The Voyages Of The S.S. Amore (Pt.2)
Irritated by the shouting coming from what was probably some lame party in one of the bars she wasn't allowed into, Jane peered out of the door of her cabin and made sure the coast was clear. Her dad had told her to stay in the cramped room while he had yet another heart-to-heart with that silicon infested bag of bitch he called a wife, but Jane had better ideas. Slipping out into the narrow hallway, she made her way to the small metal door she had noticed when they first boarded earlier this afternoon. A red sign was bolted to the door with words ENGINE ROOM: STAFF ONLY emblazoned on it. Trying the latch and finding it unlocked, Jane opened the door and went inside.
Stepping carefully down the metal staircase, Jane kept an ear out to make sure no one was coming. She didn't understand why her dad was being such an ass and not letting her explore the luxury liner on her own. It wasn't like she could run away again while being trapped on a boat. God, he was such a loser sometimes. All she wanted to do was take some pictures with the camera HE bought her for the trip.
Taking her silver Nikon out of her duct-tape-covered Hello Kitty fanny pack, she began to look around for something to photograph as she made her way down the narrow hallway. Click, a reddish smear against the bulkhead. Click, a small pile of broken chains. Click, an actual pile of moss-encrusted dirt. Click, a maggot feebly struggling near pile of filthy cloth.
“Christ, does this tub even have any janitors,” she muttered aloud.
Up ahead was a small propped open door with a sign indicating it was a storage closet. Peeking inside, Jane could could see that it was occupied by the same porter that had helped them to their cabins earlier that day. The one that her dad had expressly told her to stay away from.
“What are you doing?” she asked as she walked into the wide closet and closed the door.
The young man immediately began coughing, large clouds of marijuana smoke billowing out of his mouth. Jane smirked and looked him over as he hacked and tried in vain to extinguish the joint smoldering in his hand. He had his snappy red vest unbuttoned and white dress shirt untucked. She could just make out a hint of a tattoo on his forearm where his shirtsleeve had ridden up. It looked like an ankh.
“You...you aren't supposed to be down here,” he choked out, looking at her with fear in his eyes. “I could tell my boss and he'd...uh...you know...”
“Oh please. You aren't going to tell,” she said, pulling out a white bucket and sitting down on it.
"Can I have a hit or that, or what?" He handed the joint over warily. When she took a drag he seemed to relax a bit and sat down across from her on a metal toolbox.
“That's a cool skull ring,” he said, nodding at her finger as she handed to marijuana cigarette back to him.
“Thanks. I won it at this fair. It's plastic and painted to look all silver. I like your dog collar.”
“Oh shit,” he said, reaching behind his head to unclasp it. “I'm not supposed to wear it while I have my uniform on. Stupid regulations. How old are you?”
“How old are you?”
“Seventeen. I'll be eighteen in seven months.”
“What's your name?”
“Ethan. What's yours?”
“Jane. Do you dye your hair?”
“Yeah. It's really this turd brown. Black is way better. I had a friend of mine put in the red part here. I thought it would turn out more blood red instead of so bright.”
“I like the bright red. It makes the black...blacker.”
“Mine's black naturally. I got it from my mom.”
“Was that who was with you today?”
“Fuck no. That's my step-monster.”
“My mom works here on the boat. She's a waitress at that wannabe Irish pub a couple decks up. She made me get this job here. It sucks.”
“You get to see the world. That's pretty cool.”
“I get to help rich people with their luggage. No offense.”
“I'd rather be home on my own with my band. So what's your name?”
“Um....Jane...when I turn eighteen I'm totally changing it. I was thinking to either Esmerelda or Margaret. But it's just Jane for now.”
Ethan stubbed out the rest of the joint and put the roach into a small tin. Looking at the door as if worried that someone would overhear him as he leaned closer to Jane and whispered.
“Okay Jane For Now, you want to see a dead body?”
“Do I ever.”
The two of them stared into the trashed cargo hold. Broken crosses, ranging from small necklace pendants to one that looked to be over five feet high, lay scattered about the floor. Garlic cloves hung suspended from the ceiling adding a pungent bouquet to the overall smell of rot. A velvet-lined coffin lay smashed open and empty in the far corner.