Title: Red Skies
Series: Survive, can stand alone
Author: Thomas Konkle
Genre: Survival adventure
Published: Sept 1 2017
~ Blurb ~
In the midst of a raging storm aboard a stolen sailboat, Scott and Aiden fight for their lives on the open sea against modern day pirates, hunger, a rapidly disintegrating boat, and mother nature herself. The two desperate teens must find a way not only to survive, but to navigate back home. Their only hope is to salvage a sinking friendship and work together. Their survival depends on it.
Add to your Goodreads TBR → Here
Grab a copy!
~ Excerpt ~
“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”
Scott became less disoriented on the deck of the wave-rocked sailboat. The ringing in his ears slowly faded, and so did his last memory with his father. It felt like he hadn’t seen his dad’s face in forever. As he stared into the sheen of water coating the deck, Scott realized he was instinctively rubbing his temple. He remembered hitting his head on the metal cleat. The night storm’s winds pounded at him while he tried to stand on the teetering deck.
He fell, hard.
Scott thought about how much his dad loved the sea. He wondered how his dad would feel about the sea now, if he knew what was happening to his son and Aiden. He shook his head and tried to see through the battering wet fury of the storm, but he still couldn’t find Aiden.
Scott stood back up and lashed the wheel that controlled the rudder into a fixed position. Slowly, he walked along the edge of the sailboat’s deck, trying to catch a glimpse of Aiden anywhere near the place where the waves had taken him.
The straining sailboat lunged into the cresting waves, nearly taking Scott off his feet again. This time if he fell, it would be into the dark rolling ocean. There was some room to walk along the top deck, in front of the top of the cabin. He stepped onto the path that led to the front railing, where he had seen Aiden knocked off near the bow.
“Aiden! Are you still here?” Scott cried out over the sounds of rough waves, wind, and the creaking of the boat around him. Nothing.
Scott wondered why he had ever let Aiden talk him into taking the boat out. His panic churned over and over like the sea below him. As Scott headed toward the place where he’d lost sight of Aiden, he reflected on the fact that the older his friend had gotten the more reckless and thoughtless Aiden had become. Recently, Aiden had evolved into someone who never considered the consequences before he did anything. Most times, Scott was sure that if they met now that he and Aiden would not be friends. Maybe their shared history was now the only thing keeping them friends, anymore.
Regaining his balance, Scott crept along the boat deck; his hands were numb from the icy, stinging water. He stayed low on the deck, grasped blindly at anything to help him just keep moving toward the last place he saw his friend. There was a terrible, starless darkness on the sea. Never before had Scott experienced a night of such blackness and turmoil. There were no pockets of civilization’s light on this inky sea, no familiar sights or warmth. Only the sound of the storm and the sea.
The cabin door blew open, and a faint, orange light spilled out. The ropes holding what was left of the sails whipped into view. Scott took hold of one of them, moving toward the area where he hoped Aiden would still be clinging to the sailboat. The boat lurched sending Scott off his feet again. A tight hold on the ropes was the only thing that helped him keep his balance as the boat heaved from one side to the other. With still no sign of Aiden anywhere on the deck, he crawled to the edge of the boat holding on to the wet ropes and looking over the side into the sea. There was only darkness held back by the ever-dimming light of the cabin. Aiden had been so confident that they could just take the boat for a little while, to see how far they could go, and then get the sailboat back. Now, as the sailboat endured this battering, Scott wondered if he was the only one left. Would he even survive this?
Scott made one more desperate pull on some remaining ropes that were draped over the edge of the bow. Suddenly, a flash of lightning revealed even more tangled and knotted rigging ropes halfway over the side of the boat. Renewed hope washed over him, and he called out to see if Aiden was somewhere in the ropes.
Aiden groaned out words just loud enough to be heard over the fury of the storm. “Ugh, I can’t move!”
Scott spotted Aiden tangled in the wet, tightening ropes. Looking up at Scott, Aiden waved his hands. The sound of his friend’s voice guided Scott to the right ropes. He knew he had to be careful about choosing which rope to pull, as he noticed one of them was wrapped around Aiden’s neck.
“I thought you were dead!” Scott’s whole body surged with adrenaline. He began untangling the ropes to find out which ones he could gather in his hands to bring his friend back up into the boat without strangling him in the process. The choking rain pelted Scott as he took a deep breath and pulled at the ropes again, bringing Aiden up toward the deck of the boat.
The waves rolled deep and tipped the boat to the side, dunking Aiden in the cold ocean water so deeply that he disappeared for a moment only to re-emerge gasping. Scott pulled as hard as he could now, and strained every muscle to bring his friend up over the edge onto the watery deck of the ship.
~ About the Author ~
Thomas Konkle is an actor, writer and director. Most starting writing and performing comedy with John Cleese, Thomas has recently been staff writer of Be Cool Scooby Doo for Warner. Brothers and is the star of the feature film noir Trouble Is My Business which he co-wrote with Brittney Powell. Konkle is also director of the feature and a professional actor in television and commercials.