“Mommy, there’s the amazing man!” Amber cried out as she ran to the water’s edge on her chubby four-year-old Legs – waving furiously at the figure on the little island.
“Yes, dear.” I stood beside her as she tried to get his attention. “Why do you call him amazing?”
“He makes mazes.” She continued waving.
“How do you know that?”
“He told me.”
“When I was asleep.”
“You mean in a dream?”
“No dream, Mommy, in my ear.”
A chill passed over me, and I looked toward the island to see him staring out across the water. He was walking to the edge of the water – closer to us now. I could see him wave.
Then he beckoned for us to come to him.
“He wants to show me his maze! He says you can come, too!” Amber began to dance on the shore.
“It’s almost dark, dear. How do you know he wants us to see his maze?”
“He says we should come over. He left his boat for us – it’s the red one. He says it won’t be dark in the maze. Please, Mommy, can we go?”
Curiosity overcame common sense, and I took Amber’s hand to lead her to the little red boat tied next to our weathered green one.
Something was drawing me to the island. This man was a mystery calling us to him. My four-year-old daughter thought he was talking to her. In the recesses of my mind, buried deep in memory, I found his voice from long ago,
“Come to my island. I will show my maze.” Those words came to me when I was Amber’s age. My parents refused my pleas to go to the island, of course, turning a deaf ear to my whining.
Our family left the cabin early that summer, and the incident was never talked about. It was many years before I returned to the lake. By that time, the voice was gone, but the island was still out there. I thought it had disappeared with my childhood.
So, here I am, on the verge of taking my daughter to meet a man – a mysterious recluse – on a deserted island.
I need to tell Rick where I’m going. Maybe he, like my parents, will tell me there is no man on the island – there is no island in the lake!
Then why do Amber and I see the island?
Why do we step into the little red boat that will take us to the amazing man?
Lauretta Kapla writes plays, poems, and mysteries in a shack hidden in the woods – don’t look, you won’t find it. Several of her plays have been produced. She is a great believer in audience participation and enjoys improv.