After placing Adam’s breakfast on the patio table Kanakanui stood stalwart staring out over the Pacific. For a brief moment he thought he heard shouting. He brushed it off as a usual sound in the mornings of a seagull’s shrill cry coming from the beach.
“Will there be anything else for you, Adam?” he asked with a strong Hawaiian accent.
“No, Kanakanui, that’s all. Thank you,” Adam said, never lifting his eyes from his laptop. Buried deep in his work, he rarely paid attention to his surroundings--even in beautiful Maui.
“Sir,” Kanakanui said, “I think there is someone struggling in the water.” Holding one hand over his eyes like a shield, he squinted and with his other hand he pointed toward the beach. He thought for sure he saw a person thrashing between the waves as the whitecaps rolled ashore with a roar.
Adam glanced up briefly from his work and scanned the waves. He stood to get a better view. Then a chilling sound echoed across the water to the spot where they both stood.
“Help!” The agonizing cry of desperation sounded louder this time.
Adam and Kanakanui looked at one another then darted down the trail to the ocean’s edge. Adam glanced downward at the red water swirling around his ankles. They rushed out past several waves to help the man who had been wrestling to swim to shore. As soon as they reached the swimmer, Adam spotted the shark’s dorsal fin as it headed out to sea.
Before the man passed out he mumbled, “Shark atta….”
His head fell forward into the water when Adam and Kanakanui gently flipped him to his back and pulled him ashore. The damage was extreme to his mid-torso and thigh. His intestines bulged through an inch slit on his abdomen, and his thigh had ripped shreds of sinew hanging loosely as the pieces flapped in the water. You could see clear to the bone in a couple of areas. His injuries were potentially fatal and Adam knew he had to act quickly if he would save the man’s life. They both managed to get him up the trail to the lanai. Adam pulled his belt from his waist and made a tourniquet above the injured area on the man’s thigh.
“Let’s take him to my lab,” Adam insisted.
“But, shouldn’t we call 911?” Kanakanui asked, concerned. While on his knees he cradled the injured man in his arms.
“He won’t make it before they arrive. His blood loss is extensive. Maybe I can help him but we have to hurry.”
They wrapped him in several beach towels that were available on the patio near the pool. Kanakanui’s huge stature and strength made the task appear effortless. He lifted the injured man easily in his arms and ran the two flights of stairs to Adam’s lab on the third floor and gently placed him on the cold stainless steel table.
“Thank you Kanakanui, I can take it from here. Close the door on your way out.”
“But sir I can help.”
“I don’t need your help now. I can take it from here,” Adam snapped. He rushed around the room hanging bags of clear liquid from poles. Kanakanui left reluctantly, but he did as Adam requested and closed the door behind him.
The man on the table moaned and opened his eyes.
“Your injuries are serious, but I may be able to help you. I’m a genetic scientist and my work and research could save your life. If we call 911, you won’t make it at this point because of your injuries and blood loss. What do you want me to do?” Adam asked.
“Do it, please…anything…now!” he gasped. His breathing was rapid and short, and the pain echoed in his voice. He grabbed Adam’s arm, “Please.” The loss of blood reflected in his ashen white face, and the pain mirrored in his eyes.
Adam responded with speed as he moved to ready the process to save the man’s life.
Before he started the IV, Adam asked, “I need to know your name?”
Slowly his mouth moved to form a word but no sound came from his lips as he closed his eyes.
Adam prepared both arms with IVs and started a clear solution into a vein on one arm. He opened the other IV, and the tube filled with red blood as it slowly drained into the empty bag. Adam went straight to work closing the wounds and repairing the damage in order to control any more blood loss. It was hours before he could take a break. He was no surgeon, but he did his best to tape and close the wounds on his abdomen and wrap the torn flesh on his thigh securely. He continued to change the bags as one side emptied and the other side filled until the process was nearly complete. As the blood line finally ran clear, Adam disconnected the IV on that arm. The clear bag of solution on the other arm still continued to enter the man’s body to make up for the loss of blood from the wounds.
Six months later, the moon illuminated the white sandy beaches of Maui as it did on most clear nights on the island. Around midnight, it was this same full moon that drew two young women out of their hotel as they decided to take a dip in the ocean. They removed their outer clothing and threw their towels on the sand. The beautiful women took a running dive into the cool waters. There were sounds of splashing and laughter as they played under the moonlight.
Then shrill screams echoed out into the night, but no one heard. After several minutes the splashing stopped and only silence remained, except for the sound of the waves that rolled ashore now tainted with the color red. Moments later two women walked out of the water, dried off, and quickly dressed. They turned their backs to the sea and strolled silently down the beach away from the hotel.
The next morning reports were announced on television and radio of the two missing women.
Adam glanced up from his computer to see their pictures flash across the screen. The women were in their early twenties, both beautiful with long dark hair. The announcer continued to tell of their last known time and location. A hotel worker witnessed them heading for the beach around midnight and said he never noticed them return. The announcer concluded, “They are gone without a trace.”
Adam picked up the remote, turned off the TV, and shook his head in disbelief. The hotel in question was only miles from his home.