Title: Pendragon at Sea, part 1
Characters: Arthur, OCs
Summary: Arthur goes on a three-hour cruise while on a vacation to Hawaii. Disaster strikes.
Warnings: drowning death of an OC
Word Count: 580
Prompt: 372, July Bingo; drowning
Author's notes: All I know about boats is what I could find with quick internet searching. If I use terms incorrectly, please let me know so I can fix them.
As with most things that went wrong in Arthur’s life, he could pin the blame, at least partly, on his sister. It generally made life easier, especially since she did the exact same thing. Their childhood had been a steady litany of blame being passed around until their father just threw up his hands in disgust and walked away to let the two of them fight it out. Only their tutor had ever figured out that their fights mysteriously ended once any possibility of punishment had ceased. Geoffrey just bypassed their manipulation altogether and assigned them both ridiculously long essays on books he knew they hated.
At the moment, Arthur found himself wishing for one of those essays. It would be preferable to clinging to the gunwale of the boat he was on in a storm while listening to the drunken friend of the equally drunk captain give the passengers a quick and dirty lesson on surviving a shipwreck. Oh, but Geoffrey would be proud of how attentive he was for this particular lesson. It would prove wrong all the times he’d bemoaned that Arthur couldn’t pay attention to something other than sports or girls if his life depended on it.
Next to him, his date for this little three-hour cruise sat clinging to his arm. She was one of Morgana’s acquaintances (not even a real friend!), and the reason he could blame Morgana for this whole fiasco. At the moment, Arthur couldn’t even remember her name. He kept going over the pseudo-first mate’s instruction in his head, just in case the next-
A wave crashed into Arthur, the force of the water pushing him and his date (Erica! Yes, that was her name.) down to the deck. Erica’s arms tried to tighten around his as they slipped apart. He turned to reach for her, but saw her flow with the water toward the stern of the boat as the wave carried her straight to the little opening that led to the swim ladder. She was gone before he could grab her, her face stark white with terror, washed overboard as Arthur stared helplessly at the space she had just been.
He scrabbled across the deck to the opening, ignoring the pseudo-first mate and the other passengers. Arthur held on to the railing lining the gunwale while he strained to see her. He screamed her name, just hoping she’d still be close enough to hear and respond, knowing it was probably futile. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of the bright orange life vests they were all wearing. He grabbed the boat hook and crossed the deck to the other side carefully, holding onto the railing tightly when he saw another wave coming for them.
He reached over the gunwale but Erica wasn’t close enough for the hook to catch her vest. “Come on, Erica. Swim closer.” He watched, but she didn’t seem to be moving at all. The next wave pushed her over and Arthur saw her face in a flash of lightning. It was slack and her eyes were open. She was gone.
He collapsed into the seat nearest him. He’d never seen a person die before. A wave swamped over him, making him grab hold of the railing tighter. It drew his mind from Erica’s fate for a moment and he realized that she may not be the only one he saw drown before the captain got the boat safely into harbor.