I thank my LadyCibelle, Techsan and SH for their patience, proof reading, editing skills in preparing this tale for posting. This is at least the third version (or revision) of this tale that has been posted on the Internet. Somewhere along the line, a paragraph or two had gone astray from the previous examples posted. Or maybe I've made some additions over the years. Can't quite recall now.
It was a strange feeling to get whilst sitting in an open-air nightclub in the mountains not far from Naples in Italy. Oh, you know the sort of place, all geared up for the tourists and all a little too plastic for my liking really. But the crowd I was with wanted to visit the place so I'd gone along for the ride.
Some old bird -- well, I don't suppose she was that old really, and she had some figure on her to be truthful, but if she'd been a stripper, then probably I would have been a lot happier -- was giving it the vocals on what I assume was supposed to be a traditional Italian folk song. Anyway I think the guys were just about getting the idea of why I'd suggested that this excursion was one that we could do without joining. I had done this same cruise more than once in the past.
I was on the cruise with a bunch of colleagues from the office. Some husbands and wives, some couples who were thinking about it and then a collection of waifs and strays – of both sexes who hadn't found anyone who could put up with us for very long. Yeah, you got it, mostly divorcees. Whether the committed ones thought that some of us might connect or not, I don't know; but when the trip was being planned we were sought out and invited to attend.
By more than coincidence, I'd done this particular cruise the year before, with a pal of mine. He'd got lucky and found himself a tasty widow from up north somewhere. They even got hitched after the holiday and were still going strong. He'd been accepted by Betty's children as a replacement daddy and was by all account was revelling in the job.
I'd hung around with Betty's sister, just to ... well, to give the lovers a little privacy. Yeah, I scored with Betty's sister, but there wasn't anything in the way of chemistry there, if you know what I mean. We more or less had a fifteen-day one-nightstand.
Anyway, having lost my best prowling buddy, I joined this party on the cruise this year hoping I might get lucky and find my dream girl like Mike had. Or, at least, score a few nights during the trip. Okay, I'd bedded Carol, one of the women from accounting, and Jean, a pretty young thing who was married to a guy from sales who got seasick on the first day. How the hell anyone can get seasick on one of these modern floating islands they call cruise ships I will never be able to understand; the things don't rock and roll at all - well, not in the Med anyway. But the bugger recovered and found his sea legs pretty quickly, bringing an end to that little game.
Whoops, now don't go getting the wrong idea about the Jean thing. Jean's old man was a pretty dense bugger, but he also had a wondering eye, and a short memory. Like, he had the habit of forgetting that he was married --when it suited him -- and he was just dense enough not to realise that Jean was on the verge of to nailing him to the ships mast by his balls; figuratively speaking, that is. When they got home from that little jaunt, Jean was intending to lay the divorce petition on him. The holiday already being planned and paid for, Jean thought she'd deny him the pleasure of taking his secretary along on the cruise with him. And get some pay back at the same time. Hey, you reap what you sow in this life.
Anyway that might go some way to explaining why I was sitting in an open-air nightclub that evening, but it didn't explain the odd sensation that had suddenly come over me.
I'm sure you will know the feeling; the blood flow to your ears suddenly – and inexplicably -- increases, and they begin to feel hot. Most folks say, that it's a sign that someone is talking about you, but, I'm pretty convinced that it's a kind of in built radar telling you that someone is watching you. Yeah, the blood flow to your ears increases because you are aware that you are being scrutinised.
I checked the likely candidates.
Jean's husband? Who might possibly have sussed that I'd banged his wife most of that first afternoon.
Nope! That silly bugger seemed to be enthralled with the warbler on the stage, or more than likely that front suspension of hers and the possibility that we all might get a little more than an eyeful.
Carol? Perhaps, she was hoping for a rematch this evening?
Nope! Carol was eyeing up the lump in one of the ship's entertainment coordinators' trousers, and he in turn appeared to be eyeing up her front suspension. I figured, that I'd not get another look in there, on this trip.
Everyone else at our table was watching those tits on the warbler rise and fall with bated breath as she sang. Well, she did have an impressive pair; almost as good as Carol's, but with a lot less retaining them, in that low cut dress.
So I looked around at the people sat at tables near to our own, twisting and turning as I did so, to survey them all. No, apparently there was no one close by looking my way. Everyone appeared to be staring at the stage trying to get some clue as to what the warbler was singing about; or maybe watching those tits, wondering exactly when they were going to fall out.
I turned back and tried to concentrate on them myself, doubting that they would actually make a showing; after all she probably wore the same dress every night. And if they hadn't fallen out since the previous year when I'd last been in that club, they were unlikely to put in a public appearance that evening. But ... I suppose there has to be a first time for everything!
Even though I tried, I couldn't even concentrate on that wish. I still had that damned strange feeling, and my ears were burning even hotter. I looked around again, standing up this time so that I could see the tables further off. But no eyes were cast in my direction.
"Was-up?" Ronny Fisher asked, as I sat down again. Ronny was my cabin partner on the trip.
"Dunno, Ronny. I got the feeling someone's watching me!"
"Ears burning, are they?" Carol asked. She must have noticed my fidgeting as well.
"Yeah, they are. Damned disconcerting it is too!" I replied to her.
"Probably some hot Latino woman who's hot for your body!" Carol joked.
"Well, It ain't going to be you tonight, that's for sure!" I whispered to her having leant close. "I've been watching you eyeing up that guy's equipment!"
Carol elbowed me in the ribs, and then acted as if she hadn't heard me and we retuned out attention to the warbler.
But I kept getting the feeling several more times during the rest of the evening. Especially when I slipped out to the gents. As I made my way back to our table, slowly, and after carefully surveying the whole crowded nightclub from the door. But no one appeared to be looking in my direction.
On the coach ride back to the ship, the uneasy feeling I'd had in the nightclub subsided. But I will point out that there were a good half a dozen or more coaches, with maybe three or four hundred people on them. Anyone could have been emanating the waves -- or whatever they were -- that I'd picked up on, in the club.
I found myself stopping on the ship's gangway whilst going back on board, because for an instant I got the feeling again. I looked around, but now there were hundreds of people behind us, all looking at me, wondering why I'd brought the cavalcade back on board to a halt.
"What gives with you?" Ronny asked when we got to one of the bars for a nightcap. I do believe that I was still scrutinising everyone who entered the bar.
"Dunno, Ronny! Must have been a disturbance in the force." I smiled at him, trying to make light of my behaviour.
"Do what?" Ronny asked looking at me as if I'd gone completely gaga.
"You remember 'The Force' ... in 'Star Wars'. Obi One said he felt a disturbance in the force. Well, in the nightclub ... I dunno ... It was like I felt a presence of some kind."
"It was 'Darth Vader'; he said he felt a presence that he hadn't felt for many years," Ronny corrected me.
"Yeah, you could be right! I felt that there was someone in that club tonight that I knew, and it frightened the arse off me."
"Why did it frighten you?"
"Dunno really. Probably because I couldn't spot them."
"Or didn't recognise them. Probably one of your old conquests." Ronny suggested, with a grin.
"Shit, I hope not! Damn bad form, old boy ... to forget the face of a woman you've laid," I joked.
"Jesus, John, what you got? A bleeding Filofax or something, for a bleeding brain? Do you carry a bleeding photo album in your head? You're always on the bleeding prowl." Ronny grinned at me.
"Just because I'm on the prowl, Ronny ... don't mean I get that lucky all that often."
"Anyway quit worrying. There were a couple of coaches from some place else there tonight. Whoever made that disturbance you felt in the force, could have been on one of them."
"I don't think so somehow, Ron. I got the feeling again when we were coming back on board."
Ronny and I finished our drinks and decided to call it a night. But not before I'd taken another good scan of the bar.
When we woke the next morning the ship was at sea, heading for Palma in Majorca. I was up very early, much before Ron made a move; he'd be snoring away for another couple of hours.
.... There is more of this story ...