Monday, July 13, 2009

Excerpt - The Treasure by Michael Davis

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Imagine being stranded on a hostile world, with no one to depend on but yourself. Your mission team has been killed. You’re all alone for the rest of your life. There will be no rescue, no companionship, and no contact with another human being. What would you do? Jake Hamilton, commander of the Specter Three deep probe mission, commits a desperate act at the risk of his life to end his loneliness.


Jake heard the scream from the direction of the shoreline. He ripped his way through the dense undergrowth, but when he got there, she was gone. He followed the drag trail into the teal colored trees. After sixty yards he came to an opening, and there she was, the life being sucked from her small body. She reached for him, pleaded for relief. He struggled to help her, but he couldn’t move. His feet were entangled in the roots of the forest; the vines rose up and anchored him to the ground. She called his name, again and again, begged him to save her, but he could only watch as she was slowly devoured. He looked toward the sky; cried out for a reprieve, but there was no one to help. He watched in horror as he lost her, and he could do nothing, but weep.

Clang. Jake opened his eyes. His self made alarm worked this time. He pulled down the clear plastic container hanging over his head and shook it back and forth. The motion aggravated the two-inch long glowworms stored inside the container. The insects began to hiss as their bodies emitted a bright glow, equivalent to roughly a 40-watt bulb.
He looked down at the floor and observed a two-foot long brown slug easing across the trip wire of his alarm. He removed the knife from the sleeve attached to his belt, tossed it at the four-inch diameter creature, and skewered the slimy thing to the ground.
Jake sat on the edge of the hand made cot and stared through the tent opening at his new world. He shook his head to force out the terrible images that hounded his dreams. The nightmares came less frequently now, but the memory was always there, leaching at his soul. For that one mistake, when he lowered his guard for an instant, he would be haunted for the remainder of his days.
Jake reached down for his knife and picked up one of the many hostile creatures he had learned to live with during the past eleven months. He smirked at the slug and declared, “Not this time. You already sucked off my little toe, you bastard. It’s my turn to eat you.” He tied a string around the extruded orifice at the front of the slug and hung his evening meal from the tent post to prevent the other little crawly things from stealing his dinner.
He walked outside and peered up at the three moons that cast a blue tine across the landscape. “Might as well stay up. Not enough time before they start coming again.” The six foot 220 pound man with sandy hair took a moment to enjoy the view of the sparkling turquoise shoreline eighty yards below his fortress. He watched the forty-foot luminescent eels undulate in the surf, as the males jockeyed for access to a mate. He noticed the large six-legged pig like creature routing in the sand for shellfish deposited by the tide. “Watch it. You’re getting too close.” The animal had carelessly strayed next to a two foot diameter borrow. “Too late.” In an instant, the maroon-red sea leech shot out and latched its four-inch fangs into the side of its victim. The struggle for life subsided when the leech tranquilized its prey by injecting a pint of poison. Once the meal was enveloped, the leech retracted back into its hiding place beneath the sand.

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