Zack Tucker III

“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” Zack Tucker had just leaned in to kiss his new bride, the former Jamie Watkins, when the bullet hit the palm tree three inches above their heads and sent chards of bark down into their hair and onto sun-tanned shoulders.

Had the beach ball from the dark-haired boy not have flown past at the exact moment and distracted the aim, Zack thought he would be dead and Jamie, a widow on her Honeymoon.

Zack rolled off of the beach lounger, grabbing Jamie in the process, as the second round pinged off the metal rail of the chair. They both landed in the hot sand.

Zack flipped the lounger up on its side while most of the international clientele of Mi Casa Su Casa continued frolicking on the white sand and splashing in the aqua ocean of Cancun; totally oblivious to what was happening to the new Mr. and Mrs. Tucker.

“We have to make a break for the ocean,” Zack whispered forcefully in Jamie’s ear.

“Are you sure?”

“No, but we can’t stay here.”

The third round hit the round table by their heads, shattering the glass of orange juice and Ginger Ale that Jamie had been sipping.

“Hey! What the hell was that?” The tan man with burnt cow-hide skin wiped juice off his calf. “Watch it, will ya?”

Zack and Jamie were already running for the ocean as the fourth round hit a portly man in his tremendously meaty thigh. The man screamed like an eight-year-old girl and grabbed his leg as his similarly sized wife hoisted herself up on her elbows. “My God! What’s the matter?” She barked.

“I’m hit!” the man managed.

“What do you mean, hit?” The woman shielded her eyes from the intense sun.

“I mean, I’ve been shot!” The man moved his hand to reveal a stream of blood pulsing down his flabby thigh, like water rolling down smooth rocks into a serenity fountain.

The woman bellowed like a water-buffalo as Zack and Jamie both dove into the water.

Zack could hear the ensuing chaos as his head cleared the tiny waves of the cove, Jamie was right beside him. “Swim as much as you can underwater to the concrete!” He yelled.

Zack heard the calm of the ocean in his ears and the fizzy whistle around them as other rounds hit the water near them.

He was never so thankful for all the laps he swam in the Olympic-sized pool at his workplace, Gideon Manufacturing in far-away Colorado, as he was at this moment. He glanced over as the salt-water burned his eyes and saw Jamie’s shape beside him. Even in the midst of this chaos, she had a lovely shape; she was swimming for all she was worth…