Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, scenes from works in progress built around either a word or a picture prompt. This week’s prompt is the word HUG.
My selection is short and sweet. From Wedding Bell Blues. If you recall, MJ and Paul were aboard a deep-sea fishing boat with other couples.
“Oh, my God!” MJ screamed in Paul’s ear. “I did it! It’s huge. It’s not as big as the one we saw on the dive, but did it ever put up a fight.”
Ramon, the fisherman assisting their party, lifted the large, blue-green fish with the golden flanks by its gills and held it in front of MJ. The fish was more than half her height. Paul took several pictures with his camera.
“You know Lindsay’s going to kick herself for missing this,” he said, pulling her to him and hugging her tightly. “I have most of your battle on video. Ron with definitely be impressed.”
MJ laughed and settled into the hug. “Dad always said I was a better fisherman than he was. Now, I have proof.” She grinned. “What’s going to happen to it?”
“It will go to the hotel with the others caught this afternoon, Madame Davis and be served for dinner tonight. Congratulations,” he said, stepping away from the scale. “Your fish weighs nineteen pounds, seven ounces. That’s the biggest one taken today.”
Paul grinned from ear to ear while Mark scowled. Until MJ landed her fish, he’d been in the lead with a sixteen pounder.
“Looks like you win the pool, too,” Bill said, handing her two ten dollar bills. “Damn shame when a man doesn’t even get a bite.”
“Beginner’s luck, I guess,” she answered. The glow on her face was something Paul; would never forget.
Mark frowned, mumbled something under his breath and handed his pole to Ramon.
“Did you say something, Mark?” Paul asked. He was sure whatever it had been hadn’t been flattering.
“You must be hearing things, Davis. I’m done for the day. Congrats, MJ,” he said, his tone implying otherwise as he placed the ten in her hand. “Since Melena didn’t fish, she shouldn’t have to pay. I’d better go and see how she’s doing.”
Melena had been below deck most of the trip. Between the scent of a working fishing boat and the rough sea, she hadn’t done well.
“I’m going to the head,” MJ stated as Mark moved away.
“Do you want me to come with you?” Paul asked. The sea was surprisingly rough.
She cupped his cheek. “I’ll be fine. I’m getting my sea legs. I’ll be right back.” She handed her gear to Ramon, stuffed the thirty dollars in the pocket of her crop pants and handed Paul her hat. “Hold onto this for me, will you?”
Paul reached for the hat and nodded watching her follow in Mark’s wake.
He scowled. Mark had been too nice since his earlier blow-up. The man was up top something.
Christy handed Paul a beer. “To the victors go the spoils; the losers can console themselves with alcohol. Bill’s gone to get her a glass of champagne. She’s really something, isn’t she?”
“I think so,” Paul answered watching MJ disappear from the open deck around the side of the boat. “I can’t believe how my luck has changed since I got here. Having her in my life will make all the difference.”
Christy frowned. “But I thought she’d been in your life for some time. You make it sound like this just happened.”
Paul choked on his mouthful of beer. He’d almost blown it, and on such a casual comment. “I was referring to the wedding and the fact that we’ll be together for the rest of our lives. For a while, I wasn’t sure she was going to take a chance on me. Mark can have Lacorneille’s treasure. I have everything I could possibly want.”
Christy gazed into his eyes. “You’re a very lucky man.”
Suddenly, the boat’s “man overboard” alarm shrieked, bringing everyone to the port side of the boat.
“What happened?” Paul asked.
“Someone left one of the gunwale doors open and a women tripped and pitched headfirst into the water. I hope to hell’s she’s a good swimmer.”
Paul looked out at the water. It had to be one of the tourists taking pictures, None of the crew would be stupid enough to leave a door open in these seas.
“I don’t see anything? maybe it’s a false alarm?”
“Buddy, I saw her go in and sounded the alarm. They’re launching the lifeboat now. I saw her come up before, but this is fast moving water. She’ll be swept away in no time.
Paul looked around. Where was MJ? His gut burned. “What did she look like?” he asked, afraid of the answer.
“Little thing with curly hair. Some guy tried to grab her. I didn’t get a look at him, just his arm. He’s white, but aren’t we all?”
“There she is,” someone yelled and Paul turned to look. MJ’s head was above the water a good fifty yards from the boat. She was trying to swim toward them, but it looked like she was losing the battle.
Paul kicked off his shoes and dove into the water. If she drowned, life wouldn’t be worth living.
Now, don’t forget to check out all the other posts on Tuesday Tales.