The Next Day Part 4 (Day 6 Morning)

“No, Crew Chief,” Serena replied, glaring at Elle as she picked up her plate.

“Come on,” she said. “Let’s go - check the lashings in the hold. Unless you got something better to do?” she challenged and stood up, motioning towards the door for Serena to lead the way.

“I feel very ignored in my requests here …” Vas shook his head.

“You think it’s a women thing?” Drake whispered.

“Keep that to yourself they out number us menfolk …” Vas whispered back

“Sure, if you still need help with it,” Serena replied, putting her dish in the sink. “Then since you’re so good at it, dishes will need done.”

In the hold Elle walked past Serena, looking around crates and pillars to make sure they were truly alone. Metal thunked into wood, her knife vibrating from the force she’d used to plant it firmly into the top of a crate then walked away from it. “Get to it,” she told her and stood there.

“Get to what?” Serena said, putting both hands on her hips. “I shown you how to do it already.”

“Don’t be dumb. Get to it or get off my back, girl.” Elle stepped closer, hands relaxed at her side and eyes on Serena’s pretty face.

“You don’t be dumb!” Serena shot back. “One minute you won’t do nothin’ less you’re told direct to an’ I try an’ help you out and tell you direct and then you’re mad on account of me bein’ on your back? Make up your mind, on account of it’s keepin’ me from what I need to get done.”

Vas buried his face in his hand. Crew table was on the second floor and BOY did their voices carry.

“Then go do it. You ain’t Crew Chief and you’re not helping, you’re picking because you ain’t got no one else to feel better than ‘cept me. So get to it. Get to feeling real good about being you,” Elle said and her hand slashed out in a wide open handed slap.

Serena was not expecting to be slapped, and decided instantaneously that she didn’t like it. No way, not on this ship. Her hand rubbed the spot on her cheek where the blow landed, which stung and made her bite the inside of her cheek, anger bubbling up inside her chest. Her eyes narrowed. “I’ll feel real better ‘bout me when I break your nose!” The pigtailed teen shot back, taking two quick steps in and throwing a jab.

Elle made no effort to block it. Serena’s jab, well coached by Vas, landed just like it should have. The pain was shocking and drove the deckhand back a few steps. She couldn’t help but hold her hand to her face, blood leaking around them. It hurt and it kept hurting but Elle steadied up and took her hands down, face painted and nose already swelling.

“I said get to it, little girl.” She stepped back towards Serena.

“Bàn píngzi cù!” (Half empty bottle of vinegar!) Serena cursed, holding her ground, dropping into a practiced fighting stance. “You get to it! Or you go take another nap and maybe karma will come in and hit you with somethin’ else!”

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