Excerpt from India Yeti Pirates Copyright © 2019 Gerard Doris.
(Bay of Bengal - India - One Month Ago)
The screeching bellow of a mighty Indian elephant echoed
across the dark waters of the Bay of Bengal. The powerful
creature stomped its immense feet in the mud along the
riverbank, nervous and fearful. The forty year old beast
refused to move away from the water’s edge and instead
continued to stare out into the dark gloomy night. Its owner,
a young man in his early twenties ran up to the upset
elephant and tried to calm it down. Soothingly he patted
the creature’s thick hide and spoke reassuringly, “It is
alright Koby! It is alright!”
He paused and looked out at the quiet Bay. The surface of the dark water and the black night sky were impossible to tell apart due to the thick clouds blocking the moon and stars. The only thing visible were a handful of small lights coming from three immense container ships thirty miles away, each one headed out towards the Indian Ocean. Happily he took a long breath and enjoyed the peaceful moment until the lights finally disappeared from view. He then turned back to Koby and finally convinced his five ton friend to follow him back up the beach to where the other elephants and their owners were spending the evening and waiting for him. “See my friend, there is nothing out there but the seagulls.”
But the young man was wrong.
A couple miles away floating atop the smooth rolling waves was a small ship, every one of its on board lights eerily turned off. The only lights in fact were below the water, not above it. Two faint lights twenty feet below the ship grew in intensity and size until they too were turned off.
Two scuba divers came out of the water like ninjas, both silent and invisible in the swirling shadows of mist across the Bay.
Dressed completely in jet black suits the two divers were carrying a large case, roughly the size of a large modern suitcase, and made out of bulletproof material. The two men silently kicked their fins until they were inches from the ship’s blue hull. His face still completely hidden from view, one of the men whispered into a microphone inside his mask.
Silently a rope ladder was dropped down from above until the bottom rung slapped the water’s black surface. A second later an empty metal basket was lowered beside it. The divers carefully set the mysterious case inside, then as the basket was quickly pulled back up they climbed out of the water until they stood in the eerie darkness on the deck above. There was no-one to greet them.
They quickly took off their fins, tanks, and masks then hurriedly disappeared down a flight of aluminum stairs lit only by a few light bulbs that had been turned on seconds before. At the bottom was a very small cabin only half the size of a car garage. There were no portholes for anyone to see in from outside.
In the centre was an emaciated and intense looking Indian man in his sixties dressed in dilapidated sailor’s clothes and nervously chewing tobacco. He was sitting by himself and studying the contents of the black case.
“You can turn the rest of the lights on now Dheeraj.”
The old sailor tapped a cell phone in his skinny right hand and immediately the hold was filled with bright LED light from three fixtures in the ceiling. Dheeraj looked up from the case and grinned, every one of his fake white teeth reflecting the bright light.
“You got it Mr. Bombet! It is all here!”
He then jumped up and left the open case to shake hands with the youngest of the divers, a twenty-five year old Indian man with short cut black hair, warm brown eyes, and a very thin long scar that ran from his chin to just below his right ear. The scar suggested a violent past, but Darsh Bombet was no hoodlum, but in fact one of India’s most proficient (and honest) treasure hunters. The thin scar had come a year before not from the pocketknife of a criminal but instead humorously from the sharp nail of a baboon that had scratched him during one of his expeditions into the Indian jungle.
Beside him Rhyce Tucker laughed and shook his head like a wild dog to rid his long hair of the saltwater from the dive.
“You’re famous now mate! We’ll be holding pirate treasure tomorrow!”...
...As they approached the sand he killed the engine and took his eyes away from the shore for a second to look back. Just then sheet lightning flashed over the Bay and Darsh’s heart skipped a beat as he saw what appeared to be three speedboats a mile away skimming the water’s surface towards them. The lightning passed and the three objects disappeared again into the dark rain of the night.
“Grab the goggles!”
“I think we have chasers!”
Rhyce tossed the rope aside and lifted the goggles back to his face. He studied the Bay for a full ten seconds.
“It’s just some fishing trawlers mate! They’ve already stopped…they’re casting their nets!”
He stuffed the goggles into his backpack then jumped out to secure the speedboat.
“It’s all good mate! Triumph is still ours!”
Darsh instead waited, scanning the water for any sign or sound his friend was wrong. Nothing materialized out of the dark and the only sound was the splattering of the cold rain against the aluminum boat. Begrudgingly he turned away from the Bay for good and strapped on his own backpack, his eyes and ears having confirmed they were safe. But as he grasped the bullet proof case and stepped onto the wooden pier his sharp instincts still told him otherwise.
Putting on a brave face for Rhyce he slapped his friend on the shoulder.
“To the Pirate Cave!”
Rhyce laughed, his wild hair almost completely covering his face in the growing night wind.
“To the Pirate Cave!”
They walked out of the “beach” and reaching a small town hailed a taxi to drive them to a West Bengal train station. The driver was busy eating a late supper of butter chicken but was happy to toss the food aside for the large fare.
Over an hour later the taxi pulled into the station and Darsh and Rhyce stepped onto the dimly lit platform to wait. Nervously Darsh watched the fifty other men and women also waiting to board. Five minutes later the old but sturdy train flew into the station on time. They hurriedly boarded and took seats opposite one another. The overhead lights in the narrow car skipped a moment then came back to full power as the train lurched forward and pulled away from the bright lights of the town and sped into the dark countryside.
Darsh watched the platform disappear into the night and finally began to believe that Rhyce had been right all along. There just couldn’t be anyone following them.
Three more hours passed quietly, except for two peddlers who wandered through the cars trying to sell books, water, newspapers, and sandwiches. Hoping to finally be left alone the two treasure hunters gave in, Rhyce buying a two day old sandwich while Darsh bought the last copy of a daily newspaper. The elderly peddlers thanked them and politely left, eager to find new customers in the forward cars.
Rhyce tossed the sandwich out the window into the darkness and instead lit a cigarette grinning impishly.
“I love the Indian rail system mate…they let ya smoke!”
Rhyce angrily snuffed the cigarette out just before a security official could be seen entering their car. “Right mate. Health and safety and all that nonsense.”
Darsh turned back to the window and his mind drifted wondering how his life would change once their discovery became public. Movie deal? Book tour? Those were the things Rhyce wanted. What he wanted was for the world to know the Yeti Pirates were real.
He turned back to the newspaper which seemed to contain nothing but cricket and field hockey scores, weather predictions, interviews with politicians, and ads for Bollywood. He reached the last page and realized it was just another ad for an upcoming film, depicting an incredibly beautiful red head trekking through the jungle with the headline: LOST IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST.
He sat up in his seat and realized it was no movie ad but a real life news article. And the woman was none other than Amber Monette, one of the world famous Treasure Rebels. He furiously scanned the article which stated that she and fellow treasure hunter Travis Jagson were diligently searching the Amazon to find the renowned Maddox Tarver who had disappeared days before. He finished reading and wondered whether the leader of the Treasure Rebels would ever be found...
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