Death Fleet: Devil Ship Series Book 3
Death Fleet: Devil Ship Series Book 3
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A dark storm is coming…
Sara Hansen came to Sainte Isabel looking for paradise. What she found was an island haunted by an ancient curse. A spectral ship stalks the coast, crewed by the undead souls of the vilest pirates ever to sail the high seas. And when a local fishing boat goes missing, Sara suspects the Devil Ship has struck again…
After the abandoned boat washes ashore, Sara joins the search for the lost crew. But she can’t shake the feeling that something—or someone—is watching her. A dark presence lurks within the jungle. And she can feel its gaze, like an icy chill against her skin…
As a violent storm looms on the horizon, Sara is tormented with visions of more terror to come. A ghostly fleet sets sail upon the raging sea. The festering spirits of over a thousand years of piracy and bloodshed are about to be unleashed upon the tiny island’s inhabitants.
Death is coming.
And only Sara can stop it…
Chapter 3: Watchers and Doers
They got back to the cove to find Rudy subdued and Hyacinth scared and angry. Ryan was inclined to josh about the supposed “monkey alert,” but he quickly changed tack at a look from Sara. And maybe, when Keri wasn’t around, he couldn’t be part of an easy double act. Ryan had always been comfortable playing the less mature one—Joe’s jock pal, Keri’s playboy lover. He had started to become a grownup since they came to Sainte Isabel. He felt that, if he lived to be forty, he might just get there…
“So, this thing was behind the sofa?”
He walked over and looked around. He saw floor, walls, a door, furniture. He felt slightly stupid. He resisted the urge to re-enact the encounter like a TV sleuth and, instead, asked if anyone else at the resort had seen the familiar.
“Yes,” said Sara. “I saw it earlier this morning, I think. On the roof of the bungalow. I’ve had some dreams, like the earlier ones involving Catherine, but different now, somehow worse. And when I go outside, I sometimes get this feeling I’m being watched…”
“Me, too!” said Hyacinth. “Somebody in the forest, watching me when I go running.”
Joe said nothing. As usual, when a situation required no action from him, he offered no contribution. Not for the first time, Ryan wondered if his old friend had suffered brain damage. But, since the truth had come out about their college scandal, he had not felt very comfortable around Joe anyway. It was strange, given that Ryan was not in the wrong. He’d taken the fall for Joe, done jail time. But that was how it was.
“Okay, what do we do about it?” asked Ryan. “I mean, standing around going ‘Oooh, scary’ has not cut it in the past, right? We need a plan of action.”
As Ryan had hoped, Joe suddenly looked more interested. It was as if the getting-stuff-done part of his friend’s mind was unimpaired, but all the subtler nuances that made up a fully-fledged human had been damaged, or maybe switched off.
“Okay,” said Sara, “we can gather information, find out who else has seen stuff. How about Keri?”
“Yeah, she’s talked about feeling watched, general creepiness. And last night—I think she saw something, but we were pretty wasted. I was on the roof of our place, so…”
“We’re being watched!” exclaimed Hyacinth. “Haven’t those monsters done enough?”
Sara calmed things down by reminding everyone that some work needed to be done and promised to focus on the problem. She held an informal morning meeting in the atrium, catching up with the electrical fault in the kitchen that seemed to be getting worse. As she was winding up matters, her phone rang. The others waited while she talked.
“Father Laurent?” she said, raising an eyebrow at Ryan. “What can I do for you?”
The conversation continued, and Sara waved at Ryan to stay behind. She ended the call with a “see you soon.”
“Seems like Theresa left me some stuff,” she said. “I had no idea. I mean, she had no close family here, but there are some distant relations back in England, she told me.”
Ryan pointed out that a librarian might have left Sara books—maybe half a ton of them.
“Which is why I want Ryan and Joe here,” she said, smiling at her husband. “I might need big strong men to help me lift whatever it is.”
Joe gave a very faint smile in response. Ryan slapped him on the shoulder.
“Let’s hope it is books, buddy, ’cause we’re going to look pretty dumb if it turns out to be a diamond brooch.”
Sara led them outside to where Father Laurent was pulling up in a large taxi. Once everyone was masked up, they stood outside holding the now-familiar distanced conversation. The driver had already begun unloading boxes from the trunk when Father Laurent explained what he had brought.
“Theresa told me, when she was near the end, that she wanted you to have her notebooks and journals,” said the priest. As always, his eyes were impassive, intelligent, his voice clear and unemotional. “She was working on a history of the island, she felt it deserved one.”
Ryan almost asked if the priest agreed but stopped himself in time.
“I had no idea,” Sara said. “I did talk to her a few days before she died, but she didn’t say anything about this.”
The priest nodded slightly.
“She did not feel comfortable, speaking over internet devices,” Laurent said. “But when she spoke to me, she made her views very clear about you and certain other matters. What might be called supernatural evil.”
Ryan suddenly grasped that the priest was talking about the old lady’s final confession. The fact that the priest had referred to it at all was telling. The guy epitomized the by-the-book mentality, and in this case, the book was written by the Vatican. Yet here he was, straying close to breaking a sacred rule.
“Supernatural evil is a nice, vague term, but do you believe in the Devil Ship?” Ryan said bluntly. “Is that what you’re trying to say?”
The priest’s dark eyes fixed on Ryan, who reddened a little under his mask. He felt, as usual with Laurent, about twelve years old. Some men seem to have been born mature. But in this case, Ryan felt, that very maturity had stopped the man from seeing what was right under his theological nose.
“Mr. Gale,” Father Laurent said. “I understand that many things have happened that are hard to explain. Some of my flock have spoken of them. I have tried to consult with my bishop. I have informed him of the contents of these journals and notebooks, but he has shown understandable caution. The case of Father Bertrand back in the seventeenth century is, it seems, considered problematic.”
Again, it took Ryan a second or two to grasp the meaning lurking under the carefully chosen words.
“You asked your boss for an exorcist to protect the island!” he exclaimed.
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