Lord of the Fly
by Rebekah Postupak
No one expects to watch their ship sink, decks splitting, Lido deck melting, but here we sit. Yeah, that’s right. Postcard-perfect paradise at our backs, cruise ship taking a dive in front of us.
“Anybody’s mobile work?” says Simon. He makes “mobile” rhyme with “virile.” I decide right off that he’ll be our leader. The way he says “mobile” instead of cell? That’s not English. No; that’s the language of Shakespeare. The gods. Benedict Cumberbatch.
We obediently check our phones. I sneak a quick glance at Four Pictures One Word while I’m at it; this round’s beyond me. Maybe Simon, being British, is also good at words and can help me, in private, later on. In a vat of chocolate soup, under a glowing Milky Way, somebody playing the violin from a discreet distance.
Nobody’s “mobile” has a signal. Simon scrunches up his face real tight like he’s working on Plan B. Even scrunched up, he’s gorgeous. Probably the British thing again.
An old married couple behind me is bickering about something, in a way that’s sort of cute now but will make us feel like killing them in three or four days. Simon reminds me vaguely of James Bond, at least in the way he talks, and I mentally assign him the task. He will kill them, but in a gentleman-like manner, and he will feel quite terrible about it later.
It will be my job to assuage the pain.
Assuage does not sound like an American word. At least, no American I know has ever used such a word. Simon will doubtless be proud that I know it.
“Maybe somebody should head inland to look for water,” says some random guy without a British accent. “I’m happy to go along, since I made Eagle scout.”
I hear “blah blah blah blah blah I don’t have a British accent” and discount whatever he just said.
Settling back in the sand, I close my eyes and sigh with contentment. To think my friends warned me being Cruise Director would be a bore.
Written for the #FinishThatThought flash fiction contest, incorporating a legal modification of the required opening sentence and three of the optional additional elements from a vat of soup, the Milky Way, crayons, Pad Thai, AC/DC, a copier machine, or a word in any language other than English.