All unpublished manuscripts should be considered FICTION whether true or not.
” Eric and Aaron in British Columbia “
Eric and Aaron Dench are twin brothers, born on Friday the 13th, and 13 minutes apart. The twins were delivered after a 10 month pregnancy, and weighed in at more than six pounds each. This was rare on both counts; long pregnancy and heavy weights. Most twins are premature birth babies (premees) and much smaller than the more normal six pounds in weight.
The boys did well all throughout school. Both boys were very smart with IQ’s in excess of 140, and they were natural athletes. Eric excelled in business related subjects, and Aaron excelled in mathematics. After graduation from high school neither really had any interest in college. Eric was already making more money with his side business than what most college grads were making after getting out of college. Eric had a real nose for business, stocks and business startups. It seemed that Eric had the “Midas Touch”.
After high school Aaron’s only interest was in seeing the country. Aaron bought himself a used Corvette and convinced one of his co-eds to go traveling around the country with him for a few months. This decision really disappointed Aaron’s parents since he turned down a very lucrative college opportunity, but Aaron just was not interested in academics.
Aaron was a math prodigy, and as such The United States Navy had offered him a fantastic deal. He would receive a full ride scholarship to Annapolis. He would not only get a full ride scholarship, but he would go in at a Lieutenant’s pay, and upon graduation would automatically be commissioned as a Captain. The Navy wanted Aaron to be a nuclear physicist on a sub marine, but Aaron wasn’t interested. His Dad tried to convince him otherwise, and explained all the benefits of an Annapolis degree, and pointed out that Aaron could always say that he had graduated from Annapolis, but Aaron’s mind was made up and there was no changing it. While Aaron was busy seeing the country with his new female co-pilot while Eric stayed home and built his business. By the time Aaron had the travels mostly out of his blood, Eric already had a thriving financial enterprise on his hands.
“Financial Advisory Group”.
The emphasis on Eric’s business was advising investors concerning new upstarts that Eric had researched and was certain would make good investments. Eric was not a broker and did not sell, or even encourage investors toward stocks. He simply made them aware of upstart companies that he believed would be big money makers in the immediate future. He received a fee of 20% of whatever the investors were going to invest in these upstarts for his services. If the investors decided to invest $100,000 in the new company, then “Financial Advisory Group” received $20,000 for the information. A very lucrative venture with almost no costs associated with it. Eric had a fine formulae for selecting his investors and would only work with those that he considered “for real”. If an investor did not meet Eric’s criteria, then Eric would not even talk with them further. This arrangement worked out excellently for everyone, and his investors were making money hand over fist.
Eric would also purchase small companies that he had faith in, but didn’t necessarily have faith in the company’s management team. These were some of the easiest companies to discuss with investors since Eric himself was managing the companies. One such company was a custodial service. It had started off with the owner and three employees and two small office buildings that they cleaned. Before the year was out they had grown to over 30 customers with buildings of all sizes, and more than 150 employees.v The problem that his company was having was the owner and his brother were both “coke heads”, heavy users of cocaine. Because of their cocaine additions Eric could see the writing on the wall, and invested heavily in their company, and when they defaulted on the loan, he bought them out for pennies on the dollar. By the time Eric obtained the custodial business Aaron was back from his travels. Eric put Aaron in charge of the day to day, but Eric took care of the client base.
Eric’s pastime and passion was cross training. He was in excellent physical condition. While in high school Eric and his brother wrestled at the same weight and were frequently wrestling each other for first and second, this included the State finals where they also took first and second for their weight class.
Both Erick and Aaron were dedicated to not getting fat and lazy, but it was Eric that took the Cross Training more seriously, whereas Aaron had been more interested in Boy Scouts and camping while in high school, and these camping interests carried over into young adulthood after high school. Aaron put his camping skills to good use while traveling the country. Seldom did he ever stay in a motel while on his exploits. But being physically fit was important in all of the activities for both boys.
One of the largest engineering firms in town was Peterson and Hawkins Engineering. Eric received a phone call from Roy Hawkins, of Peterson and Hawkins Engineering and said he wanted to talk about Eric’s custodial service. This was the biggest and best known firm in the region. Their building was 14 stores high with several thousand square feet of floor space. It would undoubtedly require at least 15 people to clean it every night. So this would be a very desirable account.
Unbeknownst to Eric he had competed against Roy Hawkins in a recent Iron Man Competition. The name didn’t ring a bell, but when he entered Mr. Hawkins finely appointed suite, Eric recognized Hawkins instantly. Mr. Hawkins had not been one of the top competitor, like Eric had, but Eric could see that Roy Hawkins had the eye of the tiger, as they say. Despite Roy’s advancing age (about 30-35 ) Eric thought Roy had real potential to be much better if he were to put the time into it.
Roy showed Eric around and they talked for well over three hours. Roy escorted Eric around the facility, and they discussed what was to be cleaned, and not cleaned, on each floor. Mostly however, Hawkins talked about Eric’s training routine. He wanted to know how far Eric ran every day, how much water he consumed while exercising, how long Eric could hold his breath, and how many laps did he swim for stamina. Roy wanted to know how many reps Eric did when he worked out with the weights, and did Eric have any fears or phobias. Eric thought that Roy had some strange questions; but what the hell.
Eric didn’t mind if Hastings wanted to pick his brain. He and Hastings weren’t on the same performance level and probably never would be. Eric told Roy that more than anything his philosophy was to listen to his body while exercising. He’d run or swim until his body wanted to quit, and then push it a little further. Eric said he didn’t drink near as much water as he should while exercising, but his body seemed to do fine without it.
“I have no idea how long I hold my breath. As long as I need to I guess. Reps are a lot like running and swimming. I don’t count the number of reps. I work out with lighter weight, and do lots of Reps, rather than heavier weight and less Reps. I’ll have less bulk, but more endurance while still getting definition. And what’s with phobias?” Eric said.
Hastings explained that he suspected that people with phobias would have a harder time competing in some events. A fear of heights could restrict a person’s ability to climb the wall, a fear of drowning could possibly slow them down on swimming, a fear of bugs or snakes could give them a problem dealing with mud. Things like that.
Eric told Hastings that he had no phobias. As a matter of fact, he’d probably be easier on himself it he did have some, but no specific fears mean that he had to push himself in everything he did.
“I do have a healthy respect for bees, but I have no phobia however.” Eric said.
Eric felt that several of these questions were at least a little strange, but he also knew that most highly educated, successful business people were eccentric at best. Eric figured that Roy was probably trying to copy his training techniques, but Eric knew Roy wouldn’t be able to do it no matter what Eric told him.
Eric and Aaron’s company, E&A Clean Swipe, had been doing the custodial work at Peterson and Hawkins Engineering for about three months when Eric ran into Roy at the Mid-West Regionals. Eric was talking with some of the other “A List” participants when Roy pulled him aside.
“Eric, are you pleased with how it’s going? You know, at our firm?”
“Absolutely; and you?”
“Yes, yes, of course, Eric. The reason I asked is because I’d like to expand our business relationship into more of a personal friendship. But I don’t want to pursue this if you’re thinking about discontinuing your services to us.” Said Roy
Eric replied, “There is no reason we’d ever stop servicing your account. I think it is very mutually beneficial.”
“You said we Eric. Would that be you and your brother? Does he also cross-train like you do?”
“No, Aaron is a great athlete. He’s a natural, but he isn’t into competing in cross-training. He has a couple of children and a lovely wife that consume all of this spare time when not working”
“The reason I ask Eric, is because I’m part owner of my own island retreat up in British Columbia. Most people do not realize it, but there are hundreds of island in BC. It’s ideal for hiking, hunting and getting away from everything. Most of these islands don’t even have cell phone pickups or hardlines, hell, lots of them don’t even have names except for what we call them. We mostly communicate with the outside by Hamm Radio.
I’d like to invite you and your brother to accompany me, as my guest, of course, for a few days of exploring and hunting. Do you and your brother hunt?”
Eric said, “We’ve done some hunting before, but not that much. Neither of us even own a rifle. Let me see if Aaron can make it. Maybe I can twist his arm. We haven’t been able to spend much time together lately, and this will give us a chance to catch up on personal things.”
“Well, don’t worry about the guns Eric. He have plenty of guns and ammunition at the lodge”.
Aaron discussed it with his wife and told Eric that it sounded good to him. It sounds like fun, but I don’t want to be gone for more than four or five days. Eric agreed since he didn’t want to be away from business any longer than that either.
Eric called Roy and they decided the trip could be scheduled for a week from Friday, that way they’d be gone Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and be back to work on Tuesday.
The three of them arrived at the lodge late Friday evening. They had dinner and drinks.
“Okay boys, we’d better get some shut eye. We’ll be getting up at 5 A.M. for breakfast. I want to hunt big game elk tomorrow, so we’ll have a ten mile hike to the lower mountain where they like to hang out.”, said Roy.
When Eric and Aaron woke the next morning. Their hunting cloths had been put in the wardrobe closets by Roy’s man Angel, and ready to go. Roy had the guns and gear ready to go too. The hiking was grand, beautiful scenery everywhere they looked, cool crisp air and a total array of beautiful birds. After a couple of hours hiking, neither Eric nor Aaron had any idea where they were. Everything looked the same. Aaron was much more of an outdoors man than Eric, but because of the cloud cover, that was hiding the sun, even he couldn’t tell what direction they were heading. North, South, East and West all looked alike. And the foliage and trees were so dense that they couldn’t see the mountain either. No big deal! They were confident that Roy knew exactly where he was going.
Another couple of hours hiking the three arrived at what looked like a base camp. Angel was there with lunch and refreshments. It was a delightful lunch and the cocktails were blended perfectly. They were very tasty, but not too strong on the alcohol.
Angel was busy cleaning from lunch when Aaron asked, “How much further until we get to the lower mountains?”
That’s when Roy stood up, smiled at Aaron, grabbed his high powered rifle and shot Angel. Angel flew backward. He’d been blown right out of his shoes. Then Roy turned his rifle on Eric and Aaron and said,
“There is no lower mountain. There are no elk. There’s only you. I’ll give you a 90 minute head start, and then I’m going to kill both of you.”
“Times wasting.” Roy said.
Eric and Aaron grabbed their rifles. Click, click, click, nothing. Roy gave a hearty laugh. “You didn’t think they’d be loaded did you?”
Roy whispered. “88 minutes now.”
Eric and Aaron ran for about an hour before they decided it was safe to stop and lay out a game plan. Should they separate or stay together? Would they be able to find help anywhere on this island? What could they use as weapons? Where would they find water? Both boys had drank the alcohol that had been served at lunch and were now very thirsty since alcohol dehydrates a person. Eric had noticed that Roy was not drinking the cocktails, but thought nothing of it since Roy had pointed out the night before that he did drink an occasional cocktail, but didn’t really care that much for the taste of alcohol.
Aaron had complained to Erick of an upset stomach, and Eric’s stomach was a little upset too. They discussed if this were nerves, or if they’d ingested something at lunch that drugged or poisoned them? Either way, they had to continue moving, and they needed to find drinkable water.
The two decided to stay together rather than to separate. They had no idea where they were or where they were going. If they separated they wouldn’t be able to help the other if one of them got injured by some mishap. Aaron was much more of an outdoors man than Eric. Aaron contended that it would be hard enough to start one fire without matches, let alone he and Erick both getting one started since Eric didn’t know what he was doing. Aaron had been a Fire Starter in the Boy Scout Indian tribe of Mic-O-Say, and had been taught how to build fires, get directions using the sun, build shelters, find water, get sustenance, and other survival techniques. And again, Erick had no idea about these things. Aaron said he’d take care of getting water and building shelter. Also, two against one is better odds, even if the one has a gun and all two have is handmade spears, clubs and possibly some booby traps.
The twins did what they had to do to be able to evade Roy and stay alive. Two days had passed and they had managed reasonably well, and felt like they could do it for several more days if need be. But then what? Sooner or later the experienced hunter would prevail in finding them. The boys had constructed various weapons and decided they should take the hunt to Mr. Hastings. They’d made spears, clubs, sling shots from skins of trees, gathered what they thought would be perfect throwing rocks, a tomahawk of sorts, and gathered vines that might work as a garrote, they even had a hand made knife. They began to back track along the paths they had already taken, except they were now 10 or 15 yards further to the side of the original paths. This way, if Roy was on their trail, maybe they could jump him before he saw them. Not the best plan in the world, but at least it was a plan other than just running themselves silly.
The strategy didn’t exactly work out. The twins had hiked for three or four hours, and there straight ahead of them, they saw Roy. They saw him first and began their assault with some of the homemade weapons, but to no avail. These weapons did little or nothing to affect Roy. The boys took off running in a zigzag pattern. A shot whizzed past Eric’s head and clipped the top of his left ear. They ran hard, but so did Roy. Roy shot several more times, but apparently his aim wasn’t very good while on the run, because none of the other shots were even close.
Eric and Aaron thought they were going the same direction they had just came from, but suddenly they were standing on the edge of a precipice. Roy was directly behind them. The boys were trapped on the edge; just where Roy wanted them. The boys could do nothing but look at Roy and hope against hope he had changed his mind about killing them. Maybe all he wanted was the thrill of the chase. The boys protectively hugged each other and waited for the worst.
The crack of a shot rang out, but nothing happened. Neither Eric nor Aaron could feel were they had been hit. But when they looked at Roy he was falling to the ground, and out from the brush stepped another man they had never seen before.
“Relax boys. My name is Baron. Baron Nadina’. Roy and I are partners in the ownership of this island. Or, should I say ‘were’ partners. I knew something was up with Roy, but I wasn’t positive as to exactly what. I’ve heard of a number of Roy’s acquaintances that have disappeared recently, and never been seen of or heard of since. I knew that a couple of them had visited here, but only a couple, and to be best of my knowledge they all left the island safely. When I asked Roy about it he told me that he had also heard about it too. He even went so far as to say that he thought maybe someone within the cross-training community was involved, but he had no idea who.”
Baron went on,
“I believed him, but a few days ago I arrived to do some hunting. I hadn’t had an opportunity to let Roy know I was coming, and apparently unbeknownst to me, he was up to his usual activities with the two of you. When I found Angelo dead at the camp site I started hunting for Roy. Luckily for you, I wasn’t very far away when I heard Roy’s shots ring out and I came running.”
“We’re sure glad you did Baron, We can’t thank you enough,” both boys chimed in.
Baron got the guys into his Range Rover and they headed back to the lodge. He made arrangements for them for a flight back to the States. Eric and Aaron had never been more thrilled to be home and with their families. Baron said he’d stay on the island. He had a lot of cleaning up to do, he had to notify the authorities, and make arrangements with Angelo’s family.
After the boys had gone Baron took Roy’s body back to the lodge.
“Roy, Roy, Roy ! I know you thought you loved the thrill of the hunt. But like I’ve told you over and over; there’s no real thrill to the hunt, unless what you are hunting has an equal chance of killing you, the same as you have of killing them.
This is why you are my greatest trophy Roy. I can’t wait to finish stuffing you. Thank you, you’ll be the centerpiece of my collection. I can see the placard now; Roy Hawkins; ‘The Great White Hunter’. ”
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All unpublished manuscripts should be considered FICTION whether true or not.