After announcing himself at the door of stateroom 612, Putu placed his key card in the slot and turned the handle. He propped the door open and pulled his cleaning cart inside.
The cabin was very neat, with no clothes or towels lying about. In fact, the twin beds were made up even though it was after nine a.m. The chocolate squares, next day’s program, and the towel-folded elephant were exactly where Putu had left them the evening before. How odd. It was as if no one had been in the cabin since he left it.
Yet there was one addition: an uncorked champagne bottle resting inside a bucket of what had earlier been ice. The bucket sat on the coffee table in front of the small couch. Tsk, tsk. Never leave bottle open to air. But where be wine glasses?
Putu walked into the bathroom. Everything tidy there too. He ran his hand along the wall of the shower. Dry. The sink looked dry as well. This room had not been used recently. But where had the cabin’s occupants slept the previous night? Not in port. The ship had been at sea for the last two and a half days.
Standing in the entryway to the bathroom, Putu looked back at the stateroom. A salty morning breeze was wafting through the screen at the entrance to the cabin’s private veranda. He decided to close the veranda’s glass door before starting to clean. But as he moved closer, his eyes caught something through the glass. There on the deck was a fluted champagne glass, lying on its side. One mystery solved.
Yet when the steward opened the screen door to reach for the glass, he gasped.
The hand that had dropped it was dangling from the deckchair. Putu instinctively recoiled. “I...so sorry. Come back later.” But no response came from the deckchair. Not even the slightest movement.
Perhaps the owner of the arm was in a drunken stupor. Putu then noticed the other deckchair, bearing an elderly woman in an evening gown, her head resting on her shoulder. But her eyes were wide open.
The woman’s lifeless stare frightened the Indonesian, and he uttered an involuntary “Ahhh.” Yet the woman’s face registered no reaction, her eyes not even blinking.
With his feet still planted inside the stateroom, Putu leaned his upper torso around the entry to get a closer look at the man. He too was elderly. And his eyes were also open.
Putu took a backward step and then charged for the door of cabin 612.
Title: The Color of Clouds
Author: J.C. Whyte
Genre: Sci-Fi / Paranormal Mystery / Thriller
Pedro’s on a mission. But not your everyday, run-of-the-mill type mission. Because Pedro is dead.
That’s right. Dead.
Spirit guide Pedro normally busies himself with conveying messages from departed loved ones through a psychic named Gwen. But when he encounters a recently deceased teenager, the boy’s anguish just about breaks Pedro’s heart. So the spirit guide decides to try and help this boy. Yet meddling in the affairs of the living is a troublesome business, as Pedro soon discovers.
Nevertheless, he convinces Gwen to take an ocean voyage, and that’s when the trouble begins. Within days of leaving port, two passengers on the cruise ship fall into a mysterious coma. Gwen seeks Pedro’s help to restore these passengers, but natural as well as unnatural obstacles keep getting in the way. And by the time the ship docks in Honolulu, the still-living are flat out scrambling for their lives!
A playful blend of science fiction and the paranormal, The Color of Clouds offers a glimpse into the unseen world while taking the reader on an extraordinary ride. The adventure includes danger, mystery, humor, sweet romance and even a dash of thriller.
But the clouds are not what you think.
J.C. Whyte discovered her love for writing while still in elementary school, creating children’s stories. But as an adult, J.C. had to face the harsh reality that such writing seldom pays the bills. So she earned degrees in both Journalism and Communications, and then turned to Public Relations, where for ten years she focused her creative energies into feature writing.
After marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J. C. entered law school. While there, she became a columnist for the school newsletter and later, one of her humorous articles was even published in The National Jurist.
Graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few short years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she has returned to where her life’s calling began, beginning in 2013 with publication of her children’s book Karmack and now in 2015 with her first novel for adults, The Color of Clouds.