SHORT STORY24 febrero 2008 a las 19:56 | Publicado en General | Deja un comentario
By Manuel Gil 1ºE.S.O-B
The journey took forever, but luckily we got out alive. It all began one 23rd July. We were going on holiday as we did every year, and this time we decided to cruise the Atlantic on a ship. We would go with my Aunt, from here, Almería, to La Havana in Cuba. Once in Cuba, we would see the island and its surroundings: Haiti, Santa Lucia, Jamaica… but only if we arrived. When at last the great day came, we arranged to meet my Aunt at the Port in Almería at 10 O’clock in the morning, as the cruise ship would leave at 11. We got our cases and we went up on board the ship. Our cabin wasn’t very big, but I was happy enough because I had a good window with a view of all. There were two bunk beds and a double bed in the room; I would sleep on the top bunk and my Aunt Marina would sleep on the bottom with my little brother. My parents slept in the double bed.
The voyage was supposed to take five days, but it turned out to take much longer. Staff working on the Cruise liner was very strange and I didn’t like them much, neither my brother nor me liked them. The first day we were cruising around the Atlantic we tried to see what was on the boat, but we didn’t have time and we had a look the first two days. By the third day, even my brother Carlos knew his way around the ship by himself. We went to the swimming pool in the morning, and in the afternoon we went to a computer room where there were lots of computers and electrical appliances. We had a great time, and when night came we went to the ship’s dining room for dinner. There were statues made of ice as well as a stage where the famous did their acts during the meal. That day a group of flamenco dancers were performing. The performance finished very late, but we left earlier to our cabin because my brother was a little tired.
On the fourth morning the people from the cabin next door knocked and told us that instead of sailing to La Havana, they were taking us to the Antarctic, in the south of the Atlantic. Soon word got out and everyone went to reception to ask what was happening. The receptionist said that she would hold a meeting in the conference room at 10 O’clock that evening so that we could ask any questions. But the passengers were very impatient and wanted the meeting to be held straight away. In the end that’s what happened and everyone went to the Ballroom.
The receptionist went to call the Captain, my brother and I followed them because we could tell that there was something suspicious about all of this. The receptionist went into the captain’s cabin and said,“Everything’s ready Captain.”“Very good, now you only have to lock all of the doors so that no one can get out, and then we’ll have a good feast.” “Very well Captain, you can come into the Ballroom in two minutes.”
We were very surprised and we went running to tell our parents but it was too late, the Captain was behind us and he wouldn’t let us escape. When we got to the Ballroom the whole ship was waiting for the captain. He came in and allowed people to ask questions, meanwhile I told my parents what I had heard, but they didn’t believe me, I tried to convince them, but neither one nor the other would believe me. Just then one of the crew locked the doors of the room. Everyone started shouting and screaming with fright, and a man asked the Captain,“What’s happening, why are you taking us to the Antarctic and you lock us in here?”“Because we are really cannibals, you are not on a Cruise but in Hell.” All of a sudden other crewmembers climbed through the windows and surrounded us completely without letting anyone leave.
It was then that I remembered that my Aunt had stayed in the cabin because she wasn’t feeling too well. I told my mother and she phoned her to try to tell her what was happening. At that moment a marine passed outside the cabin door and on hearing the mobile phone ringing, kicked the door down but didn’t find anything there as my Aunt had hidden under the bed. She started talking to my mother, my mother told her what had happened, she also told her to make sure that she didn’t stumble upon any of the crew, as she could be eaten from feet to head. That’s what she did until the cannibal found her and she had to run away until she was surrounded by them.
In the meantime, the cannibals got closer to us all the time until the ship crashed into something and we all realised that the ship was not manned. We didn’t know what to do but luckily this story was not going to be like Titanic. We came to an island that nobody knew. Because of the great crash, many of the cannibals who were near the windows fell into the water. So many of the passengers escaped through a hole left but it was bad luck that my parents and I didn’t have time to get away. The cannibals could wait no longer and said that they would eat up anyone left on the ship, I was frightened and ran through the legs of the others and managed to escape. I went straight to look for my Aunt, and when I finally found her she was hanging out of the window and had a crewman holding her hands so that she wouldn’t fall, I was very astonished and asked him bravely,“What are you helping my Aunt for?”“I’m not a cannibal like the rest. Forty years ago, when this boat set sail, I was a passenger like you, who didn’t know what was going on. When we were far from the coast, the crew on ship told us that they were going to eat us all, we offered to work on the ship in exchange for our lives. My shipmates have died one by one, I am the only one left, and all the rest are cannibals. I know a way off the ship. I can take you so you can escape this Hell.
I told him that I had to tell my parents. I ran to call them but they realised we were escaping and they followed us to the exit. A sailor stopped them but couldn’t hold them for very long. We were able to escape to the island with the other people that had escaped with us. There had been a total of 3,450 passengers but few more than 900 survived. It was a total massacre, there were dead bodies along the corridors and the sailor who had helped us was eaten in less than a minute, but the worst thing was that we were on a small island lost in the ocean.
We tried to find someone among the survivors who knew where we were, and in fact there was. He told us that we were on a British Island named Santa Helena, near Angola, but too far away from land to swim. We decided to get the lifeboats from the boat and to try to row to shore on the Angolan coast, we got on board and got the lifeboats without them realising. But halfway we had no food and many had died. We decided that the tide take us as we had no more strength to go on, until we suddenly crashed into a great fishing boat who was able to take us to Angola and immediately take a plane on to Spain. We all had a terrible time, but are now packing our suitcases to go on holiday touring the Mediterranean.