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“I can’t see,” whined Harvey in his nasal, sputtering voice. “There’s too much light in my eyes!” He squinted and looked away. His cheek tapped the controller rod. His chair jolted forward by a fraction of an inch, compounding the motion of the ship. He was irritated. They had been at sea too long.

Viv tried holding the ticket sleeve up to shield Harvey from the sun, but it was no use. Those tickets meant a lot, but they made a lousy umbrella. She just wanted Harvey to be comfortable in these last days, hours, moments. She tried not to glance at her watch. The watch had some power to slow time.

Viv looked off in the distance through her two sets of glasses: Her prescription pair and the clip-ons she bought at the last stop during a shore excursion in Martinique. Through the barely-dimmed glare of the sun she could discern their destination. She smiled.


The PA speaker clicked. A friendly, boisterous game-show announcer voice came on. “Hi there, ladies and gentlemen of the good ship Charon! If you look straight ahead and a little to the port side, you’ll see our FINAL DESTINATION! Please keep your tickets ready and within reach!”

Viv’s heart raced. She squinted. Through the glare, she could see the water reddened as the native attendants splashed around on the shore, slitting throats of guests here and there.



photo credit: calonda via photopin cc

Thanks to Percival Ngheim for the prompt.