Saturday, July 2, 2011

Excerpt 3 from Tunnels


I should have been confused by Jackson’s statement, but, oddly, I knew she was right and we were definitely here on this bluff about to save two poor souls on a raft.

But how? We had no tools, no equipment of any kind. At least I didn’t. I looked toward my matronly partner and waited for the next flash of lightning. And there it was. Her shape was etched on my retinas with fading red clarity. There was a strap across her shoulder and a large satchel under her arm.

“What’s in your bag?” I asked, turning my attention back to the flickering boat lights below. I could just make out the square shape of the raft entering the arc of illumination.

“The usual,” she said, “ipad, knives, guns and for back up: paper and pencils.”

Did I hear right?

“Oh, and a flashlight, of course,” she added as she shined a narrow beam in my face. Then she fanned the light over my body and asked, “Where’s your bag? Didn’t you pick it up?” My hesitation must have made her consider another option, despite my nametag. “Are you Paige? Who are you?” And then her light picked up the larger duffel bag behind me. “Oh, there it is. Open it, would you?”

The zipper stuck every couple of inches, but I managed to force the thing open. Inside was another flashlight, rope and a ton of rock climbing gear. I smiled. This was one sport this yuppie mother of three was fairly adept at.

The sound of the raft cracking up below was not the only reason I hurried to pull the supplies out. The growling to our left was especially menacing.