Tuesday 2 December 2014

Drunken Sailer - Halloween Edition MWBB

Today the results were finally in for the Halloween edition of Mid-Week Blues-Buster which was held at the end of October. (My story didn't rank). MWBB has been on haitus over November due to NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month), but today Jeff Tsuruoka, who hosts it, relaunched it all.

The song for Halloween was an odd one (as Jeff is prone to using), being a twist of Irish music mixed with Turkish lilts, so it lent a strange 'bend' to the story. I also included the band members, because, well they're The Pogues, and there's nothing else quite like them! Enjoy!

The prompt song for Halloween week was:
 The Turkish Song of the Damned, by The Pogues

The curtains round her bed blew out slowly as they picked up a sea-breeze, and strains of the evening music played for the hotel guests below, reached Larissa as her doze wore off.

She sat up and slipped off the satin bed sheets, wrapping herself up in the complementary silken robe her five star room offered, and grabbed a piece of complementary Turkish delight on her way to the balcony, savouring the excessive sweetness in her mouth, mixed with the exotic lemon.

The sea view was magnificent at this time of night; the eastern stars shinning down, unaffected by the hotel lighting, which were dimmed by colourful lanterns, celebrating a festival she knew little about.

She couldn’t be further away from her homeland, either physically or culturally. The hot climes of an arid land contrasted the wet, greenery of her Gaelic heritage; the music, reedy and enthralling, unlike the jigs that moved her fellow countryman. She felt safe at last, away from the memories, away from the emotions of the last year and all its complications.

That’s what she called them: complications. She wasn’t ready to admit to herself the truth of what had transpired, and with this holiday, this little treat to herself, she planned on distancing herself further.

She looked out at the water, wondering at its temperature as she saw people at its edge. Were they swimming? Surely not at this late hour. But they seemed to be coming out, four of them, and fully dressed too.

Larissa watched them come up the beach, walking stiffly in their wet clothing. There was something familiar about their shapes and their gaits, and her stomach clenched as it triggered a memory, one she’d been trying to bury.

She struggled to swallow the last of the Turkish delight, which stuck in her throat as the figures came under the perimeter lights of the hotel and the face of the tallest was lit up. She stood transfixed as they came to a stop and all looked up at her.

Her mind refused to accept what she was seeing, until the tallest one opened his mouth to speak; his rotting teeth confirming his identity and filling her soul with dread.

She felt the fight or flight sensation run through her, but her feet wouldn’t move, and even at this distance she heard the words he formed through his long dead mouth.

“We’ve come back for ‘ya.”

Larissa shut her eyes and rubbed them, thinking maybe she was dreaming, but they were still there when she opened them – and she was sure, a step closer.

She looked from one face to the other; Jem, Spider, Fernley, and her one time love, Shane, all dressed as they had been that fateful drunken night when they had decided to take out her father’s boat. She had promised them she could sail it, even four sheets to the wind, but when they had gone further out, the waves had gotten up and she hadn’t been able to keep it steady.

She had frozen then, as she was frozen now, and clung to the tiny mast while the waves had buffeted the boat on all sides. She’d refused to crawl into the cabin and SOS for help on the radio, or throw out life rings as each one had tumbled overboard, their drunken state only helping the sea take them faster.

She’d been found the next morning by the lifeguards, still holding on, and to this day they believed she’d been alone. Larissa had said nothing to change that – even actively encouraging the rumours that the others had gone off travelling, on one of their drunken benders.

And maybe they had been, but they were back, and Shane was beckoning to her. This time her frozen state wasn’t going to save her.


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