Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Cruise Ship, Unexpected Weather, and Fools Rushing In

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Write a scene featuring a cruise ship or boat, a sudden change in weather, and the idiom “Fools rush in.”

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5 thoughts on “Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Cruise Ship, Unexpected Weather, and Fools Rushing In

  1. Claire E. Smith

    "Grand Prize Fools"

    Jackson and Millie Earle were never lucky people.

    Even more unlucky, they never realized that they were unlucky, so they kept wasting their money on gambling games they were always destined to lose. But they were stubborn, and both their dreams were to win it big quick. The truth is, however, the Titanic was luckier than these happily but unlucky married couple.

    In fact, that is how the unlucky couple met. At a casino in Vegas, drinking after losing it big instead of winning it big. They got talking, as sometimes drunk strangers tend to do, and a drink or three turned into a one night stand. A one night stand turned into the next night show Circus Du Lay. Being chosen as a participating volunteer – the only thing close either of them have ever gotten to winning – turned a one weekend in Vegas to a "When will I see you next"? They decided that one a month they would meet in Vegas, and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; except for the Vegas wedding they had a year later.

    Millie quit her job in Chicago and moved to Vegas. She was able to become a Concierge at the hotel where she and her Jackson first met and has been happily married and working in Vegas for the last 20 years. They wanted children, but as luck would have it, Millie was unable to conceive.

    Now it was their 20th anniversary of their vaguely scandalous Vegas wedding, as in, Millie’s mother did not approve and spat on Jackson’s $200 suit at his own wedding and disowned poor Millie that same day. But 20 motherless years was worth it for a lifetime of unlucky happiness.

    But, on this day, November 15th 2010, the unthinkable happened. There must have been a glitch in the cosmic dust, for Jackson H. Earle…finally won a cruise ship to Italy. Now that was a hell of an anniversary present! Millie squealed when she heard the superb news. They danced. Champagne was poured. He toasted to his gorgeous wife who he would love until the end of days.

    And just as fools rush in, Jackson and Millie eagerly dragged their luggage up the gangplank of the cruise ship and started to look around. There was no cliché phrase in the world that could describe how giddy and blissful they felt as they could smell, feel, and deeply inhale the crisp salty sea air as the cry of a seagull rang in their eardrums…

    But this is a tale of the most unlucky people in the world, although neither had realized it as they were still on their high from winning. That night, as they were dining in the five star restaurant the Legacy, they started to realize just how unlucky they were as the weather took a turn for the worst…

  2. Briana Mazzocchi-Lafferty

    Maggie peered over the rail of her grandfather’s boat park on the asphalt between his town car and house. “Pop, what are you doing?”
    His leathery face creased with a smirk. “Why, I’m trying to scent the sea, Magpie.”
    “But you’re not at the sea. You’re in the driveway.”
    “Ah, you see, that is where you are wrong, my dear. Climb up and I will show you.” Maggie hoisted herself over the rail and perched on her grandfather’s lap. His unique scent of sun-baked linen and pipe tobacco enveloped her. Holding her tight he aimed his weathered fingers towards the hedges along the drive. “You see there? They are the caves we must navigate around to find the fattest catch.”
    “They’re just bushes, Pop.”
    Affronted, the old man replied, “To novice, perhaps they are bushes. To an old fisherman like myself, they are passages to a great adventure. Would you like to go on an adventure with me?” Maggie nodded. “Well, fist you must become accustomed to the sea. Never forget it is she who leads you not the other way around. Shut your eyes and we shall embark on a fantastic voyage.”
    Maggie shut her eye, still seeing the inky silhouettes of the hedges across the blackness of her eyelids. Holding tight to her grandfather’s sturdy arm they began to sway. “You see, Magpie, the sea moves like a verse of poetry. It’s waves and lines blend and flow into each other so smoothly, even the most experienced fisherman can find themselves lost to its seduction.”
    Lulled by her grandfather’s prosaic words, Maggie suddenly felt the weather shift and she was at sea. The blackness of her mind gave way to vivid shades of blue in the form of peaks and gullies.
    “Do you smell the salt in the air?” He asked, continuing to rock. “It is more than just a scent, you can taste it on your tongue no matter how tightly you close your lips. It’s thick and wet enough to coat your skin even through your clothes. If you listen closely, beyond the sound of the rudder swirling below and the small splashes our vessel makes as it presses through the oceans skin, you will be able to hear a whale bellowing in the distance. Not that; that is the screech of the gulls. Listen past that and you will hear it, quiet yet large.” She sensed a car passing; slowly churning the autumn leaves in its wake, yet it sounded more of the sloshing sea and the somber whisper of mist falling back into the water.
    “Sometimes you see so much blue you forget other colors exist, but then in the mornings you find the world bathed in such radiant shades of pink you understand that before all else, God is an artist.” He whispered over her shoulder. “And patience is a virtue a fisherman must never forget. Although the sea appears peaceful, it can swallow you whole. That is why only fools rush in.”

  3. Mark James

    Zac, your Monday Matchups are the best . . .

    I should have been thinking about Elizabeth, but with Raven that close, I couldn’t. “I should take you down below,” he said. His voice was a soft purr in my ear.

    His hands trailing over the soft curves under my silk dress made me want him so badly, I ached. “No,” I said. “Take me right now. Here.”

    He kissed my neck. His hands went lower. “And to think you were a virgin when I married you.”

    I tilted my head up, pressed my lips to his. Animal heat flashed through me. “Two nights with you is enough to make a woman forget her virgin days ever happened.”

    Soft footsteps sounded behind me. Before I could more than blink, Raven pushed me behind him. I went up on tiptoe to see over his shoulder. “What is it?” he said.

    Maybe it was the dragon tattoo that ran down the right side of Raven’s face; or maybe it was the way his muscled body tensed, gave him the look of a panther ready to take down his prey; whatever it was, the young sailor was careful not to let his eyes wander from Raven’s face to mine. “Elizabeth changed course,” he said. “It’s better if you and your wife get down below decks, sir.”

    A light wind stirred the waves, made white foam on a sea that had been calm moments before. Raven sniffed the salty air. “She’s one angry woman,” he said.

    The sailor snapped his head from side to side, his eyes on the growing waves. “It’s worse than they’re saying. Make sure she’s wearing a life jacket.” A second’s pause, and he said, “Both of you.”

    Before the sailor was more than two steps away, Raven turned, looked down at me. He must have seen the look on my face. “Don’t even think it, Katie.”

    I couldn’t help hearing my sisters’ songs on the soft winds. The rushing waves hypnotized me, drew me to the railing.

    “No.” Raven’s hands, strong enough to crush granite to power, traced the soft curves of my hips. “Come with me. I’ll take you during the storm. I’ll drown their voices.”

    The heat of his kisses on my bare shoulders, the base of my neck, down my spine made me shiver with need. Yes. I wanted to lose myself in his soft caresses, feel him so close there was nothing between us but skin and desire.

    The moment he felt me relax into his touch, he swept me into his arms, hurried to our cabin. He only put me down for a second while he opened the door. But it was long enough to break my resistance to the song that went through the deepest part of me. I felt my scales surface, shimmery silver, down my arms.

    Raven sensed the change coming over me, knew it was too late for me to fight it. He burst through our cabin, yanked back the door to the balcony. When I joined him there, he was already undressing. The wind whipped at my hair, sucked his clothes into the rough water. My legs were melding into a tail.

    He took my hand. “Fools rush in.”

    I looked up into his eyes. “Where angels fear to tread.”

    Then, we jumped.

  4. Dare Gaither

    “Come on, it’ll be fun!”

    Gerald gave her a meaningful look and
    with careful enunciation added, “Prudence.”

    Her eyes flashed daggers at Gerald.
    She clenched her jaw and came very
    close to punching him in his well-toned gut.

    She hated her first name.
    On her tenth birthday she told her parents
    the only present she wanted was be called
    by her middle name, Marie.
    Gerald had deliberately triggered her passionate
    rebellion against her name. His camcorder
    had captured her reaction for posterity.
    He lowered the camcorder and grinned at her.

    “Marie,” he corrected himself with a wink.

    Prudence Marie Baker knew resistance was futile.
    She was officially first mate on his latest video project.
    “Fools Rush In” was to be a documentary of
    their adventures inside the Bermuda Triangle.
    Gerald preferred the more dramatic name, Devil’s Triangle.

    Marie sighed her assent and they set out on his small
    sailboat, aptly named “The Ship of Fools.”
    Clear skies and calm seas eased Marie’s worries
    about their trip. Her spirits soared as she basked in
    the brilliant sun and salt air. Gerald flirted shamelessly
    with her, using his camcorder to evoke her inner diva.

    The playful mood was suddenly shattered by a huge wave
    lashing the side of the boat. Gerald was thrown down hard
    on the deck, grasping for his camcorder as it disappeared into
    the black depths below. Marie clung to the mast and watched
    in horror as lightening pierced the dark skies surrounding them.
    The raging sea opened wide her maw, threatening to swallow
    the helpless boat and her crew. Their compass spun wildly
    as the maelstrom twisted Earth’s magnetic field.

    “Gerald, I love you!”
    Marie screamed out her last breath as they
    disappeared from space and time.

    The coast guard cutter came alongside the empty boat.
    There was no sign of the crew.
    A battered camcorder gave the only hint of human presence.
    The coast guardsman sighed.
    “Looks like another one.”

    His partner nodded silent agreement.
    The list continued to grow.
    He just hoped they wouldn’t be added to it one day.

  5. Claudia Ziller Faria

    As I looked to the huge boat, I thought once again that I would rather stay home. Why can’t people just enjoy in their cozy places?
    Anyway, my family wanted to go in that cruise. I was terrified by the ocean, never wanted to take my feet off dear land. But they insisted, “It’s mom and dad’s anniversary.” After hearing that some thousand times you finally agree. There I went, like a little lamb bounded to face the killers.
    Everyone looked for the weather forecasts, and they told me everything would be nice.
    Nice! Our cabin was the size of a fridge box. Just one little round window. I felt so claustrophobic that I wanted to run away as fast as my legs could take me. It was, however, a big occasion for our family, and, being an adult, I had to hold my horses and stay strong.
    The ship sailed at night. I took some sleeping pills to get me until morning, and dreamed about my wonderful bed at home.
    The next day, my brothers and sisters laughed at my fear. They gave me many drinks, and took to see all the beautiful places the ship had. Combining sleeping pills and alcohol can be very soothing, and, like a fool, I rushed into them. I was not myself at all.
    When the second day was over, I was so altered that I forgot my pills before going to bed. I could even enjoy the soft balance of the waves. And I thought, “That’s so nice! I feel like a baby being cuddled!” In my dream, my mom held me, and danced with me in her arms. The dance became more energetic, and I laughed, and laughed.
    My mother danced like crazy, and I began to feel a little afraid. “Stop, mom, stop, please!” But, in a fashion very unlike her, she wouldn’t stop. I screamed, terrified, and heard my husband’s voice, “Calm down, honey! This is only an unexpected storm!”
    I woke up in a startle. The nice feelings brought by the pills and the alcohol were completely gone. A storm! Unexpected! Through the microphone, the captain told everyone to use the beds’ safety belts. I didn’t even know that ships had safety belts. Back home my bed didn’t need those. Why in the heck was I in the middle of the ocean?
    The night was terrifying, but, in the morning, the sun came out, and the storm finished as suddenly as it had begun. But the real storm was yet to come. Each one of my relatives had to hear my not so polite words against that damned cruise. Poor mom and dad, not even they were safe in the middle of this storm that refused to end until two days later, when my feet were safely on firm land.
    The following year, my parents had a very fancy anniversary party in my house. And so have we being doing since then. Enough of storms, please!


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