Restless Waters

Restless Waters Read Online Free PDF Page A

Book: Restless Waters Read Online Free PDF
Author: Jessica Speart
dudes, and multi-ethnic families that have lived here for generations. Throw into the mix the mysterious rich who reside up in the hills, living in multi-million-dollar mansions, mostly paid for with cash.
    This was the kind of place where one could purchase a handmade surfboard for ten thousand dollars. If that didn’t suit your fancy, cheaper wares were continually being hawked from thatch-roofed stands and off the backs of pickup trucks.
    Tourists wandered through, but they generally didn’t stop. Rather, they circumnavigated the island in their rental cars or stared out the windows of tour buses. The crowds that did come were those that watched or participated in surfing contests during the winter months. And even they stayed for only a few days before returning back home.
    I turned onto a narrow dirt road and headed for a driveway marked by an upright surfboard. For some reason, it always reminded me of a tombstone waiting to be inscribed. I parked the Ford and walked toward an old beach house that was badly in need of a paint job. Its faded blue exterior looked as if it had been dipped in saltwater-blue tears that had long since dried.
    The only things that gave the place life were the potted plants lining both sides of the well-worn stairs. Each step sagged beneath my feet, as though caught in the midst of a tired yawn. I did my best not to trip over the ragged hodgepodge of sneakers, shoes, and flip-flops that haphazardly led up to the doorway. Instead, I added my own boots to the collection, all the while being watched closely by Tag-along.
    The marmalade-colored cat mewed in rebuke, as if to scold me for coming home late. I placed the skateboard down on the porch, and the feline anxiously sniffed at the burlap bags in my hand.
    “Trust me, Tag-along. You don’t want to tangle with those things. The spiny tails in there could probably rip your head off. What are you doing outside, anyway?”
    I shooed Tag-along indoors, knowing full well that he could cause as much damage to the native birds as the uninvited reptiles on the island. Tag-along had come with the house, as had his owner and our current roommate. I tried to take solace in the fact that at least one of them was under my partial control.
    I followed the cat through the screen door, my bare feet padding on the sandy wooden floor. It took a moment for my nose to adjust to all the mosquito punks about the house, their aroma spread by the overhead ceiling fans. I called out, but neither Kevin nor Santou appeared to be anywhere around. That was all right. I had a pretty good idea where to find them. Besides, the chameleons needed to be cared for.
    With that in mind, I dragged a potted ficus tree from its appointed post in the kitchen all the way down the hall. A few deft moves and the plant was inside the bathroom. Another couple of grunts and groans and it was hoisted into the tub. Once there, I misted each leaf, removed the Eqyptian spiny tails from their bag, and placed them on its branches. Then I repeated the procedure with a second plant and set the panther chameleon on it.
    “Nighty night and sweet dreams,” I said, closing the bathroom door tightly behind me.
    Then I headed outside and walked down the beach, careful to avoid any sharp rocks that might further slice open my feet. Soon two lava lamps came into view. Their flames flickered in conjunction with a grille that sprang tolife, as Jake stoked its fire. The warm yellow light revealed Santou’s distinctive features, ever so softly smudging the sharp line of his nose while playing hide-and-seek among his nest of tousled black curls. Even now, my pulse sped up at the sight.
    Sitting in a beach chair beside him was a man whose hair had been bleached flaxen white by the sun. He apparently didn’t care, for the sun’s rays had also etched a web of deep squint lines around his eyes. Their color was lock-box gray, the same as that of the sea after a storm.
    The men appeared to be so deeply
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