All I could hear was the high whining sound of the wind and the sloshing of water outside. The wind blew more ferociously, reaching a higher pitch. A scream echoed through the ship, followed by audible words: “No . . . No . . . Loser!”
“You hear that?” Melissa shouted.
I nodded and concentrated on the sounds of the storm. Many voices seemed to have joined in, howling and shrieking. I could discern words in the din.
“No . . . No . . . Die . . . Island . . . Die.”
“What is it?” Melissa yelled.
The Golden Cross rocked back and forth more violently now. I clung on to my bunk, still just buckled with one strap. When the lightning flashed, all I could see was black foaming water. I jumped when the cabin door opened.
“You okay in here?” yelled Amanda. Jayda and Bree were behind her in the hall, hanging on to the rails. I noticed their goggles fastened to the side of their shorts. “We’ve been summoned to the bridge by the captain. Stay in your cabin no matter what you hear. Don’t open this door until you hear my voice . . . only my voice.” Amanda hung on to the door.
“Understood!” I yelled.
“Got it!” yelled Melissa.
“Better buckle ourselves with both straps now,” yelled Melissa. “Christy, it’s gonna be all right. Just a big storm. The captain’s doing everything right, he’s turning into it.”
The storm was so loud we could no longer talk. I lie flat on my back, both straps now fastened, trying to believe Melissa. Just when I thought the storm was subsiding, the Golden Cross tilted upward, causing me to roll toward the wall.
The ship crested the wave. My stomach lurched as the ship crashed down the other side. Glass shattered somewhere on the ship. A rush of icy air brushed past my face. I held my breath as the ship rose again in the waves. The ship seemed to freefall through the air, shuddering as it landed. I leaned over my bunk when I heard a funny sound.
“What? Oh, it’s just a little water. Christy, sometimes that happens in a storm. Don’t worry,” Melissa said.
“You sure?” I yelled.
“Been through it before, it’s . . .”
Another bolt of lightning blazed outside, followed by ear-splitting thunder. Instinctively, my hands covered my head, and I watched in horror as sparks showered past the porthole. Cold air whisked through the cabin again. The Golden Cross moaned and made scraping sounds as though wrung out like a dishcloth. The lights in our cabin flickered. I twisted in my bunk and looked up at Melissa for assurance. Her eyes were wide, her face white. The lights flickered once more, and the cabin went black.