What You Don't Know
by Elka Ray
GENRE: Suspense/crime/short stories
Take a spine-tingling journey from the jungles of Sumatra through Bangkok's seedy bars to the seemingly sedate streets of Singapore. Your traveling companions are a slew of dark emotions - fear, grief, jealousy, greed, lust and revenge. And your destination?
With flashes of black humor and hard-to-forget characters, these ten stories shine light into the dark corners of Southeast Asia.
Blinking against the blood, I see him lying face down on the deck. He’s got himself wedged against the boat’s sides like a rock climber. I call again and he twists his head. I must look pretty bad, because he gasps. “D—dad?”
The boat is still rocking, but not enough to tip. Water sloshes back and forth. Kyle pushes himself onto his hands and knees. We both look around. Beneath the streaks of rain, the sea is dead calm. No swell. No big whitecaps. Nothing.
“Shit. What happened?” says my son. His face appears bleached. “What was that?”
I’ve been boating in these waters for going on two decades but can’t explain what hit us. If it was the wake from a big cargo ship there’d have been more waves. That wave came from nowhere. Was it a whale? I shake my head. “I…I don’t know,” I say.
The engine has stalled. My hands are shaking so hard I have trouble restarting it. It roars to life once, twice, only to cut out.
"Daaaad! You're flooding it," says Kyle, his voice a hysterical whine. "It won't start! It won't start! You've flooded it!"
I grit my teeth. "Fine, you try."
If he hears, he doesn't respond but just hugs his knees. "My god. My god. She's here. She's here." He says it over and over again.
"Shut up!" I yell, and my son stops. He presses his palms to his cheeks. I force myself to count to ten before trying the motor again, terrified that Kyle's right: If the motor is flooded, we're stuck out here.
Elka divides her time between Hoi An in Central Vietnam and Canada’s scenic Vancouver Island. When she’s not writing, drawing or reading she’s in - or near -the ocean.
Contact: Email Elka at email@example.com
Agent: Elka is represented by Amy Tipton at Signature Literary Agency
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Southeast Asia is developing quickly. Every day something changes. It can be depressing, as when a beautiful historic building is knocked down and replaced by an ugly box, or inspiring, like when a once-poor family starts a successful business. What I love most about this part of the world is the buzz. Everyone's working hard and looking to the future. People are optimistic. Life can be chaotic but it's never boring.
I still work as an editor, illustrate kids' books and write fiction. My recent short story collection, WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW: TALES OF OBSESSION, MYSTERY & MURDER IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, features ten short stories set throughout this fascinating region. If you enjoy travelling and mysteries, check it out!