DIRE STRAITS, Chapter 10B
October 18, 2011
Spinning on his heel, Derek raced toward the rear of the house, slamming the glass door open and leaping over the deck rail to the sandy beach below. Which way to go?
And then he spied the neighbor’s kayaks.
Lunging in that direction, he was just reaching the kayak when the troops appeared around the sides of the house. Gunfire cracked the air.
Snatching a paddle, he shoved the kayak into the water, leapt in the cockpit and pushed off. Bending low, he dug in, paddling as hard as he could.
The ocean waves nearly slammed him back into shore. He reached deep and began paddling up the shoreline, angling into the waves. More gunfire breached the air. Something tugged at his shoulder. Glancing over, he saw a streak of blood.
Leaning down, he continued to paddle, heaving into the waves, timing the surf, trying to use the tides to his advantage, even if that meant staying close to shore – just as long as he moved away from the Cuban soldiers.
Glancing over his shoulder, he saw he was having some success. He was several hundred yards away from the shoreline now, the soldiers jogging up the beach, but the distance growing wider and wider.
He kept at it. And within an hour, the sun had sunk behind the thick clouds, the waves had kicked up, and the coast of Cuba was to his back and Key West was one hundred and six miles ahead of him.
Then it started to rain.