Posts Tagged ‘The Buoy’


Note: This short sci-fi horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.

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She was already regretting her decision. It was Eric’s idea to spend spring break on a five day Caribbean cruise aboard the luxury liner, Morning Mist. He insisted the trip would help their marriage. Claire was well aware of his adulterous affairs, but Eric continued to deny them.

The seas were particularly rough this evening as Claire allowed herself to be coaxed topside so Eric could catch some fresh air. As each wave crashed alongside the ship, the spray rose ten feet, nearly soaking them both. Claire was becoming claustrophobic, realizing that only three feet of walkway and a flimsy life line, were all that separated her from the raging seas.

“Eric, I’m going back inside,” she said.

“We’re just about done here anyway,” Eric responded with an unfamiliar, cold detachment. “We’ve been done for a long time.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Eric shrugged his shoulders in reply.

Tiring of his cryptic behavior, Claire toward the interior door.

Before she knew what was happening, she felt a strong pull from behind, causing her to lose her balance, and fall over the life lines and into the sea.

Claire struck the water, horrified, then desperately called up to Eric. Her shouts were drowned out by the roaring sea.

Eric did nothing… but watch.

He did this on purpose! her mind accused.

He then blew her a kiss for confirmation, and departed from view.

My God, he planned this!

There was no time to consider the broader implications of Eric’s actions as the cruise ship became smaller; the deck lights growing dimmer upon the erratic surface of the sea. She called out in vain, but struggling against the waves was taking its toll. Claire turned on her back and floated, trying to remain calm and conserve her strength. Due to shock, she briefly lost consciousness.

When Claire awoke, she was all alone in the darkness, surrounded by an indifferent, black ocean. The Morning Mist was long gone.

Disorientation and panic nearly overwhelmed her.

Then she saw the buoy.

What on earth is that doing out here? Claire wondered.

Just fifty yards away, a dark pillar bobbed up and down in the night – an inviting sight in an otherwise desolate ocean. Claire swam for the buoy, locked an arm around its base to keep her head above water, then passed out.

~~~

The Coast Guard found her at nine o’clock the next morning while conducting routine checks on all navigational aids in the area. Claire was dehydrated and bordering hypothermia. As they pulled her from the sea, she managed to tell them her name and the name of her ship.

The next day, the Coast Guard Captain who rescued Claire, walked into her hospital room with a ship’s manifest and some disturbing news. He looked ill.

“Did you find my husband, Eric?” Claire hissed.

The captain told her that the manifest held the names of all 700 passengers on board the Morning Mist, including Claire and her husband. He took a deep breath and finished, “A terrible storm sank that vessel. No one was believed to have survived. No one, until now.”

Claire felt the blood drain from her face as the Captain told her the rest:

“That buoy you latched on to, Claire, was a hazard buoy.”

She shook her head. “I… I don’t understand.”

“It was there marking the exact location of a wreck… Claire, The Morning Mist was discovered five years ago… 30 feet beneath you.”

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“The Buoy” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

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