The Lorelei

Written by Mark Lew & Hank Eder

At his grandfather’s knee in 1960s Cuba, young Javier Gonzalez learns the ways of the sea and veneration for Yemayà, the Santeria Goddess of the ocean. The love between Abuelo Soler and the boy is an unbreakable bond. Javier wants nothing more than to be just like his grandfather.

When Soler falls asleep out on the water, he drifts too close to the Cuban navy and is arrested for spying. The family must flee the island, taking Javier into a new life in Miami.

Still tied to the sea, Javier becomes a successful seafood importer, but is haunted by the notion of his grandfather in a Cuban prison. In order to raise funds to launch a daring rescue mission, Javier becomes involved with Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers. Their meetings take place at The Lorelei, a longtime landmark in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. He raises the funds, buys a yacht and a mercenary team, and breaks Soler out of prison.

The year is 1980. The jailbreak could be an embarrassment for Castro, but he decides instead to use it as a means for “ridding the Revolution” of dead weight. He decides to empty his prisons and mental hospitals onto the streets of America, launching the Mariel boatlift.

Soler is adjusting to his new life. Javier takes him out on his fishing vessel, and when Soler sees the method Javier employs (bottom trawling), he is horrified and warns of the impending wrath of Yemayà.

This seems the least of Javier’s troubles. He wants to cut his ties with the cocaine traffickers, but that seems impossible. The drug lords view that as disloyalty, and disloyalty is punishable by death.

His life becomes intertwined with characters from the Mariel boatlift, most notably Nancy, a prostitute by trade back in Cuba, but now trying to rebuild her life in America. Grateful for Javier’s kindness, she learns of his plight and makes plans of her own to kill the drug dealer and end Javier’s problems.

The plan backfires when the man she kills turns out to be merely the “beard” for the drug lord, who becomes hell-bent on revenge against Javier. He shoots and wounds Nancy, blows up half of Javier’s house, and threatens everyone Javier loves.

Javier and Soler face Carlos, the drug lord, out on the sea. Unfortunately, Carlos is not the biggest danger. Javier has incurred the wrath of the Siren Yemayà, and his life may be forfeit for his callous disregard of both the ocean and the old ways.