Barry slowly woke with a throbbing headache. He didn’t remember last night being that wild. But somehow he got the mother of all hangovers. It felt like the whole world was moving and like his tongue was made of rubber. Barry kept his eyes shut. If he was drunk enough to feel this shitty, it was probably bad. It was always bad when he drank too much. Claire hated it. If she knew he was awake she would probably start nagging. The last thing Barry needed was for his new wife to start nagging him when he was dying from a hangover.
Speaking of annoying sounds, what was he hearing? Water? Why the fuck was he hearing water?
Barry tried to groan and stretch out. In a long, confusing second he realized a few things all at once; He wasn’t laying down like he was expecting. His tongue didn’t feel like rubber after all. There was a piece of rubber stuck in his mouth, muffling his groan. His movements were extremely restricted. The world didn’t feel like it was moving. He actually was moving, up and down, back and forth. The sound he was hearing was the sound of waves, hitting the hull. He was on a boat.
That meant he was on the ocean.
Panic crept into the back of his mind, trying to take over his thinking. He fought it off by denying his senses. Of course he wasn’t on a boat. Why would he be on a boat? Everyone knew how much he hated to be on the ocean. There had to be some other, logical, explanation.
He forced his eyes open, blinking a couple of times. What he saw send a chill down his spine, that spread out, making his whole body feel ice cold. He was on a boat after all. A small, open boat. Adrift on water that looked black. Merciless. Dead.
But it wasn’t dead, was it? No, there where god only knew what kind of creatures in the depths, just biding their time…waiting…to eat.
The sky was red and orange with the first light of the day. It might have been beautiful in any other situation, but now, it just looked like the fires of hell burning on the horizon.
There was just enough light for Barry to make out the shape of Claire sitting on a bench at the front of the boat, staring at the horizon. Relieved, he tried to yell at her, resulting only in muffled humming. It was enough to draw her attention anyway. She walked the few steps towards him.
“Comfortable?” she asked lightly. “It was a gag-gift at my bridal shower. Get it? Gag-gift?”
What kind of sick joke was she trying to pull? Barry made some angry noises at her. In response Clair just shook her head and turned her back to him.
“Oh Barry,” she said, her voice dripping with regret. “I really wanted this to work out. I wanted us to be happy forever so badly.”
She looked at him over her shoulder and sighed. “I can’t even begin to tell you how devastated I was when I found the laptop logged in to your Gmail account and read all those emails.”
Oh. Oh, fuck. How much did she know? He considered his current situation and concluded the answer to that question was everything. Barry started shaking his head, his eyes wide with fear.
“No, no don’t even try,” Clair said, sounding annoyed. “It was exactly what it looked like and I understand perfectly. Do us both a favor and stop trying to add more lies on top of lies.”
Barry dropped his shoulders and hung his head, in what he hoped was a perfect gesture of guilt and acceptance. He glanced at his wife and was happy to see a tiny smile form on her face. she knew he she got him beat. Maybe she would release him now.
Claire walked to his back. Instead of the feeling of his restraints coming undone, there was the alarming whoosh of fabric catching the morning breeze. Barry’s head snapped up, as far as he could. He just saw the edge of what looked like a parachute.
“You did give me the perfect wedding day. And this honeymoon even though you hated the idea of an island. And a full week of marital bliss,” Clair said as she walked back to the front of him. “And for that, I arranged a little adventure for you.”
“Have you ever heard of parasailing? It’s quite exciting. You’ll be dragged behind this boat, about thirty feet in the air. The parachute sort of works like a kite.” Claire explained, gesturing with one hand like the boat and raising the other high in the air, as if it were the parachute, her voice sounding pleasant. “With the sun coming up, the view will be breathtaking.” She smiled sweetly at the thought.
“Until the rope snaps.” Claire’s smile had disappeared in an instant. She looked at Barry, her eyes filled with murderous hate. “And you will gently float to down. Helpless, as you see the ocean get closer, and closer.”
Barry was shaking his head again, trying to plead with her. Panic had gripped him completely. He could hear his heart pounding in his chest. Claire was leaning towards him now, taking delight in his terror. “When that parachute hits the water, it will drag you under,” she growled softly. “You will rot on the bottom of the sea. Where the crabs will dispose of your body,” she grabbed the skin of his upper arm between her thumb and index finger, “Pinch. By. Pinch,” squeezing a different part of his arm to accentuate each of those three words.
Barry was kicking and screaming with all his might, but bound and gagged as he was, it had no effect except for making Clair smile the most evil, blood chilling smile he had ever seen.
She took one step towards the little boot where the steering wheel and other controls of the boat were located. There she pulled a large lever. A tiny mechanical whine sounded as the rope attached to Barry and the parachute started to unwind. Almost immediately the wind started lifting him into the air.
Clair looked at him go. She could hear the muffled screams coming from her soon to be late husband. “Goodbye, Barry.”