Raven’s Run 37

I looked around, depressed by what had happened. One of the parked cars caught my eye momentarily. It had been sitting with no lights on. Now both doors opened and two men got out; one was heavy and muscular, the other was skinny and short. They leaned against the hood and looked at the boats.

I walked Raven down to the Wahini. I had repaired the hatch; it was secured now with a hasp and padlock. I got out my key, and as I was bending over I caught sight of the two men again, standing casually beneath the bow of the fishing boat that was moored beside us.

Satori is a Zen Buddhist concept. At a moment of satori, one suddenly sees in a flash of insight things that were always there, but were hidden by one’s preconceived picture of the world. I had a satori at that moment, a black satori. The men suddenly ceased to be two strangers and I knew them to be Raven’s attackers.

I slid the hatch back hurriedly and motioned Raven inside. As I followed her, the two men moved toward the Wahini.

It never occurred to me to secure the hatch. Since I picked Raven out of the ocean, her attackers had been a cloud on her mind. Appearing again, they instantly became an intolerable threat. I wanted to get my hands on them and end that threat. I thought of the fear Raven had endured as she watched the cruise ship pull away, leaving her alone in mid-ocean, and I wanted blood.

I caught Raven’s shoulder and spun her around. Gesturing forward, I snapped, “Get back and stay back!” She shrank away from me. I flipped open the engine room door and snatched up a 12 inch Crescent wrench.

Wahini shifted slightly as they came aboard. She was a heavy craft; I would never have felt her move if I had not been keyed up. I faced the closed hatch, balancing in the narrow aisle way between the transom seats. Behind me, Raven gasped as she heard their soft footsteps on the deck.

My breath came short and my ears were ringing, but I was ready.

The hatch slammed back and the larger man came in feet first.  I swung the wrench. I had been ready to hit his right wrist, expecting a weapon. But when he landed he dropped into a crouch to catch himself, and the wrench popped him smartly on the side of the head. He collapsed like a marionette with the strings cut.

Then his partner gave me a faceful of feet. It slammed me back against Raven. She cried out in pain as I smashed her against the bulkhead. Then the second attacker went down. He had landed on his partner and lost his balance.

It was a confusing fight, with three men struggling and one girl dodging in a space not much bigger than a bathroom. I swung at Skinny’s head and missed. He scored the back of my hand with a knife and I lost the wrench. I kicked at his crotch. He sideslipped and I caught Davis in the face instead, just as he was trying to struggle to his feet. He went back down and Skinny caught me in the throat with a fist. I fell back, gasping for air, as Skinny took another swing with the knife. More by luck than skill, I dodged it. As he was sideways to me, with his arm up and extended, I hit him hard with a braced finger knuckle in the nerve center at the top of his ribs. He screamed like a stepped-on cat and lost his knife.

Our fishermen friends next door came alive then. They had heard Raven’s screams.

Skinny heard them shouting and jerked Davis to his feet. They went up the ladder and out the hatch. I followed. They went overboard on the side opposite the fishing boat, and ran for the quai, sheltered by the bulk of Wahini. The fishermen were lining the rail of their boat. I pointed and tried to shout, but Skinny’s blow had stopped my voice.

Raven explained in rapid Spanish, and her friend translated. By that time, Davis and his skinny companion were just a squeal of tires and a flash of taillights on the boulevard. more tomorrow


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