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“Come unto these yellow sands, . . .”
The stars spun madly, as if the galaxy had become a blender switched to frappe. For a brief, fractured moment Sharon wondered if it was the end of the world or just her sanity.
She hit the warm Caribbean Sea back first, hard, knocking the wind out of her. She lay for that brief moment, painfully suspended on the surface, unable to comprehend what had happened. Then the sea embraced her.
And tried to drown her.
Floundering, coughing, sputtering, thinking words that no proper lady would ever allow to pass her lips, she broke the surface of the calm Caribbean, gasping for air. Her thousand-dollar Luna evening gown quickly became several yards of waterlogged virgin tourmaline silk. The dress slipped off quite easily and sank listlessly into the briny depths.
Wiping the salty Caribbean sea from her stinging eyes, she searched for the Cruise ship, Celtic Myst. Minutes before she had been relaxing in a deck chair, watching the stars from the fan tail, waiting for her head to clear from too much champagne.
A scattering of twinkling white, red and green lights shown from the Celtic Myst. Moving away.
“Drat,” she said, watching the lights disappear. A cold knot tightened around her throat, tears blurred her sight.
‘The ocean’s already wet enough, dear.’ Aunt Miranda’s voice whispered in the salty silence.
“You’re right. No sense in getting all worked up just because I’m stuck in the middle of the ocean.” She
swallowed her fear and looked around.
The moon, in its last quarter, was high in the star studded sky. She pulled the few remaining pins from her hair and rolled to her back. “Need to conserve energy,” she mumbled, absent-mindedly.
She looked at her pale body as she floated, the oceans natural phosphorescence aiding the stars glimmering twinkle. Just how many 25 year-old virgins were floating in the Caribbean, clad only in Victoria’s Secret scanty’s? Before she knew it, a sailor would be along— he would be tall, his muscular body tan from life at sea, his hair would be dark with a bit of unruly curl to it. his eyes would be deep blue and when he spoke, the merest trace of an accent, would send the shivers ricocheting around her insides.
Smiling, she opened her eyes, her fantasy chasing the panic away. ‘Where I am? Why Was I thrown off? I paid full price for this trip, it’s not like I was a stowaway.’
“I must speak to my travel agent about this.”
This trip had been her first chance at rest and sunshine for over a year. Well, tomorrow she would get plenty of sun, if she made it through the night.
The sun hammered heat and light past her closed eyes into a brain that felt deep-fried. Shading her eyes, she looked around, praying for the sight of something, anything. She closed her eyes.
Water slapped her face. Choking, she opened her eyes. ‘Clouds. Monstrously Big, black clouds. Where did they come from?’’
Rain struck. Life-giving fresh water. Tons of it.
Daylight vanished as the black, wet curtain engulfed her. She was swept upwards on the crest of a wave as lightening ripped through the blackness. Again and again, lightening exploded.
She saw an outline that was neither sea nor sky nor boat.
With each thunderous blast of light, the island was closer. She could make out the dark silhouette’s of trees.
And rocks. Tall rocks. Cliffs.
Sharon watched, mesmerized as the waves shattered into white, phosphorescent explosions of unbelievable beauty against the cliffs. Cliffs that grew closer with each heartbeat.
Carried on the crest of a twenty-foot wave, she was hurtling into them with the force and acceleration of a freight train bound for hell.
She had neither the strength nor time to scream.