EXCERPT FROM ATLANTIC PYRAMID

“Mayday! Mayday!” I yelled into the radio. “This is Cessna 2B-Golf, requesting assistance! We’ve run into a squall!”

The plane shook violently in the winds. The windshield wipers couldn’t push away the sheets of rain fast enough. I looked over at the map on the display screen. “Our coordinates are—”

I stopped myself when I noticed our location. The map had to be wrong. “Wait, how did we fly twenty miles past Nassau?”

Both screens turned to snow as a constant beeping came from the stall warning indicator.

“Shit!” I yelled as static came over the radio. “Steve, are you there? Mayday!” I waited for a response but got none. “We’ve lost communications!”

“We’re stalling,” Gavin shouted, pointing to a red light. “Oh, my God, we’re gonna crash!”

“Shut up!” I barked. “I’ll get us out of this.”

I gripped the control stick and pulled back, lifting the nose while using full throttle to build up speed.

“What’s wrong with the screens?” he asked. “Oh God, what’s happening with the instruments?”

I did my best to steady the jerking plane. The entire backup system went haywire. The compass, speedometer, airspeed indicator, and altimeter spun wildly. All around us, the sky had turned nearly pitch black, while the rain pounded so hard it was as if we were flying through a waterfall.

I couldn’t understand it. One second, we were flying through crisp open skies with Miami at our backs, the next, I was fighting to get out of a storm that had literally dropped down on us. I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t know how high we were or if the plane was even level. All the instruments either beeped or flashed. Both dials on the altimeter went in different directions and the compass spun so fast I couldn’t make out the letters.

“Get us outta here, dude!” Gavin shouted, clutching anything he could as another gust pounded the plane.

I white-knuckled the wheel and stomped on the left pedal, trying to turn the plane and head back the way we’d come. My body pressed against the door as the aircraft made a sharp change in direction. It was dangerous going against the wind, like a surfer going against a big wave. The storm was like a playground bully and the plane a geeky kid taking one pulverizing blow after another. I couldn’t tell which direction the wind came from. It seemed to come from everywhere at once, giving me no sense of whether I had done the right thing or not.

I gritted my teeth as the wheel violently shook in my sweat-drenched hands. When the plane turned, a rush of calm washed over me. If I could overcome the wind and circle around, there was a chance we might pull out of the storm.

Then the engine died. Darkness shadowed the inside of the cockpit as both screens went blank. The control panel lights shut off. The buzzing of the propellers went silent when the blades stopped.

“Jesus!” Gavin cried. “What happened?”

“We just lost power.”

I tried the magnetos to jolt power into the engine, while working to crank the throttle, but the propellers wouldn’t turn. The plane was dead. My stomach slid into my throat as the nose cone dipped.

“We’re losing altitude,” I said, trying anything to regain power.

“Fuck! We’re gonna crash!”

I wanted to reassure him that I was going to get us safely out of this, but I said nothing. He was right. We were crashing.

A gust of wind suddenly flew under the right wing, spinning us as we plummeted. Even when I shut my eyes, I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was riding the Sizzler at a carnival. Pressure pushed against both sides of my head. Gavin screamed so loud I didn’t know if he heard me yell, “Hang on!”

I gripped the wheel so tight my fingernails dug into the handles. I could see nothing outside as we tumbled through blackness. Soon everything went dark.

When I regained consciousness, everything around me was quiet. I was surrounded by dim, blurry objects. The pounding in my skull answered the question of whether I was alive or dead. With a groan, I slowly raised my head. The safety harness still held me in my seat. My dark bangs draped my eyes and I brushed them back with a shaky hand. When I did, my palm came away soaked in sweat.

That wasn’t the only part of me that was wet. My feet were submerged in water. My eyes suffered from a hazy cloud shrouding me but my nose told me it was seawater. My first presumption was that the plane had somehow miraculously stayed afloat. I took off my sunglasses and looked at the bent frames until my vision began to clear.

“Gavin,” I said weakly, “we have to get out of here before the plane sinks.”

Gavin’s head lay on the control wheel, facing me. His safety harness had broken and his face had slammed into the aluminum wheel. I tugged on his shirt sleeve. “Gavin, wake up, man. We have to go.”

He didn’t stir. I slipped his sunglasses off and saw he was dead. His brown eyes were wide and unblinking. Thick streams of blood slid down his face and dripped from his chin. To be on the safe side, I checked for a pulse but found none. There was even a strong stench of urine. I didn’t judge him for it. I had only been seconds away from doing the same.

I looked at the control panel. Both displays were blank and one was cracked. I tried the radio and called for assistance, but there was nothing. Gypsy Girl was as dead as the woman she was named after.

I pulled out my cell phone but it had no power. I searched through Gavin’s pocket and found his, but it was dead as well.

Outside was a gray fog. The rain had stopped, but there was a strange lingering mist in the wake of the storm.

I needed to deploy the life raft before the plane sank. Unbuckling my safety harness, I eased into the back area of the plane, happy it didn’t sink any deeper. Maybe we’d landed on a coral reef. If that was the case, perhaps the plane would stay put long enough for me to reach shore. I could then send someone to load the plane onto a ship and tow it back to Miami.

I was ashamed to find myself thinking more about my aircraft than about Gavin. I wasn’t an insensitive or materialistic person, but a dead plane seemed more real to me than a dead man. In a way, thinking about the plane’s future allowed me to focus on my own. I didn’t have time to mourn Gavin. It would make me weak and weakness might do me in.

I found the life raft floating like an orange block in the back. In a wall compartment were two flare guns in a tin box. Since it was so dark and would only get darker, I grabbed a flashlight before strapping on a life vest and making my way back to the front.

Gavin remained motionless against the control wheel, his eyes staring blankly forward. I glanced at him for a moment as I squeezed between the seats and sat down. Then I checked the side window. The water reached only to the lower portion of the door.

I saw a dark, shadowy shape through the glass. It was a solid object close to the plane but I couldn’t make it out. I grabbed the door handle. Although I wasn’t sure why, I looked back at Gavin and said, “I’ll be back in a sec.”

I wasn’t worried about water rushing into the plane and taking it under, but the thought did cross my mind. The mysterious surface the plane sat on couldn’t be more than five feet underwater. Even so, I held my breath as I pushed the door open. It proved to be a bit of a challenge, since the hinges were broken and the water was like syrup. But I used all my strength to push it just enough to squeeze through. Then I threw caution to the wind and leaped out, sinking only waist-deep in water.

The ground was bumpy and hard. What I stood on wasn’t coral, it was muddy rock. I was surprised it hadn’t torn the plane apart upon impact.

I was glad the ocean temperature near Miami was comfortable. However, the fact that I wasn’t able to distinguish anything that might be lurking beneath the surface made me edgy.

I set aside my apprehension and made my way to the nose of the plane to assess the damage. My chest felt tight every time I breathed as if my lungs had collapsed. I was a bit light-headed from the thick smell of gas. I noticed a sheen of it coating the surface. I thought it came from my plane, until I saw what I’d seen through the windshield of the cockpit—the wing of another aircraft. Its end was underwater but I could still see a white star inside a blue circle with red-and-white stripes painted on the side of its body. A World War II insignia.

“What the hell?” I muttered.

To keep my flare gun and flashlight dry, I placed everything back on the seat of my plane, then climbed the wing of the World War II aircraft. The fog wet my face like sea spray.

Judging by the wing’s length, I estimated the plane’s wingspan to be at least a hundred and eighteen feet. The wing was tilted enough to give my New Balance sneakers a challenge with traction. It wasn’t long before I came across the propellers and a canopy. I stared at it, trying to catch my breath. The air didn’t help but the fog started to thin, like a theater crowd at the end of a show.

I’m a history buff at heart. If I’d gone to college, I would’ve taken history as my major. One of the favorite subjects I took an interest in was planes and ships. I suppose it came from my love for flying. So when I saw the WWII aircraft, I knew exactly what I was looking at.

A much larger Navy symbol was visible on the side of the plane under its canopy. It was a PBM Martin Mariners patrol aircraft. In War World II, battles had raged in the Pacific months after the war had ended in Europe. Planes such as this one had been used by the Navy for long overseas flights. They were nicknamed flying gas tanksbecause they carried so much fuel. This plane’s tank must have cracked and the gas had spread like glossy butter on the water.

Amazing. I was standing on a piece of history.

As I turned, I found that Gypsy Girl and the PBM Martin weren’t alone. In the field of water around me, numerous planes and ships were scattered about, some clustered together, others by themselves. It was hard to tell in the fog, but I could have sworn they came from several different eras.

***

5.0 out of 5 stars Must have in your eLibrary! Absolutely the best book I have read in a long time. I couldn’t put it down. This book offers a unique storyline regarding the Bermuda Triangle and the lives within. The story draws you in and leaves you wanting more. Shirley Bastian

5.0 out of 5 stars What really happens when a plane/ship goes missing in the Bermuda Triangle? CHECK OUT Michelle Lowe’s perspective. I wouldn’t normally go looking for a novel like this, but I didn’t have to as it found me, and I’m so glad it did. An interesting perspective of what happens when planes and ships go missing in the Bermuda Triangle. Most would believe that those aboard these doomed vessels are gone, but perhaps it’s just the beginning of an entirely new type of life/existence. From the moment I started, I didn’t want to put this book down ~ I HAD to know what was going to happen next for the characters, and Michelle Lowe did NOT disappoint! – EL

5.0 out of 5 starsMust have in your eLibrary! Absolutely the best book I have read in a long time. I couldn’t put it down. This book offers a unique storyline regarding the Bermuda Triangle and the lives within. The story draws you in and leaves you wanting more. – Traci Thomas

Book Description:

An engaging story that’s a cross between Tony Bertauski’s, The Socket Greeny Sage and Crossing in Time, by D.L. Orton, Atlantic Pyramid is an original science fiction thriller tale that will take you inside a world within our own!

The flight started out as usual for flight instructor, Heath Sharp, and his student, Gavin Cole, until a sudden storm forces them to crash into the Atlantic Ocean. Heath awakens to find Gavin dead and his plane stuck in the middle of a historical junkyard. The Bermuda Triangle has claimed hundreds of ships and planes over the centuries and Heath has accidentally happened upon them. Set in the center of the junkyard is an island inhabited by nearly every pilot, sailor, and passenger of those lost transporters, still alive and unchanged. The island is the centerpiece of one of the world’s greatest mysteries and there is no escape for anyone caught in its web. Yet Heath refuses to believe this foggy, dark place will become his last destination and searches for the greatest unfound treasure of all: a way out.

Available now on Amazon.com

Look inside this book.
Atlantic Pyramid-A Science Fiction Thriller Novel. by [Lowe, Michelle E.]

Biography

I’m a Georgia born native who has spent most my life near the Atlanta area before pulling up stakes and moving clear across the country with husband, Ben, and our two daughters. History piques my interests, especially European history. I’m a big nerd at heart. I read science-fiction and fantasy stories, and I love old B horror films. I also get a kick out of playing classic Atari video games, and I do oil painting as a hobby.

My works include several published novels such as The Warning, Cherished Thief, Atlantic Pyramid, and Children’s books, Poe’s Haunted House Tour, and The Hex Hunt series. My latest published escapade Legacy, Legacy-The Reunion, and Legacy-The Underground, the first three of my six-book steampunk/fantasy series.

I’m a daydreamer and animal lover. I have two kitties, Nico and Max, and one very demanding guinea pig. I took up writing as a serious career choice twenty years ago, learning a lot and sharpening my skills along the way.

Website: www.michellelowe.net
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2ggiBEh 
Twitter: @MichelleLowe_7 
Instagram: michelle_lowe6
Legacy series: http://bit.ly/2gM9RX7

Check out our interview with the author here.

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