Moon Island (Chapter Forty-five)

Miraculously, Allison led us directly to a cave.

The opening was just far enough back from the shoreline to not be flooded, and yet still deep enough to provide shelter from the pounding rain. Once inside, as our breaths echoed – well, Kingsley's and Allison's breaths echoed – I pulled down my hood and asked Allison if she was doing okay.

"Just cold," she said. She smiled at me faintly, her mind still closed off.

To me, she looked…distracted. And was blinking far too much. Perhaps she'd caught a cold.

Perhaps.

It was then that my inner alarm began sounding…as always a steady buzz just inside my ear. I looked again at Allison and she again smiled sweetly at me.

"Well, now what?" asked Kingsley, hands on his hips and dripping everywhere. His big cartoon feet were buried in the soft sand inside the tunnel.

"Here," said Allison, pointing. She'd brought her cell phone and was now using its flashlight app.

I didn't need a smart phone flashlight app to see in the dark, and neither did Kingsley, but we were polite enough. She aimed the light toward the back of the deep cave, and revealed something that none of us were too surprised to see: digging tools. Shovels and picks and strainers. It looked like a looter's hangout.

Rocks were piled up back there, too, many of which had been moved. Yes, someone was looking for something here, and, by all appearances, had been doing so for quite some time.

Kingsley inspected the area with Allison. I didn't. Instead, I closed my eyes and did my best to block out their voices, which seemed to echo everywhere at once. I kept my eyes closed and turned in a small circle. I lowered my hands and opened my palms. I breathed deeply, slowly, focusing.

Focusing…

Focusing on the medallion, as if it existed, as if it really could be here in the tunnel.

I didn't know how to find something that was hidden. After all, I'd only stumbled upon the second medallion in old Charlie's mobile home quite by accident. Back then, I had closed my eyes, like I was doing now, and the medallion just appeared to me, without effort – I gasped.

There it was.

Burning in my mind's eye.

Clearly.

And it wasn't that far away.

Except, of course, it most certainly wasn't in the tunnel.

I opened my eyes and headed out of the cave…and toward the crashing surf.