Lost at Sea
The yacht rolls wildly on waves that overcome the prow and flood the deck. Wind rips the sails to shreds and wooden planks fall away from the vessel’s main body. The cabin fills with dark liquid, swirling and frothing around their feet.
Molly, Carmen, Steve, Tony, and John rush up the stairs into squalls of driving rain. The gravity davit is secured to the ship’s railing and contains the lifeboat.
Rainwater pounds against their skin. John removes the cover, and the two women climb in, each sitting opposite the other. The three men are next.
Steve is next to Carmen, a little unsteady from drinking with her and Tony. Tony — a lightweight — sways, stumbles and falls, hitting his knee with a sickening crack.
He rolls to one side and curls up under Molly’s feet, moaning and holding his leg. John is last.
As he’s boarding, they’re blown back by a powerful gust, and he’s tossed overboard. He tumbles at an awkward angle, slamming his head against the rail. The splash his body makes is unheard in the downpour.
Carmen lowers them into the swell as Molly searches frantically in the darkness for her husband. He’s nowhere.
She wails for him until her voice is haggard. But only the thundering clouds and undulating sea answer her.
They huddle together until the storm lifts. The yacht is out of sight. John is gone. Molly is crying and has been for hours with her head is in Carmen’s lap.
Steve looks at Tony’s kneecap, the bleeding’s stopped, but he’s left with an ugly gash. His calf is crusted in dry blood. Tony’s hands shake, and he grits his teeth as Steve flushes the wound with seawater.
“Steve,” Molly says, “I don’t think you should use that water. Won’t it get infected?”
“No, the saline solution doctors use is basically just salt water. Salt kills bacteria. It’s simple.”
“But that’s sterile, Steve- “