Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Diamond Shoals, Part 2 (Fiction)

(Just joining us? Go back to Part 1)

       The wave rushed them. Patrick's father hauled hard on the oars, and the boat pitched skyward.
       "Hold on!"
       With the surge forward, the keel sliced the ridge, and they plunged over the other side. Patrick was dragged, fluttering in the surf. Behind him, the wave exploded.
       Through the chaos, he heard orders shouted.
       "Dig in! Push us!"
       He flailed for the bottom. Feet running over nothingness. Kicking. Kicking. His toe scraped, but he had water to his neck.
       "Faster! Hurry!"
       He tried to shove the boat farther from shore. No time. The next wave loomed. The sandy floor dropped away, and the boat soared.
       The crest slapped the prow and heavy spray drenched Patrick's face. Again, they plummeted. Patrick's feet flipped out of the water, but he held on.
       Too fast. Not enough time to recover. The prow dug in, bit water. He cracked his skull into the side of the boat. His hands flinched open.
       "Patrick!" his father yelled.
       The current sucked him down. A blanket of cold hugged him.
       He sensed the lift of the next wave. Something blocked him. Denied him air.
       "Pull him up!"
       A fist grappled his collar and pulled him from under the boat. He gasped, but a breaker rumbled into his face. His nose and mouth flooded. Chilly ice hit his lungs. He gagged.
       Ahead, the water churned with torn sand. An inshore sandbar. Ferocious breakers.
       "We're going to lose him!"
       Three men groped, sending the boat perilously close to spilling.
       "Get back!"
       A wave crashed on their doorstep. Angry water poured over the bow.
       "Bail it! Bail it!"
       The muscles of Patrick's father bulged on the oars. A race to the sandbar. They sliced two smaller waves. The third would be a monster.
       "You got him?"
       Patrick dangled half in the boat. The gunwale cut into his waist. One more heave sent him to the bottom. Coughing seawater, he hit six more inches sloshing under the benches.
       "We're too heavy!"
       A rush of hands splashed out as much water as they could. Bare hands. Only the bailer flung bucket-fulls downwind.
       "We're not going to make it!"
       Patrick lifted his head. The horizon bowed to a twenty foot beast, black as night.
       The shallows provoked it, curling, ready to fall.
       "Go! Go! Go!"
       Patrick's father screamed with exertion. A vertical wall met them. They were going to flip.
       Two men leapt forward and landed on the bow. The force pierced the wall, and the water rolled from under them. They fell through yards of open air and hit with a gigantic splash. The impact pounded breath from the sprawled men.
       The sandbar passed underneath them.
       Patrick stared out into the deep. Into the march of living mountains.

On to Part 3


anne said...

Still very vivid.
Serialization is not my friend though. Don't take this the wrong way... but I feel like at the end of an episode of "24", and there's no downloading possibilities for this one. :)

Bernita said...

"The march of living mountains"

Oh what a fabulous line!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your power of description here is phenomenal. You've created tension in my mind as the reader and not just on the page. Great job!

Ann Marie Simard said...

This way of saying things - a prosodic style of writing, a bit of a rough diamond, makes me think of Dylan Thomas in many sentences.

By the way Jason thanks for your kind and thoughtful commenting at my blog. I started thinking about that phase on the painting - it just came out, I never thought of it. But it must mean something more.

And Tori Amos. Don't even get me started... a jewel.

Do you want the Shady tree? It is bigger on the other site - you know how to get it and I will see nobody else snatches it. I see where the visits come from. It's yours.

Ann Marie

Anonymous said...

Anne, I know the serial format can be a drag. However, the fact that you're hungry for more is a compliment. You might rather be dusting your bookshelves. Who knows? :D

Bernita, much appreciated, Mom!

Sarah, thanks for that! This is one of the first things I've ever written that got my heart pounding when I read it after finishing.

Ann Marie, what a great compliment! Thanks. =D The artwork on your blog is always very beautiful and provocative. I'd love to have a copy of Shady Tree.

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Jason, great tension here! The urgency is awesome. Way to go!!

Bailey Stewart said...

Sorry I haven't been around - things have been tough.

This is so vivid that it made my heart pound. I'm like Anne - I don't care for serials for this very reason ... I want more!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Bernita- the march of the living mountains. Now I won't be able to drive home without thinking of it. (we live in Vancouver with a lovely march of mountains of our very own)

Anonymous said...

Kelly, see what you made me do! :D

Eve, I understand. Sorry for your losses. :( As for serials, they have an unexpected benefit for me. I can adjust my storytelling midstream based on reader response. It's been a great way for me to improve!

Eileen, I do like to end on a strong sentence. I guess I succeeded this time. :)

Anonymous said...

Your sentences are really poetic. and I enjoy that. So there's more to come? I do want to know what finally happens. The photo is awesome and your poetic prose matches it.

Sounds really good.

Jay said...

You know I enjoyed it.
I also raised an eyebrow at your birthday party story. Poor kid.

anne frasier said...

very nice, jason!! wonderful descriptions!

Anonymous said...

Ruby55, welcome welcome! I always serve drinks to new visitors. What can I get you? Thank you for the kind words! There will be at least two more parts to the story.

Miss Jay, thanks! Just today I realized this might not be a great experience for a reader who has a major fear of drowning (not that the rest of us have a desire for drowning). Oh well. Not much I can do about it now. The boat's at sea.

Anne, much appreciated. You'll let me know when I mess it up, right? ;)

mermaid said...

'The horizon bowed to a twenty foot beast, black as night.'

Nice comparison of both the characters and the horizon at the mercy of the ocean.

'Patrick stared out into the deep. Into the march of living mountains.'

It's hard to know what humans see when they are leaving the land of the living. I guess you would see something similar.

Linda said...

Jason I am sitting here trying to figure out what to say. I am on the edge of my seat!
that is a compliment not a complaint :)

Anonymous said...

I finally had some time to sit and read your site. I got carried away and found myself back at my computer 45 minutes later. I was lost in your words. :)

Anonymous said...

Mermaid, you're an expert of metaphor. Sometimes you see things which only live in my subconscious. When you point them out, I see the truth in what you say.

BeadinggalinMS, thanks so much. :) I was really happy with the tension I was able to capture here. Glad you'll be aboard for the rest of the adventure!

Goldberry, what an amazing compliment, thanks! My greatest goal is for you to feel yourself living in a world of my creation.

Rene said...

Oh, that was terrific action, Jason. Well-paced and definitely put the reader right in there.

Anonymous said...

Rene, much appreciated! :)