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Paul Garrison's
Red Sky at Morning
Psychological thriller bristling with secrets and lies
 
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First Chapter


A torpedo track streaked the moon-silvered Atlantic.
"This is so beautiful," said Rita. She was entranced by the swirling ocean surface. A heavy moon had risen ahead of the giant cruise liner. Behind them, hours after Manhattan's sky scrapers had sunk beneath the ship's snow-white wake, New York City's night glow still haloed the western sky.
The night was so lovely, so full of stars, that she and Jack kept breaking off from the dancing to run out on deck. They paused for one last look on the way "home" to their incredible cabin. Cool breaths of the sea mingled with warm shifts from the land.
"What are you staring at?"
Jack was leaning on the ship's rail gazing at his beautiful bride and thinking, Sometimes
you get lucky. Just when you're sure you'll end up alone wandering Greenwich Village muttering to yourself, your boss introduces you to Rita.
You stop smoking and start running. A year later your best man toasts the luckiest guy in
town. Champagne wedding breakfast at Gramercy Tavern, on Rita's boss; upgrade to honeymoon stateroom, thanks to yours. And you're sailing to Italy on the Sovereign Pr incess with a woman who's so proud to be with you that she hangs onto her bride's bouquet
until the ship's out of range of her girlfriends waving from the pier. Then all of a sudden, in the middle of the river, she goes, "Look, they're happy, too!" and throws her flowers to some woman kissing a tugboat captain. Only in New York.
"What?" Rita asked softly.
He felt his eyes get warm. What right turn had he made, what wrong turn had he missed, that got the two of them together for that first look that made everything else happen? Overwhelmed by joy, embarrassed by tears, he looked down at the rushing waves.
"Jesus H!"
"What?"
"Look!"
It was racing toward the ship.
"That's a torpedo."
"Like from a submarine? It is not."
"Rita, before we met I spent a lotta nights watching World at War. That's a torpedo."
"It can't be."
It streamed close by, angling behind the ship, disappeared in the white wake, and emerged
to hurry on in the distance, arcing little rooster tails of spray.
"Couldn't have been." He watched it disappear.
"Oh, here comes another one."
A second bubble track, straight at them and this time a lot closer. Jack, took her hand instinctively, but it was still so unlikely that instead of backing away, he leaned over the rail to see what it really was. They never looked so fast on The History Channel. He thought this one would miss, too. But it changed course at the last second and smacked into the hull right under where they were standing.
The night exploded brilliant white. He felt something hard as a fist in his face. When he
heard the thunder he was already flying through the air with the awful realization that Rita's hand had been torn from his.
Copyright 2000 by Paul Garrison



Red Sky at Morning
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