To start at the beginning, use this link: Link to Chapter 1
When Janice was taking her back to the aquarium in the morning, Katherine asked her if she had heard from Dave.
“No, he didn’t call last night or this morning.” Janice answered.
“That seems strange. Do you suppose they ran into problems?”
“They were on their way back. Maybe they’re in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico and they don’t have any cell-phone service.”
“I suppose that could explain it.”
Eventually, Maria’s panic subsided as her body came to realize that death was not imminent, despite being tightly enclosed and immobile. Maria strained her senses, trying to get a small hint to indicate what was happening outside her box. Not long after she was moved to the other boat, she heard a muffled boom, like an explosion. But after that she could hear no sound other than a faint hum that she figured must be coming from the engines. There was a very slight rolling motion as the boat moved across the waves, but other than those slight hints, Maria could detect nothing of what was going on around her. She could imagine, though, that they were heading back to Carlos’s house in Guatemala, and even though it had taken the mermaids several days to get to Isla Marisol, it wasn’t very far for a fast military vessel like the one they were on. It would probably only take them a couple of hours to get there. But based on Carlos’s previous actions, Maria guessed they would be confined to the boxes for some time even after they landed. Why else would he have had his men change the discs in all of their breathing collars? The discs lasted about 24 hours, and apparently Carlos wanted to be sure they could breathe for that long without needing to change them again. So Maria assumed he would leave them in the boxes for nearly that whole time. Then what? He had said something about Gretchen and “big plans.” He had also talked about sleeping arrangements when describing the boxes. Maria’s heart pounded again as she contemplated spending every night trapped and immobile in the dark. When she got control of herself, she wondered about the big plans Carlos had mentioned. Would it be more performances? More people watching? Or would he be selling them off to the highest bidder, like he did with Katherine? Maria suspected that eventually their fate would be the latter. Human trafficking was Carlos’s main business after all. And the mermaids were just higher value people to be bought and sold like the other victims of his schemes. At least Katherine had been rescued. Would Dave pull off a rescue of Maria and the others? The loud boom she had heard worried her. Once he had what he wanted, would Carlos let Dave and the others escape to tell the story? Or would he make sure they were out of the way?