Three couples hire a small boat and a captain for a whale watching tour, but when the boat returns to the dock several hours later, only six people remain on board.
Into the Deep
I looked at Annie and Stephen, the well-to-do couple from north Norfolk, and watched as they lowered their gazes to the floor.
Then I turned to stare at Daniel and David, two hipster-types from Surrey. They comforted each other by holding hands while one of them stroked the other’s arm in support.
Eventually I caught the gaze of the captain dressed in my husband’s clothes. No one really knew the captain. He kept himself to himself. The only reason I knew this was because mine and Bill’s holiday home was the only house for miles. It overlooked his boat house on the small and secluded dock.
No one would miss the captain, but there would be too many questions to answer if the police knew Bill was dead.
* * *
The first I knew of any problems was when I heard that old geezer splash into the water. At first Daniel thought he was going for a dip and started taking his clothes off to join in. When we watched his body sink further into the ocean though, we knew something was up.
Margaret, his wife, said there would be money in it for all of us if we kept schtum about it; ten thousand each to be exact. Who can afford to turn that money down?
So we all sat and listened to what we needed to say to the police, except for Daniel. He just started into the distance to watch the whales swimming around us.
* * *
That poor, poor woman. Of course I didn’t dare speak out but I knew how she felt to be pushed that far. Stephen was just the same. He’d try and make it up to me, promises of flowers and pretty things to say how sorry he was. He wasn’t the one who had to cover up the black eyes, bruises, and broken ribs though.
Margaret didn’t need to offer me any money – that bastard Bill deserved everything he got as far as I am concerned – but Stephen took it anyway.
The police would just think it was a horrific accident. We would tell them that the captain, a loner, had jumped off the side of the boat weighted down so he couldn’t return. He had no family so they wouldn’t bother to search for him. By that time Margaret and the real captain would be long gone.
* * *
It was easier for them all to think I was a victim of domestic violence. Too many questions would be asked if I didn’t have their sympathy. Not one of them questioned why I needed to bribe them either – all so desperate for the money.
It was just easier all round to tell the police the captain had killed himself, and easier for me to slip off with the real captain with Bill’s money.
Eilidh from Thain in Vain and Charlotte of Drafty Devil are the co-hosts for this 13 Week Streak – Summer Flash Fiction Challenge. The challenge is to write one flash fiction story under 500 words a week for 13 weeks.