“Anguilla Day Boat Race” by Trudy Nixon
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
This week, Trudy Nixon takes an unforgettable boat ride along the rough waters where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean.
Anguilla Day Boat Race
by Trudy Nixon
Anguilla, British West Indies
The magnificent yacht followed the racing boats into the roughest part of the channel—where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. Desiree’s headscarf was ripped away by the long fingered trade winds, and floated cheerily on hot currents, a perky turquoise, orange and white envoy to a neighboring island. The naughty winds teased out her natural hair into a brown cotton ball bobbing comically on her slender neck. She grinned and posed as she attempted, unsuccessfully, to tame it into a top knot.
She sashayed over to her lover and sat on his lap. Wriggling suggestively she whispered hot words in an island lilt, saying how the bump and grind of the powerful boat made her horny, made her want to wind up on him and that if the other boats weren’t there she’d … He smiled imperiously, told her he wanted her now, under the nose of the Captain, and the colourful Anguilla Day flotilla that surrounded them. She pretended to be shy for a second, then stood and with a wicked glance led him to the stern—shouting over her shoulder to the boat’s discreet and solitary crew member to “Keep your eyes on the race and hang for a while; we want some privacy.”
The sea churned and the diamond-sharp coral rocks of the mainland were close, but it was the perfect place to watch the racers tacking around the buoy. As they climbed down two levels, Desire came to a rolling stop whilst the flotilla of “following” boats sped past, looking for more favorable places to wait and watch.
The man sat down gingerly on the swimming platform. The ocean was now very close, and the swell rolled over his legs, sticking his white linen pants translucently to them. He ignored the pinch of fear in his belly and reached up to pull his Caribbean siren back on top. Although he owned the yacht he couldn’t swim, but the only person that knew that—for safety reasons—was his best friend, the Captain. Desiree didn’t need to know his weaknesses. She adored him, and said that age was just a number. That they were soul mates and would have fallen in love at whatever stage in their lives they’d met. That she loved him for his experience, for his amazing career and impeccable reputation, not for the things he had, like the dream home he’d retired to 3 years ago, which had echoed with emptiness until she’d joined him in it.
After years of working like a dog, clawing his way to fame and fortune—forfeiting family in the process—Desiree and the people of the island had broken down his mighty reserve and rewarded him with passion, friendship and the happiest times he’d ever experienced. He loved living in a place where everyone was aware of who he was, but not impressed or intimidated by what he had done. He admired the lack of social divides, that the Chief Minister played dominoes with “The People”, and that his best friend and “liming partner” was her cousin, and his Captain.
They kissed passionately, but his elderly ardor was no match for the cold, wet pants. Tutting, Desiree stood and yanked them down. As she did (she was a tall, strong, girl) he slipped towards the churning sea. The boat tipped and he felt his bare bottom slide to the edge of the platform. His trousers slid over the side and filled with water, dragging him with them. He put out his hand, but instead of helping him, Desiree stepped back. The boat rocked again, he lost purchase, and paralyzed by shock he slipped unresistingly over the side, banging his head as he went. The next wave rocked him back towards the boat, supported him for a second—enough time to woozily register his beautiful angel observing him coolly. She held his gaze until he disappeared under the water.
Desiree counted to ten, crept to the edge, and carefully peered over, into the deep, clear, jade green water. Below, she could just make out two white ribbons with a shadowy shape bobbing at the end. His expensive linen trousers, trapped around his ankles, had wrapped around something dark—probably a head of coral—“I’ll tell them that’s why he couldn’t swim back up to the surface,” she thought. Then turned and climbed carefully to the bow, anxious to tell “her cousin,” the Captain, the tragic news that her husband was gone.
ANGUILLA DAY commemorates the island’s independence from the associated statehood of St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. It is the most significant holiday on the Anguillian calendar of events, and the round the island boat race is the culmination of a month of celebrations.
TRUDY NIXON is a professional writer who changed her life for the better when she moved from London to Anguilla, a tiny Caribbean island. She writes and publishes a popular tourism magazine, True Anguilla, has recently completed her first novel, and is working on the second.
Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Sep 28, 2015
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