Joshua Marlowe, a roughneck from the bayou. Samuel Foster, a fledgling scientist eager to research the environment. These two best friends went into the swamp on a mission of scientific discovery.
They got more than they bargained for.
Now, trapped in a world of swords and sorcery, they must not only find a way home, but survive an environment already tearing itself apart and in desperate need of heroes.
The bayou felt empty in spite of it being midday. The sun was already beating down on the riverbanks and the murky water. The tide was gently ebbing and flowing, causing the saltwater fishing boat tied to the dock to bob up and down. The only sounds were the blaring calls of cicadas and the opening chords of Bad Moon Rising playing over the boat’s speakers.
Josh hummed along with the melody of the song, his feet hanging off of the docks and into the water. He laid back and let the sun hit him, soaking in the warm summer afternoon. The buzzing of the cicadas was hypnotizing, enticing the mind to go blank. His break wouldn’t last long and he felt tired. He’d been cleaning the boat up to be ship shape early in the morning and wanted to take it out to be sure everything was running fine. It had cost him his lunch break, but luckily he had a few minutes before Sam would be here.
Josh got up and walked to the edge of the boat, still moored to the docks. He hoped onto the deck of the nineteen foot vessel and reached under the console in the center, grabbing his bag. Unzipping it, he shifted through several items he kept in the military pack with him: some rope, a canteen, a first aid kit. His grasp finely found a small pack of peanut butter crackers, pulling them excitedly out of the pack. Josh opened the plastic packaging and popped one of the round wafers into his mouth. His taste buds thanked him profusely for the cracker as he took a seat on the chair at the central console of his boat.
It wasn’t actually his boat; Josh had to remind himself of that sometimes. His grandfather was a fisherman and ran a boat rental and charter fishing service. “Chief” Scott Marlowe had actually been a Chief Petty Officer in the navy, but when he retired, he wanted to stay close to the sea, raising his son in the parishes outside of New Orleans, and the family had stayed ever since. Josh had been working for his grandfather for the past six months as his general assistant. He would prepare the boats, answer the phone calls, and occasionally he would accompany dear old granddad fishing. However, he had one exception that his grandpa reluctantly made where Josh would be able to take Sam on his trips personally
Sam was a close friend of Joshua’s. He had met Sam four years ago when he was still a sophomore in high school. Sam was a recent arrival from Pennsylvania. His family had moved to New Orleans when his father found opportunities in his line of work as a lawyer. Josh had to admit; even he thought Sam was a massive geek at the time. All ninth graders are pretty much oddballs, but seeing the kid alone all the time reading didn’t help. Josh finally got to talking to Sam in one of his English classes when Josh was having difficulty reading a selection of Shakespeare. That’s when Josh found out that Sam wasn’t alone because he was a prick; in fact, he was actually a nice enough guy. He just didn’t know how to talk to people very well. Seeing an opportunity, Josh proposed a trade. He would teach Sam how to be social and Sam would help him out with English. Sam agreed, and over time, they grew to be the best of friends.