Someone behind her gurgled and rasped. It was breathing. She didn’t care, it was what was in front of her. She wanted what was in front of her.
“Please don’t.” The young man begged. “Why are you doing this?” He rattled on. Maybe he thought he could distract her but it was not working. His voice crackled with terror.
‘Mama, Mama,’ she heard her little girl’s voice, like a broken record in her head. The hunting knife, the other one had been carrying felt solemn and ready for action in her hand. If she had stopped to think about it, she would have realized just how badly they had planned this little foray into her world.
The young man inched back. He couldn’t have been more than twenty two, maybe twenty five years old. The older one was still rasping at the stern where he lay, bloody and dying. This one was still fresh and moving.
‘Mama, Mama,’ her baby called to her.
She inched forward matching his distance. There was three feet between them. That was all the life he had, three feet and maybe the six feet he had left behind him before he reached the front of the boat.
She wouldn’t to have to listen to this dribble if he had been closer to his partner when she had grabbed the knife. What idiots to use cotton rope. It had give in it and in her frenzy to get free to answer the ever ringing. Mama, Mama, it had loosened enough. Just enough to get her hands free. It was the cries, which drove her forward.
“Listen lady I will take you back. Please. Oh my god this is all wrong. Jack said this was going to be easy.”
Jack she whispered. She knew a Jack. She was dating a Jack. He was one of the managers in her fathers fishing empire. She was starting the think. Thinking would break her train of thought.
‘Mama, Mama come back.’ Her little three year old begged. That brought her thoughts back into perspective.
“I don’t want to die,” the young man begged. “Please don’t do this I will give you all my savings.” He still didn’t have a clue why.
She would have laughed if she had heard him. She would have gone into hysterics but the hysterics were done. She was on the high plateau, hysterical had come and gone. It was what freed her. It was what put the knife in her hand. It was the squeal of the wheels at the beginning of a race. Those first moments of adrenalin, that jacked you up. The race was on and it would not be finished until there was silence.
She would have laughed because her father owned the fleet. She needed money no more than she needed oxygen. As a little girl she had worked beside him when he came in helping him ready his catch for market. As she grew she went out with him on his boat. When she turned fifteen, he bought his second bought. By the time she turned twenty five he had a half dozen.
She would have laughed but her eyes burned in the sea of red. It was Jack who had suggested a weekend near the pier at the Flying Martin hotel. It was Jack who had suggested they go for a morning walk then feigned forgetting something. He said he would pick up coffee and meet her on the pier.
‘Mama, Mama Come Back.’ her baby cried as her little legs carried her along the wood planks of the pier.
“WHY DIDN’T YOU STOP?” She screamed. The words burst forth with vehement force. It stopped the young man in his tracks. He almost coward, instead his eye filed with terror as her body quaked under this sudden venting.
He started to babble but she didn’t hear a word. She only heard her daughter’s cries as she ran toward her. ‘Mama, mama,’ her little voice, desperately happy to see her mother, after spending the night with her grandmother and grandfather. She loved her grandparents but there was no one in her life like her momma.
“Why didn’t you stop,” she mumbled with such menace it fueled the push forward in the race. She lunged.
He stumbled backward between the cabin and the rail. She caught his arm, the one holding the rail and sliced it open. He screamed as he let go, almost losing his footing.
The red blood looked good. The sea of red that would color the tables where they cleaned the fish when she was young. She felt safe for a moment safe as a child in her parents care.
‘Mama, mama.’ The little voice cried. Her only child, she loved and swore to keep safe as her parents had kept her safe. She had screamed for them to stop the boat, screamed and struggled against the ropes that held her. She had stumbled as the boat had pulled away. Her captors in the wheelhouse ignored her screams.
The whole moment was surreal. There was still time. They could go back, there was still time. She struggled and screamed. “Stop baby Stop,” she yelled to her, again and again as her daughter ran towards her.
She had no choice, she could not look away. She looked into the young man’s face. He had two feet left of boat before it ended. Before it all ended.
She would have taken more time with the first one but there was another to attend to. There was no going back, now. She no longer wanted to go back. She wanted to finish what she had started. She wanted to silence her own screams.
This one had appeared on the deck as she had reached full speed. Three plunges of the knife had spun her tires. She would have continued because he was still breathing but the young one appeared.
The revving boat engine had drowned out her screams to go back, now it was idling as they drifted. The boat rocking gently would normally have been like a soothing lullaby. She was stuck in time. It replayed in her head.
She thought she heard her little sweet baby’s calls as she was forced into the boat. She tried to look around but could not be sure. Surely she would be at her grandparents’ house having breakfast.
What horror could life have been planning to have delivered her little girl at that precise moment in time? How can it be that she was out with someone at the precise moment? Her ear trained on the little voice she tried to tell her kidnapper that her daughter had seen them.
He taped her mouth shut. The calls for mama were growing louder, another voice was calling ‘Stop Mimi, come back.’ The little girl was at a full run, her grandparents were not fast enough.
The engines started, drowning them out. So did the terror in her heart. She went hysterical but they had left her, with only her muffled screams to watch, helpless.
She screamed and screamed, her anger and frustration fed her hysteria. ‘Stop,’ she begged, ‘stop.’ As the boat sped away from the side of the pier, her muffled screams turned to sobs. She could not look away. She wished she was dead at that very second, so she wouldn’t have to see.
The young man turned to jump over the rail. His deeply sliced lower arm rendered it useless in his attempt. She jumped that last couple of feet striking.
“WHY didn’t you stop?” She yelled as the knife sunk deep with her whole body driving it in.
He fell to the thin walkway on his back. She wrenched the knife free as he went down. Falling on top of him. “Why didn’t you stop,” the knife found a way to his heart. Rocking back to free, down it fell again.
Over and over, the knife fell she saw her daughter falling ‘Mommeeee.” She screamed as she fell from the end of the pier and into the sea. “Mimi.” She screamed as she fell, her only child. The only child she could ever have. She wanted to look away but she could not.
The knife finally drove so deep, piercing the deck and became stuck. She lifted her head and heart and screamed. “Why!” She wanted to die. She had lost her only reason for living. Her little Mimi was gone.
Exhausted, she sank back against the cabin. She listened to the water lapping at the hull. It would be so easy to just throw herself into the sea. It had her little Mimi and she so wanted to be with her again.
‘Mama, Mama Come Back.’
“I will baby just as soon as I am done. Momma loves you, so very much.” She wanted to die, but then there was Jack!
The race was still on.