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Oct. Artist of the Month Excerpt 2

Filed in ARTS/ENT by on October 10, 2015 0 Comments • views: 396

Dale Kornreich’s novel, Santa Cruz—The Island of Limuw, transports the reader on an intelligent, yet pulse-pounding adventure that uses California’s Channel Islands as a backdrop to this suspenseful story.  A 160 year old parchment, filled with verses obscured by innuendo and metaphor, the correct interpretation of which would reveal a government cover-up and the discovery of a fortune in gold. An old but sagacious Chumash Indian who guards an island secret that goes back thousands of years. An encounter with a rare and gigantic sea creature that repays its human benefactors with their lives. A seemingly impossible quest to find the grave of a sixteenth century Spanish conquistador. A Secluded valley where fantastical and supposedly extinct animals continue to thrive. A greedy and unethical Aquafarmer whose contaminated products cause a national health crises and who will stop at nothing, even murder, to protect his interests. Here’s an excerpt:  

Novel, Santa Cruz, The Island of Limuw by Dale M. Kornreich

Excerpt from: “Chapter 1—Six Months Before Present Day”

The geyser-like sound of erupting gas and fluid interrupted Negrete’s reverie. He knew instantly what had happened. A ten-thousand gallon depleted fuel tank contains an expansive amount of residual gas vapors; if you overfill a once empty tank too quickly, the gas vapors become compressed, eventually bursting forth like an Old Faithful Geyser.

Negrete immediately reached over and yanked the fuel hose out of the tank, grabbed the nozzle handle and moved the on button to the off position, shutting down the flow of diesel fuel. Unfortunately, the damage had been done. Approximately twenty gallons of foul smelling diesel fuel saturated the boat deck coating everything in a slick, gel like scum. The Captain’s heavy footsteps could be heard echoing off the aluminum steps as he swiftly descended from the elevated pilothouse.

“What the hell happened?” Captain Barton bellowed his face flushed red, his breathing rapid.

Setting down the fuel hose, Negrete replied in a voice edged with sarcasm, “Perhaps I slightly overfilled the fuel tank—no big deal.”

“You’ve created one heck of a shitty mess.”

“Things happen, I’ll clean it up.”

“Out of your paycheck you will,” Captain Barton said firmly.

“I’m an employee—you can’t do that,” Negrete countered.

“Now you’re telling me what I can and cannot do.”

“I’m just saying—”

Moving closer the Captain interrupted, “You just shut your mouth, you worthless Beaner, before I fire your pathetic little ass. Hiring prison garbage like you was never my idea—”

Un culera hijo de puta,” Negrete said angrily.

“Hey Wetback speak English,” Captain Barton demanded.

“You want to know what it means—”

“I’m waiting.”

“Asshole, son of a whore,” Negrete said slowly enunciating each syllable.

The Captains balled up right fist hammered Negrete’s right temple at the exact moment he uttered the last word. Negrete flew backwards, whacking his head against the teak wood railing. Dazed, he attempted to stand up. Slippery fuel coated his rubber work boots causing him to lose his balance and fall sideways, landing on his back at the Captains feet.

“How convenient,” growled Barton, stomping down, impelling the right heel of his leather work boot into Negrete’s chest, fracturing ribs.

What’s the matter brown boy,” taunted the Captain, “can’t handle the heat? No gang members to back you up?”

As Negrete attempted to roll away, his Levi jeans, flannel shirt, and wool jacket became imbued with diesel fuel. A steel-toe boot found its way between his buttocks, drilling his groin and sending nauseating shock waves throughout his body. A second kick walloped his lower back, slamming his body into a storage rack.

Violent rage burned within Negrete. He painfully struggled to his feet. Captain Barton approached him lugging a six-foot long fishing gaff crowned with a razor sharp curved iron hook. The gaff was normally used to land large fish.

Negrete looked for some type of protection. On the storage rack he noticed a two foot long dead-blow club, also known as a shark bat. It was designed to subdue thrashing sharks accidentally caught in their fishing nets. Made with a tough durometer urethane outer shell, aluminum rod core, polycarbonate internal shell, and filled with one pound of lead shot, it was a deadly weapon. He picked it up. It felt solid. He rotated it between his hands. He liked the feel. He was once again back with his former 4th Street Mexican Gang. He knew what to do.

“You want some of me?” he chided with a devious grin.

The Captain hesitated and then smiled. He rushed forward. He thrust the tapered gaff forcefully into the left sternum area of Negrete’s chest. He twisted it upward, endeavoring to drive the barbed hook into Negrete’s heart. The tip began to penetrate Negrete’s skin. Blood oozed out. As Captain Barton shrieked triumphantly, Negrete intentionally leaned backwards, causing the Captain to stumble forward. It was a fatal move. With seething ferocity Negrete whipped the shark bat forward as if he was hitting a home run out of a four-hundred foot baseball park, brutally smashing it against the Captain’s skull, fragmenting the bone. The Captain staggered a few steps before collapsing onto the deck.

 

Excerpt from: “Chapter 14”

Sedrak snapped out of his delayed reaction. But how do you defeat a twelve hundred pound homicidal dolphin? He asked inaudibly, and shuddered. His singular weapon was his bulky surfboard. What tactic to employ? He desperately needed a plan. Human shield entered his mind, which he instantly dismissed as suicidal. A half-ton dolphin would plow right through him like an M1 Abrams tank. But, the predictability of Moe’s circular route did make the Kamikaze idea plausible. If he hindered its path the crazed dolphin would have to slow down, creating an opportunity to whack the creature with his surfboard, and maybe, just maybe, inducing him to let go of the surf leash, freeing the girl. Not much of a plan, but it’s all he had.

With the dolphin already half-way through its compact spherical loop, Dr. Sedrak hurriedly sloshed his six foot frame to the cutoff point, situating his body and surfboard for the inevitable onslaught. As Moe approached his location the animal slowed down as expected, its precise echolocation, normally used for hunting down prey, now revealing the doctor’s exact position and size.

When Moe was less than eight feet away he stopped. This was not anticipated. The girl floated to the surface, soundless. Moe then elevated his bulbous head, the surf leash wrapped around its inch long interlocking conical teeth—the dolphin’s eyes probing, inspecting Dr. Sedrak, an eerie clicking noise resonating from the deranged mammal.

The eyes were what shocked Dr. Sedrak. Dolphins have irises like a cat that are spectacularly shiny, the mid-sized orb rich black in coloration. But Moe’s eyes were opaque, dull, and lightless. As a physician he knew that he was staring into the visual aperture of an unhealthy and diseased dolphin.

In his many years as a neurologist, Dr. Sedrak had learned to expect the unexpected, that a patient’s medical condition could deteriorate in a fraction of a second, requiring an on-the-spot response. A sickly animal, with its primordial instincts still intact, would be even less predictable. As a result, Dr. Sedrak quietly repositioned his surfboard, changing strategies. When Moe abruptly thrashed the ocean with his twin flukes, accelerating out of the water, jaws agape and emitting a diabolical wail—the doctor was intuitively prepared for the confrontation, his defensive reflexes on hyper-drive.

Dr. Sedrak held the surfboard as he would a colossal javelin, his right hand clutching the tail end, ready to launch it, his left hand steadying the board, the tapered front end a formidable projectile. His attention was directed at Moe’s unhinged jaws, each lined with a row of glistening white teeth, their intended objective his neck and head. Reacting in self-defense, he forcefully heaved the surfboard into the gapping orifice and then ducked, the psychotic cruise missile barely missing his upper torso.

Miraculously, Dr. Sedrak’s aim was exemplary, the polyurethane harpoon finding its mark, cleaving the surf leash and obliterating dozens of teeth. Splintered enamel spiraled like white shrapnel through the air as the surfboard fortuitously continued its destructive path, dissecting the dolphin’s tongue in half, sliding deeper into the throat, and blowing out the esophagus. A fine mist of crimson fluid spewed forth as the board finally lodged in the base of the animal’s gullet, its forward momentum exhausted.

Relieved to be alive, Dr. Sedrak watched transfixed as Moe’s unrestrained inertia conveyed his ponderous mass beyond his position. With the red-stained surfboard jutting out of its jaws, the dolphin plummeted into three feet of water, the sandy bottom solid, the dynamic impact cataclysmic—impaling the seven foot surfboard straight through the dolphin’s stomach, gutting the upper and lower intestines, shattering the spine, severing the spinal cord, ravaging large quantities of insulating blubber, and lastly, punching a ragged hole through the outer layer of its thick skin, eighteen inches aft of the dorsal fin.

Moe’s skewered, moribund body then experienced violent, involuntary muscular contractions, the spasmodic activity spewing forth volumes of iron-rich blood, discoloring the surrounding waters—the twitchy, jerky convulsions ending almost as quickly as they began—Moe’s lifeless carcass a floating lump of tormented flesh rising and falling in the surf. A few gluttonous Western seagulls, nosily arguing among themselves as they jockeyed for position, were already alighting upon the corpse, desirous for an easy meal.

 

Biography

Dale Kornreich has earned two degrees—a B.A. from Fresno State University (English Major), and a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of California and the U.S. District Court of California. His law practice, located in Thousand Oaks, California is limited to plaintiff’s personal injury and wrongful death cases. Kornreich currently splits his office time between his law practice and creative writing.  Dale Kornreich’s interests include SCUBA diving, skin diving, spearfishing, saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, surfing, hiking, biking, reading, gourmet cooking, vegetable gardening, raising chickens, taking care of a small vineyard, and walking his three Siberian huskies.  Dale Kornreich is married to Carole. They have three children—one boy and two girls, and reside in Agoura Hills (Old Agoura), California.

For more information visit dalekornreichbooks.com or reach out to Dale at contact@dalekornreichbooks.com

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