What happened next I'm not sure I even believe and I was there. I want to say my eyes were playing tricks on me but I know that isn't true. Max pulled the little paddle boat over and I hopped in, still pretty unsure about this whole thing. He was grinning like he knew exactly what was happening which didn't help with the anxiety I was having over this. 
"What is going on, Max?" I asked. Still grinning he said "we are going to check out this island, see what's on it" he was staring at me.  I watched his eyes and face before I spoke again, I became very good at reading people's faces while I was locked up, I had to, doctors were always lying to the patients and I needed to protect myself. "You have always been a horrible liar" I said finally. His grin wavered for a moment. "Gabs, come on, it's me you know you can trust me" this comment struck a nerve, which surprised even me. "Stop the boat please" I said softly and he furrowe d his eyebrows "why? You going to get out and walk?" He teased. "No I'm being lied to and I want you to tell me what you are hiding. I'm sorry but I've been lied to most of my life and I don't appreciate it. Also, I did know you, but I haven't known you for the last 20 years, Max. You can't just show up one day and expect things to be the same because they're not and we're not" I took a deep breath and stared down at my hands in my lap. 
His voice softened "I'm so sorry Gabby, I got carried away. Im so happy you are here with me after all those years. The truth is that I have been on this island and I saw something, I don't know exactly what it was but it looked like the thing we saw by the showers at the beach that day. I couldn't tell anyone or they would think I was completely..." he stopped mid sentence and hung his head "completely what? Crazy?" I finished for him, amused. "Yeah sorry I wasn't thinking" "no worries, that really doesn't bother me" I offered. He looked up and smiled "anyway I wanted to take you out here to see if we found it again and I have a crazy theory that I can only share with you. It's probably going to sound crazy to you even and you've seen this thing with me" he paused to look at me 
"A theory? About a weird looking monster that has the town brainwashed?" I asked. "Well, yeah kind of. I did some research on this area and the legends that we called home. The guy in the log cabin, the missing people, including Becca and Luke. Some where found, some were not, but no one in town lifted a finger to investigate or even seem to care about what was going on" he stopped and studied my face "why didn't they care? That always got me" I asked. He was quiet for a minute, "they were conditioned to believe it was part of life. Of course there was always people like us who wanted answers. They were either killed or sent away, like us. But there is a pattern...I dug a bit deeper and found that people go missing every 10 years, give or take and it looks suspiciously like sacrifices. I think the town is offering people as sacrifice to keep the monster out of sight, it's always easier to offer up the troublemakers"  he stared off out at the still water. There wasn't even a breeze that day, the surface of the water was like glass and the air just cool enough to be comfortable but I had chills as I processed this. Did my family sacrifice me? Is that what that was, and why they never came back. 
"Are you saying we were sacrifices?" I asked, still processing. 

He grabbed my hand in both of his and said "yes, and this is why we can't go into town. You might think they wouldn't remember but they do and they will run you out. We aren't the first to come back, but I would like to live to tell about it" I agreed "but what about this island? You said you've been there before, what is over there? Why are we going there now?" I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, this whole thing didn't feel right. 
"Because of what I found, my theory. There is a monster but it has to feed, for lack of a better word, every so often but the ones that aren't found are possessed by the monster. I'm saying that Luke became that monster and I need your help finding him" he confessed. "Isn't that dangerous? Assuming your theory is correct, by all intents and purposes, it's not Luke, not anymore, he would be unpredictable, dangerous, he would have no emotional attachments. Killing is instinctual" I was still staring out at the glass surface of the water. "I know but I can't just let go and forget my friend" I could feel his stare, I turned to look at him "let's go" I said. 

We paddled the rest of the way to the island and found a place to pull the boat up on shore. "Come on, there's an old shack up this way". He started walking up a hill, I followed, trying to look around at my new surroundings, mostly just thick trees and tall grass, everything was so still, it was eerie, made me uncomfortable.  I jogged a bit to keep up with him, at the top of the little hill I saw the shack, sagging and dilapidated it looked sad. "That little thing?" I asked catching my breath. "That's it, it doesn't look like much but it works for shelter." He replied. 

When we made it to the shack, he was inside arranging things as I stood in the doorway. Someone was staying in there, there was no dust on anything and what looked like a rolled up sleeping bag in one  corner. Seeing the look on my face, Max said "I know it freaked me out the first time too, but it's ok. Come in"  

I entered the little shack, where we sat until the sky darkened. 

In the dark, we hunted and it hunted.