Vivian barely slept all night, so shaken up had she been by Black’s threatening appearance. When the sun shone in her bedroom window at last, she dragged herself out of bed and went into the kitchen to make coffee. Passing through the living room, she glanced out the picture window, and she could see Jake in front of his house, looking up at her house and pacing in a way that made him appear to be agitated.
As she stood sipping her coffee, she saw Jake walking reluctantly up toward her cabin. She hastily downed her coffee and hurried to her room to dress. She threw on her jeans and flannel shirt just in time to meet Jake at the door.
“We’re late,” is all he said, and turned to walk back down to his place. Vivian hurriedly donned her hiking boots and baseball cap and scurried after him. They both arrived at Jake’s cabin at the same time. Jake had a duffle bag filled with materials for the job of servicing a marijuana plantation.
“Lift that,” Jake said, indicating the bag. Vivian hoisted it onto her back.
“What now?” Viv said. Adrenalin was rising in her, and she began to feel resentment for Jake’s attitude toward her. Jake turned and began walking up the muddy road, not toward the place she had seen him enter the forest before. After walking about a hundred metres up the road, he turned into the forest through a space in the foliage that one would never notice if they didn’t know where it was.
As Vivian followed Jake alone a crude, overgrown trail, neither of them spoke. Vivian watched ahead for the sign of a clear area similar to the one she’d seen when she’d followed Jake, discovered the grow-op and got into all this trouble. The strange thing was, it somehow was starting to feel a bit less like trouble and a bit more like an adventure. She even allowed herself to think about five thousand dollars a month. Tax free. She didn’t need money, but five thousand dollars of hidden income was inviting anyway.
As they came closer to plantation ‘C’, the sound of a helicopter grew close.
“Shit!” said Jake. “They’re looking for the plot. Lean against a big tree with the bag between your legs and stay very still.” Viv eagerly followed Jake’s instructions. She was beginning to feel excited at this unique adventure, and the danger of getting caught by the authorities, or enslaved by Black, actually became exciting.
When the helicopter had passed, Jake led Vivian into the plantation and told her to put the bag down. He opened it up and took out several large plastic soda bottles with a murky liquid in them and showed her how to water the plants with a quantity of the liquid.
“What’s that,” Vivian asked.
“Food and drink,” he said.
“What is it though,” she said.
“Bat shit stirred into well water,” he said.
“Bat shit?” she said. “Why? Where do you get it.
“I might tell you that when the time comes – if the time comes.”
“What if I get caught?” Viv said.
“You’re on your own, and you better not name any names.” Jake said, and began to watch her nourishing the burgeoning plants, coaching her along the way. She was sweaty and stiff and fatigued when she was done. On the trek back to the road, Vivian began to worry about her vulnerability to Jake. He was big, good looking, strong, and attractive.