The Future (Salvage Series)

‘Let’s not rush into this,’ Tina says.

Ben grins.

‘You said it yourself, we make a good team.’

She did. They do. But she can’t make a decision on a matter as huge as this without giving it proper consideration.

‘Say yes, Tina. Please. You know we’d be perfect together.’

She takes a deep breath. The vessel’s in dire need of repairs, but between the two of them, they have the experience. Once it’s fixed, they’ll have a boat of their own. No more stupid orders to follow. It’s a no-brainer.

‘Yes.’

Ben’s grin widens.

There it is: their future.

***

As far as I’m concerned, Tina and Ben are free to sail into the sunset by themselves. But I thought I’d killed them off when I wrote the first instalment of the Salvage Series, so I’m not going to say they’ll never come back.

I will come back to Jacqui – but maybe not tomorrow. Thank you for bearing with me while I strayed from business as usual. It shall now resume.

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Moderate to Poor, Becoming Good Later*

The dark cloud hanging over Ben has gone. He tells himself not to overreact, the respite might be brief. But his relief refuses to be contained. It bursts out as a laugh.

‘It wasn’t that funny a joke,’ Tina says.

Before Ben has a chance to explain, a thunder cloud descends upon them.

‘You lying bastard, you swore there’s nothing between you. Good thing I never believed a word of it.’

‘Wait a second,’ Tina interjects, but Donna’s unstoppable.

‘Shut up, tart.’ She slams her hand down. ‘I want a divorce. Happy?’

‘No,’ he says, even though he might be.

***

I suspect this may be the penultimate instalment of the Salvage Series.

*The title is a reference to the shipping forecast and actually refers to visibility – but poor visibility is usually accompanied by rain, so it is somewhat appropriate.

Smoking Gun (Salvage Series)

Donna tried to engage Jacqui in a discussion about her options. She needed support. Jacqui seemed distracted – her answers came out monosyllabic, her eyes kept scanning the seaside promenade.

‘Has the time come to end it?’

‘Hm,’ Jacqui replied.

‘Are you listening, Jacqui? You’re worse than Ben today.’

Jacqui spotted something that made her perk up.

‘Bingo.’

Donna searched the harbour area – she wanted to know what made Jacqui grin like the Cheshire Cat. She spotted Ben with Tina Goodrow, laughing at a joke Goodrow had made, at the café. Without delay, she took off, not hearing Jacqui’s parting words.

One Stone, Two Birds (Salvage Series)

Tina strolls down to the harbour. She’s avoided the sea and it didn’t help, so she’s going to face it. She hopes she’ll find someone who needs a deckhand. It’s time she got her sea legs back.

But the first person she runs into is Ben Smith.

‘Morning, Captain.’

‘When we were about to die, you called me Ben.’

‘We didn’t die, though. So, how are you?’

‘Hungry. Breakfast on me?’

She meant to face the Captain later, but since they’ve met, she may as well deal with him.

‘Alright.’ She smiles. ‘To be honest, I’ve missed the harbour caff.’

LTB (Salvage Series)

A wild-eyed woman gets in my way and won’t let me pass. She looks familiar.

‘Jacqui, you evil cow! Give me a good reason not to slap you.’

Only one woman who uses playground insult like this.

‘Easy, Bettie, love. No need for violence.’

‘You told me to “leave the bastard”. You ruined my life.’

Bettie gobbled up every word I said. Not much of a challenge, not much fun.

‘Love, you chose to leave him. You ruined your life all by yourself.’

My mobile comes to the rescue.

‘Have to go, love. Important business. Donna, love. What’s the matter?’

What Happened to the Woman in the Photograph?

Here’s the next instalment of the Salvage Series, inspired by PJ’s photo for FFfAW. You don’t have to read it all, though, I hope it will stand on its own.

(c) PricelessJoy 

Ben comes home after a long day of emptying lobster pots and finds Donna’s taken down their wedding photograph. He puts it back where it belongs. Donna’s gone out. He’s tired, but not as tired as he is of her games. He waits for her.

‘Trying to tell me something?’

Donna shrugs.

‘Is this what’s it’s all about? You want out of the marriage?’

Silence.

‘I won’t take the blame for you. You want a divorce, you’ll have to say it.’

Donna shrugs and disappears. Ben pulls the blanket over himself. He doesn’t feel like sleeping next to her anymore.

***

You’ll find all FFfAW stories here.

Haunted (Salvage Series)

(c) Barbara W. Beacham

The only residents remaining in the small town of Miners Hill are spirits.

According to the tour guide, that is. Tina has spotted a fox’s tail disappearing into an alleyway, several cats stalking animals too small to make out and many, many birds.

What madness made her book this tour? She has no interest in mining. And it’s not like she isn’t haunted enough as it stands. The farther she runs, the more she thinks about what she has left behind. If anything, the memory is growing stronger.

Tina doesn’t expect to find any ghosts here other than those she’s carrying everywhere. She might as well save her severance pay and go home.

***

The Salvage Series has MFtS to thank for its existence. Took me a while, but I’ve managed to work this week’s photo and first sentence into the story, as well.

I’ve fallen way behind on the comments front again – my apologies. I hope I’ll get round to it within the next couple of days.

Click here to find all MFtS stories.

Email to the Confidante (Salvage Series)

Jacqui,

Hope last night went well. Mine didn’t… I’ve been ditched by the private eye. He claims hubby’s clear. Can you believe it? Is it likely Ben somehow got the detective to switch sides?

I need someone to talk to. So how about I buy you lunch later? Not just to pick your brains, but also as a thank you. I don’t know how I’d make it through all this without you. I wouldn’t even have noticed Ben was going astray if you hadn’t opened my eyes to it.

One-ish, the little Italian at the corner? Say yes!

D xx

Fully Conscious (Salvage Series)

He shouldn’t blame Donna – he’s responsible for his actions. But if Donna hadn’t hurled accusations at him, he wouldn’t have thought about Tina like that all morning; with her face the first thing he saw, no wonder his oxygen-deprived brain went, ‘kiss her!’

He assesses his sweaty vest-clad reflection – it takes Bruce Willis to pull off the look.

‘Get it together, Smith!’

He’ll shower, shave, put on proper clothes and talk to the guys at the harbour. Evaluate his options. Afterwards, if he’s feeling brave, he’ll pay Tina a visit.

See if he wants to kiss her fully conscious.