Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gigi Takes a Cruise, part one

Welcome to part one of Gigi Takes a Cruise. Make sure you stop by the Xtabay to see the window display matching the story. As always, everything Gigi wears in the story is for sale.

Gigi, with her poodle, Yves, in tow, walked up the ramp onto the Queen Coco cruise ship. It had been a long time since she'd had a vacation, and she was eager to settle on deck with a fat novel while the ship wended its way through the Virgin Islands. Groups of retirees surged onto the ship around her, some of the ladies cooing at Yves. Just ahead Gigi saw the Captain greeting passengers. The Captain was an old family friend and had been in the Navy with Gigi's father.

"Gigi! I'm so glad to see you. I've saved you a spot at the Captain's table for dinner. I hope you'll be able to join me," the Captain said as he reached down to scratch Yves's head. Gigi happily agreed and left him to find her room.

It was late in the afternoon when the ship set sail, so Gigi changed into a full length, blue-flowered Catalina gown cleverly made of swimsuit material. She clipped a silk flower into Yves's fur and found two empty chaise lounges near the pool. She sat in one and pulled out her book while Yves hopped into the other chaise. A waiter brought a glass of fresh mango juice for Gigi and bowl of water for the poodle. The ship glided stealthily over the ocean, and a cool breeze cut the afternoon's heat. "Isn't this nice, Yves? Finally we can relax."

Just then a fight broke out behind her at the shuffleboard court. "I told you! It's not your turn, it's mine!" Gigi heard an elderly lady shout. "You don't know what you're talking about, Mildred," another voice, this one a man's, said. "Just because you know how to play pinochle doesn't mean you know squat about shuffleboard."

One of the ship's staff calmed the couple down, but a minute later a dozen or so senior ladies in bathing suits--many with little skirts attached--milled around at the edge of pool. "Excuse me," one of the ladies said to Gigi, "Do you know when the water aerobics class starts? I thought it was supposed to be going by now." Gigi said she was sorry that she didn't know about the class, and she excused herself to go back to her room for a little peace and quiet.

That night for dinner Gigi was led to the Captain's table. The ship's doctor and a friendly couple from Texas were already seated. "My name is Maryann, and I must tell you that you look absolutely ravishing, darlin'," the Texan lady said. Gigi was wearing a hot pink chiffon dress with even hotter pink flowers in the print. She took off the bolero jacket that matched the dress and set her coral, patent leather clutch on the table next to her. A string of pink crystals glittered around her neck.

"Thank you! My name is Gigi. Where's the Captain? I was afraid I'd be late."

"Oh, he's been putting out fires all day, poor man," Maryann's husband said. "Something has gone wrong on this cruise. This is our 37th cruise and I've never seen such mayhem. Passengers are wandering all over, and no one seems to know what to do."

The Captain, looking flustered, hurried over to the table. "I'm sorry to make everyone wait, but it's been crazy around here. Every time I turn around people are getting into fights. They're bored and irritable and looking for trouble. One passenger even threw another passenger's walker overboard!"

"What's wrong?" Gigi asked.

"The cruise director has chicken pox and is quarantined! Oh, Gigi, can you help us?" the Captain asked. "Please?"

Come back next week to see if Gigi is able to calm the brewing mutiny...

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