I’m finally getting some momentum on Blood on the Mountain, the 4th book in my Blood Justice Series. (look right) I hope to finish the first draft by Jan 1, but with the holidays and work and the general unexpected, it will be a tough deadline to make. I may be able to put together one more Windhaven post by then.
I am still looking for reviews of my coming of age novel Ancient Mariners. (look right, down) If you’re interested let me know.
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? a large sailboat is out at sea, say crossing the Atlantic, with five crew aboard. One night, one is murdered. Everybody freaks out, blaming each other. One guy cooks a meal, adding a knockout ingredient. When the rest wake up they are chained in separate rooms. The Cook is determined to find the killer, using extreme methods. The captives determine that the cook is the killer. One of them manages to overpower the cook, accidently killing him. Great, but they are still chained and a storm and a rocky shore loom ahead. Oops! Now what?
What If? there’s a spaceship(A)a long way from anywhere and some accident takes out all their communication and navigation systems. The engines work, but where to go? Eventually another ship(B) finds them and wants to steal their cargo etc.. But the crew of ship A are bad guys, too, and try to take over ship B. What If? a crewmember from each ship know each other and decide to take it all. Let the cat and mouse games begin.
Leigh stood over the twitching body of the captain. She attempted to hold him still but had little success.
“Jesus,” Noah uttered when he came up beside Leigh.
Red’s eyes protruded and his mouth worked as if to say something, but only a strangled gurgle came out.
“Look at his head,” Noah said. “It’s seems swollen. I think he’s bleeding in his brain.”
“There’s been a few times when I thought he was doing a fat head move, but….”
“This is no joke. I think if we don’t reduce the pressure he’s gonna die.”
“Well we don’t have any drugs that we know how to use. So you’re thinking of drilling a hole in his head?”
“I’m open to suggestions.”
“I know we have at least one battery drill. See if you can find it. I’ll prep him, as I’m sure a real nurse would say.”
“You watch too much TV.”
“I haven’t watched TV for almost two years.”
Noah worked his way forward. He stopped for a moment beside Alain. Delirious, the Frenchman struggled for each breath. Noah lightly squeezed his shoulder. “Hang in, man.”
A built in workbench on the starboard side had a cabinet above and two rows of drawers below. Each row had a stainless steel rod in front too keep the drawers from flying open during rough weather. A rack between the worktop and upper cabinets held three battery drills and batteries. All had a light coating of salt.
The first drill didn’t work. When he removed the battery water dripped out. He tried another battery. The drill spun, but slowly with no power. “Damn it!” Several minutes later he had one drill and one battery that worked. “When we get back I’m inventing waterproof drills.” He found a box of drill bits and a roll of electrical tape then headed aft.
He didn’t look in the small bunk forward where Larry’s body lay. But he didn’t miss the beginning odor of decay.
Leigh had shaved a four inch area on the top of Red’s head and wiped it down with alcohol. She had a plastic first aid kit open.
“You think that’s the right place?” Noah asked.
“Fuck if I know.”
“Right. A quarter inch drill bit a half inch deep, I’d guess.”
Noah wrapped the tape around the bit about a half inch from the tip. “You want me to do it?”
“No. I’ve been friends with Red for a long time. If he’s going to die getting a hole in the head it should be from a friend, not a relative stranger. You have to hold him steady.” She wiped down his head with alcohol again and doused the drill bit with it.
Noah leaned over Red and gripped his head with both hands. “It’s going to hurt him.”
“Yeah, well, the only anesthetic we have is a winch handle to the head. He’s had enough of that.”
“Be quick then.”
Leigh leaned in and braced herself against the boat’s motion. She positioned the drill bit an inch above Red’s head. She’d already set out relatively clean towels and bandages.
“Sorry, Red,” she whispered. “We’re doing the best we can.”
Leigh squeezed the switch and pressed the drill against Red’s flesh and bone. Red’s body arched and he emitted a plaintive moan as the drill bit in. The bit immediately cut through to the bone. Leigh, face a tight grimace, pushed into the skull, her eyes fixed on the tape. Her hands shook as she slowly pushed in while ready to yank the drill out.
With no warning the drill broke through right up to the tape. “Shit!” Leigh yanked the drill out releasing a spurt of blood. More blood followed, soaking the laid out towel.
Red’s body slowly relaxed. To Noah, inches away, it seemed as if Red’s head shrunk, eyes receded, puffiness sucked in.
Noah let go of Red and rotated his own shoulders to ease the tension. He studied the blood dripping from the hole. “Now what? Let it bleed? Plug it up somehow?”
Leigh took a deep breath and flexed her hands. “I think we have some dry cotton balls. Stick one in and keep checking?”
“Sounds good.” He gripped one of her hands. “Good work. That can’t have been easy.”
“No. No. Thanks for your help. I hope we did the right thing.”
“Noah. What’s going on?” Thomas called from his bunk on the opposite side of the boat.
Noah and Leigh exchanged glances. Leigh shrugged. “Might as well tell him.”
Noah moved over to Thomas. “How you doing?”
“My leg hurts like hell and I feel like shit. What were you guys doing to Red?”
“Drilling a hole in his head.”
Thomas lifted his head and gave him a what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about? look.
“Fuck, man. He’s still alive?”
Thomas lay back and stared at the ceiling. “We’re fucked, aren’t we? All the electronics are dead?”
“I think so, but after tucking you in I’m going to start checking it all out. We do have one good battery.”
“Like I said, we’re fucked.”
“Not as long as I’m in charge,” Leigh said. “Take these pills.” She held out a plastic glass of water.
Thomas reached for the glass, hissed, his body vibrated and he fell back. “How about two… or three? Hurts, Leigh. Hurts.”
“Takes these first.” She held his head up to help him swallow the antibiotic and pain pills. “Let’s take a look.”
Noah fetched the first aid kit while Leigh gently pulled off the blood stained bandages. Leigh clenched her teeth to keep from making a sound when she saw the wound. When Noah returned she gave him a warning glare before he looked.
Dried blood surrounded the angry red puffed up cut. The stitches strained to hold it all together. Fresh blood seeped from the bottom end.
Tight lipped, they looked at each other. That wound did not look healthy.
Leigh shook her head back to practicality.
“Okay, Thomas. Special today for our one conscious patient.” She fed him two more pills. “We’re going to clean this up and put on fresh bandages. We’ll be as gentle as we can, but it may sting a bit. Then I’ll get you something to eat from our gourmet kitchen. Okay?”
Stretched out in one big breath barely audible, he said, “Okay, Captain Leigh.”
Wearing thin latex gloves Leigh and Noah cleaned the wound with alcohol. Thomas hissed and stiffened, but said nothing.
Finished, they moved topside to the aft end of the cockpit and spoke quietly.
“That leg didn’t look good,” Noah said.
“No, it didn’t. I think we need to double up on the antibiotics. If it gets really infected….”
“I agree. How much of that stuff do we have?”
“I don’t know. Between Alain, Red and Thomas, a couple weeks. Maybe three.”
“You’ve been tending him, but Alain doesn’t look good at all. Besides the pills, what else can we do for him?”
“Nothing. If we don’t get help soon….” She stared out at the grey waves and shook her head at the shittiness of the situation.
For two hours Noah dug into the modern electrical system with a small multimeter that had been stored in a tightly closed box. He found that indeed, the one good battery was being charged by the one good solar panel though the sky was overcast more often than not.
He shut down the main panel, which still seeped saltwater. One by one he tried all the electronic devices. He got a buzz from the VHF and silence from the main satellite phone. GPS did not respond, the radar might have, but with the dome destroyed it didn’t matter. A secondary handheld satellite phone also produced nothing but silence. Despite the claims of their wide coverage, none of the cell phones had any bars. The computer was best used as a footrest.
The one thing he did find of use was a handheld backup GPS unit built for the outdoors. It had been found floating in the bilge even though one corner was slightly crunched. It lit up right away. In a few suspenseful seconds of flashing numbers it produced a location.
Excited, Noah laid out the large scale paper chart Larry had used to plot their progress. He pinpointed the GPS location, and found they were only a hundred and fifty miles from Tahiti. Noah slumped in his chair. He was pretty sure that it was too windy, cold, rough and grey outside to be anywhere close to Tahiti thousands of miles to the north.
Not willing to give up he switched off the unit, shook it, tapped it on the desk and turned it on. Again the screen flashed then settled on a location. Immediately Noah saw that the location was more realistic.
162.11 West Longitude, 53.42 South Latitude.
Elated that he had a probably real position, he plotted it on the chart, but worried that they were farther south than he hoped. He’d set a NW course, yet they seemed to be moving south. “Oh shit.” He scrambled into the cockpit and studied the compass. It showed a course of 80 degrees, but there was no damping oil in the compass. He steered Windhaven ten to fifteen degrees to port. The compass didn’t move at first. A minute passed and it swung twenty to thirty degrees to the north and stuck. Turning back, the compass card did not follow.
“Which the hell way are we going?” He knew they had en extra compass, if it was still intact. “Leigh!”
My writing team says you should check out my other books and stories. You should listen to them!