Sand sprinted as fast as his aching body would carry him along the dock. In the storm he kept losing sight of Moen until the dark was illuminated by a fresh lightning strike and he saw the toiling figure ahead. They ran clear of the hulking whaling ships, now it was private yachts and sailboats that were anchored in a marina, bobbing about on the surf caused by the strong wind.
Moen turned sharply and leapt onto one of the yachts. By the time Sand had drawn level with him he had untied it’s mooring and started the engine. He looked back at Sand as the gap of water between the dock and the yacht grew. Sand could only watch. The sea water would kill him in minutes if he jumped into it, and Sand wasn’t a great swimmer.
Bakke arrived, out of breath. ‘He’s gone,’ he puffed, bending over, hands on knees.
They watched the yacht motor through the harbour. Sand followed the direction it was travelling. ‘It’s never over,’ he said. He left Bakke standing gulping in air as he sprinted along the marina walkway.
At the end of the row of yachts, Moen would have to turn and pass the end of the walkway in order to get out of the harbour. If he passes close enough I can make this, Sand thought.
At full tilt he reached the end of the runway as Moen’s yacht passed by. There was no time to stop and think about distance. It was now or Moen would get away. Sand hit the end of the runway and pushed off with everything he had. For a moment he was airborne, buffeted by the following wind, he stretched out across the swirling water. A desperate hand reached out and grasped at the grabrail. His feet froze as they hit the water. His body slammed into the side of the yacht. His hand closed around the rail. Sand felt himself be pulled along by the yacht.
His shoulder ached from the stab wound. With his good arm he managed to hold on until he could leverage himself up and get a foothold. Gradually he pulled himself up and flipped over the rail onto the deck.
Just as he hit the deck Moen was on top of him. Both men were unarmed. Moen’s fists pummelled Sand’s face and chest. Sand felt his ribs crack under the onslaught. All he could do was put his hands up to protect himself. Moen was the taller and stronger man. The yacht had cleared the dock and was heading to the open water beyond the sheltered harbour under the power of it’s engine. Rain lashed the fighting men. The darkness enveloped them as they left the lights of the land behind them.
Waves crashed over the side of the deck. Sand felt the salt water bite into the open wounds Moen inflicted on his face. Twice he found he was swallowing the bitter water as it covered him. Moen was screaming and raving. Sand couldn’t make out any words, just animal noise.
Moen began to tire. He pulled Sand up. As he did so a huge wave crashed into the side of the yacht as the swell around it grew larger. It threw both of them off balance. Moen fell backwards, he had to let go of Sand as he did so. Another wave threw both of them sprawling across the deck again. The main sail broke free from it’s rigging, the boom began swinging from side to side. The yacht was dangerously unbalanced.
Sand saw Moen grab for something in a box that was secured to the top of the deck. Another wave. Both men emerged at the side of the yacht, clinging onto the grabrail that had stopped them being washed overboard. They pulled themselves up, both exhausted and broken. Moen raised the flare gun at Sand.
The storm seemed to abate for a moment. The swirling sea raged around them, but the yacht sat placidly.
‘Goodbye, Detective Sand. One day I may fish you out of the sea as tiny particles swallowed by a whale. I will think of that everytime I gut a whale or a fish. It will make me smile.’
Sand stared at Moen, a beaten man. ‘Someone else will come for you,’ he shouted.
‘They will never find me,’ Moen sneered.
Suddenly the storm picked up the small yacht again. The boom swung viciously across the deck. Sand, facing it, ducked instinctively. Moen’s flare gun went off just as the boom slammed into the side of his head. The bright red flare shot off the side of the yacht into the night sky. Sand watched as the stunned Moen teetered on the edge of the yacht, then tipped over the side and into the murderous sea.
By the time Sand pulled himself forward to the spot where Moen had disappeared, the black sea had swallowed him. There was no sign of him.
Sand slumped to the deck. A bright searchlight traced a path through the darkness and found him. The coastguard boat pulled alongside. Sand saw Bakke at the bow.
This is part twenty-five of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.
Throughout April I have published a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
For all the other parts of the story, and to read from the start, visit here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.