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The ‘Stowaway.’

“ Nothing unusual about that.” Dees slumped back in her chair raising her glass to sip at the orange juice. “Damm I feel like shite this morning.” “Good night was it then.” Mike grinned; taking a chair to sit at their table. Sarah reached into her bag taking out a pack of Aspirin passing the pack to Dees. “Reckon you need some of these.”

“I don’t know” mutters Dees as she opens the pack and seconds later gulps back two of the tabs. “ How you can drink as much as me and not get a hangover.” Mike smirked. It irritated Sarah, her sentiments echoed by the scowl on Dees lips, though it could have been the disgusting taste of the Aspirin lingering on her tongue; she gulped more of the orange juice.

“I hear, they caught a stowaway.” “A what?” “Stowaway.” “Don’t mean a thing to me.” Sarah sat forward placing her glass onto the table shaking her head. “Someone who stows aboard without paying, or trying to escape paying?” “Ah right.” Mike nodded. “In the pursers office, I overheard the Captain talking about it. Got the guy in the lock up until they reach the next port and hand him over.” “That will be at least two weeks.”

The ‘Stowaway’ was not giving up his name or identity anytime soon. That had enraged the purser who had thought to be lenient and give the guy a cabin until they reached port, at least be as he put it the better man. WHY the guy had stowed away was a total mystery bar the accepted explanation of a free cruise.

No one had thought to question the stranger until James Tweedy had been clearing the tables away and remembered the guy in question. “He’s not changed his clothes in the last three days, someone should have words?” That, had been enough to raise suspicions.

All was going to plan. Somewhat bemused by the realization that he might actually get away with what he had planned. Under guard no one could suspect him of what was to follow. Ingenious, well thought out and the three days had given him the information he had sought on her cabin.

She liked to take a walk last thing at night along the promenade deck. Take in the night air; gaze up at the half moon. Moonlight. Ah yes. She liked moonlit walks though he couldn’t be bothered with the same notions as she might perceive, such walks to represent;, dreams, love, romance, desire.

Desire? Yes he had a deep longing that some might well interpret as just that.. Chuck her overboard, feed her to the sharks, hang on a minute, he couldn’t remember having seen any?! He started to smile as it died away he touched the knife hidden in his belt. a quick swipe of the knife to have her bleed as she hit the water, have the sharks in a feeding frenzy.

“ With you around I’m not surprised we haven’t seen any sharks.” Dees was laughing, Penny having entered the diner was now taking note of the conversation. “Apparently Jo spotted some Orcas this morning. Bloody huge things though they don’t eat humans.” “Ah yes, the killer.

Diverse diet and is believed to have attacked humans though surprisingly, handlers in the pens where Orcas land up in capitvity.” “Well I’m for the Orcas, they shouldn’t be kept in captivity.”
“Now there’s a job for you Sars; handler at one of those pens, reckon Torens would like that idea.”

Jill. The skin tight black clinging shiny outfit she was wearing for tonights star presentation. An inborn hostility from the moment their eyes had met and Sarah was not alone. If you had taken the numbers into account of those vying for the prize, you could say that Jill, had upset the bulk of them.

“Stuck up cow.” Dees watched as Jill sauntered off to join what friends she had got at the far side of the diner. “Have you seen how she sucks up to Terry. Bitch has him eating out of her hands.”
“Well I for one think its time we did something to have Terry rethink don’t you Sars?”

Terry was sat in his office gripping the mug of hot steaming, whilst trying to shuffle some papers. “Jeez.” Kimberley grabbed the papers off him, tapped them against the table top and then placed them tidily flat down onto the table in front of him. “Drink your bloody coffee first. “ “Tea.”

“Whatever, Stop trying to be what you’re not, men are not gifted in multi tasking at the best of times, particularly when it comes to being aboard ship with it rocking in the seas we have at the moment, which reminds me; I must go tell John to give the passengers a warning not to use the promenade deck until further notice or they stand a chance of getting swept overboard.”

“ Stabilizers are being a problem.” Dirk, the chief engineer grabbed the cloth wiped his hands. “This will take a fair few hours to complete, but if I don’t sort the bearing units out we’ll have far more to worry about. The main power generator.
The order had been given to switch over to standby power until further notice. Colins had been informed; only be an issue for an hour or so whilst they replaced some modules on the main unit.

“Third time this year we’ve had that dammed generator causing power outrages.” Terry glanced at Colins as John stepped into the room. “I’ve had Shirley broadcast the latest updates to the passengers. The chains have been locked into place to stop passengers from entering the prohibited sections.”

The radio unit cracked to life in his pocket. “Charlie says the generator fix is going to take longer than expected, we’ve got to strip out a section to get at the module underneath, bit of a tricky bastard to get to.”

As Colins left accompanied by John and Kimberley; all of them in discussion on the coming storm? Sarah was now in the room stood in front of him as he turned to sit he was suddenly aware of her being there.

“Don’t do that. Heck you made me jump. “ “Jill.” “What about Jill?” “You’ve given her my spot for
tonight.” “Look, I thought you needed a little more time to get your act together.” He stirred in his chair realizing that the phraseology might have been a little more sensitive.

“What do mean, get your act together. Torens was more than happy with the song and with the way I performed it with the girls. I can’t see how, as you’re such buddies you can disagree with Torens especially since I consider his opinion to be worth more than yours.” ‘Get in there girl, stick it to me.’ Terry stood up, glared at her.

“I don’t have to sit here and be insulted. I’m doing this for your own good. I want, despite what you may think for you to win at least one of the contracts on offer. On this occasion and I’d say it if Torens was here to his face, that this time I beg to differ re your performance last night.

To coin the term Janice used, ‘it sucked’. You’re capable of a lot more, you’re trying to palm the judges off with a glitzy no substance performance, simply because you’d sooner spend time at the bar, than in rehearsals.” Sarah watched as he pushed past her and headed off down the corridor towards the galley.
Never mind the food, she needed a glass of wine.

Sat back on the bench the ‘Stowaway’ was feeling the rocking of the ship. A gut queasy sensation welling up followed by a belch of some acid in his throat. The lights flickering to dim. Standby power?
Approaching the time she would be taking her walk on the promenade deck ?

It had never occurred to him that they might seal off the deck. Still, on reflection, IF she took her walk she would have to hold on tight and that, would give him the perfect moment to throw her overboard without anyone hearing her screams.

Another flicker of the lights and the locking mechanism on the hatch released itself to allow the hatch to swing open. An automated emergency response triggered by the bizarre happenings with the generator failing? Minutes later he slipped out into the corridor and was now heading toward the deck; knife in his hand. 1STORMFish_1

Locked out? Sars was not in the mood to be trifled with.
There was a storm brewing and if there was one thing she shared in common with Torens, it was being in the sensation of the ‘storm’ All of the rage, the fury, the flowing pulsating throb of what was an erotically charged moment. Embracing the one, intense; desire.

What would they do if she broke the rules? This voyage had made her more rebellious within herself. Hating that Torens could be the other side of the world yet despite the distance from each other.

How she could still miss him, want him, wish he was here now at her side? All of this building up inside of her, just like the coming storm, needing to be sated.

Crouching down she carefully slid under the chains feeling the drip of drops of water against parts of her exposed skin, gripping the rail tightly as she moved onto the Promenade deck.

The moon visible, with some cloud across it. In the distance the rumble of thunder followed within seconds by bright intense streaks of light darting across the water in the distance; she shifted to grip the rail tighter, aware of more thunder, louder and without doubt, this time closer?

She had not seen the figure of the male in the shadows some feet ahead of her. Concentrating on keeping her balance she moved ever closer with the figure having seen her now bringing the knife into view, the streak of lightning illuminating the steel of the blade, the outline of a souwester jacket and hood.

Just a second or two and you might have missed ever seeing it but Sars had not only seen the blade but the figure as it shifted into view? The face, THAT face?! In an instant she froze with fear, that adrenalin rush, the pumping harsh raw feel of panic.

Must move, must flee. Unable to move as the terror now closer raised the blade the swell of the sea and the surf as the water hit the ship slapped up wards and over them.


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Jess Corbin

Jess Corbin -
Jess Corbin Associates