GENRE: MG Historical Fiction
Bernie’s lungs burned. Sweat mingled with ocean spray and matted his hair to his forehead. He sucked in gulps of air, pumped his legs like a steam engine, and reached out to touch the weathered boulder that marked the finish line.
Emma surged past him, her blonde hair streaming out behind her. Her fingers slapped the rock a fraction of a second before Bernie touched it.
He dropped onto the sand, rested his hands on his knees, and tried to catch his breath. “I must be daft to keep racing you.”
Emma laughed and sank down beside him. “Don’t feel bad, I’ve been practicing for almost twelve years.” She patted his shoulder. “I’m an unstoppable force.”
Bernie rubbed the stitch in his side. “No argument there.”
They sat in comfortable silence and soaked up the late afternoon sun. Bernie loved their island, perched in the Channel between England and France like a vacation postcard come to life. Fishing boats, yachts, and freighters dotted the harbor. Rows of brightly painted houses surrounded the blue-green sea. Flowers splashed bits of color here and there. Waves breaking against the shore provided background music, adding to the sense of peacefulness on the tiny island.
But in the last few days, a new sound had sailed over the water, rumbled up the sand, and crashed over Bernie’s world. An ugly sound. A scary sound. A sound that threatened everything.