
“I was watching what was going on several minutes ago. The Viper initially sent two divers into the lake and they haven’t returned yet. Your husband probably went into the lake to see if he could find or rescue them. Your husband is a very courageous man.”
“I’m so grateful that nothing happened to him,” said Susan who was now shaking. Winston held her close trying to comfort her.
While Garry and Stephanie were having their conversation an adult Ogopogo was rapidly undulating in their direction. It was as if the family of Ogopogos had enough of these humans with their boats invading their home. The creatures had decided to defend their own territory by going on the offensive.
Garry screamed for Stephanie to get back from the railing of the boat. Steph turned around just in time to see the green, snake like head just a few feet from her face. Steph let out a scream of terror.
Garry grabbed an oar and started to hit the creature on its head. This action only seemed to anger the predator. Ogopogo was now repeatedly charging The Discovery trying to knock it over. As it had a very long neck it was able to search the main deck for humans to attack. Garry managed to push Stephanie out of the way. When Winston and Wally saw what was happening they grabbed for weapons and artillery. They began firing their weapons at the creature until they could hear loud yelps of pain from Ogopogo. The barrage of artillery fire convinced Ogopogo to submerge back into the lake.