The Silent Waltz of The Reverie

Sadie House

The ship known as The Reverie seemed particularly chilly for the middle of July.

Although perhaps he should’ve expected the cantankerous waves to bring in a storm. Ray Drewitt intended on treating himself to a relaxing vacation, taking the week off work for an ocean cruise. Quite frankly, he was exhausted from his job as an accountant. The numbers that had once excited him now meaninglessly drifted past his vision. Ray felt it was time to make a change, that he was destined to rise above his mundane life. He was better than accounting. So, he decided he would self actualize with the backdrop of calming blue waters rocking him from side to side.

As Ray gazed over the rails of the ship, the ocean was anything but peaceful. She was wild and restless, thrashing against the ship. Ray shook his head distastefully, moving away from the edge. It would mellow out, surely.

Ray laid back in a strapped beach chair, taking notice of the dingy, hole-filled umbrella above but opting to ignore it. Despite the numerous passengers who’d boarded The Reverie before him, the ship’s deck was silent, void of any activity.

Oh well, Ray smiled inwardly. They would just be a bother. . . Loud imbeciles with just as loud and pointless things to say.

What little sound there was abruptly faded away into nothing as Ray dozed off to sleep.

Ray awoke with a jolt, the wicked chill instantly grabbing hold of him. Remarkably, the deck was still empty of people.

A bit unsettled, Ray began to feel the roots of an eerie feeling worming deep within his chest. He checked his watch, squinting through the encroaching fog. Half past noon.

Perhaps the other travelers were eating lunch inside. Yes, that was a logical reason for their absence.

The Meal Hall was no more inviting than the rest of the ship. Lusterless blueish lamps lulled from side to side, occasionally flickering out. What one would expect to be an intoxicatingly bright room filled with conversation, was instead suffocatingly silent. Ray could even hear the slight sliding of platters across the rickety tables.

The server was robotic and vacant in his movements as he unceremoniously dumped a wimpy looking baked potato onto his tray. Ray glanced at it, realizing he hadn’t actually had an appetite in the first place.

There were a few people seated at the tables, hunched over their meals, but not nearly as many as Ray would expect to be dining.

“Ray Drewitt,” he introduced, holding out his hand to a thin woman with stringy hair. The woman broke away from her potato trance, glancing up at him with misty, blank eyes. She said nothing.

“Er- lovely weather we’re having,” Ray tried for conversation again, as much as he hated stooping so low as to rely on small talk.

The woman didn’t reply.

“Are you enjoying your potato?” Still no response.

Ray uncomfortably surveyed the room. Weirdly, everyone shared the same vacant look, like they weren’t present as they mechanically ate their lunch. Ray left the woman to her own devices, leaving the bleak Meal Hall with a sigh.

Returning to the quiet deck, Ray was surprised to see he wasn’t alone. An elderly man with a stocky build, much shorter than Ray himself, was leaning against the rails and watching the rough waves. Ray joined him, still holding his baked potato and fork, his breath visibly puffing into the air.

The raucous waves were rhythmic in the way they bobbed up and down, inevitably coming to an end as they crashed against the ship. The waves should be louder than that, Ray dimly reflected. The silence was all consuming, wrapping around him like a thick blanket.

Up and down.


And down.

“Come to watch the waves, too?” the man spoke, his soft and gravelly voice suddenly piercing through the quiet.

Ray blinked, reeling himself out of his disorientation, “Yeah. Yeah, I did. . . I must say I wasn’t expecting all this trouble on a tropical cruise. It’s far too cold for July.”

The man turned, his blue eyes striking as the ice, studying him with confusion. “July?” Ray nodded. “Mhm. Can’t say I’ve been too pleased with this vacation.” He realized his fingers were going numb from gripping the frigid railing. A light rime had covered the ship. The man was quiet for a moment, his expression contemplative as he stared out at the horizon. “What’s your name, son?”

“Ray Drewitt. I thought I’d be treating myself to a vacation while I ponder changing career paths. Apparently I mistook this miserable ship for a good time,” Ray answered, taking a measly bite of his baked potato.


“And you are?”


“Like Moby Dick?” Ray asked curiously.

“That’s the one,” Moby had a twinkle in his eye.

Ray smiled. He could recall reading that book years ago. A story about a vengeful quest for a whale, a single ship fighting against tumultuous waters.

Allowing the silence to retake him, Ray watched the ocean. Moby’s presence was an anchor, his soul a warm, crackling fire amidst the frost.

The aquatic trance held him for hours. Rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Moby never left, unmoving.

Ray finally broke away, a sharp ring inhabiting his ears. It was as if no time had passed at all, even though he logically knew better.

Ray was rather flustered when a sharp beat of music reached his ears. He turned and saw the ship uncharacteristically alive in an exuberant party. Brilliant golden lights strung between poles shined down on the dozens of people partying like there was no tomorrow. The crisp breeze nipped at their skin as music played from the brass gramophone.

The scene was such a stark contrast to everything Ray had experienced so far that he began to second guess himself. Maybe The Reverie was nothing more than a vacation cruise ship with normal, carefree people. Maybe the stress of quitting his job was getting to Ray’s head. Maybe his mind had fabricated this whole ordeal out of some sick notion to keep him from relaxing.

That must be it.

Nevermind the fact that Ray could barely hear an echo of the music as the party goers danced a silent waltz, the tapping of their shoes against the worn down hardwood floor making no sound. Just a lone ship out in the middle of the ocean, unheard by the rest of the world as they drifted farther out to sea.

Ray could feel the boat tossing and turning when he awoke the next morning, his hollow stomach lurching uncomfortably from sickness, yearning to fill a nonexistent appetite.

The ship was once again void of activity that morning. A far cry from the previous night and its radiant mood.

Now it was empty and barren and cold and quiet. So, so quiet. Ray couldn’t see far past the rails. A thick, claustrophobic, unmoving fog surrounded the ship at all sides.

When his stomach illness didn’t stop (Ray blamed the potato), he went to go visit the ship’s resident doctor. Her name tag read ‘Dr. Blaine,’ and she was a tall woman with platinum blond hair and dark red lipstick to compliment her sickly sweet smile.

“You’re only experiencing a stomach bug?” she reiterated after Ray informed her.

Ray nodded, weirdly unsettled by her overly honeyed tone of voice.

“Unfortunately, sea sickness isn’t uncommon on a cruise. Give your body a day or so to adjust and you’ll feel right as rain,” Dr. Blaine reassured him, flashing that uncanny smile.

Ray caught himself staring at Dr. Blaine’s silver tray of operating tools. They were sharp, twisted and metallic, devilishly glinting up at Ray as if to taunt him.

It triggered a dreadful memory, his forehead splitting in a sharp headache. . .

Being paralyzed in a hospital bed, screaming in agony despite no sound coming out. A rigid cold seizing his bones as he lay. He watched with haunted eyes, powerless to stop the operation.

Unable to tell her he could feel it.

Unable to run from that sickly smile as his organs were scooped out one by one.

Ray snapped himself away from the horrific flashes plaguing his eyes. “Th-thank you, Doctor,” he mumbled, swiftly leaving her quarters and returning to the deck.

Of course, Moby was the only one out there, still watching the rhythmic, foaming waves saunter past. Ray joined him, allowing the unwelcome memory to slip away.

“Morning,” Moby shortly greeted.

“Morning,” Ray replied. He was numb to the cold now.

He focused on the waves as the rest faded into the background. They were much calmer today. Peaceful, yet deceitful to the possible dangers beneath. And Ray knew exactly how deceitful and forceful the ocean could be.

Violently pulling him into her clutches, pushing water down his throat and into his lungs, leaving no room for air. Quietly choking him, draining the air from his body as he peacefully sunk into the shadowy depths. . .

The silence was loudest of all.

Ray no longer knew how long he’d been watching the waves, entranced by its lullaby.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

Back and. . .

As thick fog rested its sleepy form across the ship, Ray could vaguely remember asking

Moby, “How long until we pull up to shore and go home? I’m cold.”

Moby had sighed tiredly, his voice weary with the wisdom of age. “What home could you possibly still have to return to? Everyone aboard The Reverie has been dead for decades.”