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The human mind will not be confined to any limits. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A Terror Realized (Part Two)
September 10, 2016 by Peter Castillo – Leave a comment at the end. 

As per his schedule, Paul Keller walked out of his apartment building with his luggage. He motioned toward the cab driver to wait a moment. “I just need to check my SUV,” Paul said. Under the driver’s side windshield wiper was another ticket. Paul slipped the orange and white slip into his pocket, then he got into the cab.
During the ride, Paul gazed out the window until his cell phone rang. “Hello, this is, Paul Keller.”

“Paul, it’s your attorney, are you enroute? I’m waiting for you here in the airport lounge.”

Before Paul could answer, the cab driver turned to face him. “Don’t do it,” the driver said.

Paul thought he was having a dream, so he shook his head to snap out of it. Back in real time, the cab driver was focused on the road.

            “Why would you say that to me?” Paul said.

            “Excuse me? Say what to you,” the cabbie said.

Through the cell phone speaker came the voice of Paul’s attorney. “Yo, Paul, are you there?”

Paul put his phone back up to his ear as he noticed the cabbie’s eyes glare up toward the rearview mirror.

“I’m here Wayne. I just got distracted. I’m in a cab now that’s headed for the airport.”

At the terminal, Paul paid the cabbie then he stepped out. He was about to head inside when a car horn pulled his attention to the curb. The cabbie rolled down the passenger’s side window. “Don’t do it,” the cabbie said. Paul shook his head again. When he opened his eyes, the cabbie was three car lengths away.

In the airport lounge, Paul looked a little distant as he greeted Wayne. “Are you all right, Paul?” Wayne said.

            “I’m fine, I just didn’t get enough rest.”

“Well you’ll have a couple of hours on the plane. But first, we gotta have a drink with this kid I ran into. He played college baseball with my boy, now he’s an associate producer over at Columbia Pictures. He wants to purchase the rights to Terror in the Deep.”

Paul and Wayne sat with young executive, and spoke extensively about Paul’s book until it was time for their flight. As they exchanged handshakes, the youngster playfully shook his cell phone at Paul. “I’ll call you after your first tour stop. I’ll get you into a meeting with one of the executive producers on his yacht. That’s where he does his biggest deals.”

On the day of the meeting, Paul and Wayne walked the plank up to the yacht. They met the kid at midship. “Paul, Wayne, welcome aboard.” Again the men exchanged handshakes. This time, though, when Paul and the youngster shook hands, the kid looked blue and lifeless. Paul yanked his hand back. “Whoa, easy there Paul. I’m not a leper.”

As the kid led the men toward the bow of the yacht, Wayne leaned into Paul’s ear. “Are you all right?” Paul nodded to reassure his attorney that he was good.

The executive producer was a tall man with the stocky frame of an old athlete. Not long after the men sat under a shade, the yacht set sail. Before they got down to business, the EP broke the ice with funny celebrity gossip while a steward served drinks and appetizers.  

Eventually, the executive producer steered the conversation toward Paul’s book. “So, Paul, my right hand man says Terror in the Deep could transfer well to the big screen.” Before Paul could answer, a huge explosion rocked the yacht. The force threw all the men to the deck. The kid quickly got to his feet and ran to take a look over the port side.

            “We have a fire and we’re taking on water!” the kid said.

The EP yelled up toward the pilot house. “What the hell is going on!”

The captain stepped out onto the bow and spoke through bated breath. His arms were clutched around life jackets. He also had bloody gash on the side of his head. “We just blew an engine! We’re going down! Distress calls are being sent,” the captain said. From the outer deck of the pilot house, a deck hand shot two flares into the air. “If we stay together, we can make it. Help will be here soon,” the captain said. 

The men quickly began to pull on their life jackets. The kid seemed deep in thought as he clenched his jacket. “My wedding ring, I left it in my state room.” Just as the kid turned toward a door, the yacht capsized on its port side. All the men were thrown into the water.

Paul hit the water head first followed by the shadow of the yacht. Under the water, he began to swim away wildly, until the force of a second explosion propelled him like a torpedo. When he regained control, he quickly swam to the surface with the aid of his life jacket. He gasped for air as soon as his head broke through the subtle waves. He looked toward where the yacht went down. All that was left was debris.

All of a sudden the lifeless bodies of the other men began to surface thanks to their life jackets. Paul swam to every individual, just to discover they were all dead. The kid, though, was missing.

Another life jacket bopped out of the water without a body. Paul swam over and tried to pull it, but it was caught on something. After Paul submerged into the water, he realized the counter weight was the kid, still clutching the straps. He was blue and his eyes practically bulged out of his head.

Back in Paul’s apartment, he quickly sat up in his bed and screamed.