Writerly Wednesday Welcomes LM. Preston

Welcome LM. Preston to Writerly Wednesday!  

 

 

Bandits by LM Preston

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Bio
LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. She worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids.

Blurb
Daniel’s father has gotten himself killed and left another mess for Daniel to clean up. To save his world from destruction, he must fight off his father’s killers while discovering a way to save his world. He wants to go it alone, but his cousin and his best friend’s sister, Jade insist on tagging along. Jade is off limits to him, but she insist on changing his mind. He hasn’t decided if loving her is worth the beating he’ll get from her brother in order to have her. Retrieving the treasure is his only choice. But in order to get it, Daniel must choose to either walk in his father’s footsteps or to re-invent himself into the one to save his world.

Excerpt from Chapter 6th of Bandits

 

BANDITS by LM Preston, Excerpt Chapter 6th

 

Daniel felt someone following them. Frowning, he wondered who it was, but he didn’t take the time to ponder it further. He pushed Nickel into the car. Then he glared at Jade and got into the driver’s seat.

Faulk got in, also feeling the edginess of the impending threat.

“I’ve gotta get us to the water faster than I hoped,” Daniel said, not wasting a moment to see if everyone was secured in their seats.

Gritting his teeth, he sped off down the dirt road, through the dark, winding roads that led to the waterfront. He didn’t take in the hanging willow leaves, which brushed against his car, or the yellow moon high in the sky. He just knew that whoever was behind them had to be shaken.

Pushing the car into top speed, the car slid out as Faulk brushed his elbow while adjusting the navigator. Daniel’s patience with Faulk was gone. “What the hell did they teach you in flight school? Are you trying to kill us? Keep your hands away from me.”

The road ahead was rocky, and the lush underbrush moved with the car. A lit beach appeared ahead. The sound of laser fire surrounded them. Jerking out of the line of fire just in time, Daniel sped to the sands ahead of him. He knew if he timed it right they would be able to get to the water cruiser when the fog came.

In the time just before daylight, it would be the darkest hour of the night. Black, thick fog would roll in and stick around until mid morning. During the months of tiding, the tides ran high, and the weather varied greatly between land and sea. Only those trained on Merwin were able to navigate through the blinding fog.

Daniel yelled over the roar of the engine that rattled upon impact of a stray laser. “Time it! The fog… how long before it comes? I’ll try to out run them until it hits. It looks like two cars are on me. When I hit the brakes, get out and run like hell to the cruiser!”

Jade pulled Nickel close. “It hits in just two minutes. The sky is darkening… now!”

“Hold on! Gotta get us near the water cruiser,” Daniel exclaimed. He tightened his hands on the steering wheel, and pushed the power. A surge of adrenaline pumped in his blood. He was high on the sensation of the danger from the chase.

Murky waters of the sea started to rise heavily with each crash of the tide. The water darkened with each decent of the fog, and with the fog, came the curse of the black sea.

Faulk pushed back in his seat, putting his foot on the dash in a full-body cringe. “What the hell is that?  The sea looks like its turning black like the fog.”

“Welcome to Merwin, cuz. Jade, hold Nickel tight! Faulk grab the ammo. Nickel stay close to Jade. Get ready.NOW!” Daniel yelled.

He saw the water cruiser bounce with each crash and grinned. Its chains held it on the beach. He had just a small window of time to get to the water cruiser before the fog hit, and that would give him the temporary cover of darkness he needed to get away.

Driving at top speed, the car slid in the sand, and the distance lengthened between Daniel and his pursuers. The yellow moon up above started to disappear as fingers of black fog oozed in. Daniel timed it, knowing the initial hit of the smog would give them only a sliver of time, a second -of instant darkness they would use to get away. Within an hour, the fog would slowly dissipate to a dim haze.

Daniel yelled, “Get ready! On three… two… one,” then he hit the brakes. The car jerked and swung before it stopped. Daniel grabbed his gun, and leaped out the driver’s side door. Jade and Nickel jumped out the opposite side and ran to the water cruiser that was only several feet away on the sand, bobbing fiercely with each wave. Daniel saw Jade running with the bag full of ammunition.

Faulk stood, guns drawn. “Go to the boat before they get here! I brought a little something with me. So get out of the way!”  Faulk threw the mini-bomb in the direction of their pursuers and took off running behind Daniel.

Jade released the cruiser, and it was starting to pull off. Daniel climbed up on the cruiser and turned to pull up Faulk.

“Fog’s descending!” Jade yelled.

Daniel directed when he saw their pursuers cars slide to a stop within shooting distance, “Now. Faulk!”

Faulk pushed the button on the detonator he held in his hand. The mini-bomb exploded, and Daniel secured his spot at the wheel. Fire lit up behind them when the fog descended, turning the world around them completely black. Faulk started to cough excessively. He wasn’t used to the claustrophobic feeling of the descending fog, which covered Merwin in darkness enveloping its inhabitants in moisture so thick it felt like they were drowning.

Jade went to help Faulk. “Relax. Just take it in. Breathe slowly, or you will drown in it.”

Daniel figured she was rubbing his back with soothing strokes like they’d been taught to do as children.  He closed his eyes and let his memory lead him out of Death Cove and theislandofBethan, his home. Living on a planet of a million different islands was the one thing that made Daniel love Merwin. As a child growing up, he’d never run out of new places to explore, and being the son of an EBRA made his life even more exciting than most other Zukar boys.

He knew he couldn’t get to his father’s trove that night, so they’d stop at Jade’s family trove. Getting to his would take two days at sea. Flying on Merwin was prohibited, with the exception of the space ships owned by the Zukar that controlled them, or the King. For the sake of controlling trade on Merwin, clearance for air travel could only be given by the King himself.

Willows Oasis was Jade’s father’s trove. He had no choice now but to use her help, because she knew the combination to her father’s trove. He hoped they wouldn’t have to fight off Merpins, vicious cannibalistic Merwinians who were cast out to sea millions of years ago. They’d evolved in appearance from other Merwins who lived on land.

Listening, he realized Faulk had calmed down in the midst of the dark, heavy fog. The fog had let up a bit and was now a thick, gray, puffy mass around them. However, visibility was still nonexistent as they rode for several hours. Daniel steered the cruiser using the beacons and memory to get them around the danger spots in the dark seas. Daniel glanced at the water to gage the time left before daylight. The water had turned black with slithering silver veins of passing schools of fish.

The gray haze lifted, allowing visibility below the deck of the boat, but the water remained black. Silver fish broke through the darkness to eat the minoites. They broke through the surface to eat the tiny yellow fish that floated on top when the sea went black.

Faulk came up behind Daniel. “Hey, this place is crazy. Nothing prepared me for the fog. I don’t remember that from when I visited when I was a kid. Anyway, I know this is a stupid question – but what the hell is a trove?”

Daniel looked for his marker. The water cruiser would call to the Terconion markers buried in the sea, and those would lead him to Willows Oasis. He reflected on theIslandsof his homeland and smiled. “The Zukar, like my father, the ones who’d proven their worth, got permission to take the uninhabitable islands for their personal treasure troves. Jade’s dad and my father have the most coveted treasure troves on the entire planet. Since the planet’s mostly water, finding land to store wealth is hard to find. We’re going to Jade’s family trove first. It takes two days to get to mine.”

Faulk looked at the water and made and exaggerated quiver, rubbing his hands together, “A treasure trove?  Man, I can’t wait to see that.” He walked to edge of the boat and pointed to the black water. “What the hell are those?”

Daniel smiled. He was starting to warm up to having his cousin around. He pointed at the flurry of feeding fish and said, “They’re called Minoites. They break through the sea to eat the smaller fish that are dazed by the darkness.”

Faulk frowned at replied, “Yeah, they look vicious. You see those teeth?”

Daniel burst out and laughed at the look on Faulk’s face. “Yeah, they are vicious. They only come out in the fog, but they’ll eat you alive if you fall in. The fog is seasonal. We don’t get it all year long. I remember you coming inParadiseseason, when Merwin’s western region is sunny every day and rainy at night. That’s why you don’t remember the fog. Trust me… most off-worlders never forget this.”

“How’d you learn to navigate like this?” Faulk asked. His fingers slid together like he was anxious to try.

Daniel’s gut filled with a sense of regret and loss. “Since I was maybe three, my dad would tell me to close my eyes and steer with him. He brought me out to his trove every chance he could get back then. My mother would stay at the house, and my father would train me in the ways of the Zukar. When Nickel was a toddler, my mother died, and I had to drive a lot of the time because my father had to take care of Nickel.”

“Why didn’t your father remarry?” Faulk asked.

Daniel moved around the water vines that protruded from the water when the fog came. “He said no one could replace her. He had women and all, but they never stuck around long. It was like… like, he didn’t want them to get cozy and take my mother’s place or something. I can’t explain it, but I felt the same way. Only problem was, Nickel never got to have a mother. Kind of selfish of us, now that I think about it.”  Regrets bubbled up within him, and again, he pushed it down, deep down where it belonged.

“How did you meet Gabe?” Faulk turned back to check on Jade and Nickel.

“The EBRA was started by Haden, Bry, and my father. They were the best Zukar here at the time. Actually, there is none better than they were – not even today. Haden runs the EBRA now, since my father sort of stopped doing his job.” Daniel shrugged. “Something happened to him on a job that he did alone about three years ago, and when he returned, he just…changed. Bry, Gabe’s father, bowed out and opened his club. Haden is the only active EBRA of them, and he has over 500 EBRA he’s in charge of. Gabe and I always got along well, like the same things, and worked the same EBRA jobs. Not to mention, we like the ladies,” Daniel admitted with a sheepish laugh.

Faulk turned away from Nickel and Jade, turning his gaze to the dark sea. “They fell asleep. How much longer?”

“We’re almost there, but I gotta take it slow over here. This is Merpin territory and we sure as hell don’t want to wake them. They’ve got a thing for flesh. Our scents carry on the wind the more we move. When they smell it, they attack. Besides, there are too many jagged rocks. If I go too fast, we’ll sink, and become breakfast.” Daniel squinted and watched out for the fish like Merpins.

Faulk expelled a deep breath. “Just great. What is a Merpin anyway? You ever see one?”

“I only had one run in with Merpins. I was out with my friend Tomas at the time, and his father died saving me from being eaten alive.”

“Hell!” Faulk ran a shaky hand through his short black hair.

Scared? You’re the one who ran from your safe, soft world to come here.” Daniel chuckled at Faulk’s wary expression.

The water cruiser moved easily through the murky waters, and Daniel and Faulk stood quietly, looking out to the foggy, dark waters. The Minoites’ feeding frenzy was over, and the dawn came in quietly.

“What was that?” Faulk called out when the water cruiser was jarred, followed by a thump on the bottom.

Daniel growled. “Merpins! Wake them up. I’m gonna try to out run them. We’re almost to Willows Oasis.”

Faulk went over to the others and yelled out. “Wake up! Jade! Nickel! Get a weapon… anything. Oh God…one is climbing up the side!” He shot at the Merpin that was clawing its way up the side of the boat. Its black, stringy hair, white skin, long curved teeth, and predatory sea-blue eyes looked haunted with starvation. “Damn, I missed!”

Daniel spied another Merpin clawing its webbed hand into the cruiser as its webbed feet hung over the railing of the cruiser. “There’s another one!” His stomach filled with dread, because he knew there were others to follow. Aggravated, he reminded himself not to speed too fast through this rough sea of rocks, and hidden reefs or they would all perish and become the starving creatures’ meal. A shriek sounded behind him. He saw Faulk and the creature in the midst of a stand off.

Faulk looked stunned, mesmerized by the hungry, growling creature’s slanted eyes.

Daniel yelled out to Faulk. “Kill him! Aim for the head. Do itNOWFaulk!”   He steered the water cruiser around the protruding rocks where the Merpins sometimes slept.

Faulk snapped out of his daze as the Merpin lunged at him. He shot it, and the Merpin fell back into the water with his sharp green teeth exposed.

This isn’t over yet. Daniel swallowed hard.

Jade ran to the back of the boat. “There are two more in the back, but – I got them.”

Daniel heard one scream out from her shot, it’s piercing yell surrounding them. Daniel knew the death-cry of the creature would draw many others. He put in the command for the cruiser to release the knives on its underside, hoping that would deter more of the Merpins from climbing onto the boat for their breakfast. He was rewarded with numerous screams from the Merpins that were already attached to the bottom of the water cruiser.

“Grab something! I’m out of rock territory. I’m gonna to pick up the speed. If you go over the side you’ll be breakfast,” Daniel warned before the cruiser speed increased.

The ship jerked with the pull of the engines. He navigated quickly through the rocks, careful to not hit any. The cruiser dragged a distance before the bodies of the dead Merpins attached to the knives on the bottom fell and floated out to sea.

Jade backed up toward Daniel. He glanced at her and saw her eyes filled with horror.

“Crap! Get them. There are two of them … next to Nickel!” she yelled out at Faulk.

Nickel looked up from where he sat getting more ammunition out of the bags.

She aimed her darts to kill the Merpins that were quickly climbing up the back of the cruiser. Daniel pivoted to see the sickening pale and greedy sea cannibal lick its lips at the anticipation of his capture of Nickel. Jade’s darts hit each Merpin in the eye, and they fell back off the ship with a loud splash.

Faulk shot at the three Merpins that were holding onto the back of the boat. One jumped over the edge of the boat, and its webbed feet landed easily on the deck. Its clawed fingers and scaled torso bent over and sliced through the flesh on Faulk’s arm in its attempt to take a bite out of him. Faulk roared in pain. He fired consecutively and the creature’s lifeless, bleeding body fell into the murky sea.

“Nickel? Nickel! Hold on.” Jade called out as she ran toward him.

Daniel’s gut filled with anger and fear. They’d cleared the rocks and were so close to Willows Oasis. The warmer waters should help slow the Merpins down. “Can’t help you! I gotta get us out of here.”

As he navigated them to safety, Daniel periodically glanced back to check on the others. “Faulk! Kill it. Jade use your poison darts with his fire.”

Jade went to her hip and grabbed her poison darts. The Merpin pulled Nickel, who fought and struggled while screaming out. Daniel’s hand slipped off the wheel as he went for his gun and the cruiser jerked.

“No! Daniel, get us out of here. I got this!” Jade yelled.

Daniel reluctantly grabbed the wheel and maneuvered just in time to evade a large rock. The cruiser lunged to the side, and Daniel held onto the wheel. Jade adjusted her stance and ran toward Nickel with darts aimed high.

Nickel screamed out as he struggled against the Merpin’s grip. It dragged his lower body over the side of the cruiser. Nickel held onto the side with fierce determination, tears of fear welling up in eyes.

Jade aimed for the Merpin’s eyes and hands with darts in both of her closed fists. One, then two darts hit their targets. The Merpin cried out when it released Nickel, and fell screaming backwards into the sea. Jade’s remaining darts flew over the edge of the cruiser with it. Nickel pulled himself up and over the side of the boat. He shook his head and stood, tears from fear streaming down his face.

Faulk fired one last shot, and the last Merpin slid down the side of the ship and into the knives that protruded from the back of the water cruiser. “It’s dragging on the boat!”  He shot the Merpin off the knife’s edge, which held him.

Daniel warned, “Make sure they’re gone. I don’t want to drag any with us to Willows Oasis. One of those things could eat us whole if it got its claws lodged in us.”

They split up and checked the sides of the water cruiser, and spoke their confirmations of their safety.

Faulk came up to stand next to Daniel. “Man, I’m so tired I could pass out. After that – though, I don’t think I’m going to sleep for at least a week without one eye open.” Faulk shook his hands in disgust. “Those things were freakin’ ugly. We definitely don’t have creatures like those on Earth.”

“Get used to it. This isn’t Earth,” Daniel answered.

Jade checked on Nickel.

Nickel hastily moved her hand from his face and sat down on the deck, turning away from her. “I’m okay,” he mumbled.

Jade strolled over to Daniel and stood on the opposite side of Faulk. “So, for my first adventure, I’d say I did just fine – you know, being a girl and all. Don’t you think so, Daniel?”

Daniel groaned. “Your brother’s going to kill me. When we get to your father’s trove, you’re staying there.”

Jade put her hand on Daniel’s shoulder. “Not on your life. When are you going to tell me what’s going on Daniel?  I know you didn’t just come over to pick up Gabe. Something bad must’ve happened. Tell me! I have a right to know, you know. I mean, I smuggled that key out for you and everything.”

He tensed. The thought of telling her his father had been killed, made him feel uneasy. She called his father ‘Poppy’, and his father doted on her like she was his own daughter. He knew once she found out, she’d be hard to ditch, but he also knew he could no longer keep the tragedy hidden.

Realizing he still wasn’t ready to tell her, he answered, “Leave it.  I’ll tell you everything when we get to your father’s trove.”

He knew her well enough to know she wouldn’t give up to easy. She had fought Gabe and him for years to prove that she was just as strong and skilled in the ways of the Zukar as they were. Gabe and he had indulged her little tirades for the most part, except on those occasions where she got so obnoxious that they had to physically lock her in her room to keep her quiet. That didn’t last long, either, because Jade was excellent at picking all types of locking mechanisms. He knew if he told her what happened to his father, she’d want more answers than he had.

The remaining ride was calm, and Nickel came up to stand next to Jade. “Can you let me drive?” Nickel asked in his imitation grown up voice.

Daniel smiled. “Yeah, come over and let me guide you for awhile.” He and his father had been teaching Nickel to navigate the seas of Merwin since he could walk. Daniel trusted Nickel was capable of navigating most spots. Once Nickel had a firm grip on the wheel, Daniel slowly let go.

Jade stomped her foot and then blocked Daniel’s path. “Why should I have to wait?  I want to know the situation now, Daniel.”

Daniel looked toward her with a frown. “Forget it. I’m not talking.”

She looked angrily away from Daniel. Tapping her foot, she turned a pensive look to Faulk, with a seductive flutter of her long eyelashes, and a pursing of her lips, she lowered her voice. “Faulk, you know what happened. Tell me. I’ve a right to know.”

Faulk shook his head. “Sorry gorgeous, I have to agree with my cousin on this. Occasionally the salty dufus knows what he’s talking about. It should wait.”

Faulk walked over to the ammunition bag and pulled out two guns. He tucked one in the back of his belted pants and put the other in his holster. Grabbing part of the torn flag on the cruiser, Faulk tied it around his wound. He rubbed his arm where the Merpin had cut him with its long hooked claw, before he sat on the seat looking outward to the back of the boat.

Daniel watched him with an upturn of his lip. He realized Faulk’s run-in with the Merpins had left him shaken. He walked over to Faulk and stared at the gray waters behind them. “They can’t follow us here.  The waters are too warm. It weakens them, making them prey for other sea predators.”

Faulk replied with a relieved nod of his head as he looked at the darkest, hungriest sea he’d ever seen.

 

7

Daniel turned away from his cousin to watch Nickel steer the cruiser while Jade directed him to her father’s trove. The misty air and murky sea cleared as they broke through the calming waves of Willows Oasis. With the fog behind them, Daniel squinted with the light of the rising sun. The island’s green, sandy banks and massive willow trees came into view when Nickel steered closer.

Daniel got up from his seat and reclaimed his spot as the captain of the cruiser. “I’ll take it from here,” Daniel said to younger brother.

Jade didn’t bother directing Daniel. She knew he had been to her family’s trove many times with Gabe. Sitting there quietly, she watched him while he navigated to her trove.

He steered in silence, wondering who murdered his father. I know he ticked the EBRA off with the mess up on that last job, but it wasn’t a big loss. Still, the Vipen sect needs little motivation to kill someone of another sect.  

Jade pointed to the alcove on theislandofWillows, where her father’s trove lay buried. Jarred out of his thoughts, he steered the cruiser into a hidden niche several yards from the island’s edge. Huge hanging willow trees flanked the island, their long roots protruding from the ground to snake along the jagged edges of the island. The gigantic roots of the trees slinked into the green, splashing waves of the sea.

Jade led Nickel and Faulk into covering the cruiser with the hanging limbs of the willow trees. Daniel looked around at the thick curtain of branches and leaves surrounding the cruiser to make sure they were well hidden.

Faulk nodded, looking at their work. “This should be good. I can’t see out of here, and I’m sure no one can see in.”

“Yeah, it’s good.” Daniel said confidently. “Nickel go into the belly of the cruiser and get out the swim gear.” He spied Nickel shooting pipens at the hanging branches. His slingshot, shot with accuracy at each branch, and the pipen rock burned through each leaf it hit, before melting away with fire.

A look of apprehension quickly passed over Faulk’s face. “Where are we swimming to?”

Jade secured her gear tightly. “We can only get to my father’s trove through an underwater entrance, but it’ll take us a mile walk to get there. We haven’t been here in over a year. Ever since he started the club and his manager, Trix, got killed, he hasn’t had the time to take on any snatch jobs. So, he’s had no treasures to bring here, and no time to inspect the place.”

Daniel held his lips firm, trying not to smile at Faulk’s discomfort. “Faulk, there are no Merpins here. They only hang out in the cool waters of the isle of Bethan at the edge of the black seas. But, these waters have Tiliquens. They’re gold, snakelike pests that sting you if they get spooked. They’re harmless, just don’t tick them off.”

Jade nudged Faulk with her elbow and smiled at him reassuringly. “We have to get to the island on the dock. If we park the boat alongside the island, a booby trap of knives will come up.”

Faulk shook his head in disbelief. “You gotta be kidding me!”

Jade smiled. “Nope.”

Nickel returned with the wet gear and dumped it on the ground. Daniel grabbed the headgear from Nickel that they would use for breathing underwater.

Faulk tried on the goggles, and nosepiece, which fed him oxygen. “Great. This freakin’ planet is a death-trap, not a playground. I’m just surprised kids survive here. Earth is nothing at all like this. The only good think about this place is I don’t need an oxygen injection to visit here.”

Daniel breathed in the sweet air of Merwin, and thought back to his one visit to Earth, for the funeral of his mother. Her family insisted that his father return her home. Sometimes he missed her so much, but he always managed to press past it. He couldn’t bring her back, and now his father was with her. Grudgingly, he admitted that he missed the old man too. The seeping feeling of grief threatened to spill from his chest, but he buried it away. His anger at his father’s changed ways wouldn’t let go, and now, it tightened in his chest with regret and a piercing pain of sadness. He shook his head to stave off the memories as Jade’s call to Faulk sank in, and absently rubbed the beaded necklace his mom made him for comfort.

Jade opened the sack Nickel brought up and said, “Faulk, we won’t need to use this gear yet. Grab some blades, though. We may need them. It’s been a while since we’ve been here, and on Merwin, if you don’t keep some places cleared away, you never know what may grow there.” She pointed ahead. “There is an underwater dock that’ll rise when I activate my code. Once we’re off the dock, we’ll have to walk through the wild, slithering willow patch.”  She hooked her swim mask on the belt at her hip, and then went to the edge of the water cruiser, where she climbed down into the water to activate the lift for the underwater pier.

Faulk frowned. “Why don’t I like the sound of the slithering willow patch?”  He watched Jade walk through the green murky waters, raising a suspicious eyebrow.

“Because you’ve a good reason. That’s one of the first booby traps – of many.” Daniel stood with his arms crossed. “Each trove has deadly traps. Jade’s father has one of the more difficult troves to find, and to navigate. Jade was taught to find her way here when she was a kid. She’ll be able to lead us around the traps so we’ll be able to make it to the trove alive,” Daniel added, purposely leaving out the word unharmed. He knew getting to a Zukar’s trove could end in a lot of bumps and bruises – even death.

Jade yelled from the island’s edge. “Guys! Hey, it’s lifting. It only stays above water for a few minutes, and then it will drop back into the sea before it makes its way back to its hidden spot. Hurry up!”

Nickel pulled the willow branches further back to reveal the rocky dock that had risen up next to their water cruiser. “I’m so going next.”

Daniel took Nickel’s place and held back the branches. “Okay, go Nickel! Now you Faulk.” He pushed on Faulk’s back “Quick! You don’t want to get pulled under when the thing’s timer goes off,” Daniel added, and watched Faulk jump before he himself dropped down off the boat. His feet landed with a splash on the wet dock.

Nickel landed on the wet, rocky surface and ran as water crashed against the sides of the pathway with each wave. Faulk didn’t hesitate to follow, and Daniel ran behind them. Daniel yelled to Faulk, “Move it! Faster! It’s sinking!”

Faulk stopped abruptly as Nickel squatted in front of him to pick up his slingshot. Faulk slid and fell to his knees as water furiously splashed up on the side of the pathway.

Faulk righted himself on the rocky path. “Hey!” Faulk stood up and pushed Nickel lightly on the back.

Nickel jumped, and started to run.

“Keep moving!’ Daniel ran past Faulk to scoop Nickel up. He picked up speed when he felt the jerk of the platform while it started to sink deeper into the water.

Faulk was at his heels, and they were almost to the edge. “Oh hell, we’re gon-na die!”

“Hurry! That’s the last warning!” Jade exclaimed, waving her arms frantically.

“I’m throwing Nickel!” Daniel said right before he felt another jerk and cold water lapped against his calves.

Daniel knew he only had two minutes to get to the edge. With a grunt, he tossed his brother forward. Nickel landed on the grassy sand at Jade’s feet. He and Faulk raced side by side and then he felt the last jerk before the final pull of the dock into the depths of the sea. They were almost there to the islands edge.

Daniel grabbed Faulk’s arm, and yelled, “Jump! NOW!”  He pulled Faulk forward while they both dropped and fell with a thud on the soft, sandy surface. He looked back to the sea and caught a glimpse of the rocky dock as it surged up out of the water one last time. With a creak, it jerked down with such speed that the waters separated before rushing over the opening created by its departure.

Faulk was breathing hard from the exertion. “Please tell me the traps get easier. If we had stayed on that thing a second more, we would’ve drowned.”

Daniel laughed out at Faulk’s fear. “You’re right. Even I couldn’t have survived that kind of undertow, and I’m an excellent swimmer.” He elbowed Faulk. “Sorry, cuz. You wanted an adventure right? I told you to be careful what you asked for. Let’s go. Jade and Nickel are leaving us,” Daniel said as he pointed to them.

As he stood and reached out his hand to help his cousin stand, Faulk looked at him and his face broke out into a grin. The same cocky grin Daniel remembered from the day Faulk had first appeared at his door. At that moment, he realized Faulk was looking forward to the challenges ahead. He returned his cousin’s smile, and slapped him on the back before they took off in a jog to catch

 

 

Interview
1. In three days, all power will go off, everywhere for a very long time. What will you include in your author survival kit?
My Ipad, Baby Ruth, Starbucks Mocha Latte, and my laptop.

2. Where did the idea for the work you are promoting arise?
My son asked me to write a book about a teen pirate and I got the idea for the world I build from my trip to Hawaii.

3. What do you like to read?
I love to read horror, thrillers and young adult paranormal.

4. Tell us about the most exciting place you have ever visited?
The Big Island in Hawaii and Italy.

5. What is the most mundane, day to day, thing you can share about yourself?
I’m an Engineer who goes to meetings all day.

6. What scares you the most?
Not being able to do all the things on my life goal list before time runs out.

7. Tell us anything but keep it G rated.
I have a secret addiction to foreign karate flicks.

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Keywords:
lmpreston, lm preston, action adventure, mg, ya, adventure, romance, fantasy, 99cents, scifi,

LM Preston
YA SciFi Author
WEBSITE: www.lmpreston.com
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UPCOMING BOOKS
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BANDITS

Writing stories for and about kids that overcome the impossible…

Next Week James Gurley  will be in the Writerly Wednesday Spotlight!

By Sally

Sally Franklin Christie Blogger and Author of If I Should Die and Milk Carton People.

6 comments

  1. Oh yeah… Hawaii is my fave place in the world. I could dream my life away there. ANd I love that you wrote Bandits for your son, LM. I did that with my MG, and it makes the story even more special.

  2. See – you learn something new everyday. I didn’t know you were an engineer OR that you were addicted to foreign karate flicks. Cool stuff!!

  3. LM Preston’s Bandits is on my ‘To Be Read’ list! Can’t wait to read it! Good luck.
    Dina Rae, author

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