Peggy – Part Six

Peggy – Part Six

Here’s part six of John Spychka’s ‘Peggy’:

We run to the nearest police station, just beside Victoria Park, about three blocks from the General Hospital. We burst through the front doors and go straight to the reception desk:

“We need to talk to the chief of police,” I say.

“Concerning?” asks a disinterested voice behind a bullet-proof window.

“It’s a matter of life and death!” I blurt into the metal louvered circle in the window.

“Life and death?”

“Thousands of people could be killed.”

“How so?”

“Benedict Arnold’s ghost ship is going to ram the Queen Mary II at the Old Port at any moment.”

“A ghost ship?”

“Well, it’s a long story, about 230 years old. But I must speak to someone.”

“Maybe you should talk to our psychologist. Let me see if she is available.”

“Never mind.”

We leave the police station frustrated but the receptionist is right: our story does sound unbelievable. We are on our own then, and we just wasted fifteen minutes. We have to get back to the Old Port as quickly as possible. It will take us a good thirty minutes on foot and maybe five minutes, or ten at the most, in a cab. That is a no-brainer so I hail a cab.

“To the Old Port, and make it fast!” I say to the cab driver.

“Listen, Bud. It’s early evening on one of the most important days in the history of Quebec City. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper. It’ll take at least an hour to get there.”

“Forget it then,” I say.

I turn to Hannah and say, “Let’s go for a run.”

When we get to the Old Port, out of breath, we see the worst: There are literally tens of thousands of potential victims roaming about.

It is ten past seven, only twenty minutes left.

We bust through the crowd to the Queen Mary II and ask to board:

“May I see your electronic boarding cards?” says the crew member.

“We don’t have any,” I say.

“Then you cannot board.”

“Please, this is an urgent matter. The ship has to leave port immediately.”

“Leave immediately? Impossible, sir.”

“Please, let me talk to the captain, hurry,” I say.

“One moment.”

The crew member mumbles some gibberish into a walkie-talkie. We wait ten minutes for someone to arrive.

“I am the assistant captain. How can I be of assistance?

“The ship must leave port immediately. A brigantine loaded with explosives is going to crash into the Queen Mary II in five minutes,” I say.

“I beg your pardon. A brigantine?”

“Benedict Arnold’s Peggy, a ghost ship, is going to ram the Queen Mary II. We must evacuate now!”

“Listen son, there are perhaps twenty thousand people in the Old Port right now not to mention over one thousand people still on the cruise ship. There is no way I will evacuate anybody on account of a ghost ship. Now beat it before I call the authorities!”

“But, you don’t understand.”

“This is your last chance, buddy.”

To be continued… 

Peggy – Part One
Peggy – Part Two
Peggy – Part Three
Peggy – Pary Four
Peggy – Part Five

Categories: News, Opinion

About Author

John Spychka

John Spychka has dabbled in writing since the early ’90s. His closest claim to fame came around 2006 when his work, “The Slava Ladies League Christmas Pyrogy Fiasco,” was shortlisted for the annual Writers’ Union of Canada’s Short Prose Competition. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Calgary and also has a Master’s in English Literature from Université Laval. He has travelled extensively, having lived in Japan and France. John is a manager in a multi-national software company and dreams to one day be able to live off his writing. He lives in Quebec City with his wife and two children.