They were lost and nearly out of fuel.
"I think there's been a mistake, Alan. They're coming out to greet us like we're tourists." Patty shaded her eyes and watched the skiffs paddling out from the shore. Brightly colored headdresses bobbed in time with the paddle strokes. Six long boats filled with men and women were cutting through the swell toward the couple's vacation cruiser.
Alan hailed the boats from the foredeck. "I don't care. At least they can get us some help." He jumped down and unfurled the rope ladder over the side. "And I'll be able to get to a phone. The manager at the WaveJumper Company is going to get an earful." He kicked at the wheelhouse. "All the dough I blew on this thing and it's a piece of junk."
"Do you think they'll have fuel?" Patty worried about not only the high-tech navigation being down, but also the low level of fuel when they anchored off this island. She smoothed the sarong covering her bathing suit as the smiling natives approached.
"Hi Friends!" Alan greeted the first boat floating up next to his cruiser. "Jeez, Patty, they have their faces painted and all that crap," he said under his breath. He nodded and waved as the islander stood in the prow of his longboat.
The head native spoke while gesturing what appeared to be a welcome as the other boats slid in next to the first. Another man stood and reached out to Patty, wanting her to get in his boat.
"Should we go, Alan?" She hesitated, the painted faces frightening her. It reminded her of clowns. She hated clowns.
"Yeah, yeah. Get in!" Alan dropped into the first boat and waved her into the other.
Patty stepped over the rail and stuck her leg down toward the bobbing boat. She shrieked a bit when the native in the prow grabbed her waist and pulled her into his lap. She covered her mouth and looked over at Alan who was seated between the leader's legs in the front of that boat.
"Shut up, Patty. They're trying to help us," he growled. Alan poked the boatman's leg and pointed to the shore.
The native holding her slapped his chest with his fist. "Moe-Sun! Moe-Sun!" He shouted and nodded. "Moe-Sun!" He pointed to himself, then Patty.
"Oh. Patty," she said.
"Pa-Tee!" He yelled to the other natives. "Pa-Tee!" Then he jabbed Patty in the ribs and pointed to her husband.
"Alan." The guy was shouting right in her ear.
"Ah-Lam! Ah-Lam!" He passed it on to the others.
Patty shrugged; it was close enough.
Patty bit her hand as Moe-Sun grabbed her buttocks and shifted her closer. He just laughed as she elbowed him for trying to squeeze her breast. She watched the women in the front of the flotilla tossing flower petals into the breeze. The petals floated on the waves like tiny birds.
The prow of the boat rasped in the sugar sand as the paddle man grounded the boat on the beach. Patty was scooped up and carried as Moe-Sun leapt from the boat and splashed onto the shore. Patty looked over to see Alan wading onto the beach and into the arms of two young, naked-breasted women festooning him with flowered leis. She gnashed her teeth as she watched him grinning like an idiot.
Alan was talking with the leader. Patty could see him gesturing, holding an invisible phone to his head. He kept shaking the women off his arm so he could talk. Like flies, they resettled as soon as he started speaking again. Surely someone had a phone, even in a remote place like this.
Moe-Sun finally set Patty down on a log as some of the women surrounded her, singing as they dried her hair. One started brushing out the knots and braided tiny purple orchids in the strands. A bowl of warm food was pressed into her hands. She saw the women were feeding Alan, patting his face and hands with encouragement. Whatever the stew was, it was comforting and flavorful. Patty began to drowse, watching the dancing flames of the fire before her.
She woke to the sensation of being carried again. She opened blurry eyes to see them approaching a table. It was huge, nearly twelve feet long she guessed, with benches lining either side. No, not more food, she thought as the man laid her on the table.
"What are you doing?" Her lips hardly formed the words and her body felt sluggish. Did they drug her? She felt ropes twisting around her wrists and ankles but was helpless to pull away. "Ow!" Someone kicked her ankles, hard. She groaned as she was kicked over and over. She could hear Alan's garbled shouting.
"What the hell is going on here? Untie me this instant! All I need is a ph-phone. We can get this s-straightened out right away." His voice, very demanding, pierced the increasingly frenzied singing. Another kick was delivered to Patty's ankles.
Patty lifted her head from the table and looked down toward Alan. His face was beet red and sweaty. His hands and legs were tied like hers. He twisted, fighting the ropes as the women smeared blue paint on his body, drawing patterns and designs down his arms and legs. They licked their fingers as they dipped them into the paint pots and brushed them over his bare stomach.
She could feel Moe-Sun's fingers drawing patterns over her skin. The paint was cool and soothing. She closed her eyes and focused on the sensation. Tears squeezed from her eyes as she tried to ignore the urge to scream and kick.
"Ah-Lam...Ah-Lammmm." The chanting went on.
It was easier to ignore Alan's shouts as the singing grew louder and louder. His first high-pitched thready scream frightened her; then Patty focused harder on the singing. He screamed over and over. She started to hum along with the chanting melody as Alan thumped her feet again and something warm splattered her legs. It ran down her skin and pooled under her calves. She tried to kick and shake the moisture free. Alan was silent.
She looked up to see Moe-Sun leaning over her. His grinning red lips were dripping as he pinched her arm and squeezed her thigh. "Pa-Tee! Pa-Tee!" Other hands touched her, squeezing and fondling until it blurred into one sensation. Patty shivered and clenched her fists. A scream bubbled in her throat, threatening to burst free.
She jerked and twisted away from the man and looked out at the ocean. Her last conscious view was the beach. It looked quite peaceful out there - the endless horizon and empty boats scattered along the shore
Second Place winner in "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest"
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