“All I heard was one of the Quagmires calling Violet’s name.”
Violet leaned against the mast of the Beatrice with her arms folded, staring numbly out at the setting sun. Some of Kit’s final words just wouldn’t leave her mind, no matter how many times she tried to evict them for not paying rent.
“Quigley,” Sunny said, “or Duncan?”
“I don’t know,” Kit said.
She sighed, bowing her head. It was Quigley. Quigley had called her name. This wasn’t even a question ––– she knew the answer. She could just picture him scrambling around in the ocean along with the others, the self-sustaining hot air mobile home’s baskets crashing down all around them, their homemade waves forcing them under, and water insisting itself rudely into their lungs. Deeper he sank…deeper…deeper…
Violet shook the thought out of her head, refusing to believe it. Quigley had to be alive…uh, she meant they had to be alive. She tore her trademark black satin ribbon out of her hair and jammed it in her black dress pocket with a growl. She couldn’t invent like this. Inventing was a sanctuary for her from a troubled world, not a prison. How could she solve the world’s problems if the world wouldn’t leave her alone for a minute?
“You okay?” an extremely deep voice asked.
Violet looked over her shoulder at Klaus. Boy, had he changed. Just three years ago he was this small, scrawny little thing with a geeky face and innocent green eyes. Now, he looked like a twenty-year-old that had just stepped out of Playgirl magazine. After she took on the role of cutting his and Sunny’s hair every now and then, his once shoulder length dark hair was now short and clean. Also, to her surprise, he actually managed to grow some nice sideburns and a tuft on his chin. And with that white wifebeater and faded blue jeans he was wearing, she just knew she was going to have to fight off a whole tidal wave of women wanting to be Mrs. Klaus Baudelaire. Ah, it was amazing what puberty could do.
“Yeah, I’m…fine,” Violet said, staring back out at the sunset.
He stared with her for a minute. “Y’know there was nothin’ we could do, right?”
“Klaus, I don’t wanna talk about it,” Violet growled, flashing back to the events that happened last week.
“And I do?” Klaus retorted, glaring at her. He shook his head and sighed.
“…I failed her,” Violet whispered, shaking her head, her throat swelling.
“We did all we could, Vi. I’m sure Kit’ll understand.”
“No, she won’t! She won’t understand how the three of us can’t take care of a baby! She asked us to take care of her, and what happens? She drowns in a frickin’ ocean! Oh yeah, that’s great parenting, Klaus, let’s ask them to babysit our kid!”
“Bemeeto,” Sunny said, tugging on Violet’s fishnet stocking, which probably meant something like, “There, there. It’s not your fault.”
“Yeah it is, Sunny.” Violet looked down at her sadly. “I’ll be damned if somethin’ happens to you two.”
“Fizzby,” Sunny said, which probably meant, “Let’s hope that don’t happen.”
Violet and Klaus nodded. With as much as they’d like to believe nothing would happen, they knew deep in their hearts that these past three years hadn’t been on their side. And they were highly doubtful that the years to come would be any nicer.
Sunny turned around to face the bow. “Cumulonimbus!” she shrieked, which probably meant, “Look at those storm clouds up ahead!”
Violet and Klaus turned around. “Whoa, those look evil,” Klaus said. Multiple bolts of lightning weaved in and out of the clouds like electric threads as thunder deafened them with its heroic battle cry. “We gotta dock ––– there’s no way our ship can survive this storm!” he called over the rain that began to pour.
Violet hurriedly scanned their surroundings. “There is no place to dock!” she yelled, her heart sinking. “Hang on!”
The Baudelaires braced themselves for the worst, huddling together at the back of the Beatrice as she sailed fearlessly into the madness. The once gentle loving water had become a violent, unpredictable nightmare, throwing their ship this way and that, lashing its unforgiving waves at the Baudelaires themselves, knocking them to the floor. Lightning crackled mockingly at their misfortune, sending another wave of rain to punish them for challenging Mother Nature. Their sail shivered wildly in the wind, haunted by what its opponent’s next move would be. Another battle cry from thunder made the Baudelaires cling on to each other for dear life, praying that this nightmare would at least have a semi-happy ending: them being alive. But the Beatrice wasn’t fazed one bit. Just like their mother, the small ship pressed on, conquering the jagged waves and ignoring the condemnation from above. By this time, lightning had had enough. In a horrifying blur, a big bolt shot down from the sky and butted heads with the mast. Instantly, the mast exploded, chunks of wood ricocheting everywhere, cutting the Baudelaires, and their sail now tattered and aflame. Unfortunately, the explosion did more damage than they thought. Now the bow half of the ship was drifting off ahead, slowly beginning to sink. The Baudelaires looked at where the mast used to be on their half and found that they had to think fast.
“Hang on!” Violet cried, Klaus swiftly scooping up Sunny and setting her on his shoulders. Their half gave up and dived down to join its buddy, immersing the Baudelaires into the icy March water. Luckily for them, they could swim. On the flip side, a gigantic wave was headed their way.
“Cowbunga!” Sunny shrieked, pointing at it.
“Klaus, grab my hand!” Violet screamed.
“Hang on, Sunny! Deep breath!” Klaus yelled, seizing Violet’s hand.
The Baudelaires took the biggest breath they could and squeezed their eyes shut, preparing for the end. The wave crashed down on them, shoving them far beneath the waves into its dark, ominous depths. After a moment of finding which way was up, Violet and Klaus, still holding hands, made a mad paddle for the surface, their eyes and lungs burning much like their sail earlier. Closer they inched to the surface…closer…closer…
Just then, something shoved them back to where they started. The Baudelaires frantically rolled around until they found up again, and barely made it a couple feet before paddling slower and slower, eventually not paddling at all. With one final look at each other, the Baudelaires’ vision faded to black and everything went silent. Absolutely silent.