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End of the Trump Era: Chapter Nine

Copyright J. S. Raynor 2017

Chapter Nine : A search for life

As Jason, Rebecca and the two young children left the grounds of the hard rock Hotel, they did not bother to walk towards the jetty, as they knew that the usually-jovial captain would not be there to ferry them across the lake. Instead, they took the long path which led around the perimeter of the lake. When they were about half way round the route to Universal’s entrance, they noticed the ferry boat. It was floating about fifty feet offshore. Several young, frightened children on board were shouting for help as they had spotted them. Jason and Rebecca looked on helplessly, unable to think of any way they could help these children. Then Jason had an idea. “That big inflatable ring we saw on the path!  We could use that to get the children to safety.”

Rebecca did not know what Jason had in mind, but was pleased to know that her brother was willing to help  “If you are certain you can help, that’s okay. I’ll stay here and look after the children.”

Jason ran back along the path and soon returned with a large, inflatable ring. Four handles were attached to the edge of the ring, which was about five feet in diameter, the type so commonly used to float lazily in the many water features within the theme parks. Jason dropped the ring on the bank, took off his shoes, socks and tee-shirt. Picking the ring up he threw it into the water and jumped in. It was cooler than he had expected in contrast to the blistering hot sun. He swam to the boat, dragging the ring behind him. Jason was a strong swimmer, but was thankful that the boat was not too distant from the bank. Once there, he told three of the youngsters to jump into the water. As each jumped, he helped them to hold on to one of the large, rubber handles. The children were terrified, but, with Jason’s help, they soon reached the bank of the lake. Once he was satisfied that they were safe, he, again, returned to the boat. Within about half an hour, eight grateful children, all aged around four or five were safely on dry land. Although soaking wet, the sun would soon dry their clothes. Jason pulled on his tee-shirt and shoes and socks and, to the eight children, this tall, skinny teenager from England was a hero.

“Thanks, Jason. You were great!”  Rebecca gave her brother a hug of gratitude. Deep in her heart, she knew that Jason’s reformed character was as a result of his feelings of guilt, but she was sensible enough not to mention it.

Realising that he would be hungry from his exertions, she looked in the pushchair’s bag for something to eat.

Too embarrassed to reply, Jason gratefully accepted the chocolate biscuit Rebecca offered him. He hungrily devoured the snack, as they continued their walk towards the entrance of the theme park. Rebecca was pushing Kelly in her trolley, while Peter and the eight children walked by her side. It did not take long for Peter to realise that, not only were his parents missing, but all adults were absent. “Where are all the mummies and daddies?”

“I don’t know.”  Rebecca could not think of any plausible explanation and, instead, decided to leave the child in ignorance. “The less said, the better”, she thought. Thankfully, little Kelly seemed quite contented and happy to be pushed around the theme park by Rebecca.

The sun was now quite strong and she realised that some sun-block would be helpful, but, annoyingly, this had been left in the hotel bedroom. Her mother would have insisted on liberally covering her children with protective cream, but her care and attention was now lost for ever. She could even imagine her mother, saying, “You are not going out in that strong sunshine until you have sun block on. You don’t want to get skin cancer, do you?”  Tears filled the young girl’s eyes as she painfully felt the absence of her loving parents.

Rebecca’s heart felt heavy as she continued to push the buggy, her interest in the theme park being considerably diminished. An idea suddenly sprang into her mind and she looked in the various stores dotted around the theme park. Most were selling souvenir tee-shirts and clothes, but one had sun-block. She put several in the pushchair’s bag and opened one. Acting as “mother”, she liberally spread the cream over all the children around her. Even Jason realised how important it was and applied the cream on his face, neck, arms and legs. Finally, Rebecca used the high-factor cream for herself, before continuing their tour of the park.

Some of the attractions were no longer operating as they needed constant adult maintenance and intervention. This was causing a great deal of frustration with children who would have been quite happy to continue using the rides, especially now that their parents were no longer around to supervise and restrict them.

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