“What difference does it make?” he laughs with unsmiling eyes. “Johnny’s with me, Johnny’s with you. What happens in Miami, never happened.”
A familiar humming made them both look up. A small aircraft was approaching from the west over Ras Asir. “WE’EL!” cried Maxamid. “A fucking drone, and it’s heading straight for us.”
Accordingly Nadif continued bleeding, gutting and removing the gills of their tuna,
after which he put them in a cage and returned them to the cool water to keep them
fresh. Attracted by the scent of tuna blood, the mako sharks began to come back.
Maxamid cursed them, and yanked the cage back into the boat. Soon, like waterborne
hyenas, the sharks were caught up in a feverish hunt, moving swiftly yet erratically
around the skiff.
A familiar humming made them both look up. A small aircraft was approaching
from the west over Ras Asir. “WE’EL!” cried Maxamid. “A fucking drone, and it’s heading
straight for us.” He’d endured enough attacks to know what to look out for, like heavy
ordinance hanging from the wings. But on closer inspection of this drone he saw
something quite unimaginable. Aloft on the wings of the aircraft, waving their arms in the
air and shouting, were two passengers.
Maxamid rubbed his eyes in disbelief. Was he being pursued by demons? In
desperation he tried the ignition once more and the engines finally started. He pushed
the throttle forward and sped the skiff away, but when he looked back, the drone had
adjusted its flightpath to keep him on target, while its frantic riders screamed louder and
louder. As much as he tried to shake it, the flying monster kept on coming after him.
“Americans are invading Somalia!” yelled Nadif. “We’re going to die in holy jihad!”
The drone descended to just ten metres above the water then buzzed their skiff
and began turning on a tight arc, at which point its two screaming passengers jumped
into the sea.
The aircraft then circled for three hundred and sixty degrees before
continuing on its way. Maxamid raced towards where the two hapless swimmers, a
farenji and a Jereer, were struggling to stay afloat. The mako sharks were closing in.
Once alongside, he dashed forward to help Nadif.
Without a moment to spare, they
hauled the two men aboard, rescuing them from the hungry jaws of sharks. It was then
that Maxamid noticed the farenji was wearing a large black watch, the very same one
he’d given Mehemet.