Something Amiss

Something Amiss

by Tucker Bowen

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759670877
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 05/28/2002
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.66(d)

Read an Excerpt

A steep path angled down the bank of the river towards the water. It was overgrown with trees, vines, and wet leaves; all formidable obstacles in the sliver of moonlight the group had to see by. Sharanti and her family led the way, followed closely by the others. They had called the police after leaving the house but it would take them a while to arrive - at least twenty minutes, according to Sharanti's husband.

Watch your footing up here," Sharanti cautioned.

The path's slope sharpened as they approached the water. It could be heard gurgling along a few yards away.

"Use the trees for support," Alice whispered to Bobby. They were bringing up the back of the group and he was struggling, pain lingering from his accident. Alice lifted his arm and slung it over her shoulder.

"Someone's coming down the trail behind us," Bobby said. "I can hear them." As soon as he had said this they collided with Katja's back. The group had stopped.

"Trail ends here," Thomas said, motioning ahead. Cliffs lined the bank beyond with the path submerging beneath them.

"It gets flooded when the river's high." Sharanti frowned at the water level and then looked back over her shoulder. The kids clustered around her, terrified.

"Is there a boat dock nearby?" Bobby asked.

"Yeah. Downstream, about 200 yards."

They all looked at each other and silently agreed on what they had to do. Thomas and Katja gathered up some of the larger logs that were caught along the shore. They waded in and held the logs steady as Sharanti and her three kids took a hold of one.

"You go first," Thomas told Sharanti’s husband. "You'll need to pull them to shore." He nodded and grabbing a log, disappeared downstream.

"You must keep quiet. And hold on tight," Sharanti told her kids as they pushed off into the current. The water was very swift and they quickly sped from view. Then Katja held up her hand, indicating that they needed to be silent, right now. Everyone froze. There was the crunch of foliage behind them. It sounded close.

"Go." Katja grabbed Bobby and directed him towards a large log. Then she turned back to Alice. "I'm a good swimmer. I can help him."

Alice nodded and then watched as her husband and Katja were swept downstream.

"I'm right behind you," Thomas said.

The temperature was so cold it felt hot. Alice let the riverbed fall away from under her feet as she kicked into the current. The river had the color of India ink and it's shore rushed by at an alarming speed. Through the layers of trees she could glimpse forms walking along the path. Moonlight glinted off something metallic one of them was holding. There must be at least twenty figures, dressed all in dark clothing. An opening in the woods revealed a ninja form creeping forward. Alice lay very still; glad there was other debris floating along side her. But what about Thomas? They would reach the shore by the time he floated by. They would see him.

Thomas was just thinking the same thing. He hyperventilated and filled his lungs with air. Then he ducked beneath the surface. Fully submerged, the current was very obvious. He thrust his hands out to feel for obstructions. A rock grazed his foot. Then a tree branch caught him in the gut. He tried to maneuver around it but was soon caught in a tangle of branches. There was too much junk down here. Lungs were screaming in pain. He had to go up for air. Was he far enough downstream?

Thomas crested the surface and tried to stifle his gasps. He had drifted to the bank and was sheltered beneath a short overhanging of dirt. There was someone above him. He could see the figure scanning the river.

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