|If it had occurred during a sunny day, there may have been the possibility of avoiding the collision. It might have been detected by the Coast Guard and tragedy would not have happened. Ned would not have been killed...|
"Turn off Survivor, folks; this is the real thing. After a collision at sea sank the fishing boat she was on, leaving the captain presumed drowned, this incredible young woman spent nearly four hours stranded in the North Atlantic in water temperatures of forty-two degrees before she was rescued. As far as we know, no one has ever done such a thing before, my friends. The longest the average person can expect to survive in such temperatures is one to two hours, max. She's an inspiring survivor, a medical marvel, and one very lucky young woman!" He turns to me, eyes glowing with generous admiration. "I thank you for coming, Pirio Kasparov. Now tell us what happened out there."
My throat closes up. I feel like bolting off the stage. Talking about the collision is going to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. I look at him in apologetic horror. He slides a microexpression of intense irritation my way. I tell the truth, knowing it sounds like a hedge. "I don't remember much, I'm afraid."
I must be blanching visibly, because Jared Jehobeth intervenes. "Go back to the moments just before the accident. What were you doing?"
"It felt like...well, first...I was standing in the stern. My friend, Ned Rizzo--"
"The man who died. A father of one, am I right?"
"Yes." I trust Noah's not watching. He doesn't watch much TV, and Jared Jehobeth is not his kind of show, but I told Thomasina to keep him away from the television this morning anyway.
"I was baiting lobster traps. It was very foggy. From where I was standing, I could just make out Ned in the wheelhouse. He was wearing a yellow oilskin. Those things are so bright, You know?..."
"I stopped baiting when I saw blood oozing from the base of my right thumb. The hinges on the lobster traps are really sharp. I dropped an empty bucket over the stern rail, pulled up seawater, and dipped my hand inside to numb it and make the bleeding stop." I hear myself speaking and am impressed. I sound so competent!
"You must have known that being immersed in water that temperature for even a short period of time was potentially fatal." He is a genius, this man.
"I wasn't thinking about that."
"But you knew."
"Anyway, I was pretty miserable, and the fog made it worse.
I kept peering into it, trying to find the horizon line, but I
could barely see the bow Right before the, uh, collision, everything was quiet--too quiet. I noticed a huge black wall a few feet off the bow, sort of lurking there in the haze. At
first it didn't seem to be moving. Then I realized it was sliding quickly along the starboard side. The next thing I knew the steel hull of huge ship--so high I couldn't see the top--was crushing the gunwale about ten feet from where I stood.
"The deck started cracking under my feet. There was a horrible loud noise. The next thing I knew I was diving over the side. I don't remember being afraid. I was just thinking how unfair it was, that I was already miserable and now I would be soaked."
"What else were you thinking?" Jared asks breathlessly.
I close my eyes and concentrate. "I was thinking...
Don't die, Ned."
North of Boston
By Elisabeth Elo
Most of you know that I love lead characters, both male and female, that are dynamic, action-oriented, and acts on their own to respond to injustice. But this woman, the lead in North of Boston--well, there were several times I just thought she was crazy for getting involved as she did! Of course, I loved her! Especially when she acts in the climax as she did!!! Just a little clue of that at the bottom of today's article...
Pirio Kasparov is her name...I've only ever talked to one Russian--Yuri was from New York...but I could tell that he wasn't the same type of Kasparov, Talanov and others I've met in fiction novels! LOL It appeared that there might be a chance that Elo is planning a sequel or a series...Here's one reader is shouts, YES! Let me tell you a little about the character.
Pirio's father and mother had started a perfume company and Pirio was one day to take over. Her mother had been the one who was talented in identifying and merging the unique blend of plants that was used. She and Pirio would travel a month each year to a rented cabin and spent the time collecting, identifying and experimenting... But she had died quite some time ago...
Her father had been so in love, obsessed actually, with his beautiful wife that he really never took time for Pirio, and now, even though he had remarried, everybody knew he was also not in love with her. Pirio and he didn't get along, naturally. Readers will learn of her anguish toward her father and watch as, when he learns he is dying, they attempt to come together...
Pirio has a long-time friend, who has turned to alcohol, while Thomasina's son is a genius and has captured Pirio's heart as her Godson... It is the never-married father of Noah, Ned, with whom Pirio is out on the ocean, trying to help him, when the collision occurs. Ned is killed and Pirio is miraculously saved after being in the cold water for more hours than it was known possible. Of course, the government soon takes an interest in her and practically demands that, for the good of the country, she undergo a regiment of tests and interviews...
At the same time, while she does work at her family's company, she takes much time off, and gets involved in the investigation as to what ship had been responsible for slicing their fishing boat in half! Of course nobody knows anything and they merely state that more hit-and-run accidents happen on the water than on land... Well, you know what this aggressive, self-confident woman is going to do! She'll find out herself!
But there is somebody else asking questions as well. First he lies, but then Pirio confirms that he is a journalist, but he's also personally involved... At least, now, there are two people sharing the information, because the issue is much larger than one ship and one man being destroyed...
And unfortunately, Noah is right in the middle because his father sent pictures to him, even though nobody knew what they were...
Nothing's out of place; nothing's been moved. The last rays of sun slant through the vertical blinds the way they usually do on a September evening--long, honey-gold beams latticing the rug and coffee table. And yet. Something's off. A subtle scne hangs in the air. Just the merest whiff. A woody smell, but sour. An olfactory note foreign to my apartment...
That's why I'm sure someone's been in my apartment. If they'd stayed a bit longer or been there more recently, I might hazard a few guesses...It's oud wood. Yes, I'm sure of it. Dark, soft, spicy, medicinal. The smell of South Asian religious rituals...You either love oud wood or hate it; and there's no confusing it with anything else.
...I play my favorite jazz pianist, Akiko Grace, and try to relax. But for once the beautiful music doesn't take my mind off my problems....I flash on a vivid image of a guy in a crappy bar, throwing back his boilermaker and laughing like an idiot. So pleased with himself and his sterling career. Thinking he go away with leaving a little fishing boat in splinters and the human beings inside it to bob on the waves in terror until they sank. My hands grip the wheel so tightly that my knuckes whiten. It probably didn't occur to him that anyone would survive...
Fantastic! Exciting and unbelievably horrible scenes as the book moves toward its ending. Like I said, you'll be on the edge of your seat when Pirio runs off on her own and runs right into...one...big...bloody...mess! Action Adventure at its finest! Enjoy!
Elisabeth Elo teaches writing in the Boston area. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts