Wave Runners is coming soon. Here’s a tiny preview…
The keys were in the glove box. Jim had been searching for wires under the steering wheel. He didn’t know if you could hot wire a boat, but on cars it was always done under the dashboard. Touch the red wire to the blue wire and the vehicle magically started. On television. Only there were no wires, only a smooth plastic bulkhead, so he opened the compartment and they dropped to the floor like a birthday present. Two keys on a long Styrofoam keychain, the kind that floated if it went overboard. Jim grinned and shook his head. Even on TV no one was ever that lucky.
He slipped the key into the ignition and put his hand on the throttle. A quick turn and the engine roared to life. So much for the stealth approach. Even the dead would hear that. He jerked down on the handle and the boat surged forward, sending him sprawling into the driver’s chair. The wheel spun lazily before he could regain control. The boat veered to the left, clipping the end of the dock with a grim crunch. Wood splintered. The boat bounced away and Jim’s body smashed into an aluminum railing. He straightened up, rubbed his shoulder and cursed, expecting the craft to immediately begin taking on water. This wasn’t going according to plan.
But the boat continued forward, seemingly unaffected by the crash. Jim took the wheel and looked back. A large pie-shaped wedge had been ripped out of the dock. Shattered boards floated in the dark water. “I did that?” Jim muttered and shook his head in disbelief. He steered further into cove. “There go my insurance rates.”
The guard raced down the dock, shooting wildly at the departing boat. Muzzle flashes winked through the darkness. The shots sailed off target, zipping harmlessly into the water. Jim grinned and gunned the engine. A second figure appeared on the end of the dock. There had been two guards. Jim lifted his arm and waved. The front windshield shattered around his head. The second man had a rifle. Jim threw himself to the floor, clutching the bottom of the steering wheel to keep it straight. More shots rang out. A pair of dull thunks reverberated from the back of the boat.
Jim brushed glass out of his hair and tried to steer the boat toward the entrance to the cove. He frowned. He was forgetting something, but another barrage of rifle fire flashed it away. Bracing himself, Jim swung the wheel sharply to the right, then followed with a quick left. His stomach lurched as the boat zigzagged across the water. More shots, but his evasions seemed to be working.
Open water beckoned. Silver tinged shadows highlighted the strip of land on the edge of the cove. The gunshots stopped. Out of bullets or too far away? Jim cautiously poked his head over the ruined windshield. He nudged the wheel to the left, steering well clear of land. No telling how many submerged rocks littered the shoreline. The water had risen while he was in the cave.
High tide? Why was that important? It came to him as the boat passed out of the cove. He might have been okay going slower, but at full throttle the riptide hit the hull like a sledgehammer. The boat spun 180 degrees and Jim catapulted into the water.