Kelly had killed a man. It was in self-defense, which provided some comfort, but the fact remained she had shot a man to death. For the moment her story and alibi was implausible so, she had a huge incentive to stay hidden. She needed time to prepare for the difficult questions the authorities would be asking.
“Get away,” her mind screamed but, as she was perched on a ship that was most definitely a finite space, her options were limited. Intuitively she believed she needed to keep moving through the ship’s interior to avoid discovery but each move invited discovery by an individual observer. Right or wring, she pressed on. While constantly changing location, she furiously thought through the questions she would soon be answering.
“Damn, damn, damn, this was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, away from home and rules,” she thought.
All she had wanted was to leave her sedate, conservative life and have a little fun, but she had allowed it to get out of control. She now found herself wandering an ocean liner in fear of loosing her freedom, her mind, and possibly, her life.
Rounding a corner she stumbled upon a flight of steps and raced down. As she descended the cramped stairs, each section coiled in every nine steps. It seemed like ages until she arrived at the bottom of the stairwell where the stairs opened up into a corridor. She hunched quietly in the stairwell corner just short of the well-lit, very utilitarian corridor that was intended for ship’s staff, not passengers.
She relaxed slightly as the lights in the corridor dimmed automatically. They were on a motion sensor that triggered the lights down and with no motion, least of all from her, they remained dimmed. Lying in the darkened stair well she managed to relax for the first time in hours. Wedged against her right hip lay the small pistol. It was a snub-nosed .38. It felt curiously comfortable considering that prior to this voyage she had never even held a gun. Now it seemed like her best friend. Remarkably easy and surprisingly intuitive to operate, just like on TV, she had popped off the safety, aimed, and pulled the trigger, and the weapon had fired. Its short barrel and lack of range and accuracy were irrelevant. The cabins on the Ocean Queen were not as spacious as the marketing materials would have you believe and the little weapon had been remarkably effective. She had indeed killed a man.