Zombie Cruise Part III
Loud trumpets played, drums thundered and the dance floor pulsed with vibrant energy. It was a time to take risks, meet new people and possibly ignite a Starburst love affair. Everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives. “Play is just an anchor away” was the ships motto and they were living up to it. Even when a light rain misted on the decks the crowd was unstoppable.
The culinary crew struggled to keep up with the food demand on one mean Cajun buffet. Shrimp gumbo over garlic butter grits started the line up, then jambalaya played along, fresh spicy crawfish, fried buttermilk dipped catfish, flavor kicking southern fried chicken, ham hock collard greens, orange flavored cornbread, okra accented by lemon and sun dried tomatoes, and a carving station with prime rib next to maple mango glazed country ham. Don’t forget about the dessert table with a tropical fruit display, rum spiced flan, dark chocolate praline truffles, pecan pie cheesecake and gelato. There were towering ice sculptures of different sea creatures and a few dragons gracing the decks.
Porscha and her friends joined the Masquerade Ball with their masks on.
“ Take a look at all those yummy single men! I know a select few have my name written all over them, and the greatest part is Chad is not here to stop me”, Porscha said.
“Don’t flatter yourself, your still taken and I can blow the whistle any time I want”, Mitzy noted while feeling disgusted.
“Mitzy, if you screw this up for me I’ll end you”, Porscha threatened.
“Guys, stop fighting, lets try to make the best of it”, Pam intervened.
“Alright, I’ll play nice for now, but that doesn’t mean the gloves are coming off and I‘m taking off this ridiculous mask, it’s too tacky”, Mitzy said.
Porscha was just about to join the party when she reached to feel for her lucky blue diamond hair pin and it wasn’t there.
“I could of swore that I put my lucky hair pin in”, Porscha panicked. She blatantly stared among her friends expecting one of them to gladly volunteer to fetch her lucky pin, but they just looked at each other.
Tired of the who’s going to do it game, Porscha just became a tyrant again and ordered Pam, the weakest link, to trek back to the cabin and find it for her. Pam just shrugged her shoulders in defeat and did what she was told, after all being in the wedding of the year meant everything to her.
Olivia and Mitzy joined the party allowing Porscha to lead the way . As time went by and Porscha was flirting with numerous men something changed. People were starting to find themselves depressed and some were even looking a bit sick. Porscha dismissed it because she thought it was the alcohol and Olivia and Mitzy’s demeanor seemed fine. Also there were still a few trying to keep the party alive like the activities coordinator, Nettie James from Jamaica with an energetic bartender, Leoandro Vitales, from Guatemala.
It finally dawned on Porscha that it had been an hour since she had sent Pam down to their cabin to retrieve her lucky hair pin and she was not back yet. She wasn’t worried, it was just an inconvenience for her. Out of sheer annoyance, she sent Mitzy and Olivia to go find her to see what was taking so long. They grumbled with Porscha but did what she asked because they wanted to make sure Pam was okay. Another hour passed and Porscha’s friends did not return.
“I knew it, they ditched me. They only think about themselves and to think I invited them”, Porscha grunted underneath her breath. She decided to go look for them but was so self absorbed that she didn’t even notice the man beside her threw himself off the ship.
Earlier that evening, newly married Hailey Koffkey made her way up to the masquerade party. She sat at the bar and ordered a slippery nipple. Everything was going great until a single man decided to burst her bubble.
“ Hey there, can I buy you a drink?”, the stranger asked.
“No thank you”, Hailey responded while ignoring his cheap advances.
“What’s it going to hurt mama, I just want to buy you a drink after your two free cocktails run out”, the stranger pressured.
“I am spoken for”, Hailey commented while holding up her hand to show off her dazzling wedding ring.
“Oh, I get it, your one of those freaks, well I can play along little miss married muffet”, laughed the stranger.
“What are you talking about, what’s so freakish about being married?”, Hailey asked while trying not to engage him.
“You are just too cute…playing innocent, I like that. I have an idea. Why don’t you come down to my cabin so we can rock this ship hard, maybe all the other singles will follow suit”, the stranger said.
“Wait, back up what did you say? All the rest of the singles”, Hailey paused
“Yeah, I mean this is a singles cruise, you wouldn’t be here unless you wanted a little motion in your ocean if you know what I mean”, the stranger said.
“This is my honeymoon you sleazy scum bag, I had no idea, our agent booked this cruise!”, roared Hailey.
“Really my little buttercup”, the stranger said.
“Yes, really. I suggest you pull another bar stool closer to the pool, fall in and cool off cause you have no chance with me”, Hailey yelled.
“Miles is that you?”, asked a faint voice from behind him.
Miles turned to see a petite women dressed in an attractive yellow sundress.
“It is you....guilty flesh and all”, the stranger confirmed.
“Melanie what are you doing here?”, Miles asked.
“There you go, now you have someone to talk to”, Hailey told Miles.
“Where’s Natasha?”, Melanie asked with confusion.
“UHHH….. Well she is still oversees right now and I won this thing on the radio and well I am here”, Miles confessed while nervously shaking. Melanie was friends with his girlfriend Natasha.
“You do know this is a single’s cruise right and you are far from single”, Melanie said with her jury like eyes piercing him through his clothes, she never trusted him farther than she could throw him.
“Yes, I know, but I still wanted to come and have a good time. In fact I’m shooting in a darts tournament tomorrow night in the sports bar, seeing a hypnosis comedy show and will be taking a cooking class”, Miles said while sweating bullets.
“Don’t insult me I know you were flirting with that woman and who knows what could have happened if I didn’t interrupt. Natasha gave you a second chance after you cheated on her during her last business trip, if you screw this up, I will tell her everything!”, Melanie threatened.
“I didn’t do anything, I just came to the party and that married woman came onto me”, lied Miles.
“I seriously doubt that. Just know I will be watching you”, Melanie sharply noted while walking away.
“I guess I can’t make any magic happen now, I'm being chaperoned by a hood rat ”, Miles said to himself.
While Miles headed to his cabin he had the feeling someone was watching him. He heard a nasty sound that he could not explain, almost like someone trying to scream but their vocal cords were so weak it just became like a gasping gargle and squeaking like something needed to be lubed.
“Someone is messing with me, I bet Melanie is up to this”, Miles thought. He ignored it and went into his cabin without looking back.
Wally was now waiting two hours for his escargot, lemon pie and sweet tea with peaches. Wally called down to the kitchen to see what the hold up was, but no one answered. Wally was about to call up the guest services desk, but there was a low tapping on his door with the slight whisper of room service. Wally answered the door and saw a tall paper thin Asian man holding out his food on a silver tray. His eyes seemed blood shot squinty, his hair all out of sorts and his clothes wrinkled with a black ash like he just performed a chimney sweep.
“Where have you been? I have been waiting for two hours”, Wally said while rubbing his glasses clean with his own shirt.
“Sorry Sir.. Sorry Sir..Sorry Sir”, the Asian server repeated like a malfunctioning robot.
“What’s the matter with you?”, Wally asked while removing the food tray from his spastic hands.
“Feel strange, feel so sad, feel so sad, feel so sad”, the Asian server repeated again with rolling eyes and a slight trickle of reddish drool dangling from his lips.
“Why are you sad?”, asked Wally.
“Don’t …don’t know. Got a promotion today, was good, but feel bad…feel bad”, the Asian server wheezed and spoke like a toddler.
“You don’t sound or look too good, you need to see a doctor”, Wally ordered.
“I’m okay, will feel better soon..will feel better soon”, he mumbled.
“Maybe I can make your day, I know gratuities are automatically billed on a daily basis to my shipboard card, but I’ll give you an extra twenty to cheer you up”, Wally said.
The Asian man thanked him normally by accepting the money and walked down the hallway with his head cocked to the side while making a sound similar to belching.
“That was strange”, Wally said to himself
He sat down, tucked a fancy black napkin in his shirt and started to chow down, he then blacked out.
Meanwhile Monica is still looking for that hero of her heart, the one that makes her pitter patter race effortlessly. She attacked the party’s buffet and ran into a familiar face running the carving station.
“Buster!”, she cried.
“Hello Ma’am how would you like your prime rib?”, asked the Sous Chef.
“It’s me, Monica”, Monica laughed while removing her mask.
“ Monica! I didn’t recognize you, it has been forever”, Buster laughed while trying to serve her some prime rib.
“I don’t want to hold up the line, but I would love to talk to you if you have time”, Monica said
“I would like that, I have a break coming to me in about an hour, so stick around and I’ll find you”, Buster said. But then just before Monica walked away with her plate full, Buster vomited on the ship’s deck and had to excuse himself, other chefs had to take over.
Monica waited for him, shooing off potential lovers just to spend time with him, but he never showed up. Monica was worried, she knew he was sick, but didn’t know what happened to him. Monica decided to ask about him, but the chefs were incoherent in a spacey daze. The chefs just bobbled back and fourth avoiding any eye contact with her.
Monica decided to go back to her cabin to see if she could get his personal line on the ship, but no one was answering the phones, she didn’t even notice that there was a woman in her cabin hiding in the dark shadows by the bathroom door.
On the other side of the ship Mr. Koffkey, feeling a little better, decided to look at the Captain’s invitation to the party to see when it ended.
“A Singles Cruise!…..I’ve got to find Hailey she is not going to be happy…I hope no one tried to hit on her yet”, Drew said aloud while trying to fit his feet into the one size fits all ship’s slippers, they simply were not working for his size thirteen shoe.
“Socks will have to do”, Drew said while stumbling out of the room. All of a sudden the ship slanted in his blurry sight and he could feel himself slipping away from consciousness. Drew tried to focus, pushing his way up the ships levels until he was just one level away from the party, he felt weak and could not go much further. Drew didn’t want to pass out in the middle of the lobby, so he wandered into a public bathroom near the art gallery, locked the door and passed out cold.
Lawrence, the reporter, tried to keep things light, by not drinking alcohol and only nibbling a bit of food, after all, he was on a mission to deliver a good story. Things were productive. He interviewed some singles, crew members and started to get a feel for the singles scene with all the pick up games played. There was just so much material he could use, but something was missing. Something needed to happen to make this trip worth wild. Sitting at the bar drinking a cola with a shot of lime juice he met Hailey.
“Hello, may I talk to you for a moment?”, Lawrence asked while removing his mask, it was pointless to conduct an interview hiding from the public.
“No, you may not. I’m tired of hitting on you”, Hailey slurred while throwing her mask to the ground.
“You mean you are tired of people hitting on you”, corrected Lawrence.
“That’s what I said moron”, Hailey said.
“I see you have a wedding ring on during a singles cruise, so how is that working out for you?”, Lawrence asked while jotting down some things he was observing.
“I’m on my honeymoon, we didn’t know, we didn’t know”, Hailey slobbered.
“Interesting, can I talk to you more about this with you and your husband when you are sober tomorrow afternoon over lunch?” asked Lawrence.
“There’s a man over there that just jumped ship”, Hailey said calmly while sitting up straight.
Lawrence turned looking in the same direction, he saw nothing and there didn’t seem to be any commotion by any of the other passengers, in fact they were not even paying much attention to each other any more.
“This party fizzled, its back to my cabin, my husband needs me”, Hailey said while trying to stand up. Lawrence assisted her with one arm so she could keep her balance.
“Let me walk you to your cabin”, Lawrence offered.
“No way Jose, I’ll be just fine. Look my husband and I have first seating at dinner, we sit near a window, you can interview us then”, Hailey slurred.
Lawrence decided to stick around a bit, he was intrigued that she claimed a man jumped ship and no one else saw it.
Hailey stumbled down the stairs holding on to the railing with dear life. She tripped a few times, but was making the best drunk time possible. She saw some fighting along the way, a deserted lobby, several housekeepers entering into cabins at odd hours in the night, and a shorter man trying to chase her, but she medaled in track, so out running him was easy. When she reached the cabin suite, she decided to pass out on the sofa, the bed was just too far away.