• Poppy Grady

Trapped on Acker Island - Chapter 1

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Trapped On Acker Island

Chapter 1

Harper and her bakery staff carefully placed the five-tiered wedding cake in the back of the van, headed for a place called Acker Island, a small island off the coast of Maine. Harper had never been there before but heard stories that it was a beautiful and strange place. It was named after a family from many generations ago and people who don't live there would refer to its residents as Wackers to blend the island name with their oddities. Harper would always hear things like, “If you’re born on Acker Island, you never leave, and the people are stranger for it.”

Harper wasn’t afraid of strange people. In fact, she was generally intrigued by them. And they usually liked her, too. She had gathered her fair share of weirdo friends and acquaintances over the years. Eccentrics, stark intellectuals, spectrum, socially awkward, alternative lifestyles. You name it, she knew them.

The problem was that she was easy-going and accepting of others. She appreciated the oddities that made some people stand out. Instead of stepping back, she would step closer towards them merely to figure out what makes them tick. But the process of peeling away their layers would take a long time and, instead of a mini psychology exercise, she would end up with a friend. Or sometimes, just an acquaintance who would become a nuisance but whom she couldn’t drop out of fear of hurting their feelings. For some of these people, she was their only friend.

“Are you sure you don’t mind going alone?” Liz asked. “I just can’t.”

“It’s fine! Don’t even worry about it. I’m sure I can get a nice guy to help me unload the cake. Maybe I’ll even make a love connection.” Harper answered with a sly grin.

“Don’t even joke like that. You have enough weirdos in your life; don’t go picking up any more of them. Especially from wacker Island.”

“Alright, alright.” Harper smiled and started the van. “I’ll text you later.”

About an hour later, she started across the long bridge to the island and noticed the island appeared covered in fog at the edges. And it was quiet, like a fresh snow, but it wasn’t snowing. Nearing the end of the bridge, there was a Security guard and a gate.

“Are you here for the Levi wedding?”

“Yes, I have the cake.” Harper answered.

“Okay, let me just check the back then?”

“Huh? You want to look in the van? It’s just a cake.”

“Ma’am, we get a lot of people trying to come here for all sorts of odd reasons and we have to be careful, so if I could just take a look, please.” His face was stern.

Another security guard slowly emerged from the other side of the check in station. They were both armed and she could tell they meant business.

“Okay.” Harper agreed, suspiciously. As suspicious of them as they were of her. She walked around to the back and opened the doors.

The guards saw nothing more than a wedding cake. “ Alright then, free to go. You’ll follow the cliff along the water until you see town. Take your first left and the road will bring you directly to the town center. The reception is in the building marked J. Acker Hall. Thanks for your cooperation, ma’am.”

Okay, so they were very protective of their little town, she thought. It’s not really that strange. There are neighborhoods all over with Security guards. Though she'd never known them to be armed and search your car, but she was willing to overlook this because she simply had a delivery to make.

Harper got back in the van and started on her way. As soon as she cleared the bridge, she seemed to break through the fog, almost like it was a ring around the island, and the island was suddenly basking in late afternoon sun. She rode along the steep, tall cliffs. Majestic. Lush with green on top of the harsh rock cascading into the sea.

The view from the cliff road was unbelievable. The ocean was the most beautiful she’d ever seen, with soft waves that caressed over the rocks peeking out the top and breaking on them with white foamy caps. The clear sky gave way for the sun to dance off the water and it sparkled dark blue. There was a beachy cove below and a few colorful sailboats gently bobbing with their moors.

She opened the window and took in a deep breath of salt air. The warm summer air blew back her long chestnut hair. A wave of peace came over her. Her mood suddenly lifted and she'd never felt better. Happy and free of all worries. She couldn't make sense of this because she had plenty of things to worry about. But she was suddenly happy. Elated. A large smile took her by surprise as the road turned gently to the right and she suddenly saw the town come into view.

It. Was. Stunning. …

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