Were there brochures for this cruise? If there were, I suppose it’s unlikely they made much mention of the fact that first class cabins are still the best places to fortify and hole up like a rabbit.
My old cabin is burned out, so I moved a couple down. I won’t bore you with the meaningless details of the fire, Maud, but I am a little richer, a little more scorched, and still alive – unlike my midnight arsonist.
After the move, I was delighted to find a water-valve-thing in one of the cleaner’s cupboards. Happily, I discovered the correct tool –repeatedly smashing the thing with a fire extinguisher – and have managed to turn on the water for our whole deck, so I’m enjoying this cabin much better than the last (gone is the stench of my foetid toilet). An en-suite bathroom with working water is a must, don’t you think? It’s much more convenient than risking life and limb using the shared facilities. As for handwashing, water pours into my glorious hand basin as if it were mana cascading from the very hand of Venus herself, though I do not find myself particularly compelled to drink any of it – I’m rather addicted to Luxury Cocoa Relief, these days…
There is plenty of space to store weapons – and I have filled a wardrobe, back to front, with an assortment of brutal things – must-have accessories, that are a ‘first for fashion’, I say. And while most of what’s here in the cabin I brought with me, I did find a copy of Time Magazine, stuffed under the wardrobe (to compensate for its somewhat wonky leg), with a fascinating article entitled ‘The Future Careers of Women’. Flipping through, eyebrows somewhat furrowed, I did discover we’ll all be doctors, lawyers and scientists, soon. How nice. A momentary distraction – I did feel in need of entertainment, I suppose. The need lessened rapidly, though, when I found I had been distracted enough to allow an intruder to enter my cabin…
Thank God for high heels on parquet flooring. The small, blonde woman in Champagne curls must have surreptitiously used a key, but she sure couldn’t walk quietly. I didn’t know her, but I had seen her around the ship – mainly flirting with Bailey and his group in the bar.
Seeing that I was aware of her – I was sitting side-saddle on the bed, magazine abruptly discarded, my letter opener a somewhat athletic lunge away – she held up her hands.
‘Don’t,’ she said. ‘No, no. Don’t worry. My name is Cecile. This – I, I… didn’t know anyone was in my cabin. Friends?’ And she smiled, as she slowly continued to step toward me. ‘I’m so scared. So terribly scared. Do you want to team up? Please say you do?’
I’ve never fired a gun before – I couldn’t hear properly for a whole hour afterward. I may have broken my trigger finger when it rattled around in the metal guard thing, but I think that’s because I had such a poor grip. Finger still swollen, writing’s a pain, but there are no regrets.
She was snivelling her way into arm’s reach, and she had the same, cold way of looking at me as Edward did in his last moments, despite her friendly words. There was no doubt in my mind what she was about to do, but I was still relieved to find a card with my name on it in her handbag, along with a syringe.
I have no idea what that syringe contains, but if she had it, it was surely something horrific.
Two bullets left.
As I searched her, my money arrived, slipped under the door by anonymous delivery.
Looking at the thickness of the envelope, I could immediately tell that ‘extermination with a revolver’ was a rather common commodity on the kills market, this afternoon.