TITLE: Lost in the Bayou
GENRE: YA Suspense
Something is wrong.
The steady drone of the Lycoming engine has changed. The pilot shoves the mixture control handle forward to the full rich position. The motor responds with a cough and a few sputters before belching out a loud backfire. Then silence as the propeller slows to a stop.
With insufficient airspeed, the Piper Cherokee stalls. The nose drops. Five hundred feet above the swampy bayou, the aircraft rolls over and goes into a graveyard spiral, gaining speed as it descends. Seconds later, the water explodes from the plane's impact as the twilight sky is filled with the feathered thunder of fluttering wings.
The bones in the pilot's right forearm snap in two with a brittle crack! But he doesn't hear it. His head has already crashed into the wheel. On the other side of the cockpit, the passenger lurches forward from the impact while a jagged shard from the windshield speeds toward her forehead.
The plane sinks slowly below the murky surface. A metallic shudder groans through the fuselage as the nose comes to rest on the soft bottom and the ripples head toward the shore. When the movement stops, the only evidence of the event is a few feet of the silver tail remaining above the surface and pointing toward the sky.
From the shadows of the muddy bank, a dark figure slides into the water.