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Oct. Artist of the Month Excerpt 4

Filed in ARTS/ENT by on October 20, 2015 0 Comments • views: 926

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 29”

 

“Painted cave,” began Timbrook who was also functioning as their tour guide, “stretches 1227 feet inward from its 100 foot-wide, 130 foot-tall entrance. It was formed along a geologic fault that extends throughout the entire cavern. Fifteen thousand years ago the cave began as a narrow fissure which slowly became eroded by the hydraulic impact of battering waves, compressed air, and the abrasive effect of suspended sand, gravel, and rocks carried by the rushing surf. Over time these tremendous forces began to gradually wear away zones of basaltic weakness creating the spectacular sea cave that now looms before us. Santa Cruz Island has approximately 120 wave-cut caves, and neighboring Anacapa has over 135 similar type caves. But, this is the ‘Granddaddy’ of all such subterranean grottos—Painted Cave—who’s natural beauty has been compared to that of an ancient gothic church.”

“Why’s it called Painted Cave?” asked Eva.

“The answer to that,” laughed Timbrook, “I’ll leave to your own momentary observations.” He then reengaged the throttle.

Mischa felt the boat move forward, but at an almost imperceptible rate, allowing ample time to view the imposing arched gateway. Numerous brown-tinted swallow nests were caked along the overhang, and cormorants nested on the rocky ledges. Santa Cruz Island Live Forever succulents hung from the sheer cliffs. As the boat slipped beneath the irregular and chunky threshold, the reason for the cave’s descriptive name became readily apparent: emblazoned into the volcanic walls like a painted tapestry were wavy patterns of vibrant greens, yellows, purples, oranges, blues, reds, and vivid whites; bright hues of red and green marine algae adorned the seawater-splashed walls. “That’s incredible!” Mischa said aloud as her voice echoed off the prismatic-colored walls. “It’s like an indoor rainbow, but more stunning because it will last forever.”

“So many dynamic colors!” exclaimed Eva. “How’s it possible?”

“Primarily through mineralization from leaching rainwater combined with the caustic effects of saltwater,” began Timbrook, “along with variegated lichens, brilliant algae’s, and igneous rocks that are deeply-colored.”

“The name, ‘Painted cave,’ is certainly apropos,” Dr. Sedrak confirmed, “and the colors don’t end at the entrance, but look to continue into the very heart of the cave.”

Pointing at the surface of the water Jake added, “And the underwater scenery . . . it’s just as beautiful.”

Mischa responded to her brother’s assertion by staring into the crystal-clear water. In the intertidal zone she spotted orange, purple, and red sea stars clinging to submerged rocks, delicate golden brittle stars, jumbo rock scallops encrusted in camouflaging moss, ebony-colored mussels, giant green anemones, gooseneck barnacles with bright red suction cups, a smattering of cobalt blue and pearl-white sponges, and hundreds of purple sea urchins occupying every nook, boulder, and interstitial crevice on the seafloor. “It’s definitely on par with the walls,” she agreed.

Excerpt from: “Chapter 38”

 

Nessie, Mischa observed with a horrible sense of foreboding, was now surrounded by over a dozen sharks, rendering any chance of escape impossible. It no longer matter how fast they could swim—they couldn’t out swim a pack of sharks. Timbrook’s plan had failed. “Jake,” she cried. Her brother wrapped his arms around her. She held him tight. “I love you,” she whispered. As she was snuggled against his chest, the ship’s center of gravity suddenly changed. Nessie was beginning to slip beneath the waves. The outboard engine abruptly sputtered and finally died as water was drawn into the air intake valve. She looked over at Timbrook to say goodbye and was startled and confused by what she saw. His expression of fear had changed into one of bewilderment. She let go of Jake and looked out over the water. The sharks . . . they’ve disappeared! That’s impossible,” she told herself. She gazed into the depths. Not a single beast lurked below. “Jake” she said tearfully, “they’re all gone.”

“Not all of them,” Jake countered. “Something massive just buzzed the ship’s bow and is now heading for the Lucky Lady.

Mischa stared into the water. Nothing. Whatever animal had spooked her brother had already vanished. “Jake—” and then her jaw dropped.

“Oh my God!” Jake mumbled.

A massive eel-like creature had suddenly exploded out of the ocean and was now soaring across the Lucky Lady’s stern. Mischa had never seen the serpent in such a state of agitation—its three-dimensional skin glowing—reflecting light in a prism of colors, all of which were resplendent in their spectral brilliance. As the Giant oarfish glided over the ship’s rail its midsection came into contact with the metal deck resulting in the discharge of a bolt of energized light which instantly lit up the entire structure. Fireworks-type sparks flared from the end points of metal objects, and a small blaze erupted in a pile of oily rags. Two, high-pitched, bloodcurdling screams began and ended within a split second of each other, followed by an eerie silence. The smell of ozone and nitric oxide, similar to the odor produced after a severe lighting storm, permeated the air.

 

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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