Please say hello to Verity Croker and
What was supposed to be a sixteenth birthday celebration cruise for identical twins Jilda and Rosa quickly turns into a nightmare. While her mother and sister are enjoying an excursion on a Fijian island, Jilda, who is unwell and remains onboard, finds their ship has sailed off, leaving most of its passengers stranded on shore.
An unknown group has overtaken the ship. After a few days, they collect thousands of new passengers from a distant archipelago, making conditions onboard overcrowded and uncomfortable. Nobody seems to know where they are headed, so the mood on the ship rapidly deteriorates. Though Jilda is desperate to reunite with her family, she meets someone who comforts her and will completely change her world. But how will her new friend Jade feel when she learns Jilda has a boyfriend back home?
Strong hands hold me high, and I can feel myself teetering over the edge of the metal rail. The wind whips my hair around and flicks it into my eyes. Am I really going to end up in the icy-looking water far below, or are they bluffing?
I hear a cry. “Stop! Stop! Let her down!” It’s the captain, who has followed us and is right behind the men. “Think about what you are doing. She’s a human being who has done no harm.”
“Tell us where we are going,” yells one of my captors, “and we will let her go!”
Some people start to clap and stomp their feet in rhythm with the words, and soon the noise is deafening.
“Where are we going? Where are we going?”
The captain finally understands they really mean business. I feel myself being lifted higher, my toes now barely reaching the top of the railing. The men are holding me by my calves and wrists, and it’s all I can do to try and keep my balance I’m swaying so much. Suddenly I’m pushed, but my fall is broken as rough hands keep gripping my ankles. My face thumps into the side of the ship below the railing, and I can feel blood pour hot from my nose. I’m hanging upside down, outside the railing, and I’m screaming and bawling at the same time, stomach rolling. My fists beat against the metallic hull of the ship.
How has our tropical island holiday turned into such horror?
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About the author:
Verity Croker writes across a variety of genres. Her novels for young adult readers, May Day Mine and Jilda’s Ark are published by Harmony Ink Press, US, and her chapter books for 8 to 12 year olds, Cyclone Christmas and Block City, are published by Sunshine Books, NZ. She is also a published author of short stories, newspaper articles, poetry, and travel articles. She teaches International students at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.