Sampler: And Something Blue by J.B. Hawker
April 29, 2021
Sailing on the ocean blue, just you and the love of your life. What could be more romantic?
Middle-aged bride and groom, Bunny and Max, set sail for the Great Barrier Reef on a dream honeymoon trip certain to give the couple plenty of privacy as their sloop cuts through the waves toward Australia.
The bride distrusts the open sea but commits to the journey to please her new husband. Her sacrifice is rewarded with romance and pleasant surprises until the newlyweds drift into the path of a hijacked cruise ship and are seized by seagoing marauders.
Once aboard the ship, Max and Bunny work as a team to escape the clutches of this band of ocean-going terrorists.
Will Bunny’s faith instill courage in her fellow travelers? Can Max’s fledgling relationship with God withstand this new test, or will he revert to his previous rugged self-reliance and scuttle the couple’s second chance at marital happiness?
Christians and non-believers alike will get a glimpse into the struggles of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances while trying to live their faith despite weakness and doubt.
Sampler: And Something Blue
“Max! Do you see that? Out there…is it a ship?”
“Yeah, looks like it. Here, use the binoculars and maybe you can read the name. Then we can look it up on-line and check it out.”
The couple had seen no ships or other sailing vessels for more than a week, so Bunny was excited, hoping this was a sign they were getting close to land, again, or at least into more well-traveled shipping lanes.
“Can you help me get focused, please? I don’t know why you don’t use a spyglass like a proper sailor. I can never get both eyes working together with these things,” Bunny complained, handing the binoculars to Max.
Max fitted them to his face and moved the dial to bring the ship into focus.
“I’m not sure it’s worth your trouble, Hun. That’s more rust bucket than ship. The paint’s peeling in spots, but I can just about make out the name. I think it says Mers Comtesse. Sort of a grand name for that old scow.”
“Let me look…oh, I see what you mean. It’s not as large as the other ships we’ve seen, is it?”
“Those were mostly tankers or container ships. This one looks more like a cruise liner…but certainly not a luxury liner. It looks more ‘carny’ than Carnival Cruise.”
Bunny was thinking about taking a dip in her private pool but didn’t feel comfortable about being overlooked by that passing cruise liner. Standing next to the railing she looked up at the ship and noticed a launch headed their way.
“Max! I think we have company,” she called out.
“Where?” Max asked as he popped up from the cabin. Seeing the motorboat approaching he grabbed his binoculars for a closer look, then paled.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” Bunny asked.
“There are four armed men on that boat. This looks bad, Hun.”
“What are we going to do? Can we outrun them?”
“Not a chance…are you still wearing your sailor’s utility knife clipped on the inside of your waistband like I showed you?”
“Look, we can’t overpower these guys, so I think we are going to have to give them whatever they want. But if we are going to have to fight for our lives, we need to have the element of surprise on our side. So, make yourself look as old and feeble as you can. Mess up your hair and put on that ratty sunhat I hate.”
Bunny tried to ignore the erratic pounding in her chest and did as Max instructed, then grabbed her paperback book and went to the far side of the boat and stretched out on the deck chair, trying to appear absorbed in her reading.
Meantime, Max dashed below, grabbed the single bottle of rum they’d brought with them, took a swig and splashed most of the rest on his shirt and pants. Coming back on deck, he gave Bunny a swift kiss and whispered, “Pray that we haven’t forgotten what we learned in our high school acting classes, Buns.”
Swinging the nearly empty bottle jauntily, he weaved to the side of the boat just as their unwelcome visitors pulled up in the motor launch.
“Ahoy, there! Company, at last! Come on board and have a drink with us, mates!” he slurred.
Three of the pirates, led by Jama, climbed aboard, leaving their compatriot on the skiff.
Jama prodded Max with his AK47 and Max responded in character, “Say, careful with the guns! No need for that, now. Didn’t I just invite you to join us?”
“How many on this boat?” Jama demanded.
“Just the missus and me. Plenty of room for you boys. Here, have a drink!”
Max thrust the rum bottle at Jama who batted it from his hand, sending it into the water.
The other two men were searching the boat, one had gone below and the other was approaching Bunny.
“Who are you?” she asked in her most feeble and elderly voice. “Max,” she wailed, “what’s going on?”
The pirate who’d gone below emerged, drinking a soda from the little galley refrigerator. He growled something to Jama then joined him in training his gun on Max, while Bunny doddered arthritically along the deck. Prodded roughly from behind, she let herself stumble and fall, moaning pitifully.
The pirates shoved their captives into the launch, not even bothering to search them, and then roared across the water to the cruise ship, leaving Pristine Promise bobbing on the water, sails furled, and the sea anchor deployed.
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