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By D. ERIC HORNER
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2015 D. Eric Horner
All rights reserved.
Five years later
The four young, fit looking, suntanned people were frolicking in the water off of Conger Island. Conger is one of the many almost man-made islands off the coast of Hispaniola. The island's purpose is mostly a port for passing cruise ships. Conger has built a large concrete structure as a dock for the passing gigantic ocean liners. The waters are crystal clear and located near a coral reef, which allows travelers to have a unique snorkeling experience. Travelers are also treated to some Latin flavor all along the dock. Before the dock construction was completed there were many skirmishes and flights between the locals as they argued over the best spots for their small shops. However, Samantha Silver and her three friends didn't care about the history of the dock or the struggles of the locals; they are here only for fun and frolic celebrating Samantha's 30th birthday. The place is perfect for what they want: shops, bars, restaurants and beautiful sunshine.
Samantha is tall compared to her friends, about 5'10". She played volleyball in high school, but since then was basically undecided on a career path. She has done lots of things to make ends meet, from waiting tables, to modeling, to office work, but she has never found what she would call a career. She has long dark hair, beautiful features, and light green eyes. She always thought that her eyes would set her apart from the other models, but New York City was filled with beautiful women and let's face it, by age 30, she realized that she would be at the end of a modeling career. Anyway Samantha is actually okay with that, and frankly enjoyed bouncing from job to job without a lot of responsibility. She went to college, but more because she felt she was supposed to than anything. She studied business, but only because the math requirements came easy to her. Her father Jonathan used to work with her when she was a little girl and she caught on quickly.
Then when she became a teenager, her father wasn't around very much. Samantha always assumed it was because of him, but they really became estranged because of her mother. She is down here now on the boat her father named after her, not to sign blame, but maybe find some answers to what happened to her dad. Her friends Jessica, a blond haired blue-eyed writer who works in the city and Macy, a young woman with closely cropped brown hair were along for the celebration. The three women were roommates at NYU and really best friends. The other member of this celebration, unfortunately, was Macy's constant companion, her boyfriend Chad. All four of the young adults are good looking and happy for the most part. I mean why shouldn't they be? Macy and Jessica have good jobs that they enjoy and Samantha, while her finances are pretty squared away thanks to her grandparents, lived all of her 30 years on the upper edge of middle-class and she is thankful, but not spoiled or satisfied.
In all actuality the tall, black haired beauty hasn't told her friends that the real reason they came here was because of a letter she had received from her father.
Macy circled and then surfaced climbing up on the back of the boat. "Man you guys, this is the most active snorkeling I have ever done. There is so much tropical sea life down there it's amazing," she announced to the other three already on deck. She grabbed a towel and chose the lounge chair in the middle.
"I know," Jessica agreed, "it's almost like an aquarium."
"I'm not sure; it doesn't seem that different than the Jersey shore."
"Chad, I don't believe you," Macy snapped, "it is the most beautiful coral reef I've ever seen in real life. The only reason you're along on this trip is because I didn't want to deal with you pouting and bitching over every little thing when I got back."
"If you throw him overboard, Sam and I promise not to tell."
"Hey, you would regret that Macy. I mean who would keep you company?"
"I don't know Chad," Samantha answered, "but there were quite a few staring at her in the bar last night."
Chad stood there looking down, smoking his cigarette because he knew Samantha was right. Their night last night at the bar had seen Macy strut her stuff in front of everyone, embarrassing the normally secure Chad.
"What's the matter Chaz," Jessica teased. "Yeah, it was fine when you were shaking your ass for those young the Latin girls."
"Thanks Sam, that was three whole days ago but thanks for bringing it up."
"No problem, I just wanted to help out."
"Why do I feel like you are all in this together?"
"Chad honey, what did you expect going on a week's vacation with all of us?"
Putting out his cigarette and putting on his sunglasses, and in his best New York accent replied, "I didn't expect you to be busting my balls all the time."
"Maybe they need busted. I mean, what guy goes on vacation with three girls just so he can watch his girlfriend?"
"That's not why I came down here Sam. I came down because I was worried for your safety ... all of you. You heard the stories about that a high school girl disappearing in the Caribbean; I wanted to make sure that didn't happen to you."
"Just the same," Macy butted in, "we are going out to dinner by ourselves tonight. Tomorrow is Samantha's birthday and we need a little girl time." Macy's comment caused the other friends off guard and they both were shocked that it even came up.
"Really, that's not fair. I mean what am I supposed to do?"
"You were a lifeguard on the Jersey shore dear, I'm sure you will think of something.
"Yeah, do you still have your little flags? You could signal to the shore from the boat."
"Good one Jessica. Those guys always thought they were such a big deal, doing this and that back and forth," Samantha added waving her arms to the delight of the other women.
Obviously Chad was upset and a little embarrassed. He reached for his cigarettes although he had just finished one. He lit up and replied, "Those little flags, as you guys call them, was our way of pointing out cute girls to the other lifeguards. Maybe I will just do the disco tonight."
It was obvious that he was doing whatever he could to make Macy jealous. It wasn't working however and she responded with, "Do you whatever you want to; I'm going to."
There was coldness in her voice and a look in her eyes that Samantha and Jessica had never detected before. Could she possibly be getting tired of Chad? The other girls hoped so, but didn't dare say anything. Instead the master conversationalist, and Jessica changed the subject.
"Hey Sam, can you really drive this boat?" With a smile, Samantha replies, "with the help of that GPS below and what my father taught me ... you bet."
"I thought you weren't allowed to see your father," Macy asked.
"That didn't start until I was a teenager," Samantha answered.
"Was your mom afraid that your old man might do something to you?"
"Chad," his girlfriend exploded!!
"What? I heard he was a little different that's all."
"That would be a lot different, don't you think? And it would be sick too. Her dad wasn't a pervert, he just got burned out on Wall Street," Jessica pointed out, standing up for her friend.
Chad stood with the cigarette in his mouth and his palms face up as he shrugged the comment off.
"If that's true, then how old were you when you learned?"
Samantha put on her cover up and sunglasses as the sun continued to hang lower in the sky.
"Octopuses," she answered getting everyone's attention.
"What did you say," Jessica asked with a puzzled look.
"Octopuses ... that was my father's true passion! Sure he loved being a successful Wall Street broker, but mostly he liked diving and snorkeling around this reef. We had money from my grandparents so even if he hadn't been successful we would have still vacationed down here."
"Did anyone see the amount of octopuses down there?"
The others just seemed to shake their heads and explained that that wasn't their purpose.
"I was watching Macy swooning around," Chad admitted.
"Oh please," Macy said rolling her eyes.
"No, I was and I was watching you other two as well. It's not every day that a man like me is able to see three women in their underpants doing scissor kicks."
"They are not underpants you fool they are swimsuits," Jessica pointed out.
"Same difference," Chad fired back, "especially when they are white."
Putting the conversation about the bathing suits aside, Macy focused the conversation back to the octopus.
"I'm glad we didn't see any of those. The octopus is freaky."
Instead of agreeing, Samantha kind of stood up for the creature.
"I used to feel the same way when I was a young girl down here with my dad. The now I'm not so sure. I mean I wouldn't want to have one on my face or anything, but they don't hurt people and I hear they are intelligent creatures. I see the way you are all looking at me, but my father used to catch them and put them inside of an aquarium so I could watch them move around. They are a little strange, but I would think to them we are strange too."
"Sam, you need a drink."
"I second that, Jessica," Chad piped with a smile. "Why don't we all disembark and go for a drink?"
"Hold on there mister. You are not going out with us ... remember?" Macy informed him.
Samantha ignored the couple's small squabble and got back on topic about the octopi that her dad used to bring her. "I used to sit and watch them all day while my parents were fighting it out. It actually relaxed me."
"I can't understand that," Jessica added. "Those things are like something from another planet. The way they can change colors and swim around is really gross."
"They call this island the breeding ground for the strangest animal on the planet. Chad was quick to join the conversation, as soon as Macy was finished explaining to him for at least the third time why he couldn't go out with the girls.
"You said that they saw - who is this they that everybody talks about?"
"It's the indigenous people of this island," Samantha answered. "I have been coming here since I was a little girl and there are all sorts of stories about this place."
"Stories," Macy asked, "about what?"
Samantha kind of dropped her head, looking at the deck of the boat, "Nothing, it's just stories. Let's and get cleaned up for dinner."
"I'm assuming this place on the pier specializes in seafood for dinner?"
"It depends on what they caught that day but I prefer the jerk chicken in this restaurant. It reminds me of my father."
"I'm sorry Samantha, this place must bring back a lot of memories."
"It's okay, they are not all bad. I think this was where my parents were happiest, but who knows," Samantha speculated.
Chad and Macy started making out and Chad started kissing her neck playfully. Macy didn't really resist; in fact she was playing along. The other girls could hear her teasing,
Then they saw her hand move to the front of Chad's swimsuit. "How do you like it," Macy asked with a devilish smile on her face. "I promise we won't be late," she swore while kissing his face.
Chad knew that some more touching and kissing would get him what he wanted and for once it was not getting Macy into bed. He wanted to go to dinner with the girls. His begging and pleading was almost sickening. Macy put an end to it by making a suggestion. "I know that this was supposed to be our girls night out, but how about if he comes along but leaves us alone until dessert. That would give us our alone time and then Chad could be there for drinks."
Jessica and Samantha each looked at one another, rolled their eyes and then smiled and responded in unison, "We figured."
"I won't be in the way, I swear," Chad promised. "I'll watch from the bar then you just give me the signal when it's okay to come over."
"Is that okay with you guys," Macy asked. "If not just let me know and I will tell him he can wait until we get back. But Samantha, I wasn't sure if you would want to leave them roaming around on this boat."
"Yeah, I might try to drive it somewhere, you know for entertainment purposes."
Samantha knew that it was just a threat and not to take it seriously, but it did make her wonder.
The quartet took turns getting ready. With the lighting on the boat and the suntan they had all received earlier and a fresh shower, each of the women looked very attractive as they headed to kitchen area of the boat. They were busy chatting happily and wondering where Chad was. Macy yelled back to him and when they heard his response of still having to shave decided they had a little time to kill.
"Who is ready for a cocktail?" Macy played hostess and waitress, taking everyone's drink order and mixing the drinks. She also he yelled back to her boyfriend to find out why it was taking him so long. There was no answer, so she decided to take it a step further, barging in on him while he was shaving.
"Damn it Chad, what is taking you so long?"
"I couldn't get dressed right away. There is a young girl out there and I didn't know where the blinds are. So I've been going back and forth between the bathroom and bedroom to get dressed."
Macy looked out the window and sure enough there was about a young girl fishing right next to their dock. This upset Macy and she immediately exploded to her boyfriend.
"This is bullshit! I mean with all the places around here to fish, she has to be right here. I'm going to say something."
Macy went over to the sliding glass door and pounded on it loudly.
"Don't fish here, you dumb kid! Can't we have a little privacy?"
The young girl looked at Macy like she wasn't sure of what she was asking. Macy wondered if maybe she didn't speak English so she was gesturing while shouting.
"Get out of here! Scoot further down," she insisted. Macy figured that the young girl didn't know what she was trying to say, so she thought if she could give her a visual about where she needed to be that might help. She took a couple of strides towards the young lady when she saw something coming out of the water. She was pretty close to it, but still wasn't sure what it was. The strange object was about as big around as a man's leg and almost transparent in color. She noticed suction cups on one side and how incredibly nimble it was moving. What she saw caused her to cry out loudly and cover her eyes.
"Oh my God!"CHAPTER 2
Jessica and I heard the scream by Macy and wondered what was happening. We took off to the back of the boat dodging the mess of towels and wet swimsuits along the way. It was not as challenging as I thought it would be because the interior of the boat is illuminated by the large street lights along the dock. We reached Macy at virtually the same time and could see the fear on her face and the panic in her eyes.
"Macy, what is it," I asked eagerly.
She didn't answer, just pointing to the main portion of the dock and stuttering aimlessly. She almost sounded like a little child.
"She must have seen something, but I can't get her to talk."
"You were back here for a while before," Jessica asked; "what is different on that dock?"
Chad shrugged his shoulders and kind of blew it off. "It just looks like a dock to me. The same place we have been tied up all week. I don't know what her problem is. Maybe she needs a drink."
I thought it, but didn't want to ask. I am the most outgoing of the three girls, but I am hands down the most polite and sensitive to others feelings, and Jessica is more brash. She is also closer to Macy and Chad then I am, so she can get away with speaking her mind.
"What the hell were you doing back here anyway? You were taking longer than a girl getting ready for prom." Chad wandered around and was very animated with his arms as he tried to explain. "I really don't know what her problem is. I was just back here getting ready and I guess I was taking too long. But I had to shave and everything and I couldn't just walk by the door to get my things," he explained.
As he was telling the story, Macy exploded like a shaken beer bottle.
"That's what it was. I remember now. There was a little girl, well not little, probably about 10 or 12 years old sitting on the pier and she could see in the boat and she was watching him. He did not want to parade around in front of this little girl in the buff, so he kept going back and forth between the bathroom and the bedroom."
"Then what happened to Macy," I asked.
She started explaining the most unbelievable story. It was something out of a horror movie. Macy claimed that a large arm, or something similar, rose out of the sea. It wrapped around the girl and quickly pulled her into the water. According to Macy, the area around the dock turned from clear blue ocean to blood red. It was hard to believe and Jessica dismissed it almost immediately.
Excerpted from DevilFish by D. ERIC HORNER. Copyright © 2015 D. Eric Horner. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
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