Here's another excerpt from my upcoming release "This Can't Be Love"...
They paddled leisurely down the river. Occasionally Zach turned to comment about something on the shore, or a rock or log in the water she needed to steer around. But mostly he remained silent.
Jessica didn’t mind. The silence was companionable and allowed her to enjoy the sounds of nature around her. The chittering of birds in the trees. The rushing of the river as they passed by outcroppings of rocks. Even the buzz of insects as they flew around her head.
After about an hour, Zach turned. “We’re coming up to another set of rapids. Just do like you did last time. Take it wide. Use the paddle to control your direction.”
“We’ll go one at a time.”
The choppy water of the rapids approached sooner than she’d expected. Jessica floated ahead of Zach. She dug her paddle in the water, steering through the maze of rocks dotting the river. A large rock loomed suddenly, and she stroked hard on the left to veer around it. But she over-compensated. Before she could react, the canoe tilted and spilled her into the water.
She surfaced to the sound of panic in Zach’s voice. “Jessica?”
“I’m okay,” she assured him, shaking water out of her eyes. She grabbed the empty canoe as it floated by. It twisted and banged against one of the rocks, wrenching her arm and jerking her around. Her back slammed into something hard, robbing her of breath. A wave crashed over her head.
She came up gasping.
“Jessica, let go of the canoe.” Zach’s voice held a deeper note of concern. He paddled closer.
Despite the pain radiating from her shoulder down her arm, she gripped the canoe, unwilling to let it float away. She grasped the aluminum edge tighter as the shifting current dragged her under again.
Until next time,