IF SHE HAD stopped to think about what she was getting into, Callie would have turned the job down flat.
She looked up at the island while the wallowing ferry that carried her and half-a-dozen other commuters docked at its weathered pier. Short, rough cliffs and jagged rock prevented docking anywhere but under the dead eyes of long-deserted watchtowers.
Both crew and passengers had hoods pulled up close to protect their faces from the lashing rain; Callie suppressed a shiver as she looked at the bent, shuttered figures; they looked more like ushers on the river Styx than human workers on their way to a bedraggled historic landmark.
The sudden burst of bad weather brought dark clouds with it, and they still hovered as the rain sputtered to a stop; it was early spring just off the Pacific coast of the United States, but it felt more like one of December's wrenching storms. Everything - trees, straggling leafless shrubs and dilapidated buildings - looked beaten down and hopeless. Callie wore a rain slicker that had long since given up on keeping out the lashing rain and the salt spray of the roiling ocean. The optimism she had felt about the project in her sunny office overlooking Coos Bay was nowhere to be found at the moment.
They docked, and one of the hardy few already on land, face hidden by the dim light and the hood of his rain slicker, turned and offered her a callused hand as she scrambled up the slick ramp onto the dock.
Callie followed the crowd as far as the courtyard before she paused, surrendering to the lashing rain as it whipped her face and neck—a punishment, she was beginning to realize, she heartily deserved.
It was worse than she thought. A total disaster. She could see that now. Even the smell of hazelnut wafting through the moldy corridors and rusted barbed wire couldn’t console her.
Her company had finally done it, crossed some invisible threshold into the darkest depths of festering soulless depravity. That it had been her idea made it all the more depressing, but, like the relentless lashing rain, she could deny it no more: a Starbucks on Alcatraz was a shitty idea.
Opening: Debhoag.....Continuation: Blogless_Troll