Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 03 - "Shipwrecked"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

worth the view

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2008-10-03 - Updated: 2008-10-03 - 662 words - Complete

“How much farther is it?” Justin panted yet again as they struggled up a steep incline.

“Not very,” Max replied, and hardly for the first time in this particular conversation.

The two of them trudged up the side of the mountain, Bandit wandering in and out of the foliage as they went. The sun had risen almost to noon; they had stayed up most of the night while Justin told Max about his smuggling runs, so they had slept in. Before breakfast, they had raced to the pond, and, as usual, Bandit won. At the pond Max had nearly stripped down before he remembered Justin. It had been years since there was another around, and he had grown accustomed to swimming in the nude. He had done what he could to keep his own dwindling supply of clothes going, and that sometimes included giving them a rest.

For a man who was always on the run, Justin was huffing and puffing at the end of the race.

Just like me, Max had reflected, when I first started training with Dad…

“What all can you see up there?” Justin asked.

“Everything,” Max replied. “The whole island.”

“From one spot?”

“There’s several places,” Max told him. “Just a little farther…”

A few minutes later, they reached the summit. After a moment of catching his breath, Justin looked up and saw the commanding view Max had told him of. A couple more steps, and he could see the entire stretch of beach where he washed up the other day, and the Ocean beyond for miles and miles.

“So, what do you think, Justin?”

“Umm… Why did we climb up here again?”

“To build up your endurance— and to see the island,” Max told him. “Why? Don’t you like the view?”

“Yeah… I don’t know…” Justin gazed out at the Ocean, wishing he could be out there. “Don’t you wanna go see what’s out there, Max?”

“All the time.”

Bandit nudged up against Max’s leg, and he reached down and scratched him right behind the ears, right where he seemed to like it most.

After a moment, Max asked him, “So, if the other two runs went okay, what went wrong?”


No matter how long Justin thought about it, he still couldn’t piece together exactly what the hell happened that day. In the space of thirty seconds… Jimbo, Trevor, Slash… Too much… He had never even met Trevor before that day, and it turned out to be an acquaintance he could have done without.

Though both of his latter runs had been even less eventful than the first, he had still spent both of them thinking this was too easy, and not in a good way. Especially the final run, which he had to do in broad daylight. On the plus side, it was only the remnant of the contraband the Cyexians hadn’t been able to rig up room for on the first two runs, so there wasn’t much of it, and he had been able to drop it all well before he got within sight of Bates.

“I just knew things were going too smoothly,” he muttered.

“Hey, Justin,” Max said as he walked over to his Crow’s Nest tree, “wanna see what Paradise looks like from up here?”

“Why not?” Justin shrugged, then climbed up after him.

Bandit just looked at them, cocked his head, then flopped next to a rock in the sun.

Justin perched on a branch, just a little above Max. From up here, he could crane his neck around and see almost the entire island, and practically all of the surrounding waters. It almost gave him a touch of vertigo, seeing all of this from on high.

“Cool isn’t it?” Max asked. “…So, what happened when you went to get the money?”

“They knew,” Justin told him. “Somehow they knew. And that bastard Trevor was there, waiting…”
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