Title: May 21st, 1962
Rating: Fiction rating M
Setting: Onboard the luxurious Italian passenger liner T/n Antonia Graza. On the Forward Deck where a grand cabaret is being held. The sun is setting, on an
otherwise brillant and beautiful day.
Katie Harwood- 12-year old girl who is traveling solo to meet her parents in America.
Reynaldo Mossimi- Passenger who boarded the Graza at Genoa.
Francesca- Passenger, and part of the large orchestrated quartet, playing music for the crème de la crème of society onboard.
Jack Ferriman- sole survivor from the adrift Lorelei, rescued on May 19th, 1962.
Captain Ronaldo Ruggiero- proud captain of the luxurious Antonia Graza.
Friendly waiter (name unknown)- becomes friends with Katie, and is Katie's (body guard) personal playmate. (revealed in the flashback)
Massimo Maximilliano- Purser of the Antonia Graza.
Every one was getting ready for the big ball, onboard, the luxurious Antonia Graza, the premier liner of the Italian Line. A young girl, Katie Harwood, gets ready to go
to dinner, and dance at the party.
"Oh, I almost forgot, my word puzzle." Katie said, as she hurriedly left her stateroom, to go up the elevator to the huge, Mezzanine Deck, where all the festivities
were being held. "I so wish that Grandmamma, and Grandpapa were here, to come with me, I miss them so very much." Flashback, to May 17th, 1962 - Genoa, Italy:
"Grandmamma, stop fussing over me, I want to get on the ship!"
In the distance, the Antonia Graza, stands in the harbor, gleaming from side to side, with her huge red, green, and black funnel. The ships letters riveted into her
sides gleaming with pride…
"alright dear, I just want to make sure you have everything, and your money, and your luggage." "Grandmamma, don't ever worry, besides, I am the only child
onboard, and if I forget anything the captain, and purser will take good care of me."
Sigh, "alright then my darling, you make sure, you have fun, and no talking to strangers, and send me postcards, and letters, and your wonderful art every day, give
kisses to mamma, and papa when you get there, I love you!" she hugs Katie, tightly, and kisses her, before tearfully waving her off at the dock…
"Hello There!, I would imagine your name is Katie Harwood, our young guest for this grand voyage." "yes!" Katie said, as the purser, Mr. Maximilliano, motioned a
waiter to carry her luggage, to her stateroom. Katie, stares in awe as she follows the waiter, to her room. "Ah, here we are! Stateroom No.404." The waiter said as
they stopped in front of a gleaming, and polished mahogany door. He put the key in the lock, and then turned the door handle, to reveal a elegant and very grand
stateroom. "This is all mine!" Katie said, as she ran through the adjoining, sitting room, and bathroom. "Well of course it is!" the waiter said as he gently put down
Katie's belongings. "Well thank you!" Katie said, as she bounced up and down on her warm, comfy bed. "Just call me Paolo, and don't forget, I am your personal
butler, and playmate!" Katie shouts with glee, as she walks hand in hand, with Mr. Paolo.
"What does this mean?" Katie said as she read a sign that was bolted to the gleaming corridor wall. "It means Foyer." Paolo said, as he looked at the sign on the
wall. "Vestibolo, in Italian means Foyer, or entrance hall." They climbed the marble steps of a grand stairway, and entered an elevator. "Where are we going?" she
asked as the lift, rode up to the upper decks. "We are going up to the bridge, to meet the captain, he is very excited to have you onboard!" They get off the
elevator at the Lido Deck Entrance. "Just up this staircase, or companion way as we call it and we will be on the bridge." Katie skipped up the steps, gleefully, as she
and Paolo, raced to the bridge…
"Ah Miss Katie Harwood, my special guest, for this voyage!", said a tall man in white uniform. I am Captain Ronaldo Ruggiero, the commander, of the Antonia Graza!"
he said, as he kissed Katie's hand. Katie giggled, and smiled at the Captain of the amazing Antonia Graza.
"Paolo, can you help me!" Katie screamed as she ran to him. "What's wrong?" he said, as she stood in front of him panting. "I can't find my way up to the Grand Ball
Room, sorry I meant Salone di Ballo" "Don't worry, I'll help you,' said Paolo as they got into a elevator and made their way up to the Mezzanine Deck. "Did you forget
where it was?," Paolo said kindly as they rode up from the A Deck Foyer. "Kind of, I was getting really nervous as I got ready for the grand party upstairs." Katie
said as she absentmindedly stared at the big colorful poster on the polished, gleaming wall.
It was of a painting of the Antonia Graza, showcasing the liner's three swimming pools. The first two pictured were out doors, with tables and chairs topped with big
brightly-colored umbrellas around them, and real sand lining both of the pools' edges. The other swimming pool, was indoors. It was located on the Mezzanine Deck,
and boasted gleaming, sea-green tiled walls, changing stalls, gleaming granite pillars, and huge bright bulbous wall lights, all held together underneath, a frosted
glass ceiling with lights hanging above the pool. A huge Mural stood on the far aft wall.
"That is the Greek Bath." Said Paolo, as they got off the elevator, and entered the Purser's Area and Lounge. "Oh, Paolo can you wait just for a tinsy tiny moment, I
want to get flowers for Francesca, and give them to her at the party!" "All right, but we really need to get up to the ballroom, it is getting late. Katie ran at the speed
of light, into the ship's huge gift shop. "Can I please have a bouquet of roses," she said as she ran up to the cashier's desk. "Certainly, that would be 20.00 lira
please." "Here you are" Katie said as she skipped off into the Lounge, to meet up with Paolo… "Miss wait you forgot your chan…
"Oh Grazi, Signora Katie!" Francesca said as she accepted Katie's flowers, which ironically matched Francesca's beautiful strapless, red dress. "How did you know
that I loved roses?" "it was just a guess." Katie said as Francesca hugged her and walked off with her gentlemen friend into the Grand ballroom.
Katie on the other hand walked with Paolo and other passengers into a corridor that led out on to an outdoor platform. "Welcome All, to the gala Evening Ball." Said
Captain Ruggiero's voice, as it boomed over the liner's intercom. "Enjoy our elegantly prepared food, and as always Ciao and have Fun!" Katie plopped down onto a
hard white machinery shelf, and absent-mindedly started playing with her word puzzle.
At one point, everyone was eating, and conversing, about long vacations, and of how the service onboard the graza was so wonderful. "this is so boring!," thought
Katie as the others gleefully stood up and began to walk onto the white roof of the No.1 cargo hatch to dance to Francesca's sultry singing. "Senza Fine…" she sang,
as passengers ate the wonderfully prepared cuisine, and danced to the live strains of the ship's wonderful orchestra.
All this though was going on in the Grand Ball Room, Katie was on the V.I.P. list, and was allowed to sit with the captain on the forward deck. Huge beautiful bulbous
lights, were strung to the two huge crane poles, and illuminated the night, even if it was just the forward deck.
Tables, sat neatly arrayed with gleaming silver ware, and satin tablecloths, with big card holders, with table numbers in them. Gleaming, cut crystal wine glasses,
and china sat on top of the square tables, along with beautiful bouquets of fresh carnations. To top it off, big, purple-colored velvet, chairs, straight from the Dining
Room, sat around the tables, giving the space a sense of regality.
Katie, watched, as the lights swung gently with the motion of the Graza's forward pull. Paolo came by, cap in hand, and played with her, finally turning her puzzle
from nothing, to I AM SO BORED. "As the song continued, Katie heard Francesca Shout "Dance!" All at once, everyone, except for her got up and gracefully walked to
the dance floor. Women, dressed in beautiful hand-sowed satin gowns, of vibrant colors, with their hair donned in a beautiful bun, or 50s fashion. The men of course
, the traditional black tuxedo, and bowtie. With their hair slicked back, and of course, the ship's proud officers wore brilliant cream-colored tuxedoes, with
matching cap and bowtie.
All of a sudden, a white-gloved hand stood in front of her. Katie looked up to see the Captain. "May I have this Dance?," he asked Katie. "I'd be delighted to!" She giggled as he led her to the middle of the dance floor. Katie smiled as Captain Ruggiero told her something sweet in Italian. "Thank you," Katie said as he swung her around on the dance floor, amongst smiling, dancers. Unbeknownst to Katie, and the others, a hand pulled a electrically-operated lever, and a red light flickered on…
"What.." Katie mouthed as an array of sparks, lit the night sky. Everyone looked up, as the bulbous lights, now flickering swung through the air, and at fast speed!
Startled at the sparks, everyone looked towards a thin line, moving very, very, very fast! "AHHHHH!!" screamed Katie, as a cable, no thicker than one inch swung
towards the frightened dancers! It struck with colossal force, up-ending tables knocking over chairs, and sending dishes and glasses flying. Huge Bouquets of
carnations that graced side tables, were cut with systematic accuracy, their nectar, and vibrant stalks spilling all over the teak-deck!
Captain Ruggiero, bended over Katie to shield her from her imminent death! All at once Katie watched with frightened glances, as 80 people, of European wealth
were systematically slaughtered by the rampant cable! At first it was only five people, then five became ten, then ten became 20, and then 20 became 40, and so
The sound of the blood, and gut stained cable hitting the crane pole, could be heard in the dead silence that reverberated after the initial attack. Katie heaved heavy
breaths, as bodies, once alive, talking and laughing, breathing human beings, slumped to the dance floor in severed pieces. Men and women's faces, with utter
looks of shock, and pain, Sputtering blood from their mouths, as they looked down to see their bodies separate from each other! Nerves shot, and complete
pandemonium, as blood, and intestines spilled out of them! Pools of blood, ran along the deck, and platform, as severed limbs, and arms plopped onto the floor!
Faces smashing against other faces, and arms groping for air as their last breaths were diminished!
Katie watched in horror, as some of the dancers, were still crawling around even though their bodies had been severed! She even watched a women, who in agony
was trying to reach her severed lower half and pull it back up to her upper stump, she screamed softly…
As she looked all around her, arms and legs, moved gingerly, and faces pale, and still, with petrified gazes, looked up at her. She glanced up, ever so slowly to her
heroes face, only to see her beloved captain's head fall with a squeamish plop, and his body bang with a hard thump into the heap of bloody dresses, and
limbs"…..!!" Katie screamed as she looked around her! Without thinking, she ran to the blood-stained, steel door, and
into the carpeted corridor. She could hear screams, reverberating from the ship, and could see other passengers, running into elevators, and up to the Boat Deck
where the ships lifeboats were held!
Waiters with guns, and knives, were slaughtering victims every chance they could get! Passengers in the Grand Ballroom, who had been eating and drinking in the
room, lay in heaps all over the marble floor, vomit strewn all over their pale faces! Wine glasses, and dishes in pieces all over the floor, and Francesca's flowers
ripped to shreds in the distance! Bodies in heaps, everywhere, and pools of blood running across the elegant inlay of wood in the middle of the dance floor!
Staggering, with fear Katie ran out of the ballroom, and passed the huge cylindrical-glass aquarium, to the elevators, and hurriedly pushed the A Deck button…
Katie, ran for her life as others just kept on killing innocent victims! She ran down a corridor, riddled with bullets, and blood-stained, until she stopped dead in her
tracks in front of Paolo's stateroom. He was being held hostage by two waiters, and no sooner did they see her, that Paolo's neck was slit with a shaving
razor!"!!," Katie screamed as Paolo, her one true friend on the Antonia Graza, fell to his death! Then they came
after her…Katie ran for her life, but they caught up with her, right outside of her room, No. 404! The two waiters dragged her in, and took rope, and tied it around
her neck, she screamed as they let go of her arms, and she speared down, the life drained out of her in one instant!
Reynaldo Mossimi cowered in fear. His wife, Alexa had been stabbed in the ballroom, and he watched some 80 passengers be slaughtered by a cable! He watched
with fear as passengers ducked out of the ballroom, and ran up the stairs only to be cornered in the room to be shot! They never found him, and so he made his
chance of escape, he ducked into one of the remaining elevators, still operable, and climbed in. A little girl, cowering in the middle, jumped up and started hitting him!
He stopped, her and put his hand over her mouth, to stop her screaming. "What's your name?," he asked her as the elevator continued its descent to A deck. "Katie
Harwood," the little girl said. Katie explained with whisper that she had been dancing on the forward deck, when out of no where, this cable sliced through the
others, leaving her frightened but amazingly alive! "That can only be a miracle," Reynaldo said, as they got off the lift, and ran to the side entrance doors.
A group of waiters, and crewmen, were searching the gift shop when they spotted Reynaldo and Katie! They yelled, and started running towards them, Katie ducked
and ran into an adjacent hallway, but Reynaldo, runner that he was, couldn't out run the murderers! They caught him, and shoved him into the elevator, and pushed
the Mezzanine Deck Button…Reynaldo, surrounded by men with guns and knives, lunged at them and they knocked him unconscious. He awoke, in the Entrance to
the Greek Bath, which thedoors, had been bolted shut from the inside!The murderers broke the glass doors open, and shoved him inside, barely able to move, and
bruised badly, Reynaldostood up, and staggered over to what looked like over 100 crammed inside the room! They shouted, and screamed and ran, but the waiters
cornered them by theedges of the pool, and shot them one by one, all of them falling blood soaked into the already stained water!
Reynaldo's group was last, and the murderers ordered them to stand and face them to be shot, two passengers, wouldn't stand, and were shot repeatedly until
they were dead! Reynaldo, and seven others remained, their clothing in disarray, dresses torn, faces ashened, shirts soaked in sweat. Blood flew, as tiaras, and
pearls, and diamonds were blasted to oblivion! Reynaldo, felt the searing pain of a bullet hit him in his left leg, and he fell. He heard splashes, and frantic soft
screams, as those still alive were shot repeatedly until they were no longer breathing!
Another bullet grazed his side, but didn't really fatally wound him! He pretended he had drowned, and ever so slowly, crept under the bloody heap in the water to
the bottom of the pool. He could see the Captain's head, and body at the bottom, along with 80 other people, surely dead swimming around him! He stayed down
there, for over 3 minutes, and came up to find no one in the entire room alive, BUT HIM!!
He got out of the pool, shook his hair, and staggered into an elevator he didn't know where it went, hopefully off of this blood bath! He made it, out onto the lifeboat
deck, and saw three waiters running towards him, he took a gun and shot all three of them, dead in their tracks! He asked for God's forgiveness, a truly devote man
of god, and climbed into a bullet riddled lifeboat. He lowered the wince, and cable, and watched through port holes as women were raped, and slaughtered in their
beds by these murderers! He watched men be stabbed, and assaulted with weapons! It was too much for him to witness, and then he saw 12-year old Katie, the
girl he met in the elevator prior to, be hung by a thin rope across a closet door beam! They made contact, and she still gazed at him, only never dropping that gaze
The lifeboat continued its descent to the black water below, and hit the water with quiet splashes! He grabbed an ore, and started paddling his way away from the
ship, which all of a sudden disappeared into thin air! He couldn't believe his eyes, but kept on paddling with the broken ore thrashing in the black water!
It had been 5 days since the liner Antonia Graza disappeared off the face of the earth! Reynaldo, Mossimi, was taken to a psychiatric hospital, where they wouldn't
believe his story! They actually believed that he tried to commit suicide but horribly missed, and had been in a boat, that he riddled with bullets, to finish himself off!
Francesca, joined a group of murderers, her fellow shipmates, and shot and stabbed, victims to get to the gold below in the ship's cargo hold! She followed them
into the swimming pool, and watched countless victims be shot and maimed by bullets! She watched her fellow shipmates stab a leader in the massacre! They all
took elevators down to the Cargo Deck, and blasted the hatch door open, to reveal boxes of gold bullion!
They screeched with victory, waving their weapons, and the second in command Mr. Maximilliano the ship's purser, stopped and eyed Francesca, she and he made a
silent agreement, and he turned on his fellow murderers, and shot them as they screamed with horror, and flew into the walls, and ceiling!
The purser, turned for just a second in time to see Francesca pointing a gun square in the middle of his eyes! She pushed the trigger, and he fell face forward, into a
pool of his own blood! Francesca sniggered, and smiled, when she felt HIS presence behind her! He came up to her, and grabbed her, and they kissed, for only
seconds! He let go of her and then out of no where, a cargo hook, lunged through the air, and picked Francesca off her feet! The hook lodged itself in her neck,
destroying the life she once knew! She swung in circles as blood dripped silently in puddles along the floor! Her face in a contorted look of utter shock, and pain! She
looked down at him, her lover, the man of her dreams, with anger, and fright!
Her eyes became glazed, and she tried to move her mouth but she couldn't, her jaw was broken, and blood was flowing from her butchered neck, down her dress,
to the floor! She looked up and never looked down, and Jack Ferriman, the sole survivor of the Lorelei, and Satan's leading man, grabbed her arm, tore her glove off,
and imprinted his mark on her, the sign she would never escape from ever again…
Jack walked across the blood-stained deck of the promenade, and sat on a deck chair, watching the sun rise to greet his quota, as the Antonia Graza drifted across
the Bremuda Triangle, he caste off, to a new ship, his quota finally satisfied…