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“Have you ever seen something so lovely, honey?”
“Well gosh darn it! That is purty…”
“Now that’s a sight, babe.”
“Omigosh Chesley, lookit! Omigosh, take a picture!”
“Oh yeah, dude. That’s pretty rockin’ right there...”
Crowds and crowds of vacationers rushed to the edge of the cruise ship’s deck, fumbling with cell phones and cameras in their hands as if they were sleeping babies awakening to a thrill. “Wow!” Voices cooed and shouted from all over the place.
I pushed my way passed my family, passed Michael, and up the stairs to the third deck, to where Morgan stood. She flashed her eyes in my direction, then pasted them back on the sight in the distance as the ship rocked and shifted slightly to the side. As I leaned forward over the stair rail, I let my gaze follow the rest of the crowd’s. “Have you ever seen something so lovely, honey?” my mom asked. I didn’t reply - I was too engrossed in the spectacle before me.
Past the murmurs and awes of the cruisers lay a silent ocean of black glass, a deep void of sky floating idly above dappled by stars and a waning crescent moon, and right in the middle of the two was a small island, not even a mile away, with a great volcano protruding from its dark core. It was erupting. Lava spewed from its top, a beautiful scarlet star flowing gently down the volcano’s side.
“Well gosh darn it…” Morgan seemingly muttered to herself, “That is purty…” Her lips caught my glance on that last slurred syllable. They were covered in deep red lipstick as usual, but they were even more inviting in the dim light of the volcano. It cast a faint crimson glow on her moon-pale skin and normally bleach blonde hair, highlighting the smoothness of her pink cheeks and making her hair look like a grand fire creating a glow all of its own. The sight was entrancing, and eventually my casual glance had grown into an awestruck gaze like that of Ryan’s and Abby’s in front of me, but the object of my gaze wasn’t the volcano like theirs. It was Morgan.
I think she noticed. Within a flash of Chesley’s camera, her eyes turned again in my direction, a deep midnight blue to match the sky with the hint of a fire flickering in their deepest corners. They were curious at first, but then became seemingly devoid of all emotion. Lost… it was exhilarating! The ship rocked again and I grabbed onto the stair rail just as Morgan flung her cold palm right on top of mine. Another pair of hands held up my back to help me regain my balance when Morgan’s feathery weight and body fell into mine. I didn’t really notice when Michael’s hands disappeared from behind me.
Morgan’s black glass eyes stood inches from mine, and in that faint crimson glow of her lips, I could see the excitement bubbling up inside her too. An infinitely long yet too short of a moment passed and soon I could feel her lipstick smearing over my own lips, ecstasy flowing through me like hot lava.
“Now that’s a sight, babe!” Ryan roared near my ear in laughter. I could picture his head turned in our direction, his giddy smile mirroring Abby’s as she squirmed playfully in his arm, shouting, “Omigosh Chesley, lookit! Omigosh, take a picture!”
I smiled in my mind as I continued to kiss the soft lava lips of Morgan’s in the moonlight. Everyone filled my ears with pure joy: Ryan and Abby’s laughter, Chesley’s camera clicking, Michael’s distant clapping, and even Mom’s sighing -- I bet she fainted. Eventually Morgan let go of my face, and she grinned excitedly as a giggle and even a snort escaped from her mouth. She covered her mouth with a cute gesture, and then, without her eyes leaving mine, sauntered off into the teen lounge.
“Oh yeah, dude,” Michael shouted, wrapping his arm over my shoulder, patting my back. He snickered into my neck and turned to point a funny finger at Morgan, or possibly just at her a**. “That’s pretty rockin’ right there.”