Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. Each week, a group of us provide you with an excerpt from our current work in progress based on a word or picture prompt. This week’s word is DICE. Enjoy
“Ready?” Mark asked coming up behind her. “I know we don’t have to be in the dining room for another hour, but Bill wants to plot our search for tomorrow. Noel and Rick are willing to humor him. There are two teams to each map section. I don’t think Mark is in our section, but if he thinks that’s where the treasure is, we’ll have a hell of a time keeping him out of it.”
“If he is, can we just forget about the treasure and focus on other activities?” she asked, knowing it was cowardly.
Mark turned her around and pulled her into his chest. “If it were up to me, I would say yes, but the others are keen on this, and it is only for the morning. If you’re worried about him, don’t be. I can take care of my own, and don’t sell yourself short. I seem to remember you had a mean left hook.”
MJ felt her cheeks heat. “That was an accident, and you know it.” She chuckled. “But you never snuck up on me again.”
It was just after ten when they finished their meal. As if by some prearranged signal, every time she had to go to the bathroom, at least two of the other three women had to go as well, reminding her of a princess never out of sight of her ladies-in-waiting. Tonight, instead of a band, a DJ was supposed to supply the music, but so far, he hadn’t arrived. Monsieur St Louis stepped to the mike.
“Forgive this interruption,” he began, and MJ could see he was flustered. “Tonight’s entertainment has been cancelled. There is music in the bar if you would like to have a few more drinks, but the staff is needed to secure the resort. An unexpected tropical storm has materialized off the coast. Monsieur Leroux and his crew have left the island hoping to make port in Saint Pierre before the winds increase and the storm hits. For those of you on the ocean side, the staff has closed and bolted the shutters and secured all outdoor furniture. Those of you in the lagoon should be more sheltered, but all small crafts and Jet Skis have been collected for tonight. They’ll be returned as soon as the storm passes.”
“Are we in any danger?” Rick asked, Cindy clinging to him, her face white. “We’re used to tornado warnings at home, but…”
“You are as safe here as you would be in your own bed,” the manager answered.
“That’s not saying a hell of a lot,” Bill grumbled. “We’ve been in Florida when these damn storms have hit.”
Noel smiled. “I think we should look on the bright side. I was reading about Jean Lacorneille and there was a freak storm the night his ship sank. Who knows, What one storm sunk, another might bring to the surface.”
Lindsay laughed. “Ever the optimist. I think we’ll skip the drinks, professor, and go out to the cabin now. We’re on the ocean side so it should be an interesting night. Hopefully, it’ll all be done by breakfast. These storms blow themselves out quickly at this time of year.” She stood. “Besides, i should be able to get some spectacular pictures as it approaches. Goodnight.”
One by one the other couples left.
“Do you want a drink?” Paul asked, “Or do you want to go back?”
Torn between not being certain she wanted to be alone with Paul in that bungalow during a storm, and the fear of running into a very drunk Mark in the bar as he’d already been halfway there earlier, she chose the lesser of two evils.
“Let’s go back before the storm hits. I’ll warn you though, in case you’ve forgotten, I don’t do well in storms. You remember the night lightning split the oak tree and crashed into the Miller’s house?”
“Yeah. I was sleeping over that night.” Paul smiled. “I’ve weathered a storm here already and can guarantee those buildings are stronger than they look.” He stood. “Come on. We’ve got a bottle of champagne, and we can watch the fish play around the reef.”
Paul held her hand as they walked along the path to the lagoon. Even sheltered in the trees as they were, the wind was powerful, raining leaves and other debris down on them.
“Looks like the dinosaurs have all run for cover, too.”
Paul nodded. “As they say, it isn’t a fit night out for man or beast.”
They’d just reached the dock when the first rumbles of thunder could be heard in the distance. She shivered.
“Aunt Maria, Antonia’s mother, used to say that thunder was Hades tossing dice for the souls heading to the underworld to see who would be sent to Tartarus and who would go to the Elysian Fields.”
“And here I thought Tartarus was for the wicked,” he said. “You mean we have a fifty-fifty chance no matter what we do?”
“No. That’s not what she meant. Sometimes a beautiful outside hides a wicked soul. Take Mark for example. He shows people the side of him he wants them to see, not the ugly black heart he hides. The god’s dice can see beneath the surface and never lie.”
“That should be comforting, but strangely, it isn’t,” Paul said.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s post. Don’t forget to check out all the other on Tuesday Tales.