Read an excerpt from Adrift

I hope you enjoy this excerpt fromAdrift by Robin Wainwright



Daniel looked up from taking notes and grinned at Heather, “Ready for the next room?”

“Sure.” Letting Daniel go first they moved down the hall to the next door. Daniel gripped the door knob and gave it a push; he was surprised when the door refused to open.

“Hmmm, swollen I guess.” He pushed again but the door wouldn’t budge. “Well this won’t do. I’ve gotta see everything so I can give Sarah a good estimate. Little pigs, little pigs, let me in.” Daniel joked as he turned the knob and threw his shoulder into door to try and force it open. The door still didn’t budge. Rubbing his shoulder Daniel turned to Heather, “We may have to come back with some larger tools.”

Daniel jotted a note and walked across the hall to the next door. As he reached for the door knob there was a small click and both Heather and Daniel swung around as the door on the jammed room swung open. Heather felt a creepy feeling and gooseflesh popped up on her arms. Heather and Daniel shared a look and Heather said, “I guess you should have said the magic word.”

“What open sesame?” Both Daniel and Heather jumped as the door slammed shut again.

“No, the magic word is please.” The door knob turned and the door opened again.

“Oh come on!” Heather exclaimed.

“I’m sure there’s a logical reason,” Daniel said as he stepped into the room. Heather slowly followed him to the doorway and looked in.

“See, a broken window.”

Heather looked over to see that the window was indeed broken but not boarded over and she felt a strong breeze whipping around the room. But the breeze was so cold. She wondered when it had gotten so cold.

Daniel wedged the back of a straight backed chair under the door knob and began pacing the room. When Daniel motioned that she could enter the room Heather shook her head, she had decided that she could see everything she needed to from right there in the doorway. Daniel shrugged, dropped into his inspection mode and said nothing else.

This room was another bedroom, but this one was much larger and included a small door that probably led to a small bathroom. Tattered curtains billowed around a window with a spectacular view of the ocean. Daniel met her at the door and said, “Next.”

The next door in the hallway led to a small flight of stairs. “We’ll leave that for last,” Daniel said and moved on to the next door. In all the second floor of the cottage had three small bedrooms, one large bedroom with a private bath, and a shared bathroom with a tub and shower.

Daniel approached the door with the flight of stairs and said, “Now this should be special. You remember the drill.” Heather shook her head yes.

Daniel carefully worked his way up the stairs with no mishaps and gestured from Heather to follow him. At the top of the stairs was a small landing and another door.

Daniel opened the door and a huge rush of air breezed by Heather bringing with it the fresh smell of the ocean. All Heather could see through the door was the blue sky. Daniel smiled back at Heather and said, “The widow’s walk.” He stepped out of the door and began his careful pacing. Heather crept up to the doorway and put her head out savoring the fresh air. She looked to the left and saw the lighthouse rising high above her.

Mesmerized she walked over to the edge of the widow’s walk and its beautiful wrought iron railing. To her right was the ocean and god what a view! Way out on the horizon was the ever present fog bank and she thought she could see a large ship sailing just in front of it. She leaned forward straining to see more of the ship when she heard a loud crack and she began to feel herself falling forward. Her arms flailed reaching for something to grab onto but there was nothing.

A hand grabbed her upper arm and yanked her back away from the edge. Breathless she spun around to thank Daniel only to see him rushing toward her from the other side of the roof. “Heather! What the hell! Are you ok?”

Shaken she rubbed her upper arm and decided it would be best if she just sat down. She plopped down on the floor right where she stood. She looked at where she had been standing on the edge of the widow’s walk and saw that the railing had broken loose. The railing was hanging over the edge of the cottage and would have fallen to the ground if not for one long bolt holding it to the next section of railing.

Daniel knelt before her and was saying something. Heather had to make an effort to focus in on what he was saying. “Heather, are you ok? What the heck were you thinking?”

“I’m sorry, it’s just the view was so beautiful. I wasn’t thinking.”

Daniel put an arm around her and said, “At least you’re ok. Thank goodness you have such good balance. I heard the railing start to give way but I was too far away to reach you. I thought you were going over but then you caught your balance. Thank goodness.”

Heather rubbed her upper arm in confusion but before she could say anything there came a loud bang from somewhere beneath them in the cottage. Both Heather and Daniel jumped.


Robin Wainwright