LIVING DANGEROUSLY by Marion Twyman

Well it has certainly turned out to be the holiday of a lifetime, for more reasons than one ! We decided on this cruise to celebrate our sixtieth birthdays, and fortieth wedding anniversary, all of which fall this year. Until yesterday morning it was superb, couldn’t fault anything, then as we changed direction and entered the Straits, we hit a Force 10 gale. It’s a reasonably small ship, only about four hundred passengers, and most of them disappeared immediately to their cabins, to suffer in private – me included, I’m not the best sailor in the world. Not so George, he spent most of his time in the lounge with a few other hardy souls – including her I expect. The storm hasn’t abated at all, and an hour ago, we were called to muster at the lifeboat stations, just as a precaution, they said. So here we all are, warmly dressed and trussed up in life jackets, hardly able to stand up as the ship is tossed about, hoping against hope that it is a badly-timed practice drill.

Just my luck that she has been allocated to the same lifeboat station as us. Wanda, she said her name was, to anyone who would listen. A skinny American widow, with dyed red hair and fingernails to match, Botoxed features and enough wrinkles on her throat and neck to rival a tortoise, Wanda by name and certainly Wander by nature. She had spent the first week chatting up the male passengers, getting the cold shoulder from them all, until she set her sights on George, that is. And he, like a big daft dog, fell for it hook line and sinker. ‘Georgie Porgie’ she calls him, and he gets that stupid soft grin on his face, I half expect his tongue to loll out and for him to start panting . If only he realised how pathetic he looks. I watched him help her on with her life jacket, giggling like teenagers, while I had to suffer the indignity of old Dogsbreath Mr Foster helping me, his hands accidentally-on-purpose resting where they shouldn’t have.

It is frustrating feeling like death warmed up, leaning on this bulkhead with everyone all round me clutching sick bags, having to watch the two of them laughing and chatting, and clinging on to each other as the ship tosses and pitches. She looks to be all skin and bone, size six I reckon, while I’m an eighteen. George has never complained about cuddling up against a size eighteen on a cold night, when his feet and hands have been like blocks of ice, so whatever he can see in a scrawny thing like her I don’t know. Mind you he is no Adonis himself, with his beer belly and several chins. She ought to see him as I do, in his vest and baggy Y-fronts, with half his teeth in a glass of water, perhaps she wouldn’t be so keen then. I confronted him the first evening she had latched on to him, and he was all wide-eyed innocence, said he’d felt sorry for her as she was on her own, same as he would anyone. He knows I’m watching him now though, and I guess he must wonder what I’m going to do about it. Every now and again he comes and asks me if I’m all right, then he staggers back to her side, pretending the movement of the ship has caused it. I notice though, that she has been making up to that good-looking young Filipino steward, George didn’t look too pleased, especially when she fell into the steward’s arms when there was an extra big lurch. She gave him her best plastic smile, and he, gentleman that he obviously has been trained to be, smiled back gallantly. He must have hated every second. George did. Perhaps this is the beginning of his coming back to earth.

He needn’t think I’m going to forget it though, oh no, he’ll pay with a vengeance for his stupidity. The first thing I’ll do if we get out of this alive is to tell his golf and drinking buddies that he likes to be called ‘Georgie Porgie’. I shall serve up salad meals, which he hates, but that’s what she eats, so he chooses it when she is there. I’m also going to get better acquainted with some of the crew, see how he likes a dose of his own medicine.

Oh whoops, he has just thrown up all over her designer shoes, you should just see the look of loathing on her face, I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about her bothering him any more. Not that it will stop me getting my revenge though, oh no, I’m looking forward to that far too much.

About highamwriters

A group of recreational creative writers and if you ask us nicely we will let you publish some of our work
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