"It's been three days! Are you sure he knows where he's going?" Katrina continued to anxiously pace back and forth on the deck.
It has been the same five paces on this very deck for the past three days. I started to wonder if she left a groove on the floor.
She continues her rant about how our dear captain has no idea how to get to our destination let alone get all of us to safety.
I initially thought that was the point of taking a cruise, you know you relax and completely immerse yourself into the vacation.
But when our ship seemed to have malfunctioned or whatever has happened to it, relaxation slowly started to morph into a preverbal challenge.
Katrina continued to rant on and on about the trip, after a while I couldn't understand any of it. We found one of those travel deals online for a cruise to the Bahamas for 5 days.
The price seemed reasonable, and the reviews looked refutable, so to be in this middle of the ocean with a broken vessel is not exactly what I had in mind.
We have literally been sitting here in the middle of the ocean for three days now, we set sail six days ago and we should have arrived to one of the islands by day three.
Our ship was moving simply fine before, the huge vessel pushed through the water rather vigorously. Earlier that morning the ship seemed to have slowed down a bit.
First, we thought it was because we were coming closer to shallow waters, but by early afternoon everyone on board noticed that we came to a complete stop.
I remember standing on the top open deck looking out into the ocean for any sign of damage to the ship but there wasn't one.
The water stood still, just gentle waves passing by as if this massive ship weren't just cutting through the water the way scissors cut through fabric.
It all felt strange, but no one wanted to question it. The captain and crew were trying their hardest not to create a wave of fear and panic amongst the passengers.
The crew managed to keep the non-stop buffet and entertainment going, it was as if they were unaware of what was going on, carrying on with an "everything is just fine" attitude.
At first, they came across as noble, acting calm to keep me calm, but after three days of being in the abyss I had enough and needed some answers.
I stopped one of the waiters passing by with an empty try. "Excuse me, can I ask you something?" The waiter stopped and looked up at me with a smile.
"Yes ma'am, how can I help you?" he said.
"Yes, I'm sure you're aware by now that our ship has stopped and hasn't moved in three days." I stated.
I looked into his eye to see if he would be real with me or if he would give me the same speech as the others.
"Yes, ma'am as our captain has stated before..." It was useless. I started to understand Katrina's paranoia.
I do not know what came over me, but hearing the young man continue with the same rehearsed speech as the other members of the crew made something inside of me snap.
"Look, I heard the captain the first time, I also hear the screams at night and the cry of the whales. The funny thing is we never, ever see any whales." I paused.
I stared into his eyes and all I saw was glass. His stare became cold and blank. It was as if I had stuck a nerve. "You know what I'm talking about don't you.
" I stared at him again hoping this time to make a break-through, finally he let out a sigh.
Slowly letting a creepy smile stretch across his face he looked to continue the act of happy and recited what I thought was a children's riddle.
I hardly understood what he was saying, then he walked me over to the railing of the deck. Staring out to sea he pointed to the horizon and whistled.
It was sunset, I didn't realize how much time has passed. The sun looked huge, like a big circle from a children's drawing filling the sky with swirls of jeweled oranges and ruby.
The sky itself almost looked golden. It was beautiful, almost mesmerizing. Then it hit me, why did the sky look like this? Everything seemed surreal, way too good to be true.
"This isn't right. I've never in my life seen the sunset, let alone the sky look like this. Ever in my life. This is not real. Where are we?" I asked.
The waiter put gently placed his index finger on his lips to command my silence. He pointed out to the water. I looked closer into the water. I heard the whales crying again.
This low wailing cry that sounded loud and muffled under water all at once.
But where was it coming from? I investigated the water once more and this time I saw the water move, a small wave that casually passed by the ship.
Did we hit a whale? Did we cross into unfriendly waters? "What is that?" I asked him.
"Honestly, ma'am we don't know. In my nine years serving this ship I've never seen anything like it. We've tried to call for help but we've heard nothing.
That is why we tell the passengers to stay inside at night. We think it's for the best." A tear rolled down his cheek as if to say he was relieved to be normal even if it were for a moment.
"Attention passengers. The dining rooms are now open. We ask all passengers to please come inside." The announcement for dinner was made.
I thanked the young man and made my way towards the dining hall.
The food at dinner still maintained its standards, the ship managed to maintain the indoor entertainment in all the enthusiasm to go with it.
Another night of piano melodies and cognac and I just might scream. I decided to take a moonlight walk out on the ships deck.
I stepped outside and slowly strolled by the chaise loungers and shuffleboard stations. The air was warm, but the breeze felt cool. The night sky out at sea is not as welcoming as being on land.
The romantic allure of being on a ship on a night deck under moon light is nothing as it reads in romance novels. The air is dark, the sky is dark.
Not all creatures rest at nightfall, some of the oceans great mysteries come alive at night, you can hear the cries of the ocean.
Low, muted whaling cries that made you want to grind your teeth if your unable to tune them out.
I continued to walk past the children's area on the top deck and finally decided to take a seat in one of the loungers. I lit a cigarette and laid back into the chair.
The nicotine and cocktails would be the right combination to put me to sleep. I sat back in the chair and did nothing.
Maybe it was being submerged in the absolute darkness that made me feel comfortable in this moment I felt like I could just rest. I sat back and listened.
Not a single wave drifted by it was as if time stood still and we were in the land of nowhere. I heard the whaling cries out at sea, and it was creepy.
The cries seemed to have sounded louder out on deck, only this time I heard a splash from the water. It sounded like a large mammal had risen to the surface for air.
Now at this moment, I am not sure why but deep down something inside of me believed that whatever was in the water was responsible for the cries at night, this,
"it" was the reason we were stranded at sea. I got up and took two steps towards the top railing; the noise stopped. The sound of silence sliced the air. Then, out of nowhere the ship rocks.
This was not a gentle rock due to ocean waves but rather the ship rocking as if the ocean floor underneath were to collapse.
As the rocking subsided, I regained my footing and slowly made my way towards the railing again only this time I stopped dead in my tracks.
I was completely stricken with fear when I saw what looked like a huge tentacle unwrapping itself from the side of a lower railing. "Oh. My.
God!" Now I did not shout this out loud, but apparently my voice was loud enough for one of the crew members on a nightly patrol to hear me.
"Miss, I'm sorry but you're not allowed up hear at night. I'm going to have to ask you to come with me inside." He reaches his hand towards mine as if I would be willing to follow his lead.
"Did you see that? I know somebody saw that. There is no way that no one saw that!" My fist clinched tight, and I held back the tears of anger mixed with fear.
"That was NOT normal, THAT nearly climbed the ship! Now I do not know what you know and that is going to stop as of this minute.
You, the Captain, someone needs to give an answer as to what is going on."
The man looked at me with a blank stare and extended his hand further. "You really need to come with me." At this moment it became clear, that the crew was in over their head.
There were no answers because no one knew what the right questions were. What could he tell me? Does he even know? I took hold of his hand hoping that our walk inside would spark conversation.
As we walked down the stairs and proceeded to walk towards the front of the ship, he slows his pace and slowly quiets his steps. "Is there something wrong?" I asked.
"Yes" he said with a cold glare in his eye. He suddenly grabs my arm, twists it behind my back and holds me in a choke hold.
His forearm cliched around my neck so tight that I felt air coming out of my body in small gasps before throwing me overboard. He tossed me over the railing with ease like a stoned henchman.
He was a killer.
"Don't worry mate I took of it. As long as they stay inside no one will notice."
The footsteps faded as I heard the door creek open and close. The crew of this ship could not be trusted but I had to warn Katrina.
Dangling from the ledge, I'd hardly any upper body strength left. With all my might I tried to pull myself up and climb over the railing once more.
Just when I get my right foot on the ledge, I slipped a little but lost my footing completely.
I gasp with fear, the tip of my toes land on a squishy, slick wet surface. I could not hold back the tears as the wet surface started to wrap around my ankle.
That's when I knew the cries in the water weren't cries at all, it was a call for others to hear. They, It was coming for us.