Immediately after getting married, Mark and Stacy Singleton leave for their honeymoon in the Caribbean. They rent a boat to cruise some of the islands, but while they are sleeping, a large tanker unknowingly overturns their craft. Holding on to wreckage, they float toward a nearby island where two men—one a scientist and the other his assistant—rescue them. Mark and Stacy don’t know it, but their life has just become much more complicated than they could ever have imagined.…
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In Who Is What? by J. Robert Parkinson, Mark and Stacy are on their honeymoon when their rented boat is run over by a freighter, and they are shipwrecked. They float on a piece of wreckage to a nearby island where they are rescued by a scientists and his assistant. Mark and Stacy are grateful, especially since the scientist is a doctor and can treat their wounds. But little do they know that the doctor and his assistant have ulterior motives, and it won’t be long before Mark and Stacy are entangled in a web of betrayal and confusion, from which they will be lucky to escape in one piece.
Combining suspense, intrigue, and humor, Parkinson has created a tale that will both entertain and enthrall all the way through.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Who Is What? by J. Robert Parkinson is the story of a young married couple who take a honeymoon to the Caribbean. Mark and Stacy rent a boat and travel around the islands off the coast of Miami. One night as they lay naked on the deck of the boat, they are run over by a huge freighter and their small boat destroyed. The two manage to climb onto a piece of the deck and float to a small island on their makeshift raft. A scientist, Dr. Sparkman, and his assistant, Theos, live on the island and conduct research in their specially equipment lab. They see Mark and Stacy arrive on the piece of wreckage and rescue them. The doctor treats their wounds, gives them food and clothing, and lets them stay as guests until a supply ship arrives to take them back to Miami. But unbeknownst to Mark and Stacy, they have just become part of a science project that could change their lives forever.
Who Is What? is intriguing, suspenseful, fast paced, and full of twists and turns that will amuse, intrigue, and keep you turning pages as fast as you can.
“Until death do us part.”
“I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
After a brief kiss and a big smile, the newlyweds, Mark and Stacy Singleton, turned toward the congregation and were greeted by a round of applause—and more smiles.
The organist played the Recessional, and Mark and Stacy walked down the aisle arm-in-arm.
At the rear of the church, they stopped, turned around, and for the next twenty minutes, accepted the handshakes, hugs, and good wishes from their friends and family.
Then came the reception. It was fantastic! Friends, family, and team members filled the hall, danced to the terrific music, ate wonderful food, and enjoyed a few drinks. Only a few.
Mark’s teammates on the university football team were “in training” so they passed on the booze, but the other guests made up for their “good behavior.” All the customary activities—the “first dance,” the garter and bouquet tosses went off without a hitch.
It was a great party, and after a respectable period of time, Mark and Stacy announced, “Sorry to have to leave so soon, but we have a plane to catch. We’re heading to the Caribbean. The weather there is perfect—not like this Chicago stuff. We’ll be back for practice, so we don’t want to lose a day by missing the plane. Thank you all for coming. We’ll see you in ten days.”
Amid loud cheers and more good wishes, they left the hall, changed clothes, collected their luggage, and headed for O’Hare Airport in a limo waiting at the curb.
“That was fun. It was hectic and noisy, but fun. Now we have almost two weeks to enjoy peace and quiet.”
Stacy smiled. “And each other.”
Mark hugged her. “Right. And each other. Renting that boat was a great idea. I can’t wait to get on board and enjoy ourselves, the ocean, the sun, and the quiet.”
“Life is good,” Stacy said. “And we’re off to a great start. I’m looking forward to doing nothing for two weeks.”
“Nothing?” added Mark.
“Well, almost nothing.” Stacy kissed him on the cheek as the limo approached the terminal building.
“Here we go!”
Both of them said the same thing, and they headed into the crowded building to check in for the flight and check their bags and go through the time and aggravation of getting through security.
Their new lives had started, and they wanted to take in everything they could.
Everything was good—and getting better by the minute.
They were lying on the foredeck of the boat they had rented, looking straight up at the black sky dotted with brilliant points of light. All around them was silence, except for the gentle lapping against the side of the boat as it drifted silently through the dark tropical waters.
They had not thought to turn on the lights, and the darkness allowed them to see the stars without any glare interfering. They knew that just over the horizon to the southwest lay the group of islands they had noted on the chart earlier in the evening, but, for now, everything was black, and they were alone. No one or nothing was anywhere near them.
Just before the sun had set, Mark had picked up Stacy, held her over the railing for a moment, and then dropped her screaming into the blue water a few feet below.
When her head came up, surrounded by bubbles, she sputtered and then shouted, “You rat! That was a dirty trick. Now I’m soaked!”
While she was still splashing, sputtering, and shouting, Mark climbed up onto the rail, jumped as high as he could, and landed inches away from her with a great splash. While under the water, he grabbed her legs, pulled her under, and took her in his arms. They came back to the surface quickly, still in a tight embrace and just floated, holding tightly to each other for many minutes.
“Hey look, Stacy. The damn boat is drifting away. This would be a helluva place to start married life—alone in the middle of the ocean. Let’s get back on board.”
They swam to the boat and climbed up on the platform attached to the stern. They climbed over the transom, and Stacy got a couple of big towels out of the locker. They pulled off the wet clothes and dried themselves briskly. They put the towels down on the deck and lay down on top of them, touching each other gently, talking, and looking skyward.
Stacy sighed. “It seems impossible that just two days ago we were just leaving the wedding reception—you in that funny suit with the ruffled shirt and me in a long gown. That sure was a crowd, and boy, was it hot. It was a beautiful wedding, but I was glad to get away. Now here we are—alone—with lots of time before we have to get back for classes next month. After graduation next spring, let’s come back here again, Okay?”
Mark smiled. Here they were, just starting the honeymoon, and Stacy was already planning their vacation for next year.
They lay there for a long time, watching the sky give up its brilliant reds to the deep black of night.
With the darkness surrounding them, the gentle rocking of the boat, and the hypnotism of the night sky, they dozed briefly from time to time, coming back to full consciousness for a few moments and then once again drifting off to sleep.
During one of the returns to consciousness, Stacy thought she heard something—a sound other than the music and the water around their dark boat. She strained, trying to figure out what it could be. She remained perfectly still, looking up at the stars and listening.
The sound grew louder, and she saw something she didn’t understand. The stars were beginning to disappear as if some great hand was pulling a screen across the sky. What’s going on? she thought.
The answer came to her suddenly, and the frightening truth held her frozen for a moment.
What happened next, happened quickly, but to Stacy, it seemed like a nightmare. She couldn’t move even though she was in danger.
The nightmare was like a slow motion film. She knew what was happening, but she couldn’t make herself move. She knew it wasn’t a screen that was covering the stars.
© 2018 by J. Robert Parkinson