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To Hell and Back

1
Chapter One
Joseph trudged through the dense forest as his stepfather kept up the chatter behind him.
This stupid fishing trip was all his mother's idea.
Joseph had reluctantly agreed, if only to please his mother.
“You know Joseph, I came fishing up here in Elk Falls Park with my old man all the
time.” Peter couldn't take the hint.
Joseph Marston had loved his father.
Not this impostor, but his real dad.
A couple of years ago it was just him, Dad and Mum. The perfect family living on
Vancouver Island, British Columbia. His Dad was a Park Ranger, at Elk Falls.
“Check out that track, Joseph.” Peters' voice interrupted him.
Glancing down he noticed a set of tracks leading off into the wilderness. Possibly a
Vancouver Island Wolf, he told himself. His countless camping trips with his dad told
him the tracks were a few days old.
“Yep, I bet that bear was here only a few hours ago.”
Joseph didn't correct him.
Here on Vancouver Island, the wildlife was different to that on mainland British
Columbia.
Tourists in their thousands visited every year expecting to see towering grizzlies and were
always disappointed.
“Yeah, how 'bout that” he muttered.
The last six months, ever since his mum and “Try Hard Peter” got married, saw Joseph
subjected to endless hours of torture as his new dad tried to fit in.
His real dad disappeared on a hiking trip about a year ago, or so the papers reported. They
had never found his body.
The memories came flooding back and he fought back tears. His dad had been trekking
through The Vancouver Island ranges, alone, and was only meant to be gone a few days.
When he didn’t return, Joseph’s mother had phoned around but no one had seen or heard
from him. They searched for weeks, but came up empty handed.
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