Chapter Three: Shark Attack Pt. 1

"Celsi!"

A familiar voice whispers, jerking me awake.

"Are you finally awake?"

There is a fiercely glaring light as I try to open my eyes to distinguish the glowing silhouette approaching me. "God…"

The voice chuckles, "Come on honey, we're going to be late." A warm hand covers my shoulder and I open my eyes to see her as she tucks a strand of her streaked auburn hair behind her ear.

Mom? I try to sit up, but my body only turns as my hand automatically reaches for the soft protection of my quilt.

"Late for what?" I hear myself groan, and the bed slightly shakes as a hand tries pulling the quilt and eventually dominates.

"Our flight to Australia! We have to go support the team," Her voice takes on a more solemn tone, "Plus, we have to return the challenge trophy this year."

I'm… home? But what happened to the island and Sharkboy? Didn't we already leave for this doomed flight? It was technically how I got stranded in the first place.

Right?

Oh God! I'm going crazy.

Unless…

They say that at death your life flashes before your eyes. If that's true then I'm already a goner. However, it is not as I'd imagined it. There is just nothing. But as I listen I hear a soft rustling as another presence looms over my still body.

"Are you awake?" asks a voice.

Wait, aren't we supposed to be rolling onto a new scene in my life? Like for instance 'Screaming girl attracts the attention of a special forces agent before being forced onto a flying contraption of doom'

"Just get it over with…" I mumble.

"Fine."

A shrill scream escapes my lips as a hand works up my leg.

Dreams do not enable feelings.

I immediately strike a defensive pose. This can only mean one thing...

"Ow, CeCe!"

I look up, slightly gasping, to see Scott glaring at me accusingly. He is covering his arm but its hard to miss the red imprint of what is no doubt a palm mark forming…

"Oh!" I put a hand to my mouth in realization, "Did I do that?" All he does is give me a pitiful pout and I conceal a giggle as I say, "Sorry, it was a reflex."

One you'd better get used to if you insist on being that way, I inwardly warn. "But, what were you doing you perv?"

"Perv?" He defensively clenches a fist.

"Yes! It means you're a no good-"

"I was cleaning your wound. The impact didn't exactly help it y'know?" He shoots back.

"Impact?" My expression hardens as I remember the injustice that was done. I back away from him. He looks at me uncomprehendingly so I accuse, wagging a finger at him, "You pushed me into the water!"

"CeCe I-"

"I could've drowned!" I realize as I stare openmouthed at him.

"I didn't think you'd pass out!" he shouts. His temper is surfacing as well although I'm the one with all the right to be pissed.

He didn't think I'd pass out? Talk about lacking on the brains department!

"That's because you're a clueless prick! What was I supposed to do?" I fling my hands up in frustration before frowning, "No, wait. Don't answer that."

"Swim, CeCe," he answers anyway, "Passing out was extreme!"

My mouth drops open and I am awestruck. I narrow my eyes at him as I shake my head, "Pushing me into the god forsaken ocean was extreme you moron!"

"Pond, CeCe, Pond," he corrects. Like that's supposed to somehow make it better.

I angrily shove past him but he places a hand on my shoulder to stop me.

"Where are you going?"

"Anywhere you're not!" I say trying to wriggle out of his grasp. "Let me go!" I look up at him and he looks away, even stepping aside for me to pass.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm still ultra pissed but suspicion as to why he'd give up without protest gets me staring at him uncomprehendingly.

"What!" I yell, frustration gnawing my insides.

His flat stare transforms into a self conscious smirk, "You can't get away from me!"

I fold my hands across my chest as I again lock gazes with him, "If I get back home I can."

"How're going to do that?"

"I'll build a boat."

Now, there was a time (actually it was two days ago) when I'd never even consider getting on a boat. Not even for the grand dinner they held aboard a ship of one of the finest cruise lines for the Surf meet.

My mother had begged me, insisting it would be like the plane ride. A bad comparison considering the scene I'd caused on the airport and worst yet the plane incident, or should I say, incidents. My brother Seth tried to dare me into doing it and my dad offered to pay me. Well, I took the money but didn't set foot on the boat. Looking back, I realize that fate had devised a cruel consequence.

"What do you want, kid?"

"N-nothing." I had opened the wrong door as I searched the 7th Floor of the Sebel, Manly beach resort. Immediately warned by the nasty looks the more revolting looking men had given me, I backed away. "Sorry, I uh, opened the wrong door." Oh God, just let them leave me be.

"You're scaring her Mitch," indicated the lankiest of the group, nodding in my direction. I straightened, not willing them see how much they intimidated me. My eyes were already darting around for anything that I could use as a defense.

So many crates... No, Celsi, now is not the time to play heroine, Just back away, turn around and make a run for it before your sorry butt pays.

I gulped. Okay, I'll be going now... I thought as I inched further backwards. Unfortunately for me one of the crates got in my way and the stupid thing just had to fall open revealing their biggest secret.

I clamped a hand over my mouth to suppress the gasp that somehow managed to slip out as I made a dash for it. I could hear the guys calling out to me but I didn't stop once. Soon the yelling stopped and I figured that I could've gotten away. The hope however was short lived when rough hands clamped over my mouth and worked in a gag to suppress any verbal protest.

However, I was determined not to go down without a fight and my first reflex was a sharp knee jerk in the his manhood.

He whimpered like the dog he was and let go of me immediately.

"Yeah!" Lavishing in my victory too early, "Don't mess with girl power suck-ahh!" I screamed again as I felt the iron grip on my wrists as another gag was inserted in my mouth.

"Lynx, you let this weak girl beat you?"

"Man, she has a killer kick!"

This time two hands grabbed my legs and carried me like I was a sack of potatoes outside. The odds were all in their favor. With the on deck dinner for the competition practically everyone crowed around the boat, leaving that side of the beach completely deserted.

"Awwright man, bring out the crates!" Oh God, they traffic humans as well, I thought.

"And' 'er?"

"Just, throw her on the boat for now. If anything goes wrong we have a peace offering for the sharks."

Peace... offering?

My knees grew weak as the familiar tide of nausea dominated me. One of the guys, the lanky one, noticed.

"Eh, she doesn't look to good..."

The laughter stopped as they closed in around me.

"Aye, you 'kay?" My mind was even slower to process the blonde Australian guy than it normally took for me to understand their colorful accent. And then I blanked.

" Come on." I am snapped out of my day dream, more like nightmare, when Sharkboy urges me on to his back.

I stare at him dumbly, "Huh?"

"Well, aren't you going to build your boat or whatever?" He asks somewhat harshly, folding his arms.

"Uh, yeah..." I say raising a brow. What's with the attitude?

"Well get on. We both know you can't walk a mile without falling down!"

I bite my lip as I draw in a breath. Focus on the positive Celsi. He's helping you build a boat so you can finally ditch him, I coach myself.

With a close lipped smile I hop on his back and the world becomes a distant blur.

To say the jungle hates me is an understatement.

There is no doubt now that it's purpose is to destroy me.

"Scott!"

My voice is muffled by the vines entangling as I try t o get Sharkboy's attention.

"CeCe!" I hear him shout, and there is a snapping sound from what I hope is him cutting his way through the vines. "Where are you?"

In an early casket of vines.

They squeeze my body tighter and a scream leaves my lips. Almost immediately I see Sharkboy cutting his way through the violent weeds that refuse to leave me be. My hand reaches for his and when he receives it I am thrusted out of the snare.

I sink weakly down on the ground, breathing heavily.

Why are my knees still sinking?

I look down and my eyes widen as I realize where I am. "Ahh!" I can't help but exclaim as I sink further into the quicksand.

"Here grab this!" Sharkboy shouts holding out one of the pieces of wood we'd gathered for the boat. I grab on and he begins pulling. However, the sand which refuses to give up on its prey isn't cooperative and son the stick sinks with me.

"Why'd you let it go?" I shout in frustration.

"Why're you so heavy?" Sharkboy shots back.

"Oh, I don't see you complaining when you bring me on you death rides!" I say bitterly.

"What?"

"Ahh!" A sharp jerk downwards brings me back to the present danger.

Now is not the time for arguing Celsi, I chastise myself.

"Hold out your arms!" Sharkboy commands.

"What?" I frown, "Now's not exactly the time for-"

"Just do it!"

My arms are barely up when a swift motion whizzes past me pulling me out be the hands in the process. And both of us plummet downwards in a heap.

"You're such a mess out here," he says looking up at me. I don't answer and instead scramble up.

"Thanks for helping me," I say being careful to keep my face downcast. I am not about to boost his ego with my blush.

"CeCe..."

"Huh?" I make the mistake of looking up and I am greeted my his playful kiss to my cheeks. It gets me worked up no less and I back away from him.

"Let's get working on the boat."

His answer is barely audible. His tone now stoic and cold. "Right."

We work in silence. At least he doesn't say anything to me other than "Hand me this" or "Pass me that." And as I watch him I can't help it but wonder if he'd come with me.

Of course he won't.

He's loyal to his sharks. And as far as he knows humans had abandoned him. So, why go back?

Because you want him there, an inward voice whispers.

What am I thinking? I shake my head wildly and look up to see Sharkboy staring at me like I've gone mad. My blush of embarrassment only deepens, as I turn away.

"What!" I ask defensively.

"It's done."

I make my way over to his work- his boat. I have to admit, I don't know much about these things but from what I've seen his boat isn't half bad.

I just hope it doesn't sink to the bottom. That would be disastrous. I shudder at the thought.

Can I really do this? And what about my vow to wait for someone to come and get me?

Oh come on Celsi! Don't be so ignorant, I tell myself. It's been nearly three days. I think if someone was going to come they'd be here by now.

Right?

"Well, aren't you going to go?" he asks a little too eagerly, and I narrow my eyes at him. "I mean you can always wait or..." My eyebrows shoot upward. Did he want me to stay? "Well, make up your mind will you!" he snaps harshly once more.

My first thought- this guy has serious issues.

"Oh, I didn't know you wanted to get rid of me so much!" I exclaim. I don't even know why I am trying to start something with him. What I do know is that I can't just leave as yet.

"I don't want to-I can't-You're just such a hazard to everything around you-" he begins.

"So I'm am a pain in the butt?" I exclaim hotly, "Fine then. I won't burden you anymore," I say as I climb in the boat, "I'm out of here!" I cross my arms over my chest before realizing I'm not moving.

i get out to push the boat but he steps forward. "Get in. I'll push it."

I wordlessly get in as he pushes the boat into the water. I try my best to not break down and say anything but that doesn't go to well.

"So, this is it?" I ask, the desire to return and an unsourceable guilt weighing on my conscience as I look at Sharkboy one last time.

He makes a point of not answering and swims away.

That ungrateful jerk! I think, then I feel it. A strong current, created by Sharkboy's freakily agile legs is what create the conditions for the boat's movement. And before I can even digest the reality of it all the island is but a speck in the distance.

You can do this Celsi, I urge myself. Think happy thoughts.

I close my eyes and let the memories evade.

it was dark. Really dark, and cold. Exactly the kind of night for any teenager to be in bed under multiple layers. But the rocking motion backed up by the hard bare floor instead of a soft quilt proved that I was a long way from home. And the voices were not encouraging.

"She awake yet Lynx?"

Lynx?

My eyes flitted open and closed just as suddenly as they did.

Those men? What was I doing here with those men?

"Nah? She must be thalassaphobic or something."

"What?"

"Thalasaphobic? Means you're afraid of the sea. Like you know- Oh never mind?"

That's right, after I didn't go on the on deck dinner, I was kidnapped by those men. Maybe if I just keep sleeping, they'll forget about me, was what I hoped.

At that time, the boat shaked.

"What was that?"

The answer came in the massive splash then, and the boat overturned, throwing me into the raging ocean of sharks.

I hug my knees tighter at the memory. It is definitely not something I want to relive. I am beginning to have second thoughts about my brave venture but it is too late to turn back.

There is a sharp jerk and I impulsively grip the sides of the boat.

Bumpy seas, I think. But my heart still races in alert.

You're just over imagining things because you're tired and sleepy, I reason. Plus, the sharks around here know Sharkboy so they wouldn't actually attack me.

Right?

Again, there is a sharp jerk, and this time I barely have time to gasp as the unmistakable fangs of a shark miss the boat by inches.

I look up to see not one but an entire shoal of sharks circling my small boat. Call me crazy but it is impossible not to notice the evil snare of their treacherous faces.

"Ah!" I scream for all I am worth hoping, praying, begging for Scott's help.