Sam ran, skidded, and tumbled back to the mouth of the combe. He’d just cleared the fence when, in the distance, he saw a dozen tiny flickers slowly snaking toward him.
Soon he could see that the flickers were candles, that each candle was held by a person wearing a hooded cloak like Ms. Lee’s, and that they were making their way toward the combe, the eerie chords of their mumbled chants just reaching him. He sprinted through the narrowing gap between the candle-bearers and the fence and cut toward the docks.
He jimmied open the door to the boathouse, cranked up the bay wall, jumped into a motorboat and began bringing a rock down on the chain mooring it.
The door banged open, Flynn stumbled in and fired a spear gun at him. Sam ducked and the harpoon missed him, lodging near the boat’s motor. Flynn charged, loading another harpoon, as Sam danced backwards in the motorboat, inadvertently kicking the starter. Flynn fired another harpoon which barely missed Sam and splintered the paneling by the throttle.
As Flynn reloaded, Sam charged, hoping to tackle Flynn before he could raise his weapon. The buffeting of the boat threw off his jump, however, and he ended up landing ribs first against the edge of the dock. He turned his head and was staring up the shaft of a locked and loaded harpoon.
“I know what you is,” Flynn slurred. “I know what goes on here.”
“I’m not… I’m not part of this,” Sam said. “I don’t—“
“Go to hell, fucker,” Flynn said, but as he started to pull the trigger, the motorboat kicked into gear and the chain pulled taut, taking Flynn’s legs out from under him. Flynn fell on his back, his head over the edge of the slip, but he miraculously held on to the spear gun which he continued to level at Sam.
At the same moment, Sam saw the lever for the winch suspending the sailboat above Flynn. He dove for it and slapped open the catch. The boat came crashing down on Flynn’s face, snapping his neck over the lip of the dock.
Flynn’s limbs still twitching, Sam went through his pockets and found a large ring of keys. He opened the lock on the chain mooring the already moving motorboat and dove in as the chain spooled free of the anchor tie.
As he pulled away from the dock, Sam saw several of them standing on the bluffs overhanging the bay, hoods thrown back, medallions against their chests. He saw the headmaster and Ms. Lee and Dr. O’Megaly and a dozen others, their hands joined, chanting.
The waves began to churn around Sam, and soon he was awash in roiling froth. He threaded his arms through the steering wheel to avoid getting thrown clear as the boat was tossed airborne by the chop. The waves were driving him back against the shore and the small motor in his boat was no match for their elemental fury. They dashed his boat against the breakwater, he spilled out, hit the rocks, and all was black.
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