Dark Soul: Devil Ship Series Book 2
Dark Soul: Devil Ship Series Book 2
Dark Soul: Devil Ship Series Book 2

Dark Soul: Devil Ship Series Book 2

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True love never dies…

The island of Sainte Isabel seems like a tropical paradise. But Sara Hansen sees a different side to her beautiful home. A sinister legacy of bloodshed and death haunts the crystal blue shores. And her husband is still missing… swept away by the spectral vessel known as the Devil Ship.

Struggling to keep her dive resort in business, Sara has no time to mourn her loss. But as she tries to put the past behind her, she finds herself plagued by terrible nightmares. Visions of drowned sailors and rotting corpses haunt her waking hours. And a sinister voice calls to her from the sea… Lemaitre, the spirit of a brutal pirate, and captain of the Devil Ship, draws her to him.

As more guests vanish from the island, Sara unearths a dark ritual, cast hundreds of years in the past. The soul of Lemaitre’s lover, Catherine, seeks a new body to occupy. Enlisting the help of a local priestess, Sara must wage a spiritual battle against the undead forces that seek to control her. But as the Devil Ship prepares to sail once more, its captain vows to reclaim his lost love.

And he will possess her.

Mind, body and soul…

207 pages

Chapter 5: The White Lady

Sara lay on a heap of pillows covered by a green blanket. She stretched, blinked, and looked around. Strong lights dazzled her—they were much too bright, as she had pointed out before. The lighting guy had smiled and nodded and said, ‘No problem!’ and continued to half-blind her. Despite this, she tried to get into character, which meant sounding both regal and romantic while wearing old sweats and a pair of sand-stained runners that had seen better days.

“What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?”

The grotesque figure with its oversized head clumped across the bare boards toward her. It could not by any stretch of the imagination be termed an angel, which was just one of Shakespeare’s many four-hundred-year-old jokes. Ryan was being an ass. In more than one sense of the word. He would probably forget his lines again. Nick Bottom the Weaver was the comic lead, but—like most good comedy roles—it required more talent than a straight lead.

Sara regretted being talked into understudying Titania, the lead female role in the play. Firstly, there was the time commitment. Secondly, there was playing opposite Ryan, who found the name Titania endlessly amusing. But the very pretty local girl who had been keen to take the role at first had to look after a sick auntie. Or so she said. Her niece playing opposite Ryan may have contributed to the old lady’s sudden illness, Sara felt.

She waited for him to respond to his cue. This was the key scene in the comedy, when Titania—enchanted by a spell cast by Puck, a sort of hit-fairy—turns from a kind of proto-feminist who stands up to her husband, Oberon, into a cliched lovesick female. The faerie queen has to fall in love with the first person she sees. And, hilariously for anyone watching it in the 16th century, that person happens to be a working-class guy called Nick Bottom who’s also been enchanted and thus has an ass’ head.

“What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?” Sara repeated, raising her voice and glancing over at Theresa, who was now prompter and director.

“It’s only me from over the sea, said Barnacle Bill the Sailor,” Ryan sang, then shrugged, hands held out in a gesture of helplessness. “Sorry, forgot the damn line again.”

“Cut,” called Theresa, unnecessarily. “If you want a cue just ask for one, Ryan, don’t put people off by messing about like a—well…”

“Total and complete ass,” finished Sara, slumping back onto her fake grassy bank. “Seriously, we’re never going to be ready at this rate. Maybe we should do something less demanding, like maybe a sock puppet Hamlet?”

Ryan was struggling with the huge, papier mâché head. Eventually, he managed to get it off, and emerged red-faced and looking contrite. But Theresa seemed to have finally lost patience with his clowning around. When Keri wasn’t there to keep him in line, he was almost useless, and on this particular evening, Keri was handling various problems back at the resort.

“I need to recast,” said Theresa, decisively. “Ryan, I regret to say that you have totally failed as Bottom.”

The way Ryan giggled at that only served to underline her point. He walked offstage, muttering something about the ‘dumb Limey play’, while Theresa and Sara conferred. Sara found it hard to focus, what with the lost sleep and the worries over the business. But she did her best to focus as the librarian went through the possible candidates for Nick Bottom, the comical weaver.

“Don’t overthink it,” Sara said finally when they had eliminated various members of the company as too young, too old, or too inexperienced. “I mean, we just need someone who can remember the lines and hit the cues. And not bump into the scenery. It’s an amateur performance, so let’s just get it done.”

Theresa looked at her thoughtfully, then nodded. Sara wondered if she had overstepped the mark, perhaps hurt the old lady’s feelings. But she was tired and pissed off at the slow progress on the play. She had not quite reached the quitting stage, but she could feel her interest flagging with every messy rehearsal.

Sara got up and dusted herself off. The green blanket had been decorated with paper flowers by the school kids, and one had somehow stuck to her butt. She was plucking it off when Theresa returned with Frank Banks. It took Sara a moment to grasp that the detective was the new Bottom. To his credit, Banks looked sheepish about it, but Theresa was full of enthusiasm and at her most persuasive.

“Frank already knows most of the cues,” the old lady enthused, “so it’s just a question of a bit of coaching and hoping he doesn’t collide with the scenery too often. Now, I’ll read Bottom’s part for this scene, and Frank can get a feel for the rhythm of your performance, Sara. And while we’re on the subject…”

When she finally got offstage for a while, Sara went in search of Ryan. She felt slightly guilty about his being fired and hoped he was taking it lightly. She knew he was more sensitive than he liked to let on and that he was painfully aware that—as a rich man’s son—everyone assumed he had no real talent other than spending daddy’s money. He had shown himself capable of hard work back at Pirate Cove, but away from Keri’s influence, he tended to lapse into self-indulgent playboy mode.

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