Suhela watched the townsfolk harvest the corpses from the sea, sidestepping the jetsam of the torpedoed l’Impassibile, and line them up like flea market merchandise on the Sicilian sand. Most likely it’d been a Wolf Pack. The Brits didn’t target passenger craft; they had better manners.
One of the mangled could have been her. She couldn’t remember who she was with when hull shattered. Probably Torin Eggert—what a hard little prick he had. No wonder his wife sulked in their cabin. But he tangoed well.
She stretched out among the rocks, her elbow resting on a mica-looking black one, and rested her chin on her hand. A man rushed to the shoreline, dragged a legless child from the water, and laid her at the end of the row like a period. Someone formed a goal post with two short legs and screamed, “Here they are!” and put them next to the child. Quotation marks. The first man dropped to his knees and rocked back and forth, using his sleeve for a handkerchief.
“That’s my papa,” Suhela heard a voice behind her say, and turned around. A little girl with tear-streaked cheeks was pointing to the rocking man. Suhela noticed the child was wearing a white organza gown just like hers. She looked back to beach. The man’s contorted face was looking heavenward. What was her last thought before the everything disappeared? Oh, yes. Where was the waiter with her martini?
A hand offered her a long-stemmed glass. “Is this what you want?” Mephistopheles said.
She took a sip. “Yes,” Suhela sighed, “makes up for the sightseeing being cut short.”
“I’m glad. This beach, this martini— it’s all you’ll have forever.”
“Life was boring. Could death be different?” Alone, she felt the breeze turn cold as the film began again.