Under Low Skies

Under Low Skies

By Ed Teja

Format: ePub  
Availability: Instant download


Martin 's younger brother is in jail for killing a fisherman in Venezuela. Unfortunately, Martin is a freighter captain, not a detective. The Venezuelan police, a mysterious and gorgeous woman lawyer, a vicious gringo, a seemingly affable drug lord, and a guy named Raul all would rather Martin just turned around and went home. It ’s a good thing Ugly Bill is on his way to help. ~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~ Pepe sat at the bottom of the cliff, staring at the nets piled around him in the large wooden peñero, their floats circling the gunwales. He felt restless. The boat rocked gently, banging against the sandy shore. It was a soothing sensation. The wind was right, the water was right for fish. He put his hand in the clear water. Even the temperature was what it should be. He smiled, thinking about what a good catch would mean. In the limited vocabulary of Pepe ’s pleasures, fish translated into money & mdash;money for rum and girls. The year had been good. So far he had no complaints. Glancing across the surface of the water, Pepe could see a fair number of fish jumping. This was strange. He had heard nothing from Antonio. He glanced up the cliff but couldn ’t see his brother. Well, he must be getting a drink of water or something. But certainly he had seen the fish. He had to have seen them. They filled the water. Why hadn ’t he called out? But seeing the fish was Antonio ’s job. Pepe ’s was to wait. Suddenly his father came running down the bank toward the boat, followed by Pepe ’s uncles. "Start the motor, " they shouted as they ran. Startled, Pepe lurched toward the back of the boat and pulled on the starter cord of the ancient 75HP Evinrude motor. He felt a surge of pride as it sparked to life with a healthy roar on the first pull. Maintaining the motor, ensuring that it would start when they needed it, was his job and he also took great pride in his work. "Get the nets out! Hurry! " His father was sweating profusely and still trying to catch his breath after his run, but his words still had the bark that made people jump. One of his uncles pushed the other boat into the water and started the motor. His job was to act as an anchor for the huge net, holding one end of it while the men in Pepe ’s boat stretched it out to encircle the fish. "What about Antonio? " Pepe asked as he positioned the boat so his uncles could lay the net out across the passage. "He must have fallen asleep, " his father said. "I ’ll deal with your brother when we finish with the fish. " Pepe shuddered at the dark look in his father ’s eyes. He knew what Antonio was in for. It was mid-afternoon by the time the men had gotten the net out, chased fish into it, and hauled it in again, arduously picking the fish from the net by hand, trying to damage neither. Then they loaded the catch, sardines mostly, into one boat so that an uncle could take them to the Pueblo of Mochima to sell them. The work done, Pepe and his father checked the camp to see if Antonio had come down from the cliff. He wasn ’t there, and the women said they hadn ’t seen him. This, too, was unusual, but if Antonio had fallen asleep he would either still be asleep or know he was in trouble. The two men started up the steep path to the lookout spot, kicking up the dry dust. At the top, Pepe ’s heart began to flutter. Antonio was certainly lying on the ground, but he wasn ’t asleep. He lay face down in a pool of blood. Their father ran over to him and rolled his body over. Antonio ’s eyes were wide open and glassy, blood poured out of his throat. "He is dead, " the fisherman moaned. "Someone has cut my son ’s throat. "

Ed Teja