Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Reading

I wanted to share part of the first chapter of my novel Treacherous Trust with you.  I hope you enjoy it.  If you would like to finish the book you can go to this site to get your own copy in ebook form:


The waters of the lagoon shimmered around Holly like smoked glass in the late afternoon sun. Beyond the strand, nothing more than a narrow thread of sand and coral, the Caribbean pounded, a constant roar in the otherwise tranquil surroundings. As she sat motionless in the dugout it occurred to her how much she was like this place. Outwardly, the world saw her as a tranquil, though somewhat melancholy, person. They had no idea of the restless, relentless inner tumult she felt.
Paddle across her knees, she stared at the blueness beyond the strand. The sea and sky met without any conflict of color, in perfect harmony. She knew she should have been able to find peace and calmness in this place; yet it was not to be. She closed her eyes and sighed at the hopelessness that filled her. More than two years had passed and still she was unable to cope with what had happened. Unable to understand why such tragedy had occurred in her life. Unable to put it behind her, to overcome the feeling of guilt, and to get on with living. So much horror in one brief moment; it had left her shattered and questioning the faith that had once given her strength so long ago.
The gentle current within the lagoon had pushed her towards shore and into the shade of the mangroves that formed a canopy over the landward side of the lagoon. Although the shade was pleasant and cool, the hum of mosquitoes was not. Unwilling to be a meal for the hungry insects, she was readying her paddle when she became aware of a new sound. She frowned, turned her head to the left, feeling pressure against her eardrums. The air throbbed and she felt a deep vibration in her chest. Startled, she glanced up and gasped as a blue helicopter with black markings swept across the lagoon, barely skimming the surface, the water ruffled by the vortex from its blades. The chopper careened seaward and rose slightly before it turned landward again. Suddenly a second helicopter, dark grey in color and much larger than the first, roared into view.  From the larger chopper the rattle of gunfire stung the air, and ripped at the water. Bullets hammered the surface of the lagoon less than a foot from her dugout and showered her with spray. The blue helicopter swerved seaward as gunfire from the larger chopper peppered its side. The blue helicopter spun around, away from the sea, trailing dark smoke. The wind from its blades rattled the upper branches of the mangroves not one hundred feet from Holly before crashing into the marshland beyond. She could see the blades of the larger, grey helicopter through the treetops as it hung in the throbbing air over the crash site for what seemed an eternity.
Renewed gunfire rattled as a third helicopter, black in color, roared across the lagoon from the sea. The larger helicopter returned fire for several seconds before it rose into the air, swerved left and out to sea.  The third followed with continued gunfire. Holly gasped as she realized she’d been holding her breath. Through the mangroves she saw smoke and realized that the downed machine was close by. Every instinct told her that either or both of the other helicopters would be back and she should put distance between herself and this place. Yet she couldn´t go. Someone might still be alive. She couldn´t just leave. No more deaths could be on her soul.

Holly ignored the mosquitoes that now did more than hum and paddled toward a small estuary that was hardly wider than the dugout.  She maneuvered between the mangrove roots using her paddle to push pass and under low-hanging foliage as she worked her way deeper within the canopy to strike solid, though spongy ground. She climbed out into ankle-deep water, carefully tied the dugout to a protruding root, and headed into the swamp. A nearby caiman watched her with wicked yellow eyes as it displayed rows of teeth. She sighed with relief when it slapped the water with its tail and sank beneath the surface. Several others sank quietly without a ripple beneath the surface of the water.  Glancing nervously around, she plunged deeper into the undergrowth toward the smoke.

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