Out of This World by Sheryl Doiron-Powers Genre: Paranormal Romance
“Need a break from the frigid Canadian temperatures? Need a pick me up?”
Janessa stopped ignoring the advertisement.
“Need a break away from it all, filled with the adventure of a lifetime? Are you still single? Out of this World Cruise Lines has just the adventure package to break you out of your winter doldrums! Check out our singles adventure packages at www.outofthisworld.ca today and have the best winter break of your life!”
Singles cruises. It sounded kind of cheesy, but the adventure part sounded like just what she needed. She definitely wanted out of her cold, lonely world for a while. Throwing caution to the wind, she booked herself a ticket, never imagining for a moment just how far her vacation would take her from the life she had once known.
The ladies entered the ballroom together, with their confidence levels at an all-time high. More than a few heads turned as they made their way to the bar for a little more social lubrication. They decided to be totally cliché, and each ordered two pina coladas, one for each hand. Abigail snorted with laughter as Janessa told the bartender their choices. He had the courtesy to smile and pretend it was the first time he’d heard that joke before handing the girls their glasses. Drinks in hand, the ladies found a table and took a seat. The ever-present cruise director advised them all to drink responsibly and have a great time before handing them off to the DJ.
“We’re going to dance until we fall down,” promised Janessa.
“Well, I’m not a very good dancer, but I’m going to take your advice and cut loose and enjoy myself.”
“Damn straight, Abigail! Let’s go!”
She pulled her towards the dance floor. Neither of them had heard this song before, but the beat was catchy, and both ladies busted a move. It was early, and they were the first brave souls on the floor. The DJ gave them a shout-out and prodded the others to get up and dance. Taylor Swift’s latest hit thumped through the room as several ladies headed towards Janessa and Abigail, and before long, the floor was crowded with happy dancers.
A slow number came on, and Abigail was immediately snatched up to dance. Janessa made her way to the bar and got herself a Bahama Mama, and perched on a bar stool. She surveyed the dancing couples with a smile and decided Abigail looked ecstatic. Her eyes were drawn to one of the wait staff who was picking up glasses at the tables around the edge of the room, the tray he carried loaded with an impossible number of glasses. His foot hooked in the leg of a chair, and he tripped. While the tray managed to stay in his hand, the majority of the glasses were catapulted forward.
Janessa grimaced as she waited for the crash of broken glass to follow. Righting himself quickly, the waiter flung his empty hand forward, flattening his palm as he spread out his fingers. The glasses froze in midair. She blinked hard in disbelief. When she opened her eyes again, all of the glasses were on the tray. Her eyes shifted to the drink in her hand. She quickly set it down on the edge of the bar and looked back at the waiter. He smiled, nodded at her, and continued to clean the tables. I must have gotten too much sun today, she thought as she shook her head slightly in an attempt to clear it. No more drinks for me. I’ve clearly had more than enough already. The song wrapped up, and Abigail practically bounded toward her in excitement.
“Oh my gosh! Someone asked me to dance! I’ve never had anyone ask me to dance. I’m so excited I could pee,” she exclaimed enthusiastically. “Wait, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“Oh, I’m fine. No worries.”
“Someone will ask, you just wait and see. You look fantastic.”
“Oh no, sweetie, it’s not that at all. I just had the strangest thing happen. I was sitting at the bar with a drink when—”
“Excuse me, miss, the director would like a word,” interrupted a waiter.
“Umm, okay,” Janessa said haltingly.
The two ladies followed along behind the waiter. He led them through a maze of hallways to the director’s office. “He would prefer to speak to you alone. I will wait out here with Miss Abigail to escort you back.”
Janessa walked into the office hesitantly. She could not fathom why on earth the director would want to speak to her. Perhaps it was because of that call about the basket. She hoped not. She dreaded having to discuss that topic. She just knew she’d die of embarrassment.
“Please shut the door and have a seat, Miss Lavigne,” he commanded gently.
Sheryl Doiron-Powers is a diverse Canadian writer who dabbles in many genres including horror, young adult, science fiction, creative non-fiction, and everything in between. She decided to return to school as a mature student and graduated with distinction from St. Thomas University in 2016, where she studied Communications and English. Encouraged to try her hand at writing by her professors, she entered a concentration in creative writing and has been writing ever since. She currently lives in a small community just outside of Fredericton, New Brunswick with her horror writing husband, Joe Powers. She holds her three children and six grandchildren close to her heart, even when life takes them on their own adventures hundreds of kilometers away.