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(page 3, continued)

Mumbling, the man exited the highway and they jostled down a gravel road strewn with trash, scaring off seagulls and other scavengers. Angela assumed they’d reached the far side of the island, and soon they arrived at what looked to be an old industrial quarter. Corroded storage tanks, warehouses and other buildings bleached chalky in the sun.

The cab halted in front of two warehouses that abutted one another. An address on the door of the first matched the one Lucien had given her, no signs of habitation but a few cars parked near the second warehouse. Angela swallowed, gave her driver a $100 bill, and told him to wait. 

*  *  *

Concealed behind a third-floor window of the second warehouse stood a black man in jeans and ink-stained T-shirt, 9mm Uzi in hand. He grew agitated at the sight of the cab, alerting men operating machinery behind him.

Suddenly the cab door opened and out stepped a most beautiful woman! Slender, in blouse and skirt.

The man gasped. Two associates appeared at his side, one also with a gun. Their jaws dropped, too.

“Você tá zoando?” The unarmed man murmured. Then scowling, he motioned to a stairwell, and the two armed men rushed down.

*  *  *

Angela held close to the cab as she surveyed the dismal surroundings, all quiet, no movement. 

What's he gotten himself into this time?  

But she was determined to see it through. She started for the warehouse—stopped by a loud screech. A door to the adjoining warehouse flew open, discharging two black men with guns, faces menacing.

“Mas quem é que vocês são?” one snarled at her.

She didn’t understand, but it wasn’t French or Dutch. 

(continued . . .)