Windhaven 7

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

 

What If? Poseidon was hungover after partying too much in the Equatorial party zone? To find some quiet to recover he rises to the surface where he spies a sailboat single handed by a young woman. He introduces himself, as a shipwrecked hunky man, and they get along very well. But eventually his bitchy consorts find him and persuade him to return to the Party. Brokenhearted the woman sails on into a storm she cannot survive until the Man himself saves her and they live happily ever after, under?

What If? there were vampires in space. (see Down Home as an example) What If? they were accepted for their gifts (strength and emergency space walks without a suit)and all the crew donated blood for them. But them some unknown aliens attack. In the fight a lot of blood is spilled. Some vamps taste the alien blood, and love it. They want more, lots more, they’re addicted. The vamps and humans win the fight, but now the vamps want to find the home planet. The humans have doubts about that idea, but can they go against the stronger, quicker, addicted vampires? What do you think?

 

Windhaven 7

Linda’s third grade students felt her excitement at the upcoming streaming session. Most just thought it was because of the adventure part. A few thought she had a personal reason. They hadn’t missed the spark in her eyes whenever she mentioned the man who told her about the race.

This would be the second session. The first had been from Newsboy, a sixty-five footer in fourth place at the time. There’d been some glitches, but she was sure this one would be perfect. Fourth grade kids had joined them, forty-eight kids and several teachers packed into her classroom.

Gary Duckworth, the man in charge of the race, spoke from his headquarters in Newport, Rhode Island.

“Hi kids. I’m Gary and I’m sort of in charge of this wild race. Today we’re going to visit Windhaven, a seventy foot long sailboat that is in either first or second place at the moment. Windhaven is in the Doldrums right now. That’s an area around the Equator of very light and fickle winds. Even a sailboat as big and advanced as Windhaven, which is capable of going twenty-five knots, may only be moving at a slow walk pace. And just to make it interesting the area has many squalls, small, fast moving storms that can quickly go from no wind to twenty-five or thirty knots.”

Gary glanced to the side and nodded.

“Okay, we are live with Captain Red Smathers of Windhaven.”

The scene switched to a live shot of Red standing in the cockpit.

“Hello kids, welcome to Windhaven. We were planning to just have a little meet and greet with the crew today. But, according to our master navigator and all around electronics guy, Larry…” Larry reached around the video camera he held and waved. “… we have within the last twenty minutes crossed the Equator.”

The camera’s view moved to show Ricky at the helm and the boat’s quiet wake.

“That’s Ricky, our first mate at the helm and the Equator is just back there a little bit.” Red moved to the rear of the cockpit. “Now we have eight crew on this boat. Six of us have crossed the equator before. Two haven’t. So you are just in time to witness an ancient initiation, a solemn ritual of the sea.

“Usually this ritual is performed by Poseidon, the God of the sea. But, he could not attend today so he sent Princess Leighatude, of unknown family connection, in his place. Come Princess Leighatude and preside over the festivities.”

Larry focuses on the companionway as Leigh, a hasty paper crown holding down her sun bleached hair, wearing a bikini top and a sarong, and holding a boat hook as a scepter, emerges and stands in the middle of the cockpit. The kids laugh and hoot.

“Thank you Captain Red for that questionable introduction. The old bum would have been here, but he drank a bit too much last night and hasn’t quite dried out yet.” She faced the companionway. “Bring up the Pollywogs,” she ordered.

Thomas and Noah climbed out. They wore large towels around their waists and seaweed draped over their heads and shoulders. The students and teachers laughed, mingled with a few “Ewwws.”

Linda laughed, covering her mouth with her hands. She had been giddy with anticipation to see Noah at the helm wearing shorts, and a tight T-shirt and sunglasses and a proper floppy hat and looking like a roguish adventurer. But she was delighted, too, to see him in that bit of whimsy far from home. Maybe a little bit jealous, but delighted.

“Kneel, Pollywogs,” Leighatude ordered, striking the deck with her scepter. The two men knelt while the rest of the crew tried to look serious despite their smiles. “You have braved the seas on this perilous journey and crossed the great divide.” Tapping each of them with her scepter, she said, “So, by the authority invested in me by a drunken God with a massive hangover, I dub you Old Salts and cleanse you with the polluted waters of the southern seas.”

Alain and Ivan doused them with buckets of water.

“You may now remove that stinky seaweed and return to your duties, forever Old Salts.”

Smiling big, Noah sat back on his heels and flipped off the seaweed. He looked up, and his eyes opened wide. “Oh shit!”

The camera spun around, facing aft, showing a black squall, a wall of rain a hundred feet behind and coming fast.

“On deck!” Red shouted. Initiation forgotten, the crew leaped into action. “Ricky and Alain, the spinnaker. Noah on the helm.” Noah jumped up. He brushed past Leigh, knocking off his towel. A super gust blew it out of grasp. The kids gasped and giggled as a solid deluge obscured his untouched by sun ass.

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Windhaven 6

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

What Ifs?

I had bees in my kitchen the other day. They came in through a vent, but appeared in midair as if from another dimension. I’m not that wild about multidimensional stories, but, What If? they were from another dimension? How would you know? They might be little robot reconnaissance insects. We have tiny mechanical flying insects, why couldn’t THEY? What would they be looking for? Are they friend or foe? If they were friends they should send butterflies instead of bees. Either way, not in our kitchen, thank you very much.

What If? Windhaven, or another boat, Windhaven has enough troubles, in the middle of the ocean sails through a dimensional rift with out knowing it? The sea is the same, it’s when they get to land that things get strange. Maybe they’re arrested as spies, their boat confiscated. How do they get it back? Maybe the people think they are heroes of some sort, but the perks of heroism are not what they seem. In either case, how do they get back to their home dimension? And do they want to? 

Windhaven 6


WNoah waved at the follow boat and turned to the task at hand, leading their closest rival, Global. The sixty-eight foot boat was fast with a well experienced crew, but Windhaven had Larry Brockard. Larry stood beside Noah his gaze intent on every wind ripple, every wave, every wisp of cloud, how the other boat’s sails were trimmed. Though only twenty-six, both his parents had degrees, mother a PhD in weather science and father a masters degree in weather science and oceanography. They’d been sailing and teaching Larry since he was three. Larry could read every nuance of wind and water and make sure Windhaven took advantage of them.

Over the next hours the racers spread out as they headed in what they believed was the best course for them. As evening enclosed them Larry looked up from his charts and computers and declared that Windhaven led Global by almost a nautical mile. Insignificant in light of the thirty thousand plus miles ahead, but good for moral anyway.

After almost five hours on the helm, Noah sat at the settee table scarfing down one of Ivan’s pasta dishes. Ivan, Leigh and Red, all sun burnt and tired, sat with him.

“You did good today, New Guy,” Leigh said.

“Thanks. You guys make a good crew. It’s easy to work with you.”

Red said, “I told ya.”

“He’s got the magic seat of the pants,” Ivan added. “His ass is one with the water.”

“Thanks for that lovely endorsement of the New Guy, Ivan.”

Tired, and a bit cranky, Noah said, “Ordinarily, I’d ask how long it takes for the new guy to get a real name. But I’m pretty beat today so I won’t.”

All eyes on him, there was a long silence. Noah managed a smile and a shrug and kept eating.

Finally, Leigh said, “You did good today, Noah.”

“Thanks, Leigh. I appreciate that.”

Noah got up soon after and headed forward to a narrow corridor on the starboard side. His narrow bunk was the second fold down in a line of three. The port side had a similar set up with the head in between. He used the head and slumped onto his bunk. He’d barely slept since that phone call. The tension and excitement of five hours on the helm had been the limit. He spared a minute to think of Linda and was out. He was on watch again in a few hours.

And so it went. He quickly joined the rhythm and routine of the boat. Red assigned the watches – two crew on each watch, two hours on, six off, though if there were changes to be made it was all hands on deck.

They crossed the Gulfstream and worked their way south. Larry seemed to divine favorable winds with a glance at the sky and several screens on his wall of electronics.

Noah and Thomas stood watches together.

“I’m just a basic flunky deckhand,” Thomas told Noah one fine clear night with a Cheshire Cat moon grinning down from the East. “I used to work building or repairing fishing boats. Worked with my father mostly.” A sentimental grin softened his face as he gazed straight up at the stars. He chuckled. “I know it’s a cliché but he did teach me everything he knew. Which, except about boats, isn’t much. He made it to tenth grade then went to work. Not much real education, but he had common sense and lots of boatyard smarts.”

“What about you?”

“Huh. If I had any common sense I wouldn’t be on this big ass sailboat racing around the world.”

“Well, I guess we have that in common,” Noah allowed.

“You, me, and every freaking long-distance sailor I ever met.”

“So how’d you make the transition from leaky fishing boats to a million dollar sailboat?”

“A friend of the yard owner had a forty footer with engine problems. I fixed him up and while we were testing the engine he put up his sails and shut down the engine, which ran perfectly, by the way. I’d never been on a sailboat before. It was a beautiful day, sunny, nice breeze, quiet. He gave me a beer and I was hooked. Every captain wants a crew who does what’s he told, doesn’t get seasick, doesn’t whine when the weather turns shitty, and can fix an engine. You?”

“I was sixteen on a family friend’s boat, had the same day you did. Started asking around. I was the same crew you were, except I can’t fix an engine. And here I am.”

Quiet for a while, they took in the easy roll of the boat, the susurrus of the passing water and the ever warming breeze. What sailing is all about.

Thomas asked you writing anything I might have read?”

“What kind of books do you like to read?”

“None.”

“Then no.”

And so it went. Crossing the equator was slow going. It was also their first scheduled live streaming to school kids.

Comments and suggestions welcome – dcburtonjr@gmail.com

Windhaven 5

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

What Ifs?

What If someone had something against one, or two, of the crew of a sailboat going offshore and they planted a bomb of some sort set to explode at some particular time? Maybe five minutes before the big bang he, or she, contacts them somehow, and tells them what’s going to happen. Boom. All are lost, except one guy survives who had nothing to do with the bomber, and he’s pissed!

Or, What If in the middle of the ocean the crew rescues a mermaid running away from a mean merman. The merman has connections. Maybe the mermaid is Poseidon’s favorite niece so merman has to keep under the Big Guy’s radar. They can’t just sink the boat, but the merhenchmen can reduce the crew, quietly, one at a time. But then Poseidon finds out what’s happening, and he’s pissed!

 What If the above happened in space? You figure it out.

Don’t forget to check out Fear Killer  —————————————–>

Windhaven 5

Chapter?

 At five o’clock on Sunday morning Linda, gripping her coffee with both hands, had hunched over her home computer as an interviewer and camera worked their way down the dock, interviewing crew members of the seven boats. She knew enough about boats to recognize the engineering, ingenuity, ruggedness, and the money involved in the sailboats getting ready to race around the world.

woman_using_laptop

Interspersed with the interviews were short video clips of each boat at speed under full sail. The thrill of those boats powering through the water made her heart beat a little quicker each time, not only with excitement but a bit of fear as the vessels crashed through rough seas. In the night as they lay together in his bunk Noah had admitted he was excited to join the race, but nervous, too.

Windhaven was the fifth boat. Without thinking about it Linda leaned in close to her screen searching for a glimpse of a man she only knew for twelve hours, but had been on her mind for the two days since. Crazy. She’d probably never see him again, he’d forgotten all about her. A one night stand before going off the sea. But, the way he had treated her with respect, cared about what she felt, kissed her, maybe he wouldn’t forget her. She’d stick with that thought.

There he was, coiling a line behind the Captain. All business, she thought. Taking it seriously. Keeping himself safe. The thrill in her chest had nothing to do with sailing.

The interviewer asked, “I hear you had to replace one of your crew only two days ago. Is that a liability? Most of the crews have sailed together for months or years. What if he doesn’t fit in?”

Red shrugged. “That is possible, but I’ve sailed with Noah before. He knows how to fit in. We did a short sail yesterday. He caught our rhythm quickly and worked well with the crew.” He motioned to Noah to join him. “And the crew agrees. They welcomed him in true Windhaven fashion.”

Noah laughed and shook his head. “I just hope I don’t get pneumonia from being so ceremoniously thrown in the water. But I guess I can live with them.”

Thomas came into the picture and clapped a beefy hand on his shoulder. “Always good to know the new guy can swim and swear properly.”

“I hope I don’t have to swim again for awhile and if I have to swear it’ll probably be at you.”

Thomas busted a laugh. “Damn effing right.”

A woman, pretty, short hair, no nonsense, called from the companionway, “Thomas, come and help us. You’re not on a Disney cruise, you know.”

Holding his hands out in a what-can-you-do gesture, Thomas said, “She calls,” and went to help with last minute stores.

“Noah,” the interviewer asked, “You were called up on very short notice. It must have been hard to leave your family and home so quickly.”

“I did have to scramble a bit to get stuff in order. But there’s not much of family left so that wasn’t a problem.” He let out a deep breath. “Though I did meet someone… ah, recently. Maybe she’ll remember me when I return.”

“I’m sure she will.”

Linda sat back with a wide grin on her face. “I’m sure she will, too.”

–:–

She watched for hours as the boats threw off their dock lines and headed out to the imaginary start line. The wind had picked up and at noon Eastern time the seven sailboats with all sail up charged over the line in a beautiful display of grace and power.

Powerboats followed them for a half hour, cameras taking a last look at the crews working for that extra half a knot of speed.

Noah stood at the helm of Windhaven. He waved to the camera boat. Linda caught herself waving back. I’m such a fool she thought, wiping a tear off her cheek, her lips tight against any more.

 

 

Comments and suggestions to: dcburtonjr@gmail.com

Website – https://davidburtonwriting.com

Windhaven 4

What If?  — For writers and readers with imagination. Use your head.

What If Noah planned  the accident of the one crew member so he could be in the crew. Maybe one of them was a murderer of someone close to Noah and he plans to discover who once out at sea? Agatha Christie anyone?

Or, What If the opposite is true. The crew has some nefarious plans for him a la the Orient Express. But he catches on and subtly fights back.  And then there was one, or, if the crew was clever – none.

Or, What if the crew were demons and wanted some power that Noah didn’t know he had. Or did he? Or, What If they were all on a space ship and the crew were aliens, bad guys, good guys, demons, vampires, angels, cyborgs, robots? Mix and match. Fun!

spaceship1

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I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

Windhaven 4

Before he fell asleep on the plane Noah’s waking dreams centered on Linda. He didn’t really believe in love at first sight. First night, maybe. He ran through the firsts – first smile, first kiss, first time they made love, both nervous, but laughing, first breakfast that felt so true.

He woke about a half hour before they landed. The smile he slept in turned tight and nervous. The woman faded a bit replaced by the boat, its crew and the sea. Plane landed, he breathed several deep breaths and, chuffing at the drama circling in his head, went to meet his fate.

 The first mate, Ricky Kiln, a six foot, broad shouldered guy with unruly dark hair, picked up Noah at the airport. After quick introductions Ricky guided him to a full size SUV loaded with equipment and food.

“How long has the crew been together,” Noah asked once away from the airport.

“All of us, about three months,” Ricky said. “Some of us longer.”

“I’m sorry about your guy breaking his leg.”

“Not too sorry, I’d bet. Now you get to go.”

Noah shrugged. “There is that, though I have to admit I’m a little nervous. This is a big step up from anything I’ve done.”

“Red told us what you’ve done. You impressed on the Bermuda race. Just take it easy at first. You’ll fit in.”

“I imagine your guy is disappointed.”

“He’ll get over it. He has a new girlfriend he’d rather hang out with than a bunch of crazy sailors.”

Noah crossed his arms and held himself tight. “I know how he feels.”

Windhaven floated like a sleek water beast yearning to be sent home to the sea. The sight of her rocking gently against the dock lines sent a thrill through Noah. He took in the seventy feet of racing sailboat with light blue streaming lines spelling out Windhaven on a dark blue hull; A fine bow and a fat stern with a low cabin and long cockpit. Twin wheels and polished stainless steel hardware all gleamed in the afternoon sun.

Ricky gave him a minute to take it all in. “What do think?”

“Beautiful.”

“Yeah, she is. Wait till you see her under full sail.” Ricky clapped him on the shoulder. “Come on, new guy. Meet your new best friends.”

Noah took a deep breath and descended the companionway ladder. Like the stark, all business deck, down below was also set up for business, but with a bit more flare. Mostly white with teak trim and shades of blue in the cushions and even a few small curtains over the small cabin side windows.

A navigation station from a space ship filled with instruments, computers, and communication equipment set to port of the ladder. A space with two bunks opened aft.

Starboard were two more bunks and a long, narrow galley. Forward of the galley was a U-shaped settee. Six people, five men and a woman, sat there, inspecting him. A stocky man with a round shaved head stood up.

“Noah,” Captain Redfield Smathers said, reaching out to shake his hand. “So glad you could make it. It’s going to be an adventure.”

“I imagine it will be,” Noah said, failing to match Red’s strong grip.

Several of the crew shifted to give him space on the settee. Noah studied the group. One man he knew. “Ivan, I see you’ve gained about three ounces since the last Trans Pac. Been eating your own food?”

Ivan, rail thin with cocoa skin reached a long arm across the table. He grinned wide. “Noah, good to have you aboard. I see you haven’t been eating my food, you’ve lost a few pounds.”

“Why do think I came along?”

The woman sitting next to Ivan, maybe forty, maybe fifty, skin dark with years at sea,  short of stature, especially next to Ivan, short of hair, broad of shoulder shook with Noah, her calloused grip matching Red’s. Leigh Tag said, “Ivan and Red say your okay, I hope they’re right.”

“I do, too,” Noah said, not quite able to meet her icy blue stare.

Sitting beside Leigh a young man, say mid-twenties, with a long face and a shock of blond hair gave a quick wave with a thumbless right hand. “That’s Larry Brockard,” Red said. “He’s our navigation and weather wizard. Just a kid, but he knows his stuff.”

“Well, that’s good. I’d hate to get lost out there.”

“No worries, mate,” Larry said with a mild Aussie accent. “I’ll get ya home.”

“Glad to hear it.”

“Next is Alain Bienvenue, all around deck man and our resident monkey. If someone has to go up the mast, walk the boom or hang off the side, he’s the man.”

Alain, slight, wiry with dusky skin and slicked back raven hair reached across to shake Noah’s hand. “Bonjour, Noah. Un plaisir. I hear vous êtes très compétant behind the helm.”

“I can usually keep going in the right direction.”

“Fast or slow if you ain’t goin’ in the right direction it’s not good,” the well-muscled man next to Noah said with a Texas accent. “I’m Tom Whitmore, deck man with Alain. He’s the brains, I’m the brawn. Least that’s what I tell him.”

“Plenty of need for both,” Noah said. “Even though I’m an old fart at forty-six I’ll do my best to help you win this little cruise.”

“Can’t ask for better than that.” Red raised his beer. “Well, this is our crew and here’s to us. Fair winds.”

The whole crew clinked bottles. “Fair winds.”

 

What If? – Windhaven 3

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you had a good one with family, friends, or a kind waitress serving you a bowl of gruel in some greasy spoon diner. Tip her well.

Christmas/New Years sale!

Starting midnight December 25 to midnight January 1 Smashwords is having a book sale. Go to — https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DavidBurton  to see my books on sale or free. Feel free to share this link. There’s also a link to Amazon for paperback editions. Thanks for your support. 

If for some strange reason you don’t find any of my books or stories to your liking there are thousands of other Smashwords books on sale — https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos/1

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I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  

The What If? Part:

What If? the plane Noah is on does one of those alternate dimensional/time shifts and he sees a magazine with the story of Windhaven? He reads the article with alarm, especially when he confirms the date, a year in the future. What does he do? Call Linda and the boat’s Captain and get no answer? What if he lands, knowing what happened? What if the plane shifts back to his time? Does he still go, knowing what might happen? Could he change the outcome?

 

Windhaven 3  

Sipping excellent coffee, Linda sat at Noah’s settee table and watched him efficiently scramble eggs, cook bacon and toast toast. She wore the jeans from the night before and one of Noah’s long-sleeve shirts against the early morning chill. She’d showered in the marina’s bathrooms and her hair was still wet and unfettered. Noah wore his light brown hair short and had no use for a hair dryer.

It figured she’d like the guy who was going away for half a year on an adventure she thought she’d like to go on, too. When he glanced at her with those bright blue eyes and a slightly embarrassed, yet thoroughly satisfied, smile she shivered with the warm memory of his touch. How long had it been since she’d had great sex and so often. There were jokes about it but she thought she might be a little sore for a day or two. So worth it.

Noah refilled her coffee cup then slid a plate full of eggs and bacon and toast and small pile of leftover potatoes in front of her. “Eat up. You’ll need your strength for those wild third graders.”

He sat across from her with his own plate. Staring at his food he raised his eyes and met hers. “You look beautiful this morning.”

“I feel beautiful. You look pretty good yourself, if a bit sleepy.”

“Your fault.”

“At least you’ll get to sleep on the plane.” She moved her eggs around with her fork. “Unless you’ve decided at the last minute not go sailing off into the sunset.”

Noah studied the piece of bacon in his hand, shrugged. “I’m committed. Or maybe I should be committed. It’s into the sunrise, actually.”

They ate in silence for a couple minutes, then Linda said, “You said the race will have a website. “I’ll follow your progress. Get my kids to root for you.”

He cocked his head hoping a thought would fall out. He grinned and shook a finger in the air. “I forgot until just now, I think their planning to set up streaming visits by satellite to schools. The kids will be able to ask questions of the crew and get real-time answers. You’ll have to check the website. Maybe I won’t have to wait six months to see you again.” Linda’s eyes opened wide in question. “That is if you don’t mind.”

Her grin matched his. “And maybe I won’t have to wait either.”

Done with breakfast they stood by the companionway ladder not sure what to do or say.

Noah said, “I’d say thanks for last night, but that seems a bit unseemly.”

Linda said, “I was sort of thinking the same thing. How are you getting to the airport?”

“Uber.”

“Then why don’t you thank me for a ride to the airport?”

“Won’t your third graders be pining for your smiling face?”

“They’ll survive. I can take half a day.”

Noah stepped up close. “Are you going to walk me in and kiss me goodbye at the gate?”

Linda moved a few inches closer. “Yes.”

“Then thanks.”

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Don’t forget to sign up for this blog and/or occasional updates and check out the sale books.

Cheers,

David B

 

 

 

 

 

What If? – Windhaven 2

white and black sail boat on ocean
Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

 

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  

But, What If? this story took place in space. A race around the solar system. Winner takes an asteroid with valuable minerals. What If? something went wrong and you couldn’t swing around Pluto (come on, it’s a planet) and you headed out to empty space and nobody knew where you were or that you were missing. How do you get back?

What If? you won the race and found an alien lived inside who didn’t want to give it up. But maybe it welcomed  visitors and had something more valuable to give, if it didn’t eat you.

What If?, to get a bit supernatural, the race was across a desert and you found a cave in a  moving dune and you had no choice but to go in out of a major sandstorm and you found…?

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I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them. Anyway…….

Windhaven 2

The woman had a nice smile, a little shy, a little come hither. Noah turned away. He didn’t need to be thinking what he was thinking. Tomorrow he was leaving for six months, give or take. 

Jubby set a beer down in front of her. “Linda, haven’t seen you in awhile. Long day in the third grade?”

“Always.” She took a long slug of beer. “Just need a beer or two and and some good jazz tonight.”

“I have both. The guys start in nine.” He threw a nod at Noah. “Meanwhile talk to Noah, there. He’s sailing around the world tomorrow. Probably won’t see a woman for six months.”

“Jubba, she didn’t come here to talk with me. Sounds like all she wants is beer and jazz. That’s enough for both of us. No offense.” There was that smile again. 

“None taken. Around the world in six months? That’s pretty fast, isn’t it?”

Noah sipped his beer to give himself time to get whatever was happening to him together. Maybe a little conversation wouldn’t hurt. “I hope so,” he said, clearing his throat. “I’ll be on a seventy foot full on ocean racing sailboat. No stops, balls out all the way.”

“Sounds like an adventure.”

He stared at her well worn sneaker clad feet. Blew out a breath as if deflating himself. “To tell the truth I’ve barely had time to just sit and take in the whole thing. I just found out yesterday, I’m leaving tomorrow, two days later we’re gone.” Eyes wide he shrugged- what’re you gonna do?

Linda turned on her stool. “I did some sailing, just around here, Catalina, up to LA with my uncle when I was a young girl.”

“A young girl. That was what, yesterday?”

She laughed. A good laugh, self depreciating, real. “A lot of yesterdays. Teaching third grade ages you twice as fast as normal.”

“Yeah, I remember third grade.”

The band, a young group quartet, piano, bass, drums and a female guitar player, mounted the small stage. The audience grew quickly forcing Noah to move next to Linda, which he didn’t mind. Linda didn’t seem to mind either.

Knee to knee she asked, “So tell me about this race.”

He didn’t know much, but it seemed like three rich guys with big, fast boats wanted to do a long race. Length of the race got a little  out of hand, so the next Sunday seven boats fifty-five to seventy feet were leaving Providence, Rhode Island to sail around the world. First one back won seven thousand dollars, the entrance fee, they were rich it wasn’t about the money, and a knock off America’s Cup trophy. The race wasn’t officially sanctioned, but they did have a command center they had to report to, supposedly every week.

The quartet began  to play. The opening number had their feet tapping and heads bobbing. More jazz lovers entered, slowly forcing them closer. She smelled good. How long had it been? Oh man, don’t start thinking about it – her. In six months she’d have forgotten all about him. The same for him, probably. He rested his arm on her seatback. She knew it was there, but didn’t seem to mind. The next tune was Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage.  He closed his eyes to listen, that tune always got to him. Somehow his hand rested on her shoulder. She leaned into it. 

When the tune finished Linda turned to him, their faces inches apart. There was that wry smile bordering on snarky, eyes green as shallow tropical water. “Maiden Voyage,” she said, her voice a bit rough. “That’s you, tomorrow.”

“Yeah.” What else could he do but kiss her. Christ, so soft and warm. For a moment he jumped back to his first real kiss at sixteen with Carla Gramm, the girl he was going to spend the rest of his life with. It didn’t happen but those three months were real zingers. They parted, three inches, no more. She touched a finger to his cheek and kissed him a kiss that lasted until  morning.               

What If? – Windhaven 1

I’m still making changes. The new cover for Fear Killer is now here. The e-book edition is available now. The paperback with the new cover is now available.

While I’m working mostly on a new mystery featuring Detective Martha Newton from Fear Killer, I plan to devote one hour a week to Windhaven- a sailing survival adventure. It will be raw with minimal editing, but you should get the jist of it. Sorry, no vampires, witches or other supernatural shenanigans are involved.  Comments, positive and negative, will be welcomed.

Windhaven

Chapter 1

Heart racing, eyes staring, barely breathing Noah Wells stared at his cell phone. “What the hell have I done?” he asked himself, his boat, and the universe in general. He carefully set the phone down and leaned back in the settee of his thirty-eight foot sailboat home.

For a moment he stared blankly at a photo of a fifty foot sailboat in full race rig, the one he’d sailed on in the Bermuda race. A good sized boat, but seventy feet was a much bigger good-sized boat. Did he really want to spend months on a boat that size with seven other crew as it raced around the world in a maybe not officially sanctioned race?

“Hell yes.” He studied his laptop on the opposite side of the table, his office. “I think.”

He thought about deadlines, would the publisher of his novels wait six more months for the new book he was working on? He had a couple articles planned, but nobody was waiting for them. His car and boat were paid for, but the slip rent would still need to be paid. Mail, phone, cable, taxes, credit card, a few goodbyes? He had forty-eight hours to deal with them before he had to be on a plane to Rhode Island. Could he do it? Did he still want to do it? “Hell yea,” he said, and got to work.

Thirty-six hours later of phone calls, emails, errands, and handshakes, hugs, and cheek kisses goodbye,  Noah dropped his sea bag by the companionway ladder and let out a deep sigh. Tomorrow morning he’d catch a flight to the East coast and two later be a sea for five… six… seven months. Now he had nothing to do but wait. He wondered if they’d have any jazz on the boat. Just in case, he knew where to go instead of… waiting.

Twenty minutes later Noah walked into Jubby’s Jazz Joint, a low key bar with jazz and blues every night on a small stage in the back. Thursday night a small crowd, he sat at the bar.

“Noah,” Jubby himself, a thin African American with a long face and a wide perpetual smile greeted him. “Don’t usually see you in the middle of the week. Run out of words?”

“Came in for my free going-away gift beer.”

Jubby set a bottle of  Coor’s in front of him. “Goin’ away? Where to?”

“Around the world.”

“Sailing?”

“Not my boat. A seventy foot foot, full on racing sailboat, racing nonstop around the world.”

“Whoa, that’s a lot of water.”

“About thirty thousand some miles of it.” Noah took a long sip from the bottle then looked at himself in the bar mirror. He’d been thinking and talking about the race since the phone call the day before, but now, seeing himself in the mirror it really hit home what he was about to do.

Jubby leaned his elbows on the bar and looked Noah in the eye. “You sure you want to do this? You scared?”

“Yeah, a little. But more excited. It’s a hell of an adventure.”

A woman came in and sat on a stool two down from Noah. He’d been single for all his forty-four years, a few long term relationships, but he liked his writing/sailing life too much to inflict it on any woman who wasn’t as independent as him. So he checked her out with no guilt.

Pretty, blond, a tiny bit fluffy. She turned to him and smiled.