Starting with this post will be the beginning of another serialized novel entitled Beyond Beyond. It is a continuation of two other books, The Summer of ‘62 and The Id and The Odyssey. Chronologically it is ‘62, Id, and Beyond.
To offer some context to this work I’ve provided a brief sketch of characters who are referenced. In addition other information about the previous novels in the series is provided. Thus, the reader will not have to read them to have a basic understanding of who is the main character, Rich Larsen.
Rich Larsen: He is the main character. He came from tumultuous home environment and ran away. Ending up in a small coastal town in Maine. He was employed by a newspaper. The editor of the newspaper became his mentor. He saw great promise in Rich. However, the editor was a radical elite left wing revolutionary and wanted Rich to follow the same pattern. Rich, not interested in politics or revolutions, discovers the editor’s association with a much larger organization and surmises their violent intent. Rich is in danger chooses to leave on a journey to sail around the world and escape the organization of which the editor is a part.
Salty: He is an old man who worked for years at a local marina. It was rumored he sailed around the world when he was a young man. Before Rich tries his trip he spends a day with Salty for advice and to examine Rich’s sailboat.
The Odyssey: It is a 38 foot sloop. It belonged to Rich’s editor, Sam White. It was in bad shape and need of repair. Rich spent his spare time repairing and making it seaworthy. The editor gave him the boat. The editor’s intent was for Rich to sail around the world and write about the journey. However the journey was to be more of a political and social awakening that would influence readers.
Sam White: He is the editor of the Rockland Beacon. He is nearly an older brother figure to Rich. He teaches Rich how to write and be a journalist. However, he has a secret life belonging to a radical revolutionary organization who want to bring about political and social change. He is well educated and wealthy.
Dave Smithson: He is a detective for the state of Maine. Likewise, he is affiliated with the same group as Sam White. He works with Rich on a couple of news stories. Eventually Rich finds out his true identity and his connections with Sam White.
Franklin Stafford: He is a federal judge who Rich meets on short sailing trip to Cape Cod with Sam White. On that trip Rich is introduced to many powerful friends of Stafford. Stafford also takes keen interest in Rich. It appears Stafford may be one of the higher ranking officials of the covert revolutionaries.
Return to Monhegan
The Odyssey sailed free and true. It was born for the sea. It was never meant for weekenders. She had adventure in her soul and rode the waves as good as any before her. And Rich felt the same. He felt at one with The Odyssey; as if this was all meant to be.
“Salty,” Rich smiled. “I must see Salty again.”
Rich took a reading after sailing for 45 minutes and adjusted The Odyssey’s course for Monhegan Island.
“I wonder how the old salt is doing?” Rich said squinting into an afternoon sun.
Dread fell upon him like the shadow of the mainsail. Dave Smithson, Judge Franklin Stafford, and Sam White pried into his mind like pack of pestering rodents. They were beyond conscience. They lacked the ability for compassion, and integrity. And Rich was haunted by how easily he was nearly taken over by them.
“Who got to them?” Rich wondered. “How could someone be dedicated to a cause that was ultimately brutal. People gravitate to acceptance and comfort. They have needs beyond what can be provided by truth and kindness.”
“I pray to never lose myself into something that strips me of what is good and natural,” Rich said aloud. “God, I pray to protect my heart and thoughts and to never let my mind become a breeding ground for disease and abhorrence.”
A cool soft agreeable breeze washed his face. It seemed to remove the past like blowing dust from an old cherished and forgotten book; the sort of book read by a grandparent, put away, and picked up years later. A rediscovered innocence, but now with the temperament of maturity.
Rich thought of Salty. “What tethered him to Monhegan Island? Did fear keep him from a try at a sail around the world again? Would a second failure been devastating? Were there other pressing obligations? It is a selfish venture. I, I only will be the recipient of any good. How could it possibly enrich the life of others? Perhaps that was the conclusion Salty arrived. Although, planned for some sort of selfish accomplishment it has become for me a matter of survival.”
Rich lifted his eyes above the starboard bow and scanned the distant horizon. A thin green coastline laid quiet and serene. “Monhegan,” Rich said. “I can’t wait to see the smile on Salty’s face.”
He adjusted course to steer south of the island and enter the harbor by heading north.
The plan was to arrive after sunset to not attract attention. Smithson had contacts all over the mid coast of Maine and the outer islands. Who knows how many acquaintances he has alerted and if one of those live on Monhegan?
Rich assumed nothing. Although he tossed a crate to float in the waters indicating a European destination, certain that Smithson would recognize it coming from The Odyssey, weeks might pass before discovered.
As an autumn glow from the sun disappeared into the waters Rich dropped anchor off the southwest coast of Monhegan in Lobster Cove. He launched the dinghy and rowed 200 yards to a stoney beach. He pulled the dinghy to shore and looped the line around a rock.
Up a steep slope a pathway surrounded by brush and long grass led to a lane and Rich followed it into the village. He was careful not to walk as if to attract attention. The path led past several weather-beaten shake shingle homes sitting quiet and alone overlooking the sea.
He attracted the attention of a dog bolting from a dog house beside a stack of lobster pots. The dog charged with ears pinned against its head. Rich jerked. He bent down and grabbed a handful of stones and tossed them. It was not to the dogs liking, thus it returned to a more comfortable position – inside the dog house
Rich spotted Salty’s quaint dimly lit cabin and knocked quietly.