Secretly, Paul wished the current events at an end.  He’d enjoy the opportunity of knowing this family, especially Eilea, under “normal” circumstances.  Still having witnessed their interactions under tumultuous situations,  he was more than impressed and certainly drawn to each of them.

Eilea was concerned.  Not only because of the current situation but because she only had five days left and she desperately hoped they’d catch this creep before them.  They’d return to their lives and he could strike anywhere anytime.  That would put her co-workers and other friends at risk since he didn’t care who he hurt in the process.

Paul found her sitting in the media room deep in contemplation.  “What’s up, Eilea?  You look considerably distracted.”  He went to her and wrapped an arm around her waist.

“I was contemplating our current situation and how this would play out when we return home.  I have five days of vacation left and simply can’t afford to take unscheduled time off.”  She went on to explain her overriding concerns.

“I have it on good authority we’re closing in.  Just received a call from headquarters.  They believe they know who he is. ”

“What?  How?”

“They’ve managed to collect DNA from the box he left on the car and isolated the same footprints at that scene as here.  They are going over police records to see if he’s on file for any reason.  If there is, we can take a look at some photos see if he looks familiar.”

“Thank god!  I had visions of this going on forever!”

“It may take some time yet, but we’re on the right track.”  In response, Eilea threw her arms around his neck as though he were a saviour of some sort.  Not that he minded, but it wasn’t him alone but involved a team of dedicated men and women looking out for her. Still, he’d take it.

They days events included more trekking and before long the glow of excitement overshadowed any concerns as they headed out to Englishman River Falls, a favourite haunt of all.  They were scheduled to meet two other “couples” to picnic and hike with.

The first leg of their journey went well everyone participating eagerly.  It was while they were on a narrow section of pathway that their adversary made his presence known.  Suddenly rocks started falling from above, small at first, then bigger until the pathway was unusable.  As soon as they began to fall, he grabbed Eilea and pushed her under the little bit of overhang above while Darren and Madeline did the same with Andrew and Christina.  He heard an umph from Christina and as he watched, shock filled Andrew’s eyes.  “We’re ok, we’re ok.” He called out to reassure everyone.

“Christina?  Andrew?”  Eilea yelled.

“We’re ok, mom.”

“What the hell was that?”  Eilea asked sweeping her hair from her eyes.

“Not sure.  Crystal, Jake, …” using hand signals he pointed behind them.

“It’s impassable this way, there’s not enough path to manoeuvre through.  We’ll have to head back the other direction.

It took forty minutes to re-trace their steps, but they managed.  When they arrived at the head of the trail,  Paul sent Crystal and Jake to investigate above while the other two were dispatched to the camp offices to inform them the path was unusable.





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