"I think my boots are melting. And what is that smell?" Clutching a flashlight, Stewart splashed through the foot of water accumulating in the boat bottom. He had pulled an orange life vest over his head and its straps strained against his doughy gut. "What are you doing?"
Stewart's wife, Shelly, was waving her iPhone over her head. "Trying to get service," she said.
"Service? Are you crazy? We just got swallowed by a giant sha-"
"Got it! Three bars!" exclaimed Shelly.
Stewart's mouth hung open. "You're kidding."
Shelly didn't reply, her thumbs wildly tapping the screen.
"Are you calling the coast guard?"
"I'll do that in a minute."
Shelly shook her head.
"The air force? The marines? Your mother? Please tell me you're not trying to call your mother."
"I'm not trying to call anyone. I'm sending a text."
Stewart waited, then sighed and prompted, "To...?"
"Mr. Miller?You mean the director? From the show?"
"Yes. I think he's going to be very excited by these developments!"
Stewart sat down on what remained of the gunwale. "I can't believe this is happening. We've been swallowed by a shark while trying to sail across the Pacific in a twenty foot sailboat to win, what was the name of the show again?"
"People Will Do Anything To Be On TV! I watch it every week. You could at least pretend to be paying attention."
"People Will Do Anything To Be On TV! Now there's truth in advertising. Ok, so, we're trying to sail across the Pacific in a twenty foot sailboat to win the grand prize of People Will Do Anything To Be On TV! which is, how much, 10,000 dollars?"
"Four thousand? Are you sure? I could have sworn the contract said 10,000."
"The boat cost six thousand dollars."
"You're kidding. You would have thought we'd get more boat for that much money."
"Oooo, it's Mr. Miller. He texted back!"
"Is he going to get us help?"
"He says he can't text right now. He's at dinner with his daughter. But he'll get back to us later tonight. Isn't that sweet?"
"He and his wife are going through a divorce. I think he's trying to keep the lines of communication open with his daughter. Divorce is always hardest on the kids."
"This is not what I had in mind when you said we were going to travel when we retired, Shelly."
"Oh poo, you worry too much Stew."
"Shelly, we're in the belly of a shark. I think of all the times to worry, this is..."
"We've been swallowed by a Megalodon. An extinct species of shark. Although, apparently not so extinct after all. Isn't that wonderful? Just when you thought all the environmental news is doom and gloom, we rediscover a species that everyone thought died out millions of years ago. We'll probably make National Geographic. Maybe even the cover."
"How do you know..."
Shelly held up her phone. "My Wikipedia app. I told you to download it. It's wonderful. Wait until Mr. Miller hears about this."
"Does Wikipedia say anything about how to get out of a Mega-whozi-whatsit after you've been swallowed?"
"Megalodon. And don't be silly, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it only deals with facts. I'll Google it. W-H-A-T T-O D-O I-F A M-EG-A-L-O-D-O-N S-W-A oh, here it is.Funny, it's the second recommended search."
"What's the first one?"
Shelly blushed. "I'm not sure, but it sounds very inappropriate."
"Oh look, this site has a video and everything. This doesn't look hard at all."
Steward squinted over Shelly's shoulder. "I don't understand, what are they doing?"
"They're crawling out the sharks, errr, rear exit."
"Yes, yes it is," said Shelly as she detached one of the cameras that had been mounted on the rail of the sailboat. "And nothing sells a reality television show like disgusting footage. This is going to make for a great episode! We're sure to win now. They might even bring us back next season, they do that will the really good contestants,"
"Wonderful," Stewart replied.
THE END copyright 2014 John Lance