To celebrate Friday the 13th and all things paranormal, I'm sharing a passage from Sea Panther. This is from a scene where Kimberly and Robert are sailing through the Bermuda Triangle, searching for a time portal to the past...
A mirror image of the sky overhead, the Bahamian waters glistened in the sunlight. She loved the changing palette of color from clear blue to transparent turquoise, allowing glimpses of the coral below. A gentle wind blew out of the northwest. Kimberly inhaled the pleasant scented sea air.
Night Thrill made steady progress, flying only the main sail. Robert handled the helm as they rounded Andros Island on a heading for Bimini. She reveled in the indulgence of watching him. Robert had discarded his shirt when the sun rose and the temperature soared. Her gaze slid over his torso. Sleek tanned skin, glossy from a sheen of perspiration, pulled taut over tight muscles that flexed with every move. Desire gathered low in her belly.
He looked over from the wheel and smiled. Her breath hitched and she felt love for him in every cell of her body. She wished they could sail like this always. To somewhere else though, not to their current destination.
Without warning, the breeze quit. Completely stilled. Kimberly jumped into action, tending the sail while Robert engaged the engine. He shot her a strange unnerving glance as he shrugged into a black linen shirt.
She swallowed apprehensively and moved to stand beside him. “What is it?”
“The compass is going haywire. Spinning wildly.” His tone of voice revealed growing excitement.
Kimberly chewed on the edge of her lip, taut with anticipation. They’d been waiting for something to happen, though she hadn’t really believed the stories. The contents of her stomach shimmied. Was she ready to confront the unknown?
A cool mist advanced, quickly developing into dense fog, which expanded into an enormous semicircle not five hundred yards off deck.
“The RPM’s are dropping,” Robert reported.
The boat slowed to a near idle. Kimberly’s stomach lurched. She glanced at her watch. The second hand had stopped moving. She tapped on the crystal. Nothing.
She reached for Robert’s hand. “It’ll be okay,” she said, lacking true confidence.
Robert squeezed her fingers. “That’s my brave lass.”
The eerie fog swirled, encircling the sailboat yet kept a distance of about three hundred yards. Kimberly glimpsed the clear sky in the center—bright blue with no clouds. It was as if they were caught in the eye of a mellow storm.
Without warning, a large mass burst through the edge of the milky fog to hover about thirty feet above the surface of the water off their port side, throwing a huge shadow. The air smelled different. Like after a thunderstorm.
“What the hell is that?” Kimberly whispered.
“I dinnae ken.” Robert wrapped an arm around her shoulder, pulling her tight to his side.
The elliptical shaped thing began to vibrate. She held her breath. A soft whirring broke the unnatural quiet. Lights on the bottom of the object flashed, alternating between red, green, blue, and white.
Off the sailboat’s bow, a hole opened in the fog, exposing a tunnel of sorts with swirling mist walls. Before Kimberly could blink, the floating object entered the opening and vanished. Just as quick, the tunnel entrance closed.
“Wow. Was that real?” Kimberly asked.
“I am not certain, but I read an eyewitness report within Patrice’s notes describing a similar sighting.”
“Do you think it was a UFO?”
“I hope not. If it was, then this isn’t a time portal.” Robert gave her arm a squeeze.
“It could still be. If the portal could take us back in time, why couldn’t it also bring someone, or in this case, an object from the future to our time?”
Robert released her and rubbed the back of his neck. “This is all a wee unnerving, though, you make an excellent point. But then again, it could have been from another galaxy or a dimension of which we have nae knowledge.”
Kimberly retrieved the cell phone from a hidden pocket in the boy’s pants she wore. Robert’s eyes narrowed. He probably thought she planned to call for help. Even if she wanted to, they weren’t close enough to land.
“You shouldn’t have that. If we make it to the past... Ach, well, I hate to think what would happen to you if someone found your cell phone.”
“I didn’t plan to take it with me. Just wanted to see if it still worked.” She depressed the On button. Nothing. “It’s dead.” She tossed the useless phone into a small compartment under the wheel.
Time dragged. The fog slowly swirled closer. Kimberly kept checking her watch, but it wasn’t working. She took it off. “I guess I shouldn’t be wearing a watch either.”
“Get rid of anything from the present time.”
As she checked her pockets to ensure she hadn’t accidentally picked up something that didn’t belong in the past, the amount of blue sky overhead shrank to nothing more than a small circle over the cockpit. Then the milky haze overtook even that tiny bright spot.
A fine mist moistened her face, and she tasted salt on her lips. The fog rolled across the deck, thickening and becoming darker and heavier as strands of vapor swirled around equipment and through openings. Visibility declined to mere inches.
Kimberly felt as if chilly fingers reached for her from within the ominous fog. She grabbed Robert’s hand. “Please don’t let go of me. I’m frightened.”
“I will keep you safe.” He wrapped muscular arms around her and pulled her back against his broad chest. “Remember to talk in the lad’s voice you practiced and if we get separated, tell anyone who finds you that you are my nephew, Ian, my cabin lad.”
Abruptly, she heard whispering within the fog.
“Ahoy there. Is anyone aboard?” The disembodied voice made her shiver.
Kimberly pressed tighter against Robert and the heat of his body. “Did you hear that?”
“Aye,” he said, voice muffled against her damp hair.
Within the fog, someone whistled a jig-like tune. The haze dissipated slightly. Three men dressed in old-fashion aviator gear stood off the bow of the sailboat as if they walked on water. One saluted, and then they all vanished into the vaporous mist.
“Oh. My. God.” Gooseflesh prickled the length of Kimberly’s arms. She leaned into Robert’s strength. “You did see that, didn’t you? I read about flight crews being lost in the forties.”
“I saw.” He gave a gentle squeeze. “I am certain we will see more unusual sights before our adventure is complete. Are you still willing?”