Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #35 (8.3)

Good morning and Happy Wednesday! If it's Hump Day, it must be time for some flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of writers who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, from 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

This week, in Moving Forward, Marshall and Lee and Roger continue their excursion tour of St. Thomas, not letting the sight of Dustin on the boat upset them. Sounds like a beautiful place! Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Moving Forward #35 (8.3)

They had the perfect view of the island of St. Thomas from the top of the excursion boat as it made its leisurely way about the Charlotte Amalie harbor. A young man with a carefully polished accent pointed out the sights as they came into view. His voice was audible throughout the boat thanks to the loudspeaker he used, and never clashed with the band, which continued to play in the background.

“If you have a wife you need to get rid of,” he commented in reference to a distant ruin on the top of a hill overlooking the harbor, “perhaps you should take her here, to Bluebeard’s Castle.” The guide’s words provoked laughter from the passengers. “The resort has all the amenities you could wish for, and it’s close to all the shopping you could desire. But ladies, watch out for any locked doors. You might not want to know what’s behind them.” More laughter.

“Another popular destination is Blackbeard’s Castle, up on Government Hill, legacy of the infamous Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard the pirate. Teach supposedly used the tower as a lookout, probably to warn him if the authorities were coming. There is a fantastic walking tour that includes not only the castle, but several historical manor houses which date back to the late sixteen hundreds. Many of these homes are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. I highly recommend taking this tour if you have the time. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, though, especially if you intend to brave the 99 Steps.  And I have to mention  they have some of the best homemade rum on the island.”

Even from a distance, Marshall was drawn to the ruins. Who didn’t love pirates? There was something both romantic and earthy about them that fired his imagination. It was too bad this cruise didn’t include the tour of the castle. That would have been awesome. He stared across the harbor, sipping his drink, daydreaming.

“You know we have another day in port, right? Before we go on to the next island.” Lee broke into his thoughts.

Marshall turned toward him. Was Lee saying what he thought he was?  “Yeah, I thought we did.”
“We could always check out that castle, if you like.”

How awesome was that? Marshall broke into a big grin. He wrapped his arms around Lee and hugged him. “How’d you know I wanted to go there?”

“Seriously?” Lee laughed. “I can read you like a book, remember. I saw your face when the guide was talking about it. You looked like you were ready to jump overboard and swim just to get there. I thought maybe we’d try something a little less extreme.”

Marshall blushed, even as he heard Roger’s quiet snicker in the background which he quickly turned into a cough.

“You know that does sound like fun,” Roger said. “I think I’m going to ask Kenny if he wants to go.”
Who’s Kenny, Marshall wondered. Lee looked as clueless as he did.

“Kenny’s the guy I was dancing with last night,” Roger explained without prompting. “We hit it off pretty good, but he already had plans for today he couldn’t get out of. Tomorrow, though, he’s all mine.” Roger flashed a wide smile at them.

“Maybe we’ll see you there,” Lee said.

“Maybe,” Roger echoed. “Not sure when we’re going. Hopefully we’re going to meet up tonight.”

“I plan to take a lot of pictures,” Marshall said. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he didn’t intend to squander it.

The Governor’s Mansion was the next site of interest. Nestled in the mountain side, it was a large white colonial building, surrounded by steps.

“This was a Danish plantation house at one time,” the guide informed them, “the Estate Catherineberg plantation. At one time, they grew sugarcane and processed it in their own mill. Now it serves as the residence of the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

A short time later, the guide announced they were going behind Hassel & Water Island, at which time the captain would open the glass bottom viewer over the coral reef. “You will see Mother Nature up close and personal, beautiful animals you have never seen as close before.”

Well, of course they had to see this for themselves.

to be continued

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