Two hours earlier.....
"I think the hall's clear," Mark said in a soft whisper.
Josie sat on the bed watching him peek out of the room's door. He was glancing up and down the hallway. She didn't know what was going on. An hour ago they were in this very room, getting ready to go up to the dining room for an early lunch, when they heard the PA system come to life and the captain's voice urgently telling everyone to remain in their cabin's. Some kind of technical difficulties he had said. Her and Mark assumed a small, controllable fire or some such. This was a good sized ocean liner. But, that couldn't explain all of the screaming and running around the other passengers were doing.
Mark closed the door and came over and sat next to her, taking her hand into his.
"I'm sorry," he said.
She looked at him.
He was stoic and through his glasses, she noticed his eyes welling up, but refusing to allow the tears to fall.
"I love you, babe. And there is no reason for you to be sorry. You didn't cause whatever this is."
He leaned his head on her shoulder.
"I know. But, you didn't even want to come on this cruise. I kind of begged you."
"Really? You think I would do something if I don't want to? Besides, we've never had our honeymoon. So, are you having fun yet?"
"Not really," he said. "I'm fucking hungry."
They both laughed.
"Typical man answer," she said.
They sat quietly for a time. Each in their own thoughts.
"I don't suppose we packed our cell phones?" Mark asked.
Josie shook her head.
"Honeymoon, remember? Why? Were you thinking the kids?"
"Yeah. But, what would I say? We don't even know what's going on."
Josie stood up and extended Mark her hand. He took it and stood as well.
"Maybe it's time we find out."
They walked over to the door and listened. Everything was still quiet.
"We need to make it up to the bridge," she said. "To see the captain. He should know what's going on."
"Yeah," Mark replied, looking around the room.
"What are you looking for?" Josie asked.
She looked at him and grinned.
"You're an account. I'm a stay at home mom. Who do you think we are? Mr. and Mrs. Smith?
He smiled and shrugged.
Josie took the knob in her hand and eased the door open, looking up and down the hall, like her husband had done. All quiet. They stepped out and proceeded down the hallway. They weren't too worried about anyone, so they didn't knock on any of the doors. The liner was big, but not too big. Maybe three floors. They were in the middle, so they needed to make their way up the flight of stairs and cross the deck of the ship.
As they pushed open the door to the stairwell, there was a loud crash behind them. They turned in time to see a flood of people shambling towards them from the other end of the ship. It wasn't the shambling that concerned them. It was the low, guttural growl that was the most disconcerting. Something was definitely not right. They didn't stop long enough to find out.
"Run!" Mark yelled.
They ran as fast as they could, taking the steps two at a time. They burst through the door onto the deck and into the bright sunshine.
"There's the door," Josie said. "Come on."
She took a step and quickly fell on top of what looked to be the captain. The only recognizable part on him was his blood-soaked uniform. She let out a shriek and Mark quickly lifted her to her feet. Since she had lost her shoes in the stairwell, she was slipping and sliding in the blood.
They finally made it over to the door, which was open, and inside, the bridge was empty. The cruise ship was just floating on the water like a dead stick. What were they going to do now? That questioned answered itself.
"Mark!" Josie said excitedly, pointing. "Look!"
This huge cargo ship was heading towards them. Wait. It wasn't just heading towards them. It was heading straight for them.
"Shit! Get down!"
Before they had the chance, they were thrown to the floor. The sickening sound of metal on metal filled the air. It was only a few seconds, but it seemed to last forever.
She regained her balance and stood up.
"Mark? You see that shit?" It was rhetoric, but still warranted some kind of response.
She looked over. Mark was laying on his back. Blood was pooling around his head like a halo.
"Mark!" She cried.
She bent down to him. She checked for a pulse. Nothing.
"Mark," she whimpered. "Come on baby. Wake up."
She sat there, cradling his head, rocking back and forth. Waiting for him to respond.
He never did.