“You’ve been crying a hell of a lot,” Sandrine said, sounding callous to Riko. “I mean, sure, all our friends are dying in ridiculous ways, we’re trapped on an island in the middle of lake Ontario, oh, and we don’t know why. But seriously, buck up girl.”
Riko wanted to be angry, she wanted to rage at Sandrine for being a bitch, but all she could do was see the ridiculousness of the situation. Her tears stopped and she grabbed one of the large plastic containers of gasoline next to Sandrine and said, “Let’s get this over with and burn the killer out.”
Both Kate and Sandrine took containers and started spraying it around different areas. The island wasn’t big, and a third of it was already burning because of the house exploding.
Kate had a harder time moving around in the wet grass with her wheelchair so the others moved further off to get more of the small forest. They made sure not to get too far away from each other, always keeping at least one of the others in view at all times.
After splashing eight containers of gas, they moved to the shore and Sandrine threw a match at the grass. Riko watched as the match flew in a perfect arc and she worried that the grass would be to wet to catch. When the match hit the ground nothing happened for a moment and then it caught fire.
The fire snaked out from the grass towards the forest like a wave. The wetness didn’t stop the fire but it did cause more smoke. Even on the gravel shore they had trouble breathing.
“What do we do now?” Kate asked between coughs.
“We need to get upwind to not suffocate,” Sandrine answered. Just as she said that, the wind picked up and started blowing the smoke away from them.
“Finally some luck,” Riko took a deep breath of fresh air.
A dark shadow in the smoke ran across the field away from them.
“I’m going to kill them,” Sandrine said and ran into the smoke.
“Sandrine, you moron. You’ll suffocate before you get to them,” Kate’s words were lost to the roar of the fire. When Sandrine disappeared into the smoke, Kate added, “She’d going to die in there.”
“I’m starting to think we’re all going to die on this island.” Riko sat and sighed. It seemed completely useless. Whoever they were fighting had fate or luck or something on their side. There were only two of them left and the island was on fire. “Might as well accept our fates.”
“So what? We should just throw ourselves into the lake and die?” Kate’s face was red and her brow furrowed. “No. I’m not going to let this killer get me easily. I’m going to make sure they either pay for what they did or I’ll make them work for it.”
When Riko gave her a tired look, Kate sighed and added, “You never know, maybe Sandrine will succeed, she’s one tough woman.”
As if it had been timed, a gunshot echoed over the roar of the fire. Then another and another. Riko counted them out. “That must be the gun Ethan had left for me. It had fifteen rounds, those, and the earlier ones that Blane shot.”
“Did the fire set them off?”
“No they would have been faster and some would have gone off at the same time.”
They both sat in silence, covering their mouths when the wind turned towards them.
Riko’s tears dried up and she kept reliving each of the murders. Over and over she saw her friends die. She felt she deserved to re-watch each incident. She should have been able to stop it.
They silence was broken by their cellphones.
Twelve naughty kittens all trapped on an island; they’re all going to die for certain.
The first betrayed love for cash; now she’s ash.
To violence and hate the second clung; now he’s hung.
To gossip the third fixated; now she’s been asphyxiated.
The fourth preferred those who were incapacitated, now it’s his turn to be penetrated.
The fifth was a jerk who loved a good burn, now in a ball of fire it’s his turn.
The sixth was a model citizen, a spy; and not Canadian but Russian.
The seventh wasn’t what he seemed, he was but a dream within a dream.
Eight and Nine didn’t give a damn, so they died by their own hand.
Ten loved crime, it was her life and destiny, but she ran out of time.
“What the hell do these even mean!” Kate’s voice cracked in fear part way through the exclamation.
“I don’t know…” Riko re-read the text over and over again. Finally she said, “I think the killer is trying to punish us for our crimes.”
Kate snorted, “That would make sense if you weren’t here. I mean you’ve never done anything wrong.”
“I’m not perfect…” Riko trailed off.
“It’s almost noon and I’m starting to get hungry. We didn’t exactly have time for breakfast. We buried some food last night. I think it was near the docks. It’s a little fuzzy,” Kate smirked.
Standing up, Riko waited for Kate.
Gesturing at her chair Kate said, “I can’t make it far in this gravel. Plus, the docks were on fire. Look under where they used to be, in a metal box. Hurry. I don’t like being alone.”
“I can push you–”
“It would take ten times longer for us both to go. Go. I’ll be fine.” Kate patted the baseball bat on her lap.
Riko nodded and headed out to get the food. She followed the shore until she reached the burnt husk of the dock. It was black and still smoldering. The wet and cold had done nothing to stop if from burning. She easily found the metal bin that had the food and had to fight to get it open. It had warped from the fire.
Inside were some basics, and instead of deciding what to bring, she pulled, with her good arm, the entire bin towards where she’d left Kate.
Mid-way back, her phone rang with a text: You left poor Kate alone? I thought you were smarter than that…