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Tuesday, August 18

Share your Crap Tuesday

I finished Upper Matecombe Key yesterday. Since it's Teaser Tuesday in the YA crowd at AW, I'm posting some of it.

This isn't what I normally post. I try to post action. This is talk.

Everett and Mirka are living on Upper Matecombe Key after accidentally driving the truck off a cliff into the ocean. Everett wanted to head out immediately for Key West, following the bridges that still stand above the water even though the islands have washed out. Mirka asked for three weeks to just rest. The house they live in once belonged to a Mr. Chandler. He had lived there until two months ago, trying to map how to get to Key West in his boat, to find his daughter.


"Crap!" Everett exclaimed as the last of the six GPS units went dead. "Seventeen minutes. That's as long as we can get with these things. I guess we could bring a bag with all of them, and collect any others on the island. Four minutes here, six minutes there. If Mr. Chandler couldn't find this bridge, I mean, I'd prefer a little GPS help. And why didn't he use GPS? He's not that old?"

Mirka sat down opposite him at the kitchen table. "I want to talk to you about something. Like, serious."

He was worried. Did he get her pregnant somehow just by some accidental contact? They couldn't be running out of food. "Sure, what's up."

"I know the three weeks are up, and you want to go over to Key West, or try to find it."


"Everett, I love you. I'm your wife. And...I don't want you to ever leave me. I'll never leave you."

"And I'll never leave you either." He didn't know where this was going.

"I'm not going to Key West."

"That's not so big. But, I figured you'd want to pick out the house."

"Everett, I'm not going. This is our house. If you leave me, then you leave me. But we've got it good here..."

"Mirka!" He stopped, trying to calm himself. "Mirka, Johnny Ricco is going to work his way through Miami all the way down to Homestead and then his people are coming down here."

"Well, then, without the bridges out, the way we thought it was, why would that have been safe?"

"Because then we didn't know they were down here. Florida was impassable everyone said." He stood up and started pacing. "You're the one leaving me if you stay here."

"No, that would be me staying. I won't go over there because then if I wanted to come back I would be leaving you." She walked toward him and tried to hold his hands. He jerked them away. "Everett, you've seen the insides of these other houses. Mr. Chandler kept this one nice."

Through gritted teeth, Everett said, "I've fixed that pontoon boat for three weeks. I've charged batteries, found hand trucks and wagons..."

"Everett, why do you want to leave?"

"It was always the goal! It is the goal! We'll never be safe. Not here..."

"Just...let me talk. You've got your guns again. If they show up, yes, I'll hop in a boat with you and we'll head off leaving all our new stuff. I believe you that it will be unlooted, if it's still there. But everything is still here too and we don't have to go anywhere."

"Then why not go?" He walked to the front door. "What you're saying makes no sense. None. You're going to kill us."

"Everett, Key West is 80 miles from here according to the GPSs. Can you take a boat 80 miles in the ocean trying to find an island that might not exist?"

"Yes, I can."

"Based on Mr. Dead Chandler's maps? He left and didn't come back. He was trying to find the Long Key to Duck Key bridge that day. You think he just decided to move to Key West or somewhere else?"

"But I can." He walked out the open door. "I'm going on a bike ride."

He rode down to the power substation near the crash site. He had a folding chair there. He sat and cried.


  1. This is intriguing. I like how he just up and leaves at the end, avoiding any more conflict for the moment. And the pregnant comment made me laugh. I think you can fine tune it a little to ramp up the tension, but as a rough draft, you've got some great material! :)

  2. I read your query and I really love the idea for this. Can't wait to read more.

  3. Nicely done!
    I really enjoyed reading this. great teaser.