Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ocean’s Gift by Demelza Carlton @DemelzaCarlton

at 7:45 AM

As soon as people found out I was back in Perth, I was subcontracting for another electrician I’d apprenticed with, installing air conditioning units, new lights and safety switches. I thought about the fishing charter I wanted to do, but couldn’t decide which one. Especially if I could get enough work in that week to get my house sooner. Fishing can wait, if it means one less shift listening to Dean’s fantasies. He always claims they really happened, but if he’s telling the truth, he’s had more sex than a porn star.

My phone rang. “Hello, this is Joe,” I answered automatically. I pulled a notepad out of the glove box of my ute, clicking a pen in readiness.

“Mate, it’s Dean.”

Speak of the devil.

“I finally heard from my cousin, the one with the charter boat.” He sounded excited.

Please, don’t let him want to come with me.

“One of his crew got injured, so he’s a man short during the fishing season. He won’t be doing charters for a few months, until he gets a new deckhand and finishes fishing up his quota.” Dean didn’t sound too depressed for me or his cousin.

“Oh, that’s too bad. Don’t worry about it.” I dismissed it. I never thought he or his cousin would come through with anything.

“How’d you like to fish for two months and get paid for it?” Dean burst out.

“What?” This has got to be a joke. It’s Dean, after all.

“I’m serious. My cousin’s a real experienced fisherman and he needs a deckhand for the rest of the season, the next two months. The pay’s good and all you have to do is fish.” He sounded thrilled at the prospect.

“Why don’t you do it? He’s your cousin,” I wondered aloud. There has to be a catch.

Dean was so excited, he was probably telling the truth without realising. “He won’t have me. I was over there for Easter last year and he told me if I got seasick on his boat again he’d throw me over the side for the sharks.”

I like his cousin already.

“So I told him about you. You told me you know your way around a boat, and he thinks you’ll be perfect!”

I hesitated. He probably sold me as the descendant of Captain Cook, Columbus and Captain Jack Sparrow. “Now look, crewing a boat out to Rottnest and some kayaking on the Swan River isn’t like handling a fishing boat offshore…”

“Nah mate, you’ll be great. You’ll get to go fishing every day, your food and accommodation are provided, what else could you ask for?” Dean sounded like he was trying to sell it to me.

The certainty that you didn’t just pull this out of your arse?

“Look, he needs someone as soon as possible. How soon can you get up here?”

Dean’s in Geraldton, then.

“I could finish up at the end of the week and fly up on Sunday,” I told him reluctantly.

“Cool, I’ll get my cousin to sort out your flights and he’ll meet you out on the islands. You can see how it goes the first week and if it works out you get paid to go fishing for the rest of your holidays. Seeya.” He hung up.

Shit. What’ve I got myself into? Knowing Dean, this was going to be a disaster. Oh well, next trip I can always get back at him by putting huge spiders in his swag. He’s terrified of them, but he always forgets to zip his swag up properly. And he screams like a girl when he finds them, too.

What’s the worst that can happen? A week on a free fishing charter and possibly getting paid to fish for weeks after it. And if it didn’t work out, the next three months of seeing Dean do a high-pitched jig every night when he found spiders in his swag. Hell, there wasn’t a downside that I could see.

I started writing down a list of things to pack.


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Genre - Australian sea adventure,contemporary urban fantasy,paranormal romance

Rating – PG 13

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