Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wordzzle 73 - Base 10 works for me

It's at least 10 times easier to understand Wordzzle if you go over to the Raven's Nest and check out the originator of this challenge.

This week's 10 word challenge: riverboat, procrastination, drank, demons, invisible, candle, enough, film stars, summer job, computer

The mini: general demeanor, surprisingly, masked man, reach, standards

This Week's Episode: Amazon Adventures

Jane made her way aboard the "Amazonia Grande" with no special attention paid to her. She booked a hammock berth which was just a space to swing a hammock on the covered top deck of the riverboat. Her general demeanor was that of a native and no one really took any notice of her coming aboard at Santarem, a small town that sits at the juncture of the Amazon and the Tapajos rivers.

Somewhat to her dismay, there seemed to be some procrastination by the captain in getting under way. It turned out that he had a girlfriend there who was late in meeting him at the dock. "Oh well" she thought, "We all have our demons." "It could be much worse" she continued thinking to herself. "He could be one the infamous boat captains that drank or failed to posses the qualifications needed to pilot a passenger boat on the sometimes dangerous Amazon River. While standards in South America might be somewhat lower than in the states, good seamanship was a prerequisite to a successful career on the world’s mightiest river.

No other watershed had the reach and volume of the mighty Amazon. Surprisingly few among modern peoples understood the untamed treasures and vast forests included in Amazonia. Jane was content that she had been among those privileged to live in this wild and wonderful setting for so many years. Her experiences here were not those of the film stars on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, but of an almost invisible yet vital member of the struggling rural healthcare system in Brazil. Jane contemplated this as the riverboat pulled out into the river and headed upstream. She decided it had been enough.

The Amazonia Grande's diesels were by far and away the best part of the small vessel. They were superbly maintained and provided power aplenty to move the boat easily against the current. Jane staked out her space on the hammock deck and settled in for a nap. She didn't awake till she felt the vibration of the engines change. As she slipped from her hammock to look over the side she noticed a powerful speedboat had been tied up alongside. There was just the glimmer of a red-haired woman with a native guide coming aboard before she lost sight of them on the main deck. Jane knew instantly that it must be the supposed Frenchwoman looking for her. Now what could she do? Her choices were few. Three exactly: One - meet the Woman only to find out she was an agent of Constance Lawler and had been at last found. Two - jump in the river and attempt to swim to shore without being seen by anyone on the boat or eaten by anything in the river. And - Three- find a place to hide on board. She chose three.

The next deck down contained the few luxury cabins available. Jane made her way to the ladder and scooted down to the cabin deck. As she started along the outside companionway that held the cabin doors she looked ahead to see if anyone was coming up from the main deck. Each door was tried and found locked. As she put her hand of the last cabin door's knob before the ladder way, she sighted the woman and her companion. She was able to detect the green eyes of Constance Lawler in the reflection in the glass of the wheel house. It sent a shiver down her spine. There was no doubt now. That woman was Lawler and no other, regardless of what she called herself or what color she dyed her hair.

In desperation Jane turned the doorknob and the cabin door opened. She jumped into the small but neat cabin and right into the lap of Martin Heinman, (now known as Mike Henley) and caused Martin/Mike to lose control of his laptop computer he'd been attempting to use. Jane grabbed the laptop just before it hit the deck and handed it to Martin. "Would you mind if I hung out with you in your cabin for a bit sir?" she asked pleadingly. "I think someone just came aboard that means to do me harm" she continued. "I felt the engines idle down momentarily" Martin said. "Who came aboard?" he asked.

"I'm not sure what she calls herself these days" Jane explained. "But when I knew her she was Constance Lawler from South Dakota." "Now it seems she pawns herself off as a red-headed Frenchwoman" Jane finished. "She's looking for you too?" Martin asked. The couple had a quarter of an hour as the dangerous intruders searched the ship to trade stories and attempt to make some sense of it all. When a knock came on the door, Martin put Jane in the small head attached to his cabin and opened the door. There stood the captain and the woman. To Martin's great relief she failed to recognize him. The captain apologized and said the woman and her guide were looking for a relative that might have come aboard in Santarem. "My apologies Senor Henley, are you having a nice voyage so far?" the captain finished.

Martin found his voice and told the captain all was well. He sat back in the bunk and waited for his heart to stop hammering before he went to the head and let Jane out. "Well how about that?" he grinned, "She didn't even recognize me." Each looked at the other and wondered what had brought them together and how had they escaped the clutches of certain doom. If what Jane had told him was to be believed; every person who had ever wronged the redheaded woman had come to a bad end. It seemed likely that Martin and Jane were the only two people alive that evaded her vengeance. " Amazing" Martin mumbled, "just amazing."

That night it was decided that Jane might be better off staying out of sight for the rest of the trip. While enjoying a candle lit dinner on the main deck they exchanged their histories. At first Martin considered playing the masked man in order to keep from telling Jane about his many and major mistakes. In the end he settled on complete and total honesty instead. Jane took the same tack and by the end of the evening they knew more about each other than any other person on the planet. Martin even admitted to Jane that he had a summer job while in college as bookkeeper for a strip club. It was there that he lost his virginity. His father had used a connection with a friend to get the job for Martin, on the condition he not tell his mother.

For a geeky kid in college that summer was an eye opening experience. That night in the cozy cabin aboard the "Amazonia Grande" Martin showed Jane what he had learned all those years ago. It all came back to him much to the delight and pleasure of Jane. The couple fell asleep in each other's arms. Tomorrow would be soon enough to plan the next step in their escape.



Raven said...

Oh... I'm so glad Constance didn't recognize him! And that love is in bloom. Great writing as always.

Quilldancer said...

Intriguing wrinkle. And did Constance not recognize him, or did she just pretend to not recognize him? I am sitting on the edge of my chair!

Stephen said...

Jane and Martin finally met, and they seem to be getting along well together. Constance may not be gone for good, though. I think she would really like to get that last person on her list. I enjoyed the story.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

CJ said...

Enjoyed your continuing story. I, to, am not convinced Martin wasn't recognized.

I'm planning on traveling to Brazil next year. Would love to visit the Amazon region, but will probably only have time for a few cities on the Atlantic coast. This month marked 40 years since I've been there;. I know much has changed.

Dr.John said...

Well at least they escaped this week.
You write so well I forget the words are being used.

bettygram said...

I am happy to see them become a couple, and to escape Constance. I fear that may not last.

Richard said...

Thanks to all that came by this week.