I knew exactly why I was still here. To haunt whoever had pushed me overboard.
My only problem was finding them. And if they weren’t still alive, they had relatives.
Meanwhile, I kept amused by haunting the ship’s passengers and crew. And the cruise line didn’t have a problem with it. Their “haunted cruises” were a big hit. Full capacity for this old boat and its evening dinner cruises out beyond the harbor.
“Misstep Mary” they called me. Even had a faded photo of me blown up and cut out so passengers could take photos with me “haunting” them. Because they ruled my death accidental. But would I still be here if it was?
So I arranged for the Ghost Hunters to show up and solve this. Otherwise, there was no peaceful ‘going into the light’. Getting revenge might be almost as good as being alive again…
Case of a Cruising Phantom: New Fiction Writing – S. H. Marpel
Another balmy New Year’s eve on board a dinner cruise. A full capacity crowd. Dining and dancing and drinking.
Perfect for haunting and scaring and mayhem.
My type of evening these days. Ever since I died.
I almost wish they didn’t make so much money off me, but then, I’d never find the people who pushed me overboard unless I could advertise. And ghosts can’t exactly run an ad, I mean someone has to pay for it.
That was my exact point.
Someone needed to pay for it.
– – – –
Another couple coming along the upper deck, where there weren’t so many diners and waiters and crew to interrupt their privacy. They were young, and privileged, and care-free. Probably because someone else was picking up the tab.
Arm in arm, they walked, each holding a thin champagne flute glass half-filled with bubbly. He wasn’t fooling me. His was sparkling cider, while hers was the prime stuff. And she was a little more tipsy than she should be.
But her unsteadiness wasn’t fake. He really had to hold her up to keep them walking.
Something suspicious here. Wait – there’s a small pill container in his pocket. And some residue in the bottom of her flute. Not from the grapes…
“Just a little farther, dear.” He was smiling a very sweet, very fake smile at her.
“Thish isn’t like me, Ed. Two glasses shouldn’t have done this – thiss…” And her flute hit the deck to shatter. All the evidence now on the deck. The arm holding it was slack, and her head tilted down toward her chest.
Another couple suddenly came out of a cabin ahead. Ed swept his date up in an embrace, swirling her against the railing behind him, and supporting her head against his own while he kissed her neck.
Until the other couple had taken the nearby stairs down to the party below. His own flute then went seaward at that point, freeing up that hand for other work.
Letting her sag, Ed roughly held her tight around her waist and simply dragged her along the deck, trying each cabin door until he could find one that was left open. It didn’t take long – that couple who just left were unsuspecting accomplices this time.
Dragging her into the small cabin, he dropped her on the unmade and disheveled bed, its condition left from the departing couple’s activities there.
Of course I saw all of this, because I didn’t have to wait for an introduction to follow them. And they couldn’t see me, well not unless I wanted them to.
My name was Mary when I died. This cruise ship has been my home ever since.
And no one mistreats my guests in my own home…
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