***A continuation of a novel in progress written by Elise VanCise & Rose Wade. The beginning of the first chapter can be found at Elise's blog: Gladiator's Pen ***
The ferry might as well have been a ghost ship. Ten o’clock in the morning and there were more workers than there were passengers. Three cars, including her own, and a handful of walk-ons. Mia wrapped a gloved hand around the paper cup then sipped. The food was expensive but at least edible. The coffee was surprisingly good. But that could have been because she was desperately thankful for something hot to drink.
The din of the gallery behind her echoed off the walls as she crossed through the rows of tables. Each one sat empty except for an older man occupying one of the booths near a window. The small island didn’t warrant many visitors. Maybe she was venturing further into isolation than she had planned.
The ribbon of steam from the man’s cup of coffee danced to the left each time he turned to another section of the newspaper. The scene reminded Mia of her father sitting in the kitchen every morning.
She sipped her coffee as she passed. The sound drew the attention of the old man. He glanced up at her with tired grey eyes and nodded. A pleasant smile tugged at the lines in his face. He’d been handsome in his youth.
“Good morning.” Her voice sounded like his. Tired. Not yet awake. Mia nodded to him in return then left him to his paper.
A chilled wall of air met her outside on the deck. It found its way under her long wool coat. An immediate shiver coursed from her shoulders and down her arms. She braced her hip against the railing and reached up with one hand to tuck her scarf in closer.
She watched the lights from the small island come into view. The quiet isolation seemed like a perfect setting to her. Cold and grey skies were something she’d have to learn to deal with, though. As if on cue, light raindrops started to fall. A huge drop slid into the open on the plastic lid that covered her coffee. Mia sighed and wondered if it ever stopped raining in Washington.
Rising wind whistled in her ears and dislodged her scarf. The announcement over the p.a. system was barely audible but Mia made out enough to know the ferry was soon going to reach the dock.
She made her way back to her car and quickly turned up the heat before reaching for her coffee again. Cold. So much for inner heat, she mused. Mia shivered again and remembered one of the scenes in “Misery”. She was going to end up constantly chilled to the bone while trying to write her next novel. At least it wasn’t snowing.
Mia felt the slight bump of the ferry reaching the dock. Suddenly, the sense of propelling movement of the boat over the water was little more than a gentle bobbing caused by the waves. Several workers moved with efficient precision to secure the ferry and prepare for the unloading and loading of cars and passengers. One of the workers waved her forward and from the look on his face, Mia wondered if he ever tired of the same routine he had to perform more than a dozen times each day.
Covered by thick, slow moving grey clouds, the island and the castle that loomed in the center appeared even more cold and isolated. Mia drove off onto the dock and hoped her new employer was nothing like Annie Wilkes.