Below is and unedited excerpt from the current book I’m working on, which should be complete by the end of summer. It’s sometimes difficult to read parts of novels and really understand the story and for the writer it’s hard to post unedited drafts. But I’m going for it! I try to pick neutral paragraphs without much background needed or plot revealed. Next time I’ll have another travel story. I hope you enjoy and as always I welcome feedback and thoughts.
Breakfast in Bimini.
Smoke filled my lungs in the middle of the night and for a fleeting moment I thought I was dreaming. I shook Luke simultaneously pushing out the screen and yelling, “Fire.” In an instant impromptu swoosh I bolted through the screened-in window, seamlessly landing on the wooden dock. I unplugged the boat power cord from the electrical box and upon returning to the cabin, I opened all the doors and windows while shouting “Luke, Russ.” The sun was just starting to float on the ocean as the smell of acrid smoke permeated the air. The two emerged through the haze sporting only boxers, Luke with blue and white horizontal stripes and Russ in hunting Camouflage. I noticed for the first time what I was wearing, plaid boxers, borrowed from Luke, and a loose navy blue tank top. I was relieved to have not slept naked as I often did since that could have been an ordeal. We all stepped on the dock to breathe fresh air.
“Well, that’s a hella way to wake up,” Russ exhaled. “It’s not a fire, Kelly. Fire means flames. It’s an electrical smoldering.”
I blinked and after a few moments rebuked, “Well I don’t have a dictionary with me at the moment, but I’m pretty sure it means smoke and danger, both of which existed. Smoke is just as dangerous as flames, besides screaming electrical smoldering doesn’t have the same effect and at the time…”
“O.K., my bad. You did the right thing by unplugging the power source.” He looked around, “Why is the window screen on the dock?”
“Oh, welcome to my world,” Luke chimed in. “Kelly screamed, “fire” in my ear, shook me into consciousness, then jumped through the screen and onto the dock.”
Russ stared at me in disbelief with raised eyebrows, wide eyes and mouth agape. I answered prior to any of his wry comments.
“Well, I had to do something and I wasn’t sure what was going on in the cabin. My adrenaline just took over. You know, emergency mode. So are things still sizzling in the cabin? Has anyone checked that out yet?”
“Cutting off the power supply should have stopped any additional smoke, it’s like clipping the fuel supply to an engine. It fizzles pretty quickly. Let’s go check it out,” Russ urged Luke.
I stayed on the dock, admiring the sunrise for a moment. It wasn’t a phenomenon I witnessed often, at least not lately. I was amazed by the stillness and tranquility of dawn, the vast calm sea only enhancing the serene moment. Waking up docked in the Bahamas was an experience unlike any other, the way life should be lived with natural sounds of the sea tenderly hitting the dock pilings, fresh slightly saline air, peaceful and carefree. I drank a quick cup of coffee still brewing courtesy of Luke preparing it the night prior and then pushing the button on his way out.
I changed into my running clothes. “I have time to run, right?” I asked, scooting past Luke.
“Yes, honey. We have to check the wires and weather again before setting sail.” He glanced at me and added, “And reinstall the window screen.”
I snickered, confidently knowing I had done the right thing. I was always one quick to react, a benefit at times and occasionally a nuisance. In hot debates I’d sometimes stick my foot in my mouth and shoot out a comment I regretted. Once as a witness in a courtroom I’d answered too rapidly to a cross-examination, spurring more interrogations from an unfriendly lawyer who tried to trap me. But overall, my innate need to swiftly respond was a gift.