Deadly Compound


The beeping and hollering faded into the distance, while I continued to put more kilometers between the “Death Squad” and my car, when I hit the infernal potholes that I had been concerned about earlier.  I recalled how painfully slow the last trip with my surfing buddy Renzo had been, across the hazardous eight-kilometer stretch between Tonosí and Cañas, when we encountered the countless, gaping craters.  This time it was no different, perhaps worse, and it was impossible to weave between the holes in the road –– there were just too many of them –– some of them could eat up a mid-sized car.  I was so busy looking through my rear view mirror that I wasn’t paying attention and I hit the first group of car-eating cavities without warning.  My Nativa dipped and joggled, and its whole body groaned for relief from the treacherous trenches, while the loose headlight lamp did its dance and flickered to the rhythm of the road.

I reluctantly elected to slow down to a snail’s pace rather than to incur another flat tire with no means of repair; my current spare tire lay unserviceable on the floor of my car.  If I stubbed another one of my car’s rubber feet on the potholes, I’d be up the minefield with out a detector!  I dropped the car into low gear, and then jostled and piloted through the perennial pits slower than sloths in September!  I continued to scan my rear view window for signs of the white Hilux.  I was encouraged that I still hadn’t sighted the headlights of my pursuers, nor any other car, for that matter.  I finally arrived at the turn-off for the sleepy village of Cañas and began to ease off the main road with the intent to drive to Cañas island on the Pacific coast for a place to hide.  When I swung into the turn, I looked through my rearview mirror and spotted the shafts of the Hilux’s light beams approaching the Cañas exit, about one kilometer behind me, dipping and dropping at bizarre angles while it negotiated the perennial potholes.  The beefy truck was able to pass over many of the potholes with ease and was making better time than my Nativa.  He was closing the gap –– much too fast!

Finally free of the potholes, I raced in the direction of Cañas island and caught sight of a small, narrow, dirt path that weaved through the tall, cane-like underbrush to my right.  I hit the brakes hard and backed up to the constricted, nearly obscured, driveway of sorts.  I turned the Nativa up the dirt road.  The high foliage scraped the sides of the car, imparting high pitched squealing sounds of protest from my car’s white painted surface, while I drove as far as I could go beyond a bend in the drive –– obscured from the main road.  I stopped, shut off the lights, shifted the Nativa’s transmission in park, and kept my foot off the brakes, which would illuminate my taillights and give me up to my pursuers.  I turned off the motor, held my breath, and waited.

AUTHOR: Jeff Gardner
GENRE: Thriller
PUBLISHED: Jul 24, 2014

Rick Damiano inadvertently witnesses a murder in the Panamanian mountains, and when the assailants pursue him, he employs the help of his surfing buddy, Renzo Cruz, to help him ascertain the names of the murderers in order to force the corrupt police to bring them to justice, and to keep the assassins from chasing him. Renzo discovers that the Canadian gold and copper mining company, where the murder took place, is actually an elaborate cover for a methamphetamine laboratory that has been wreaking death and reaping dollars by exporting the crystal meth to Canada under the guise of rock drilling samples. Rick and Renzo encounter profound danger and deadly intrigue in their reckless attempt to expose the illicit operation. The surfing duo must escape from the menacing mire that ultimately engulfs them in a life and death struggle, and battle of wits, with their adversaries.