JJ loved the ocean. Out here, there was never any question about who was in charge. He glanced over at his son Trevor, fourteen, trolling astern. Port side, Trevor’s friend Billy seemed to have snagged something. JJ grinned. Opportunity knocks, he thought to himself. He scrambled down to help Billy.
“Whoa! You’ve got a big one! Better let me brace you.” For JJ, this part was well-rehearsed. He wrapped his strong right arm around Billy’s waist and gradually moved his body closer to the youngster’s backside. His left hand snaked around to guide the reel. “You have to play this guy! I’ll teach you. Follow my lead.”
JJ shouted, “Look at that! A hammerhead! Nice job!” The trick was to keep the boy’s attention on the difficult and demanding task of bringing in a dangerous fish. Meanwhile, JJ sidled up more closely to Billy’s backside and slowly slid his right hand toward the boy’s crotch. There was always a chance one of these kids would tattle, but that only added to JJ’s excitement. If he played this gig right, the boy would also be aroused before he even knew what has happening.
“Hey! What are you doing mister Jordan?!”
“Keep hold of the line, damn it!” JJ commanded. “Pay attention or you’ll lose him!”
“Bring him in yourself! Keep your hands off me! Pervert!”
The boy tried to squirm away, but JJ still had enough of his collegiate strength to hold him fast. Billy twisted and slipped just as the shark dove deep pulling the boy overboard.
JJ stared into the ocean and saw two other sharks, aroused by the chum and struggle, attack the boy. Trevor suddenly screamed in his ear. “What the hell did you do, father? Throw him a line for God’s sake!”
JJ pulled Trevor away. “Look away, son! It’s too late. He’s gone! I told you boys shark fishing was no picnic. You’ve got to do as I say!”
“Bullshit! I saw you! You were trying to put your hand down his pants! Is that why my friends never come back for a second fishing trip?”
“You’re crazy! I tried to save him!” JJ screamed.
Trevor’s vision narrowed and he charged his father meaning him to deck him.
Mister Jordan’s experience as a linebacker kicked in. He side-stepped and planted both hands on his son’s back, propelling him into the roiling ocean. The sharks starting tearing him to pieces as well.
JJ’s wife Pollyann had now come up on deck. She uttered a primitive, unearthly growl.
JJ pulled her back from the railing. “Don’t look! It’s too late. The boys are gone. They’re with God now. I tried to save them.”
Mrs. Jordan struggling to speak. “I saw you push Trevor overboard! What the hell! You monster! I will make you rot in hell!”
“Don’t speak to me like that!” JJ tried to think back. How much could she have seen? Where was Lila? Still below decks. If Pollyann dies, the whole company goes to me.
Pollyann screamed, “Don’t speak to you like that?! You just killed our son! What the hell?”
“Listen, Polly. He tried to jump overboard to save his friend. It was pointless. They’re sharks everywhere! Trevor’s a hero. I was trying to save him, but he wrenched away from me. I’m devastated too. Naturally. Come here, love. Come here.”
Pollyann narrowed her eyes. Had she misunderstood? She saw them struggle. It seemed like Trevor had charged him and JJ pushed him. She wanted to give her husband the benefit of the doubt. She shuffled back to him, trying to read his face. At last he held her tightly to him, comforting her. His hug tightened to a diaphragm-paralyzing bear hug. JJ didn’t relish the hassle of getting a new wife, but he saw no alternative. He chucked her over into the writhing sea. He watched the insatiable sharks destroy the last bit of damning evidence. He sighed. Damn. That was a close one, he thought. He turned back to see Lila staring at him.
JJ acted the part of a devastated victim quite well; well enough to brainwash Lila and well enough to hoodwink the local cops who were predisposed toward JJ in any case. Many still remembered his stellar college career as a middle linebacker at State. Of course, that wouldn’t put them in a frame of mind to let go a killer. But it did put them in a frame of mind to give him the benefit of the doubt. Being white and apparently well-to-do enhanced his credibility. Lila knew none of this at the time. For her, the fact that the police believed her father made it seem more likely that she had hallucinated. After all, as JJ constantly reminded her, she was understandably perturbed and caught off guard, dazzled by coming into the bright light suddenly from below deck. “Besides,” JJ asked Lila, “why would I kill my own wife and son or even a young friend? What possible motive could I have?”