Jon Guenther would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Black Blood, Red Sands

By Jon Guenther All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Drama

Blurb

Ben Ramsey has barely recovered from a mission in Central America. He's despondent and disillusioned, and ready to retire from the CIA. But the Company doesn't want to let him go, and they've made an offer that he thinks could turn things around for him. What begins as a peace-keeping mission to Angola in late 1975 will explode into a full-blown, bloody civil war. Now Ramsey, with nowhere to turn and unsure if he can trust even his own friends and colleagues, will be forced to put everything on the line. Nothing is sacrosanct. Not his professional ethics, his morals—not even the Angolan woman with whom he's fallen in love. And his decisions amidst blood in the sand could very well cost him his life!

Prologue

Nine hundred feet above the jungle mountains of southern Mexico, two men fought for control of a gun. The Piper Cherokee jounced and yawed as the combatants struggled in the rear cabin. Only the autopilot kept the aircraft on course, its human counterpart slumped dead in his seat.

Ramsey didn’t know if the pilot had died drinking from the tainted flask they’d passed earlier or a bullet from the silenced .25-caliber automatic he now struggled to control. It wouldn’t matter in any case unless he ended this fight the victor. Ramsey’s opponent had size and strength, obvious by the way he’d managed to get Ramsey on his back and pin his shoulders. He lacked experience or training. He twisted to his right side, rammed a knee into the bigger man’s groin and then shifted to his left. His opponent didn’t hear the stiletto blade click into existence.

Ramsey drove the point into the swarthy Guatemalan’s back at the apex of the right kidney. He felt the unmistakable vibration that signaled a cut through first the main renal artery and then the fibrous nerve bundle. The man screamed in agony and arched reflexively. Ramsey pressed the attack by driving the stiletto upward to slide between the fourth and fifth ribs into the heart.

As the native smuggler writhed on his knees, Ramsey’s hand found the pistol. He wrapped his left palm around the cold handle, snap-aimed center mass and squeezed the trigger. Even suppressed, the report cracked like the pop of hot grease in a pan. The bullet entered the chest point blank and split the breastbone. The man’s body jerked before he pitched onto his face.

Ramsey fell back and fought to catch his breath, the adrenaline coursing hot blood through his veins. His neck flushed and chest heaved, the rush of fear washing over him. Ramsey fought back the nausea. Stars swam in front of his eyes, popping and flashing at the periphery of his vision. He felt like passing out but he fought with deep gulps of air. The pilot had obviously died from secondary causes. Ramsey knew the difference between the effects of poison. This had been some kind of drug, a narcotic or sedative.

Fortunately, he hadn’t imbibed much of whatever they’d used to lace the whiskey in the flask.

Ramsey shook his head to keep his wits as he grabbed the armrest of the passenger seat and pulled himself to a seated position. He looked through the front windscreen and saw the wall of green loom in the course. He had maybe ten seconds to correct and he knew even as he scrambled to his knees and lurched for the cockpit he wouldn’t make it. His surmise became a reality all too quickly as he heard the crack of tree branches against the wings.

Ramsey managed to disengage the autopilot and pull back the stick, but not before the treetops assaulted the underside of the wings and lower fuselage. The wood and coarse branches scraped the aircraft aluminum with a sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. Then Ramsey heard a gross burp from the engine, then a dreaded sputter and final cough.

The engine died.

Past the treetops the view took Ramsey’s breath away for a moment, thoughts of his impending demise forgotten. Beyond the span of verdant green trees marking the width of Lacandon Jungle was the cool-white marbled beaches where they met the Laguna Miramar. A truly beautiful place when Ramsey didn’t consider his current predicament. Unfortunately, the dead silence of no more engine brought him back to reality.

Ramsey flipped the ignition switch several times to attempt to get the engine started but no dice. He finally squeezed his way into the copilot’s seat. He thought back to his Company training in aerodynamics. Without engine power or clearings in which to land, or crash in this case, he’d have to hope he could coax the Cherokee to ride the winds whistling through the Montañas del Oriente that would give him enough lift to pass beyond the jungle and reach the Miramar. He checked the altimeter, verified he had enough altitude to make it work, and then engaged the left aileron full to turn hard into what he hoped would be an updraft.

He guessed right. The plane abruptly gained lift and Ramsey worked the flaps, which at least seemed in operational order. If luck held, he’d make it to within distance of the lagoon and then he could drop fast and come down into the water nose up. Unlike a full-sized jet, these flaps wouldn’t broaden the wing surface significantly so he could gain speed in the dive and then angle upward and glide onto the water.

He guessed wrong. The plane lost its updraft and tipped nose first into a missile-style descent. Fortunately, he’d progressed far enough along the draft he would still reach the water. Ramsey squeezed out of the cockpit, grabbed hold of his pack and moved to the door. He opened it and watched the approaching ground. It came rapidly and for a moment Ramsey thought he might not make the lagoon. His good fortune, or maybe just Divine Providence, prevailed and the appearance of the dark blue water brought a fresh rush of adrenaline. Head still fuzzy, he had enough wits to throw the pack over his head so he didn’t strike it and then bailed on a three count.

Eight feet later, he hit the water feet first and descended into a warm, wet void of azure-green that coalesced amidst a bubbly wake on impact.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Jon Guenther
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

savageamelia22: Thus is a great book. You write like there's no tomorrow and it's amazing. When my cousin(AProudWeeb) had wattpad i took her phone and came upon one of your stories. It was called the bad boy and the Cheerleader. It was awesome. So i got wattpad on my phone and started writing. Then Inkitt. I lov...

Anabanking: This book is wonderful. I know it can be hard to write a book a have all the correct punctuation but I really enjoy this book overall.

Tinkerbelle Leonhardt: I'm such a sucker for this story, yes there are small spelling mistakes normal human errors, nothing major. you fall in love with the characters and wish to be apart of their lives from the start. You feel their happiness, their sadness and I found myself smiling through most of it, I love that i...

Mary Edmondson: The second sentence of the first paragraph does really well with atmosphere and also setting the mood for the story. I, personally, think the story could have began with just that. The second paragraph is good, "Couldn't cry any hard enough" needs to be reworded, The last sentence is a bit awkwar...

Emie Carter: Great idea for the book, I love the chemistry between all the characters!

Sania Sweety: An amazing story I could clearly feel what the girl was feeling , her pain , her concern for her family , her efforts to save her family... Really touched my heart . I cried from the start of story till the end that to badly ... Must read story .

Kylie Russell: Indepth characters! Loved the way it’s written. Really enjoying so far⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BelovedMarionette: A definite must read. I was riding the emotional rollercoaster with each of the characters through the entire first and second story and by the end of it all I was very happy with the outcome. I would have loved some background plot expansion and closure on certain things that happened between sp...

Je13ss: Where do I even begin? This book is amazing! It has had the ability to keep me absolutely glued to my phone wanting to finish it to the very last word of the very last chapter. I'm excited for the next update. Ecstatic! The author has done a superb job in truly describing the characters and allow...

More Recommendations

Sank105: Just wow! The writing style, the story plot, the characters- it was a blessing reading this story! Loved it every bit💖 looking forward to reading more of your works✌️

karliburke15: I absolutely loved it.It has all your emotions flowing when you read bound to you.Took me a day to read so it's not really long but I think it's the perfect length,great book

Silently_Writing: This was my first book read on this site, and I'm so happy it was! I loved this from beginning to end. There were so many little details added in the greatest places, suspense and mystery at unexpected times, and a wonderful story built and concluded.

Jules0jewels: Beautifully written. Her books are amazing and just filled with emotions. Amazing author

mustang65: The story was very interesting and the plot was good. I just didn't like the fact that he used sweets in this story because it was used in Navy Seal 1. but over all I loved the story and was glad it ended in her happiness and that her parents got what they should have gotten before, when they had...

badreputation: This was an amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing story! Why are you not a professional author?!!!!!! You are so good!!!!!

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.