Ghost Ship

           Billy took a long drag off his cigarette and held the smoke in his lungs. He watched the reflection of the full moon on the gentle swells of crystal blue Caribbean water. The character of that water was different at night. That brilliant, sapphire blue water that seemed to glow in the sunlight absorbed moonlight. It swallowed the light of the full moon so that only a pale reflection shimmered dully on the surface.

            Billy had grown tired of that sea. Though it had called him once – its siren song filling his dreams, his plans to reach it monopolizing his waking hours – the Caribbean had ceased to speak to him. He longed to go home again.

            He turned at the sound of footsteps and found Curtis approaching with a wide grin stretched across his tanned face, just beneath the band of freckles that ran across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose.

            “Can hardly hear the music up here,” Curt said.

            “That’s why I’m up here,” Billy said.

            “I figured you just got tired of watching drunken, middle-aged assholes do the thriller dance.”

            “Never even made it that far. I left the second the conga line started up.”

            Curtis laughed.

            Billy took one last pull off his cigarette and flicked it. As he watched the glowing cherry fall past the partiers and the cabins that were home for him and Curtis, he said, “This is the dumbest idea we’ve ever had.”

            “How do you figure?” Curtis laughed again. “Do you realize how much money we’re making tonight? Dumbass tourists are paying over double the usual rate for a booze cruise into the Bermuda Triangle on Halloween night.”

            Billy shrugged.

            “Hell, if I’d have realized it was going to be a full moon, I could have charged even more. These people are so damn bored with their lives…this is like an adventure for them.”

            “Yeah, but money aside, this sucks,” Billy said.

            “What’s so bad? This is our only job…we take people out on a boat, have a party, get everyone drunk…that’s it.  What is there to complain about?”

            “That’s all there is to it,” Billy said.

            “Exactly. We’re living the God damned dream here, man. No stress…no responsibility…no shirt, no shoes, no problem.”

            “Curt, we’re pushing thirty. How long are we going to do this? I’m starting to worry that we’re going to look back after it’s too late and wish we would have settled down.”

            “What, is your biological clock ticking? You sound like a chick. Besides, look at these people…look at how badly they want to escape their normal lives.”

            Billy looked Curtis in the eyes. For a moment they were both quiet.

            “I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this, man. Home is calling me,” Billy said.

            “We hated home.”

            “When we were kids.”

            There was another quiet moment.

            “Okay…we have to have a long conversation. I can accept that…but now is not the time. Let’s get these tourists drunk, give them a scare or two, show them a good time, and tomorrow we’ll figure out what to do with ourselves.

            Billy nodded.