Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Excerpt: Wednesday's 1-liner

She checked her watch, and when the time came for Customs to open their gate, she wandered aft to peruse the oncoming passengers. Pretty long line for a day that will bring rain. Hearty souls! Some were already aboard. She scanned the heads and faces from thirty feet up—not easy from this angle. If she missed him, she’d instructed him to execute Plan B: call her from the ship’s cafĂ©, extension 222. She sharpened her focus, visually sorting the couples, the elderly, the physiques that didn’t match Lee Lannon’s.

When she failed to locate him, a physical twinge of doubt ran from her throat to her solar plexus, and for the first time she considered Plan C—failure. The line thinned until it became a trickle, single stragglers with fanny packs jogging to make the cutoff.

She looked skyward and lifted her shoulders, stretching her neck, then exhaled in minor disbelief. Technically, he still had four minutes left to come aboard. But I’ve got shit to do. She took off her hat, pulled back her hair, then pulled the thing a little lower over her eyes. She walked back to her workspace. Frick, I didn’t even bring my running gear. She felt her tummy growl.

She stepped onto the Bridge. The Officer of the Deck, Gary, was on the walkie-talkie. The pier crew would release the mooring lines in five minutes. Julian approached the chart table, her lips like a trumpeters, flexed, tight. She decided to have a coffee. I don’t care what I taste like.

“Okay—that’s it for vehicles. Last one is a what?”

The walkie-talkie crackled, “White Subaru. Maine plate, Mike-Charlie-Delta-Romeo.”

“Roger pier.” He turned, “Hey, Jules! You, uh, you had a call a couple minutes ago. I thought you were in the head. Guy from, um, passenger. Larry. Lance. Leroy…”