George was awash in a glow of light from the blazing sun at its zenith above the marble white yacht that was docked and awaiting to push off to course. Midday was a time of merriment for George Cluster who would go off into the sea for hours of drinking, smoking, and playing cards. However, as George boarded his, Rochelle, he was stopped by her captain, gingerly holding a sealed envelope as if it were a piece of nuclear waste.
George, wearing his Illusionist Style sunglasses to block the aching rays of the sun was annoyed by his captain’s presence here where he should not be, but rather be in the control room. “Sid, my man what is the hold up here, this hangover is the worst this week and I need to feel the cool sea air and start the coming of tomorrows hangover” George said to the white-bearded man standing staunchly in front of him, his captains hat covering his eyes from the affects of the sun. The captain swallowed and stuck out a long thin arm, and the envelope stuck in the air, did not come welcomely because George was nervous it was indeed a form of nuclear waste, for the normally staunch and rigid Sidney O’Connor never was in a state of nervousness even if a thirty foot high wave of dark green death was hurling towards him. “Sir I found this in the cabin this morning….um here take it, we are already behind today” and Sidney trusted the envelope towards George and with his head ringing from the aftermath of a long night of debauchery had to take the strange envelope from the staunch hands of his Rochelle’s captain. George taking off his sunglasses, neatly placing them on the brim of his flat cap, turned the white envelope over to peer at the flat side, and what he found almost made him want to vomit up the baked egg danish with kimchi and bacon that he ate as if he was rabid animal this morning or rather this afternoon.
A neat, delicate looking, drawing of a rose colored blue was clearly visible on the field of white, and George’s stomach started to churn. Christ, I have not seen this devilish thing in ages, he thought, having some difficulty opening the letter, and thus turned to savagely ripping at it until it was open. When finally opened, George scanned the letter and it’s only contents, was a twin drawing of a blue rose that was on the envelope, and a sentence saying, “Galbert’s Island, 1pm”, and George instinctively looked down at his watch which read, 12:32, and then he was off rushing up to the captain’s control room, forgetting he had invited three models from Darsie’s and his friend Collin Finch to partake in the afternoon’s festivities out on the open water. Those plans were blown away in a mist of smoke as Captain Sidney, expertly had Rochelle speeding out of the small harbor and off towards Galbert’s Island, a small pine covered mass not far out to sea.
The sun continued to blaze down on George as his lovely white Rochelle was becoming a blur of shinning metal on top of a green cover of cold salty water, and George was having a hard time putting all his thoughts together and sweet started to drop from his shoulders down his long back. Why now after so many months of silence, he thought not for the first time thinking he was going to be sick.
The tall pines of Galbert’s Island suddenly appeared in the distance, the trees forming a wall from one end to the other, and its rocky, seashell covered beach George visible imagined, as Rochelle sped to meet the island. Think George you bloody fool, what could this be about, did you do something dumb recently, and with that thought he did vomit off the side of his lovely Rochelle, for when did George Cluster never do anything stupid.
As Captain Sidney was turning Rochelle and making for a stop, George was running his hands through his hair, after throwing off his cap and paced the length of the railing before he looked down at his watch which read, 1:25, hell, and he was then off pulling his white polo over his head, kicking off his loafers and started to pick up speed, and then jumped.
George Cluster ignoring the dangers of jumping of a semi moving five-thousand-ton hunk of metal and deadly meat cutting spinning rotors, was only consumed about the thought of being late. George was always a good swimmer, his parents made him swim in meets when he was a child and then he went on to swim in high school and in college, but he was struggling now not only from the aftermaths of the previous night but also from many nights like it. However, George breathing heavily, his heart beating so fast, he thought it likely to burst from his chest and land on the rocky shore, arose from the hair standing coldness of the teal water dripping wet and shivering as if he just came back from a skiing trip with no clothes.
His first few steps, were rather hard, almost like learning to walk for the first time, and he almost stumbled once or twice, but he eventually found his footing and walked as a normal twenty-five-year-old person should. He passed a small rowboat that had been dragged up out of the water and now rested in a bed of sand, rock, and seashell. It is true then, she is really here, he once again cursed his lateness not even caring that his three-thousand dollar watch was now probably ruined and continued with his trek to the wall of trees on a small ridge that arose gradually from the sands of the beach. Once under those hulking giants, George was hit with a gale of teeth chattering wind and his prior coldness was like child’s play compared to his new form of polar weather, but this did not stop him from his objective as he made his way to where he knew he would find her.
His bare feet were stabbed by the brown pine nettles that covered the ground, but just like the cold he tried to ignore them and calm his beating heart because he needed to face her with a calm mind, even at how unthinkable that truly was.
Seated on a stump surrounded by a circle of stones of varying sizes was a small woman in pale cargo shorts and a rain jacket, and she looked up as he approached, studying him with her crystal blue eyes. “Is it supposed to rain today?” he asked chuckling more from his nervousness rather from the fact the sun was shinning and was even penetrating through the canopy of the trees above them. Melody Fresco did not show any signs of amusement and her stone face gave away no other signs of her mood. George could not read her, he never could, and he had mastered the art of reading women’s body language and had used it to his own greedy advantage. “No, but it looks as though you would like one” she said flatly clearly noticing his goose-prickled shirtless body. “Also, you are late” she quickly followed up not allowing, George to respond with another dumb joke, and he instinctively look at his watch, which was indeed broken. He swallowed and said, “well this was unexpected Melody, you usually give me some time before these…these meetings” and he added empathize on ‘meetings’. The light of the sun was reflecting of the blonde of Melody’s hair, and her small oval face was radiated making George remember why he was so deeply in love with her at one time, one time very long ago. Melody looked at George unsympathetically and said, “you were never one to be early George Cluster” and surprisingly she laughed, “by the way how are you George?” she added, and this shocked him even more than her laugh. He coughed into a closed fist and respond, “would be better if I had a shirt” and he then laughed, more at ease now but that ease was quickly erased with what Melody said next.
“You know what, we would be better if you fucking paid us what you promised George” and the venom in her voice made George step back, afraid she might lunge at him. So, this is what this is about, he thought half guilty and half annoyed at the great lengths Melody went to just get an extra bit of cash from him. “I paid you last month, or did you forget” he replied adding some of his own venom into his voice, if she wants to play this game I’ll play it. Emotion did show on her face then, it was hatred and it was very visible. “She’s starting kindergarten, George, I need more than just food money, she needs nice clothes and supplies, and then there’s school trips to think of, George, Emily needs this money not me” and she wasn’t looking at him anymore and was fumbling with something inside one her coats pockets.
Emily was their daughter, and Melody and George had kept secret that he was her father, while agreeing to pay Melody monthly for Emily’s needs. While George was fond of his daughter, he had grown a great misliking and even feared her mother for she at any one given time could start prancing around telling his world that he impregnated her when she was fifteen. So, George went on very carefully, keeping out his previous venom and decided to make this encounter quick for he would just agree to everything she wanted. “Okay how much do you need, I have nothing on me now, but once I get back to Rochelle, I can write you a check or give you cash, whatever you want Mel” and he added some of his charm into this, even though it would probably hit Melody’s stone face and com bust into nothingness.
Sobs then appeared in the stillness under the trees, and Melody was still playing with something she had in her pocket. “Mel please don’t cry, I want to help, please just let me, I’m sorry it came to this” he said going towards her, wanting this to be all done so he could still have time to go back to the harbor and pick up his confused guests who were no doubt waiting for him. “You don’t care” Melody babbled in between sobs, “she’s your daughter and you don’t care George” and she took her hands out of her pocket and ran them through her long blonde hair which had just blown over from a gust of wind to cover her face.
Before George could reach her, Melody stuck out a hand, commanding him to stop. “How many others George, huh, how many others do you have like me?” and this question made him snap, hurt was in his soul now and she had triggered something deep within him. “You ungrateful, gold digging bitch, I give you all that you need and you accuse me of having others like you” and he rushed towards her not knowing exactly what he would do once he got there, but that was not needed after a shill blast sent the world around him spinning.
George found himself on the ground, covered in pine needles, with an intense pain in his side, the world around him unrecognizable and his thoughts a blubber of mush. Where am I, he thought, where is Melody, and he rather heard than saw her moving quickly over the sea of pine needles all around them. The smell of blood and smoke hit his nostrils and George became confused, why is there blood, but then his thoughts quickly changed from blood to the question Melody had asked him, “how many others George, huh, how many others do you have like me?”. Too many, he thought guilt and pain making his heart strain and his mind go weak, how will they provide for themselves without me, was George’s last thoughts before the world, that he was once on the top of, went dark and faded into nothingness.