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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Cheers,

David B

 

 

 

 

 

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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 a psychological thriller Fear Killer is now here. The e-book edition is available now. The paperback with the new cover is also now available.

While I’m working mostly on a new mystery featuring Detective Martha Newton from Fear Killer, (Actually I’m writing the fourth book in my Blood Justice series. Sorry Martha) I plan to devote one hour (more it seems)  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, if not followed.

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.