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Authors: Franklin W. Dixon

Fright Wave

BOOK: Fright Wave
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Hardy Boys Casefiles - 40

Fright Wave

By

Franklin W. Dixon

Chapter 1

"What was that?" Joe Hardy blurted out. Something had jolted him awake. He looked around quickly and saw his brother, Frank, sitting in the seat next to him.

"Just a little turbulence," Frank said. "Go back to sleep."

Joe started to do just that, but a second later he was sitting bolt upright, his blue eyes showing no sign of drowsiness. He remembered where they were headed. They had flown a long way from their hometown of Bayport, and now Joe was eager for a first glimpse of their destination.

Joe ran a hand through his blond hair and started to lean across Frank for a glimpse out the window. A sharp tug at his waist reminded him that he was still strapped into his seat.

"Whoa!" Frank exclaimed. "There's not much to see. From up here everything still looks pretty small." Just then Frank felt his ears pop as the plane dropped through the sparse cloud cover. He knew they'd soon be on the ground.

The wing outside Frank's window dipped down as the jet went into a tight turn, and the bright morning sun streamed into the cabin and directly into Frank's brown eyes. The bright light made his brown hair look lighter than it really was. He squinted and pulled down the shade.

"Please make sure your seat belts are securely fastened," a female voice crackled over the intercom, "and return your seats to the full upright position."

"Why?" Joe asked nobody in particular. "What difference does it make what position my seat is in?"

"Well, it might make a big difference to me," a voice from behind them answered. It was the voice of their father, Fenton Hardy. "The back of your seat's been in my lap for about two thousand miles - and my legs have been asleep for the last five hundred. How about giving an old guy a break?"

Joe shifted his muscular, six-foot frame. The movement made him realize that his whole body was stiff, and there was a dull pain in his neck and shoulders that he vainly tried to rub away. "Airplane seats are definitely not designed for comfort," he mumbled.

"Not if your flight is over thirty minutes long or you're over five feet tall," Frank added.

There was a soft bump as the wheels hit the runway, and a loud roar as the pilot threw the huge jet thrusters into reverse. They all strained forward in their seats as the three-story-tall jumbo jet rapidly slowed from 200 MPH to taxi speed.

When the plane finally came to a complete halt and the seat belt sign winked off, Frank and Joe jumped out of their seats. They were at the door before the flight attendant had a chance to pick up the intercom microphone and say, "Aloha - and welcome to Hawaii!"

***

It took almost an hour to claim their luggage, pick up their rental car, and drive to their hotel. "It took only eight hours to go five thousand miles," Joe commented as his father unlocked the door to their hotel room, "but it took sixty minutes to go the last ten miles."

Fenton Hardy fumbled with the key, and Joe rolled his eyes at his brother. They were both loaded down with luggage, most of which belonged to their father. The older you are, the more stuff you have to drag around, Joe thought.

Finally the key turned and the door swung open. Frank and Joe staggered into the room and dropped the bags in the middle of the floor. Joe let out a low whistle as he looked around. "You didn't say your client was rich, Dad."

They were standing in the middle of a large living room furnished with a leather couch, several expensive-looking upholstered chairs, and an antique writing desk. On two of the sides of the room was a door leading into a bedroom and private bathroom. They turned slowly, taking it all in.

Joe looked over at his father. "Who is your mystery client, anyway?"

"You could say it's a large nationwide company," Fenton replied vaguely. "And just remember - it's my client. You're here on vacation. The only thing you have to do is sit on the beach, enjoy the scenery, and stay out of my hair."

Frank walked out on the balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He looked down twenty-five floors to the waves lapping the shore of the world-famous Waikiki Beach.

Joe joined him and said, "What are we waiting for? It's time to hit the beach!"

"Right," Frank replied. "Let me just get out of these clothes and into my suit." He grabbed his suitcase and headed for a bedroom. "What about you?" he asked over his shoulder. "Don't you want to change first?"

"I'm one step ahead of you," Joe said, flashing a grin as he started to take off his pants.

Frank stifled a laugh when he saw what his brother was wearing under his clothes. "You're not seriously considering actually wearing those outside, are you?" he asked.

Joe glanced down at his bright, baggy Hawaiian flower-print swim trunks and said, "You're just jealous because you don't have a pair."

***

A few minutes later Frank and Joe were on the beach, walking along the shore, letting the warm saltwater wash over their bare feet. High-rise buildings crowded right up to the edge of the long, thin stretch of sand known as Waikiki, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

"I was reading a guidebook on the plane," Frank said, scanning the skyline. "This beach is less than a mile long - "

"Lighten up!" Joe chided him. "We didn't come to Hawaii to study. We came to have fun in the sun!" He bent down, scooped up a handful of water, and splashed the back of Frank's head.

Frank whirled to face him, and a movement behind his brother caught his eye. "Yeah," he said, nodding toward the ocean. "Maybe we could even learn to surf really well."

Joe turned and watched a couple of obvious beginners floundering in the shallow water. Their rented surfboards were stenciled with the name of a nearby hotel. Then beyond them - out in the serious waves - he saw something else. A lone surfer, racing down a cresting wave, then swiveling around and swerving back up the rushing wall of water.

The board was almost vertical to the water as the front end edged over the lip of the breaking wave. Then the surfer pivoted again, and the board flew out of the water, sending a spray back over the top of the wave. Joe thought the ride was going to end with the board and rider spinning off in different directions - but the surfer turned the board in midair, slammed back down into the water, and rode the dying wave all the way to shore.

Joe could hardly believe what he had just seen. As the surfer carried the board out of the water, he got an even bigger shock.

Frank noticed the look on his brother's face. "What's wrong?" he asked.

Joe kept staring and whispered, "It's a girl!"

She put down the surfboard and moved toward the Hardys, as if she had felt Joe's intense stare. Her hair was straight and black, glistening with saltwater. She looked faintly Asian, with brilliant green eyes. Even in her surfing bodysuit - a short-sleeved wet suit that covered her from her neck down to her knees - Joe thought she was beautiful.

"Aloha!" she called, smiling at Joe as she walked closer. "Do I know you from somewhere? I mean, the way you were looking - "

"No!" Joe blurted out. "I just ... um ... that is - "

"He just forgot that it's impolite to stare," Frank interrupted. "I'm Frank Hardy, and this is my brother, Joe."

"My name's Kris Roberts," she replied. "But all my friends call me Jade because - "

"Because of your eyes." Joe finished her sentence.

She looked at him more closely, a puzzled expression on her face. "That's right. How did you know?"

Joe shrugged. "Just a lucky guess." He wanted to say something else, but no words came.

There was a brief, awkward silence.

"Well, it was nice meeting you," Jade finally said. "Maybe I'll see you around," she added, looking right at Joe.

Then she was gone, walking down the beach toward a small group of surfers. All at once she stopped, turned back, and called out, "Hey! I don't suppose either of you malihinis knows how to surf, do you?"

"Mali - what?" Joe managed to get out.

Jade laughed. "Malihini. A newcomer, a visitor. I've lived here most of my life, and some islanders still call me a malihini."

"Really?" Joe responded, glad that his voice had finally returned. "You could have fooled me. I thought you were Hawaiian."

"With a name like Roberts? Not likely. My father still has relatives in Ireland, and my mother was Japanese. Almost everybody in Hawaii has come from somewhere else. There aren't too many native Hawaiians left.

"You didn't answer my question," she continued. "Do you know how to surf?"

"Not really," Joe admitted. "But I'll give it a try. How about you, Frank?" he asked.

"No thanks," Frank said. "I'll just sit here on the beach and admire your technique."

"Then I don't have to scrounge up another board," Jade replied. "We can use mine. Come on?"

The two of them waded out until the water was about waist-deep. It was fairly calm, with just a slow, rhythmic swell. Most of the big waves were breaking farther out. Every once in a while one did crash down around them, though, throwing Joe off balance.

Jade held the surfboard steady in the water. "The very first thing you need to do," she explained, "is play with the board."

"Play with it?" Joe asked doubtfully.

"That's right. Roll it around. Flip it over. Lean on it. Get the feel of it."

"Okay," Joe said. He took the board and flipped it over. It had three slight ridges running the length of the board, which ended in three sharp fins at the back. The front of the board tapered to a narrow point. He pushed one end underwater and felt the pressure as it popped back to the surface.

"That's good," Jade said just as Joe was concluding that surfing was a very boring sport. "Now it's time to learn how to paddle."

"That sounds easy enough," Joe remarked. "I bet you start by lying down on the thing, right?" He grabbed the edges of the floating board and tried to lie on top of it, his legs dangling off the end. But the back of the board sank under his weight, and the front angled up out of the water. Then the whole thing shot out from under him, flew into the air, and splashed down a few feet away.

Jade grinned and said, "Paddling is simple - staying on the board is the tricky part. Let me show you how."

As she started to wade toward the surfboard, Joe noticed a large wave rolling in. He realized it was going to break almost on top of him, and he started to duck and cover his head with his arms.

But as he did, he saw something else - a runaway surfboard tumbling through the rushing water, crashing straight down at Jade!

The roar of the surf made it impossible to shout a warning. There wasn't time to think, only time to react. Joe lunged through the water, desperate to reach Jade before the wild surfboard did. His arms strained forward, and he just managed to grab her shoulder with the tips of his fingers. He dug in and jerked her backward.

Jade barely got out a startled "Hey!" before Joe pushed her head under water, shielding her with his body.

Then the wave and the fiberglass missile slammed home, and Joe Hardy's world went black.

Chapter 2

Frank was in the water in a flash, splashing through the foamy remains of the deadly wave. He had watched helplessly as the surfboard landed on his brother. He reached Joe's limp form as Jade came spluttering to the surface, gasping for air.

Frank grabbed Joe under his arms, lifting his head and shoulders out of the water. Jade quickly took one of Joe's arms, and together they started to haul him out of the water. Before they reached the shore, two other surfers joined them and helped carry Joe.

They laid him down gently in the sand. Joe was breathing, but that was his only sign of life.

Frank knelt down next to him and looked at the bruise on the side of his brother's head. It was too early to tell how bad it was.

'Ugh," Joe mumbled in a minute, squinting against the bright sunlight. "What a horrible dream."

Frank smiled with relief. "Yeah? Why don't you tell me about it?"

Joe struggled to a sitting position, propping himself up with one hand and rubbing his forehead with the other. "I dreamed I was on the beach in Hawaii. But every time I met a beautiful girl, my brother would come barging in and wake me up."

He glanced around, and his eyes found Jade. "This dream seems okay," he said softly, starting to grin but stopping almost immediately to wince in pain. "Except for the extra-strength aspirin commercial booming in my skull," he added.

"What happened out there?" someone asked.

Frank noticed that a small crowd had gathered around them. "That's what I'd like to know," he replied. He stood up, pushed through a couple of people, cupped his hands over his eyes, and scanned the shoreline.

He spotted the surfboard, lying half in the water and half on the wet sand. It seemed harmless enough now. But a few minutes earlier it had been inches away from doing very serious damage.

Frank waited a minute to see if anyone would claim the abandoned surfboard.

Joe got up slowly - a little wobbly, but otherwise all right - and joined his brother. "I don't know about you," he grumbled, "but I think I'll go over and kick the stupid thing a couple of times. It'll think twice before it tangles with me again."

BOOK: Fright Wave
12.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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