Dream cruise?

Faithwriters Challenge entry 15 December 2016 – Intermediate – Topic: Daydream (15/12/16) 

I decided to drink my diet cola in the sunshine, so I settled on a bench facing the river. As I sipped my drink, I heard voices approaching from behind, one Cockney, the other from Essex. Their conversation stopped while they arranged themselves at the picnic table behind me.

“So go on,” said the Essex voice.

“So he said to me, ‘I don’t hire daydreamers in my company.’ Then he pointed at me with his left forefinger and said, ‘Darren, you’re fired!’”

“That’s a bit harsh isn’t it? Surely everyone daydreams now and then?”

A bit quieter, “It wasn’t the first time.”

“How often then?”

A pause while we all sipped our drinks in unison. “Every day, around 10 am. That’s when Sophie starts her training. I picture her firm body in that close-fitting swimsuit, poised on the block. A few seconds’ of deep breathing, and she pushes off, slicing into the water like a Gannet with hardly a ripple. Then up and down the pool, shoulder muscles rippling as her arms pull her body through the water.”

Essex boy whistled. “Wow, what a picture. I can see why you dream about her.”

“Believe me, Dave, there’s no better sight. Anyway, the boss said I failed at every task he set.”

“I’m not surprised. I suppose you had to leave immediately?”

They sipped their beers before Darren continued, “There was taxi waiting outside so I got in and off we went. After a few minutes, the driver turned into a side street and stopped. Before I could ask what he was doing, two blokes in suits got in, one either side of me.”

I leaned back a little to hear more. Darren mimicked a South London accent.“The one on the left said, ‘The boss wants to see you.’”

Then in his normal voice, “So I told him, ’He just fired me,’”

South London again: “’Never mind that, just come with us.’ And then he whipped out a blindfold. I tried to push him away, but the other bloke held me back in the seat.”

“Blimey, that must have been scary!”

“It was, but by then the taxi was moving. And the doors lock automatically, so there’s no way out.”

“Where did they take you?”

“I wasn’t sure at first. But then I started to hear gulls calling and water sloshing.”

A grunt from Dave. “Mmm. The marina”

They supped again, then Darren took up the story. “They pulled me out of the taxi and marched me up a ramp. The floor was swaying, so I knew we was on a boat. Then they pushed me down some stairs, opened a door and shoved me in.”

“A bit rough with you, weren’t they?”

“Not half. Anyway, I fell onto a bed, and before I had time to stand up the engine fired and we began to move. Then arms grabbed me and a voice said, ‘Darren, are you alright?”

Dave sounded startled. “Don’t tell me they took Sophie and all?”

Darren grunted assent. “She pulled off my blindfold, and there she was in nothing but her swimsuit.” He whistled. “A real sight for sore eyes.”

“Never mind that, get on with the story!” Dave was as eager as I was to hear the rest.”

Darren dropped his voice, and I had to strain to hear. “We decided to find a way off the boat. So we emptied a heavy fruit bowl for a weapon. As we reached the door, it . She raised the bowl ready to strke, then dropped it in amazement. There was a bloke in white uniform with gold braid and a tray with champagne bottle and flutes.”

“Never!” I managed to sneak a look at Dave’s face, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

“God’s truth. In the plummiest voice you’ve ever heard, he said” – here Darren tried to sound terribly posh – “he said, ‘Compliments of the boss, he would like to offer you the use of his personal yacht for the weekend.  If madam requires some clothes, she may select from the wardrobe in the master cabin. And if you need anything, just ask.”

“Gordon Bennett!” Dave seemed to be speechless.

I had to move before it became obvious I was listening. As I turned to walk past their table, Darren said, “Best weekend of my life. I proposed to her out at sea, and the boss gave me my job back.” He looked at his watch, then drained his glass. “Anyway, better get back or he’ll think I’ve been daydreamin again.”


About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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