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    CassieQ
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Prompts? - 3. Prompt 194

 

 

Prompt #194:  You were found unconscious on board a boat that can carry about sixty people. The boat is empty but there are clothing and things belonging to many different people. The police question you to find out what happened. Why were you on the boat and where are the rest of the passengers?

~~~~~

            I was surprised that there was no pain.  I had expected, upon waking up from a loss of consciousness, that there might be a headache, or maybe at least some disorientation.  But no, there was none of that.  I knew who I was and where I was.  I am Liam Meinke, and I was on the yacht that was the location of our wedding and subsequent honeymoon with my new husband, Richard.  My confusion stemmed from the fact that I don't know why I lost consciousness.  And I don't know where my husband is.

            I got unsteadily to my feet and exited the suite.  The floor under my feet was steady...too steady.  It wasn't moving.  And it was quiet, too much so.  After the wedding at the yacht club, we took our families and the bridal party on board, which amounted to about 30 or so people, to dance and drink and have fun.  The yacht would dock the next day at an airport for everyone to go home and then continue on the prearranged sites in the Caribbean.  Richard and I had danced and partied late into the night like everyone else, but when we retired, most of the partiers were still in full swing.  I went down the hall, passing rooms that were standing open, revealing little pockets of empty space, containing signs of transiency: suitcases, travel bags, miniature toiletries.    

            I checked the disco room, which was the last place that Richard and I were at.  It was empty, the DJ gone, his equipment still present, but not running.  The lights in the ceiling were still on their automatic cycles, casting patterns of green, red and white light onto the dance floor.  Half finished drinks, confetti, and a couple pairs of shoes were still scattered across the floor.  I turned away and ran to the deck, to the place where we were to go in case of an emergency.  The lifeboats were still present, the same place and same condition they were in when we first boarded and had to attend the mandatory safety debriefing.  I wouldn’t believe that Richard would run off and leave me.  Richard.  Where was he?  Where was everybody? 

            More disturbing was the enveloping blackness all around me.  We were supposed to be traveling right along the coast.  The lights from the cities dotting the shore should still be visible.  The lack of them suggested that we might have drifted out into open sea. 

            I closed my eyes and tried to think.  We had danced at the disco with friends and family members until close to 2 A.M.  Then we had retired to our honeymoon suite.  We had been twisted in a furious embrace, exploring each other's mouths while our hands worked to remove our cumbersome wedding wear.  Richard had been stripped down to his pants, which I was happily in the process of removing, when there was a sound, unlike anything I had heard before.  I could feel it as well as hear it, a disruption of sound as well as a vibration underneath my feet.

            "What the hell?"  I remember saying, clutching onto Richard’s arms for support.  I glanced at him, his expression a mix of confusion, concern and maybe a little bit of anger.  This was his wedding night, something we had both waited a long time for and he was pissed that something was trying to ruin it.  He must have seen something in my face that concerned him, for he took me gently by the shoulders, drew me to him and planted a gentle kiss on my mouth. 

            "Don't worry," he murmured.  "Let me go check it and out and whatever it is, I'll take care of it, and be right back, okay?"

            Like hell I was going to let him go without me.  I followed him and  when he opened the door, there was another one of those ear grinding, floor-vibrating sounds and I could see a flash of light in the hallway and smell the panic.  And then...that was it.  I didn't remember falling, or hitting my head, or even losing consciousness.  I wondered how long I had been out.  I felt my head carefully.  There were not bumps or tender spots and there was no blood on my hands when I drew them away.  Just me, in a ship, in the middle of the ocean.  Alone.

            I turned to go back inside, and see if I could find a radio to call for help, when a cold hand closed around my arm.  I almost screamed.    

            A Coast Guard officer was standing there.  I sighed, my relief almost overwhelming. 

            "Thank God," I said.  "I need some help.  We set sail here last night around 8 P.M. and my husband and most of our party are missing."

            "Where are they?" the officer asked.

            "They're missing," I repeated impatiently.  "I don't know where they are."

            The officer stared at me.  I was suddenly aware that I didn't even know if I was dealing with a female or male.  I couldn't see much beyond their hat and dark glasses.  "Do you know where you are?" the officer asked.

            I scowled.  I wasn't in the mood for games and I didn't like cops that much in the first place.  "I know exactly where I am.  I'm in a boat in the middle of the goddamn ocean.  I need to find out where my friends are.  I need to find out what happened to my husband."

            "What did happen to your husband?  Where are your friends?" the officer asked.

            Anger flared in me, and for a moment I was about to let this person have it.  But something in its voice, and the way it was asked, gave me pause.  It's tone wasn't mocking, it sounded curious. 

            "I don't know," I said instead.  "Do you?"

            The officer smiled.

            "You know.  I think it is time you find them."

            "I don't know where they are."

            "Yes you do.  You just don't remember."

            The officer gestured to the railing of the boat and I shrank back.  I started to tremble and the greasy, oily feeling of fear filled my mouth. 

            "No."  I shook my head, clinging tightly to the refusal and defiance that was my shield for the fear I felt, nestled deep within the layers of truth that I was too weak to face.  The officer had no sympathy, and propelled me forward, so I was at the deck, looking over the dark water and the secrets held in its murky depths. 

            I remembered now.  I recalled following Richard outside into the noise and chaos.  The smoke.  The flare of lights and the shattering wail of some kind of alarm.  Another wrenching sound that sent everyone off their feet and the horrible, surreal feeling of the boat moving in a direction that it wasn't supposed to move.   The walls were rotating as the floors and ceiling switched places.

            "They're dead," I said, feeling something break inside me.  "All of them."

            The officer nodded slowly.

            "Why?" I asked.  I gripped the railing.  "We had just gotten married."

            "It doesn't matter why," the officer said.  "Just that it happened.  You need to go.  This isn't your place anymore."

            "Where is my place?"

            The officer gestured out at the ocean.  It was deceptively calm, the dark green surface smooth as glass.       

            I shook my head, shivering.  "I don't want to.  I want to go home.  I want Richard."

            "You won't find him here," the officer said.  "This boat isn't even here, it's resting on the bottom, anchored with mud and water.  You know this.  You need to go.  Richard is missing you.  If you want to be with him, you need to go.  If not, you'll be alone, in this empty ruined vessel for the rest of your eternity."

            I knew this.  I looked down into the depths again.  He was there; if I was brave enough to find him. 

            The water welcomed me like a familiar lover, bringing me down to find Richard who was waiting for me with green tinged skin and seaweed in his smile.   

Copyright © 2015 CassieQ; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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