It was their love for sailing that brought Jack and Karen Billings together. Anytime they had free time, they could be found aboard their most prized possession, the Marlow Explorer. The seventy-eight foot yacht was large enough to seat about fifteen people and had always been the go-to place for countless parties, relaxing weekends, and romantic getaways. However, the demanding nature of work and everyday life often stole the majority of Jack and Karenas time. Now over fifty years old, they were beginning to get back in touch with their love for the sea. Having just returned from a six month long sailing trip, the couple was eager to revive the lives of their friends as well. qWhy donat we throw a Halloween party?a Jack volunteered. aThe weather looks perfect for sailing, and itad be a great way to get all our friends back together.a Karen smiled at the thought, remembering the parties from their younger days. aThatas a great idea, a she replied. aItas been so long since weave seen any of them. Iam sure theyad love to come.a Immediately Karenas mind went to work on how to decorate the yacht and what costume she should wear. aJust picture it, Jack, a Karen said with excitement. aCob webs covering the walls below deck, ghosts hanging from the mast, vampires in coffins, and witches by a cauldron of punch. And, of course, a fog machine to complete the mood!a aPerfect!a Jack laughed and smiled at his wife. Just the thought of a party had brought out her youth. He watched her hurry around the yacht in excitement, planning out the perfect places for decorations. She eventually noticed him watching her and skipped over to him. aWell donat just stand there!a She said with a giggle. aYouave got some invitations to send!a About two weeks later, Halloween finally arrived. Karen had spent two days prior to the party decorating every square inch perfectly. qI hope everyone shows up on time, q said Karen as she paced back and forth in the kitchen, dressed in her elaborate witchas costume. Jack chuckled. qDon't worry, a he said, pulling her from her pacing and into a hug. aNo one would miss a party like this!a Karen smiled and let herself be relaxed by his embrace. They walked onto the deck hand in hand and gazed out onto the horizon. aThe ocean is so calm; not a cloud in the sky, a Jack remarked. They spent a few moments taking in the peaceful view until they heard the sound of car doors slamming. Jack turned around and saw three cars parked at the marina. He reached inside his pocket and pulled out two fangs. aWouldnat want to greet our old friends out of costume!a Jack said with a wink. They both moved towards the walkway excitedly and watched as their friends approached in full costume. First were Tim and Sarah Smith, who they had known for nearly twenty years, dressed as Marc Antony and Cleopatra. Behind them were David and Martha Jackson, both cloaked in ghostly white sheets. Jack squinted to see the last couple. aI think thatas Sam and Emma Tate, q said Jack eagerly.Karen leaned closer to see and nodded in confirmation. Sam was dressed as the Grim Reaper, complete with a plastic scythe, and Emma was wrapped from head to toe in bandages, making a convincing mummy. Karen and Jack enthusiastically greeted their guests, and everyone began chattering and catching up. Ten minutes later, the Marlow Explorer set sail on the calm ocean for the Halloween night cruise.Karen poured everyone a glass of champagne as they were catching up with one another. Jack tapped on his champagne glass with a spoon, and everyone turned their eyes to him. qEveryone, I have an announcement to make. Karen and I have been married now for thirty years. Having my closest friends here aboard with me makes it that much more of a special occasion.a Turning his attention to his wife, he continued with a tear in his eye, aKaren, darling, I just want to say thank you for the best years of my life. I want to give you this gift as a token of my appreciation.q Everyone smiled as Karen stepped forward, now sobbing happily herself. qThank you, darling, a she sniffed. aI'm so proud to be your wife. There's nothing I would have rather done than be with you all these years.q Jack embraced Karen and handed her a neatly wrapped box. Everyone eagerly watched as she peeled back the glistening paper to reveal a rectangular-shaped velvet box. She lifted the lid, and everyone gasped at the gorgeous ruby necklace. Jack helped her place it around her neck, and everyone clapped and admired the beautiful gift. As the ladies engulfed Karen in a circle of glee, Tim Smith approached Jack. qI'm so happy for you and Karen, a he said with a smile. aYou both are the most generous people I've ever met in my entire life. I just wish there were more like you. Then this world wouldn't be so corrupt.qJack placed his arm around his old friend. aThanks, Tim. That really means alot to me, but you know I think you're just as great. I'll never forget the time when I was working on my car and the jack slipped and the car fell on my chest. If you didn't react the way you did, I wouldn't be here today. I honestly owe this all to you.q Tim chuckled modestly and the two men fell silent. After some time, Tim suggested they head up on deck. When they climbed the stairs, they found the Tates stargazing and walked over to join them. Just as Jack was about to sit down he noticed a thick fog rolling in on the horizon. Sam followed his gaze. qI don't like the looks of that fog, a he said. aThere could be a ship or something heading towards the yacht. Wead never see it coming.qJack frowned and nodded with concern. He opened up a compartment beside him and fished out a pair of binoculars. After observing the fog for a few moments, he handed them to Sam.aIall go turn on the spotlight, but that might not help too much.aaWe could shoot a flare, a Sam offered. Jack nodded and checked the same compartment for some. aHere, shoot one off and keep watch. Iall be back in a few minutes.a Jack walked quickly over to his instrument panel and flipped on the spotlight. aThatas a bit better, a Jack said, somewhat relieved. He tried to pinpoint the yachtas coordinates, but the compass was spinning out of control. He picked up the radio and tried to reach someone, but all he heard was static. aWhat the hell is going on?a He heard the flare shoot off and looked up, only to find that the fog was nearly fifty yards away. He squinted his eyes in disbelief and noticed something else. He could barely make out a tiny island emerging on the horizon. He looked down at the map, but there were no islands listed. Jack tried to steer the boat in the opposite direction, but it wouldnat budge. He yanked the wheel with all his might but still couldnat manage to move it at all. He felt himself begin to sweat nervously and picked up the radio receiver again. After several tries, the Coast Guard finally answered. aThis is the Marlow Explorer and weave just entered some thick fog! My instruments donat work, I canat steer, and weare approaching an island that I canat seem to locate on the ma--a The yacht rocked violently and knocked Jack off his feet, leaving the receiver hanging. He could see water spilling onto the deck and screamed, aMy God! Everyone get below deck NOW!a Everyone ran downstairs while Jack scrambled to his feet, snatching up his map. He leaped below deck and sealed off the hatch before any more water poured into the cabin. Karen rushed over to her husband and held onto him, trembling with fear. Martha had begun to cry and her husband, David, was trying to console her. The rest sat quietly, looking to Jack for instructions.qThere's really not much we can do. We've lost access to the radio for now, and I can't locate this island on my map. The instruments were spinning out of control like some magnetic force is taking over. I tried to steer the boat, but the wheel wonat--a aOh, heavens!a Martha wailed, drowning out Jack. Panic swept over everyone, and Sarah began to sob as well. Sam looked to Jack with fear. aWhere exactly are we?a Jack smoothed out his crumpled map on the table next to him. Sam, Tim, and David peered over his shoulder as Jack traced his finger across the surface. aIf I'm not mistaken, we are smack dab in the Bermuda Triangle.a He cleared his throat, aI used to think the Bermuda Triangle stories were easily explained, but now... I'm not so sure.a Martha wailed even louder while David tried to keep her calm. qMaybe if we shoot more flares, a Sam said quickly, aA boat passing by might see us and radio in for help to get us back on course.q aWeare in the Bermuda Triangle, Sam!a his wife blurted out. aFlares, radios--nothing is going to help us!a Martha erupted in agreement, and everyone began to talk over each other. Jack looked at Karen resolutely and pulled out a chair. He climbed onto it and whistled loudly. All the passengers got silent and looked up at him. Karen took his hand in support. qEveryone! We need to remain calm! It wonat do any good to panic.a qWhat do you think is going on here?q Sam asked. qI think--a Emma chimed in before Jack could respond, aI know we passed through another dimension. Thereas no doorway back to the life we once knew!qMartha sobbed even louder, and David shot Emma an annoyed look.qThat's just not possible!a he said resolutely, holding his wife as she rocked back and forth. Jack hesitated for a moment before replying. aI think sheas right, a he said quietly. A pensive silence swept across the yacht as everyone attempted to process what was being said. aWhat about the island?a Karen offered, aThere must be hope for us if we can reach it.a Tim and David nodded quickly in agreement. Sam walked over to the window and peered out at the approaching land mass.qDear God, I really hope you're right.q After about thirty minutes, the yacht sailed smoothly into the shallow waters surrounding the island. The storm had passed, and Jack opened the hatch to drop anchor and Sam followed close behind him. The sky was perfectly clear and the sea was eerily calm. Jack lowered down the anchor slowly into the dark water. aTell the others to stay calm while we go check out the island, a Jack said. aMaybe thereas someone on the island that can help us get back home.a Sam disappeared below deck and a shrill wail followed his exit. aMartha, a Jack mumbled to himself, shaking his head. Sam reappeared and the two men paddled towards the island in a small lifeboat. aI can't believe how calm the weather is. It's like there never was any fog. That's what the Bermuda Triangle is notorious for, q Jack remarked. qI know. Emmaas been fascinated by all those stories for years. She really believes them.q Jack paused for a moment, aHonestly...I believe them too.a They remained silent until reaching the island and split up to do a quick search. About ten minutes later they met back at the boat, having found no sign of life anywhere. qI think it's safe to bring everyone to the island and set up camp. We need to figure out how weare going to survive until help arrives, a Jack said, slightly out of breath.qSounds like a plan to me, q Sam replied. They climbed back into the lifeboat and rowed toward the yacht. As they got closer, they noticed everyone was standing on deck. The two men rowed as fast as they could and climbed aboard. David yelled to them, explaining that the motor on the pumps in the engine room had burned up. Water had been filling up the hull ever since they had left and the boat was sinking. Jack quickly boxed up some food and Sam got the flares, a gun, flashlights, binoculars, matches and a rope and headed back to the island. All nine of the Marlow Exploreras passengers watched in agony as the yacht was swallowed up by the ocean. qI'm sure if we build a big fire and shoot off some flares some passing ship will see us in a matter of minutes, a Sam said confidently. David and Tim chimed in in support and headed off to find firewood.Sam, Tim, and David peered over his shoulder as Jack traced his finger across the surface. aIf Ia#39;m not mistaken, we are smack dab in the Bermuda Triangle.a He cleared his throat, aI used to think the Bermuda Triangle stories were ...
|Title||:||Marooned on Death Island|
|Author||:||Drac Von Stoller|
|Publisher||:||Drac Von Stoller - 2013-07-02|