Fish in the Water

Captain Hass was still laughing when the looming tower-like fin of a submarine glided alongside their lifeboats. 

For years, a hijacking operation targeted yachts and small ocean liners resulting in stolen ships and victims abandoned in lifeboats. Scores of lives and livelihoods had been disrupted and ruined to the degree of bankruptcy and suicide however, since the culprits weren’t killers, they were deemed mere ‘nuisances’ and not seriously pursued. 

One day, Captain Isaac Hass learned a friend had taken her life in despair after being among those ruined. That same day, the concept of Ice Maiden was born. Ice Maiden became an ocean liner with 138 staterooms and suites which Hass filled with sailors from his private fleet who played the roles of crew and passengers. To a maritime hijacker, she was a prize. 

After three ‘voyages’, Ice Maiden lured her quarry. The criminals seized control, as expected. The ‘victims’ were set adrift, as expected. 

From the railing, the hijackers’ leader gazed triumphantly at the distant lifeboats of whimpering sailors and passengers, but his joy waned when every face turned toward him in emotionless unison. 

Smile dropped. 

Something in the water. 

A dead wake, the bubble trail tracing where a torpedo had been, vanished amidships below Ice Maiden’s waterline followed by a flash and blast that ripped the ship in two. Her death groan snarled across the water as she listed, rolled, and sank. 

Submariners emerged from a hatch behind the fin and helped the lifeboats’ occupants onto the black skin of the submersible.  

A bearded submariner offered a hand to Hass. “No signs of survivors, sir.”

“A real pity, Mr. Greer.” Hass accepted the submarine commander’s assistance. “If they didn’t secure enough lifeboats for themselves in case of some unforeseen emergency, then there’s nothing I can do about it.”

word count: 300

Writing prompt from Katheryn J. Ailva: “There’s nothing I can do about it.” Allowed 150 to 300 word limit

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