Windhaven 10

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? you were a Demon Hunter (like Sam and Dean, say) and were taking a cruise to relax from the rigors of keeping all things supernatural in check? What If? the Devil (or one of his minions) was on board (first class of course) planning to make the ship a Shipships3 of the Dead? So when you start seeing the Dead walking (groan) you have to find the Devil (or his minion who might be making a play to upstage his boss) and stop his, or her, shenanigans so your whole vacation isn’t ruined! Bummer.

 

I had a dream the other night sort of about rounding up all the stray dogs and putting them down. What If? we had, say, a well meaning leader who gave a damn about dogs and people and he/she started a program that each neighborhood, block, cul-de-sac and the like would adopt a dog or two or three and train them to watch over their area. dogs2Great, but over time, What If? the dogs took on too much power. Soon they ran their areas. When there were puppies each family had to raise one to add to the Dog Security Force. Certain Dog Leaders might become more interested in gaining doggy wealth and power and want to take over other areas, Dictator Dogs. dogs 1Soon the humans might be forced to fight the Dog’s wars. Until, a Dog leader, slightly different from the others, smart and compassionate, finally brings peace between Dogs and Humans.

 

 Windhaven 10

After a month and seven thousand miles Windhaven has passed New Zealand’s South Cape and cut off about seven hundred fifty miles of the 4700 miles between the South Cape and cape Horn. Only four thousand more miles and they can turn north to warmer weather.

They were third only three hundred miles behind second place Newsboy who was behind Global by less than a day. One boat had had damage to its rudders and returned to South Africa. The other three were days behind with their own race.

Windhaven had a few problems as they pushed Eastward while dropping into the Furious Fifties Latitudes. A lower shroud broke. An inspection of the others found two more also needed replacement. The hydraulic steering began to leak in one of the most inaccessible areas. Repairs took almost a day. The 120% Genoa foresail ripped in half. They had to use a smaller sail which slowed them down three knots of speed for a day.

The scariest moment came at dusk with Ricky at the helm and they were doing a steady twelve knots through a choppy gray sea. Leigh shared the watch with him, her hard gray eyes constantly assessing wind and sea. Looking forward, for a half second she thought she saw something dead ahead. She jumped up, ran twenty feet forward. There a large shape. Shit! “Ricky! Hard to port! Hard to port! Now!”

Ricky had known Leigh for almost twenty years. He trusted her experience and intelligence completely. If she said, “Hard to port, now!” he wasn’t going to second guess her for one second. He spun the wheel hard to port, ignoring the shouts of alarm from below.

Leigh walked back, pointing at the huge, flat iceberg racing past. The abrupt turn sent the aft end slipping to starboard where it bumped against the ice and rose up as if to jump on the iceberg and possibly damage the twin rudders. Taking advantage of his own experience he spun the wheel to starboard. The rudders bit in and sent the stern skittering to port to clear the ice by inches.

Red popped up out of the companionway. “What the Hell’s going on?”

Leigh and Ricky pointed at the receding iceberg. A last burst of light reflected off the hundred meter by fifty meter block of ice.

Alain and Noah rose up in time to catch a glimpse. “Mon Deux. Did we hit it?”

Ricky said, “I think we bumped it. If it hadn’t been for Leigh’s sea eyes we’d be on top of that sucker with a big ass hole in the bow.”

“Good job, both of you.”

Leigh stood beside Red, both looking aft at the now invisible ice.

“That’s too close for comfort, Red.”

“Yeah. Larry, what’s our latitude, right now?”

Fifteen seconds later Larry said, “Fifty-one degrees, forty-six minutes South, Skipper. Icebergs have been reported farther north than this.”

“Get us up North of fifty degrees. Three man watches at night.”

 

One of the continuous storms that circle the Southern Sea unimpeded had caught up with Windhaven. Sixty knot winds and twenty-five foot plus seas lashed the boat and Noah at the helm. Bigger winds and seas were a definite possibility according to Larry’s weather data. Oppressive dark clouds blotted out the sky. The sun had set, its last vestige of light fading fast.

At the moment, Noah was not thinking about icebergs or weather or water. He’d been on the helm for almost two hours, his safety harness clipped on to a U-shaped stainless steel tube over the compass, was beginning to get uncomfortable. He’d found the rhythm of boat and wave. The rise as a wave lifted the aft end, the brief surfing down the face of the wave, the balancing act as the wave passed underneath, the drop of the stern as the boat slid down the wave’s back side; The increase of the wind at the top of the wave, the slight reduction in the trough, waiting a few seconds for the next wave, and the next and the next. His hands moved the wheel almost automatically. He kept an unconscious eye on Ricky and Ivan on the forward deck discussing a sail change.

Noah wasn’t thinking of that, he was thinking about Linda. The last scheduled streaming had been cut short by technical difficulties. But, he’d got a good look at her smiling at him. She’s the one had flitted in and out of his thoughts. A ridiculous thought after a one night stand, though a memorable one. They had fit. Whether the first kisses in his boat, lying side by side in his bunk, on the top or on the bottom, they fit. She was smart and well read, liked sailing, and they had many common interests. And her smile just lit him up.

That’s what he was thinking of when the rhythm changed.

The rise of the wave seemed stunted, the wind suddenly shifty. The slide down the backside less steep. The constant roar of breaking waves muted. The trough wider. Noah felt the wave before he saw it rise and rise and rise like a grim specter in his peripheral vision.

wave3

For a moment he froze. This couldn’t be happening to him, now.

“Ricky, Ivan get off the deck,” Noah screamed. Then, like a high speed elevator, Windhaven rose up, stern first.

In an instant Windhaven tilted bow down forty-five degrees. Over the hiss of a massive volume of water building behind him, Noah heard the crash and cries from below decks.

Though taking only seconds, for Noah time slowed. Instead of pounding out of his chest he felt his heart rate slow as he was thrown against the steering wheel; as he watched Ricky and Ivan scramble on deck for the companionway; as the boom slammed to port sending a shudder throughout the boat.

Windhaven rose to almost vertical. Noah stared down into the bottom of the trough maybe twenty feet past the bow. They were going to pitch pole, he knew it. If he stayed tethered to the helm as Windhaven pitched over he’d fall almost a hundred feet and be driven under with the stern. When, if, the boat resurfaced, he’d probably be dead.

If he unclipped his life line he’d be separated from the boat. If it resurfaced, he’d be separated from it, unlikely to reconnect. In the forty degree water he’d also die, just a little slower.

Lying flat on the now horizontal wheel he twisted back and forth as the gigantic wave tossed him about. Maybe that’s what did it, but as he looked up at the huge breaking wave about to throw the boat over, the stern broke through. Its weight sliced through the top of the wave. For a second Noah thought, we’re going to survive!

Then the wall of solid water on either side crashed down on him.

 

Comments and suggestions are welcome – dcburtonjr@gmail.com

Please check out my other books at — https://davidburtonwriting.com

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The Custodian 2

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Custodians don’t save the world every day, but there’s always recalcitrant teachers who think they know what’s what, and mice. A problematic combination. Not to worry. Us professional Custodians are highly trained to take care of any situation. Especially ones specific to our particular school. Like this–.

The Custodian 2

© David Burton 2018

The Night Custodian, dark cap pulled low, wearing a well-fitting T-shirt and khaki pants pushed his custodial cart along the outside walkways of the Grace Glass Elementary school. Still daylight, most of the students had left for the day and only a few teachers remained.

He approached the bullpen, a fenced in space next to the main building where dumpsters, old furniture, pallets and boxes were kept. The chain link gate was open.

A woman’s short little scream came from inside.

Calm, despite the invasion of his area, he looked in. With a broken mop handle, Miss Penki, a young teacher new to the school, poked agitatedly between two dumpsters. Seeing the Custodian, she dropped the handle and nervously wiped her hands on her skirt as she backed away.

“Oh, there you are,” she said with an annoyingly haughty tone. “I caught a mouse in my classroom on one of those sticky traps. I was throwing the filthy thing into the trash when it squeaked at me. It dropped down there so I pushed it back out of sight.” She shook her hands as if ridding herself of mouse cooties. “Just let the thing die by itself. If you did your job, I wouldn’t have to do things like this.”

Miss Penki shuddered and quickly walked away.

From the gate, the Custodian watched her with a frown and narrowed eyes. He entered the bullpen and peered into the dark between the dumpsters. With the broken handle he slid the trap out. It was torn,

and there was no mouse.

He heard a scuttling, claws-scratching-on-cement sound. Alert he looked deep into a cluttered corner. Large, human-sized, beady red eyes regarded him. Slowly they blinked, then whatever owned the eyes turned and vanished.

Thoughtfully, the Custodian folded the trap together, shook his head, and pitched it in the trash, then resumed his rounds.

******

The next day as The Custodian closed his office door a kid stopped in front of him. “Mr Custodian, the Principle wants to see you in her office.”

The Custodian nodded, pointed a strong finger at the boy. The boy touched the finger with his own, tip to tip, smiled and ran off through the outside gate, the last student to leave.

In the Principal’s office he leaned casually against the wall, hands in pockets.

Lounging in her chair, the Principal, a handsome Hispanic woman, said, “Miss Penki seems to be missing. She was here for fourth period, but didn’t show up for fifth period. Her car is still here. Have you seen her lately?”

The Custodian raised a quizzical eyebrow.

Apparently she had some uncomplimentary words to say about you yesterday. Not doing your job?”

He hung his head, but didn’t mean it. Their eyes stayed connected.

Do you have any idea where she might be? Or do I need to call the police?”

Frowning, thinking, he stared at the floor. He had a thought.

What?” the principal asked.

A minute later they stalked toward the bullpen.

And she just pushed it away? Fool.”

It was late in a cloudy day and the bullpen was shaded, a bit spooky. He moved a couple pallets and boxes from where he’d seen the red eyes. Behind them he found a two foot diameter hole in the wall. Picking up the broken handle, he spun it like a martial arts Bo-staff as he studied the hole.

Still casually, yet expertly, spinning the broken mop handle, he led the way to a storage closet. The Principle waited as he found a half-filled plastic jug and a large flashlight. Together, they moved to a blank door with no number or name. The Custodian handed her the jug, opened the door with his key, and cautiously entered.

Wary, they made their way down a dark, narrow, dusty passage littered with old boxes, old equipment, and old furniture toward a muffled, keening cry for help. At the end, in a small open space covered with gravel The Custodian’s flashlight revealed Miss Penki, hands, knees, and face awkwardly stuck to a giant sticky trap.

Little mice scrambled out of the beam, giving a wide berth to a two foot tall rat. The big rodent growled a warning through long, pointy,

unrodent-like teeth. Its red eyes simmered.

Eyes on the rat, otherwise unperturbed, The Custodian poured a yellow liquid from the jug around Miss Penki’s knees, feet, hands and face. As she came loose from the trap the rat made a grab at her foot with human-looking claws. She yelped and scrabbled across the gravel while The Custodian beat the creature back with the handle.

The Principle helped her to her feet. Miss Penki opened her mouth to speak.

Not a word, Miss Penki,” The principle said in her no nonsense principle voice. A very unrat-like roar sounded behind the women as they stumbled toward the door.

Fighting noises, growls and grunts, gravel scrabbling and handle whacking, followed them out the door. Twin red beams of light burned gouges in the cement walls.

Outside, Miss Penki collapsed on the grass. “Oh my God! What was that thing? What happened to me?”

Still in principle mode, the Principle said, “There is no thing, Miss Penki. And nothing happened to you.”

What? But…?”

Miss Penki, in the unfortunate event you have to kill a mouse around here, do it quick and clean. Do not shove it under a Dumpster to suffer and die of thirst or hunger. Do you understand?”

The teacher’s eyes grew wide. She looked to the bullpen then the open

door then the Principle. “You mean…?”

Yes.”

The Custodian closed the door. He carried the sticky trap folded together. Blood spattered his ripped shirt and pants. The broken handle dripped blood. He nodded to the Principle.

She nodded back. “Put in a damage form. The school will buy you a new shirt and pants.”

The Custodian nodded, shot Miss Penki a hard look, and headed for the bullpen, twirling the bloody mop handle.

 The End

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Reviewers rule.

READERS                                                                                                                   Blood on the Water large cover

We all want a good review, no matter what we do. Authors especially. I know you all have bought and read my latest two books, Blood on the Water and Soul Retrievers, and are just taking a little time to come down from the high you got from reading them before writing a five star review for Amazon, Goodreads, etc. I thank you for your review ahead of time.

All reviews are helpful, the life blood of authors and readers looking for a goodSoul Retv corrected- small read. We court reviewers, critics and bloggers by the hundreds. Beg them to read our work and write a positive review.  They can make or break a career. Or so I’ve been told. I’m still a non-bestseller, non-award winning, non-famous writer. Reviewers, and that includes readers, have the power to help a little bit, should they choose to use it.

But, What if there was a Reviewer who did have absolute power to make an author famous, wealthy and loved around the world? One who’s merest word would make any product – book,  movie, coffee, car, diaper, hotel, soft drink, or vegan food into the most desired (or undesired) of its kind on Earth. He, or she, could shape the world as he saw fit.  Politicians would be in or out at his whim as he reviewed their performance. Economic systems implemented or abandoned with a few words on late night TV. Always assuming he was psychologically fit himself.

depressed man2What if he was depressed and didn’t like anything? Nobody would buy anything and there might be a world depression. Manic on the other side, he might like everything and the world goes into massive debt because they spend all their money buying everything. His paranoia might be good for the bodyguard/mercenary business, not so good for the civilian guns trade with a particularly scathing review for the NRA. If he smoked a bit of weed to dull the paranoia, that might be good for the fast food and munchies business.

Obviously, his reviews would be sought after. A good review would be like money in the bank. But what would he want for one of his Golden Reviews? Money? At first, but soon he’d have more money than most countries. Power? He could topple or create governments or mega-corporations. But what about us little guys, the struggling writers and entrepreneurs? Maybe he was a struggling writer who never made it and so had a soft spot for us  non-bestselling, non-award winning authors. For a token payment he’d post a good review of your book on Amazon. Heck, I’d slip him 100 dollar billa hundred bucks for a review of Blood on the Water or Soul Retrievers. Not that the reviews you’re working on for me don’t matter. They do. They hold the same power as the Super Reviewer’s will when he finally makes himself known. So use your power for good.

 

WRITERS

What If The Reviewer is a lone alien trying singlehandedly to take over humanity for his own alien 1 meangrandiose, but demented,  I-want-to-rule-a-world dreams, or as an advance softening up before an invasion, or as a way to get alien2 wavinghumanity to build a ship to take him home? But, some humans are always immune to what might affect the rest. Maybe one, who’s a super used car salesman, realizes what’s going on and posts an anti-Reviewer blog. And the blog-fight is on!

 

 

What If The Reviewer is supernatural in nature? satan3-readingGodGod or the Devil trying to reach humanity for their own reasons using the latest tech, social media, for their own agendas. Maybe a God vs Satan blog fight for the future of mankind.

What If The Reviewer was just a regular guy who was trying to help out a woman he liked with her first book and he discovered he had the Gift and things got a little out of hand and it took the woman to figure out who he was and bring the world back from the brink – and incidentally find true love.

All Readers have the power to kill or resurrect  a writers career. Please review wisely.wiseman1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Earth, All Mine

“Happy Holidays?”  Had enough merriment and good cheer? Tired of  “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year?” Too much generosity and good cheer for you? How about some doom and gloom? This is the time when loners feel their lonesome the most. Give them a little love.

So there’s loners and there’s LONERS. What if you were in the latter group and you didn’t want to be just left alone in your cabin in the woods or your little apartment in the city. You wanted to be the only human on Earth. How would you go about it?earthmine

You’d want to consult with Gaia first. I’m sure she’d be glad to be rid of the human pests, but you wouldn’t want to piss her off by screwing with her plans for us, would you?

I’m not talking about evil super villains who want to have all the money and rule the world.  They need people to lord it over. The same with religious fanatics. They need people to listen to them preach doom and gloom, fire and brimstone, and you’d better have sex with me or God’s going to be mad at you. And political despots. They need somebody to enslave, harangue, and be paranoid about. Without people they’re just crazy dudes ranting at themselves.

The main problem of eliminating humans from the planet is getting rid of them without killing yourself. What good is having a planet of your own if you’re too dead to enjoy it? Inciting a nuclear war probably isn’t so easy now days. And if you could, say, obtain the launch codes for all the missiles in the US or Russia and set them all off and create a full on nuclear winter killing most everything that lives, that doesn’t sound very agreeable. If you’re going to be alone, having warm, secluded beaches or pleasant woodland walks would be a necessity. Whether 8 billion people crowd the planet or none, what difference would it make if you’re shut in your bomb shelter for the next 1000 years?

Mosquitoes are your friends. They inhabit all the earth except Antarctica. They infect hundreds of millionsmosie1 and kill millions every year. All you’d have to do is cook up a big batch of a human specific virus or bacteria, infect  a few million mosquito eggs, and distribute them around some of the busiest airports. Within days of hatching, your personal little pandemic would have spread throughout the world. Then, all you’d have to do is sit back with your beach towel and umbrella in hand and wait for the beach to clear out. Assuming you thought to immunize yourself against your private plague.

Or, you might want to learn how to sail before hand. Once you let the little monsters loose a long cruise into the ocean while the sun, bacteria, insects, and animals dispose of the dead would be nice. If you’re smart, and watched too many horror movies, you made sure that the dead stayed dead.  It wouldn’t do to come back to shore and bezombieblog2 greeted by a few billion hungry Zombies. That could be just as bothersome as a few billion regular folks. Vampires could be a problem. There’re already dead and they’d be really hungry. Better stock up on holy water, silver bullets and learn how to use a svampblogword.

Of course, with humans gone the world will start fixing all the damage we’ve done to it. This includes the return of wildlife. I imagine Bigfoot will sigh with relief not to have all those little humans stalking him with cameras. With small wildlife expansion comes the revival of the big predators; bears, big cats, wolves and the like. So, while you relax on that empty beach best keep an eye out. Those big cats only respect you for your food value, not your desire for solitude.catsblog4 wolfcatsblog2

IDEAS

What If? there really was (there probably is, tucked away in some government vault)  a virus/ bacteria that was capable of wiping humans from the planet? Then some group in a simple steal it/ransom it operation successfully steals it. But, just before they were to get their millions, one of their own, a stealth religious fanatic, steals it from them for his own highly misguided, God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene-told-me-to- do-it  cleanse the earth scheme. Suddenly the bad guys and the good guys have to work together to save all of humanity. Of course the good guy leader is an attractive woman, and the second in command bad guy is an attractive man (or vice versa) and they have to work together, close together.

What If? somebody did wipe humanity from the planet and  was enjoying their solitude when he/she came across a group of aliens intent on taking over the Earth. Well, he went to a lot of trouble to depopulate the world so now he has to fight the aliens for the planet.  He wins and once again enjoys his solitude when a group of astronauts who have been on a long space journey returns. Our single inhabitant sighs, “Can’t a guy get a little peace and quiet on his private beach?” A series for sure.beach2

What If? you were in a group of astronauts returning from a long mission and you found the only survivor of the Great Plague that wiped out humanity. You fight him at first, but he/she kidnaps one of your people and finally decides you can stay. But, the nasty bug is still around and the only way you will survive is if he gives you the vaccine, but it’s across the country and you may or may not have time to get there. Who will survive the journey? Surely not Adam and Eve – that would be too cheesy.

So, whether you’re a loner alone or a loner in a crowd find a bit of Christmas spirit and don’t vanish humanity, at least until after New Years.

Check out and share my first attempt at a book trailer for my story Heartbreak – http://youtu.be/NNLTJNUgYHs

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