Morgan and Tammy head back to their room to relax, where Tammy falls asleep, but Morgan is awakened by someone slipping two envelopes under their door. It turns out to be Skye, who has cropped and printed all of Mrs. Scott's photos and is handing them out to people. Morgan is completely amazed by this for some reason:
“Are you telling me that you spent the rest of the afternoon cropping and printing the pictures Mrs. Scott took, and now you’re distributing them?”And, a moment later:
After reviewing the contents, Morgan’s eyes widened, and his face showed astonishment. “You did this by yourself?”
“Yes. Came out pretty good, if I do say so myself.” Her body bounced.
“Pretty good isn’t the word. They’re perfect.”Who the HECK praises someone for their astonishing crop-and-print abilities? That's not exactly something that's difficult to do. To Skye's credit, she does occasionally try to point out that Mrs. Scott was the one who actually took the pictures (no doubt she says this while her body randomly bounces some more), but Morgan insists Skye get all the credit because 1) it was her camera, and 2) she cropped and printed the photos, and also because 3) possession is nine-tenths of the law. Seriously. He throws that last bit in there to tell Skye that she should enter her AMAZING photos in a contest and not give Mrs. Scott any credit. He's such a good guy.
Tammy wakes up and marvels at the photos as well, saying they look like professional photos and that Skye is amazing, except for the fact that ALL SHE DID WAS CROP AND PRINT THEM. Seriously, what do these people think "crop" means?
The story then jumps ahead to dinner hour. Both Skye and the Hamiltons have made a point of mentioning it's formalwear night on the cruise, so everyone's dressed up.
They watched the sunset in silence. Morgan reached for his wife’s hand. It was a tender, wordless moment.
Suddenly, the quiet was shattered. “There you are,” a little voice erupted as a child leaped in front of their table.Pah, Skye ruins everything.
She chides them for not sitting with the Leontious, then announces her decision to abandon her parents to sit with them instead. (For her father being all loving and protecting of her, he once again couldn't care less if they actually spent any time together.)
Skye then spends the next page making fun of Morgan, mocking him for his fear of water and yelling that his dolphin thought he was a bad kisser. This leads to a VERY weird couple of lines where Morgan pleads with Tammy to tell Skye that he is, in fact, a great kisser.
Fortunately, the topic changes when Skye reveals her family is abandoning her again:
“Dad, I was wondering. Will you and Mom take me line dancing in Costa Rica?”
“Line dancing?” Tammy asked.
“Yes. Father has to visit one of his clinics there. He’s scared of heights.”After this extremely confusing section, Skye reveals she actually means zip-lining, and she reveals she's too little and light to be allowed to zip-line for real, but her father knows the guy who runs the zip-line place and as long as she has an adult with her (not on the zip-line with her, just with her) they'll let her on. My friend Jennie did a little research and revealed this is extremely unlikely, assuming Skye is pretty average nine-year-old size, as younger children can often ride zip-lines on their own, but whatever.
And check out this wonderful passage:
“Father says that I weigh so little that when I start down the run, I will end up bouncing around like I’m line dancing through the jungle. He said all of the monkeys will fall out of the trees laughing. He even thinks that the laughing hyena will literally die of laughter.”Guys, I think Doctor Layland Leontiou might want Skye dead.
Or at the very least out of their lives.
He's certainly given Morgan enough opportunities to kidnap her. Now he wants them to take her someplace where he gleefully imagines her bizarrely bouncing through the jungle killing hyenas as a result of being too small. Never mind that that's not what would actually happen to someone who was too small to zip-line on their own (they'd just get stuck and wouldn't make it to the end of the cable), I can now only imagine Doctor L. L. as some cartoon villain plotting the death of his daughter and muttering, "Curses! Foiled again," every time she comes back alive.
Uh, and then there's a really awkward couple of lines where Skye talks about how she wishes she had breasts.
Then, thankfully, the topic moves on and Skye invites Morgan and Tammy to swim with the stingrays the next day.
“If you want, I guess we’ll come.” Morgan angled his head.This is why you should always take a moment when you're writing to picture in your head what it would look like. Morgan angles his head, indicating... well, usually a question. Which is totally wrong here. But, more fun, it doesn't say WHICH WAY he angles his head, so for all I know he could be sharply looking up or lurching it toward Skye awkwardly or letting it drop so he could stare at his shoes. In short, there's no way to angle your head after this sentence so that it looks or feels natural.
Morgan asks Tammy if the Leontious have offered her a job, and she says no, but that she's heard rumors that they're "on the threshold of some great discovery." Maybe they involve lab experiments! Maybe they're for rare childhood diseases! We'll never know because we don't believe in being specific!
The couple decided to miss the show that night and go to bed early. It had been a busy day and tomorrow would be another exhausting one.Well, you know, you guys don't have to hang around Skye all the time...
It was almost one in the morning when they were jolted out of bed by a loud banging on the door. Morgan hurried to see what the racket was.Yup, it's Skye.
WHERE ARE HER PARENTS?! Seriously. You don't let your nine-year-old wander around the ship at one in the morning, especially not if she's knocking on people's doors. It's not safe or polite or... anything a kid should be doing.
(As I whined about this to my friend Jennie, her response was, "THROW HER OVERBOARD," a plan to which I can heartily agree.)
Skye drags Morgan and Tammy up to the top deck to see something, but she won't tell them what until they get there, of course, and instead of saying, "Skye, you suck, and we are sleeping," they follow her up. The Leontious are there and, upon seeing Morgan and Tammy, Malinda calmly remarks, "Looks like she woke you too." No apology. Nothing.
Again, have I mentioned how I loathe everyone in this book?
Anyway, Skye apparently discovered a comet one time, and it's going to be super bright tonight. (And she couldn't have told the Hamiltons about this at dinner and invited them to come join her... why?) The Leontious don't seem to know any more about the comet than the Hamiltons do.
Skye's a little late to her own comet-watching party because apparently she woke up Mrs. Scott too. She shows up pushing her in her wheelchair and lets her look through the telescope, and then shares the story of how she found the comet. (She got a fancy telescope for her birthday, found something that didn't fit with the star maps, called somebody at an observatory who confirmed it was a comet, and she got to name it Isaura.)
The last section in the chapter is so truly bizarre that I just have to quote the entire thing.
Mrs. Scott studied Skye. “What are your dreams, young lady? Are you going to be an astronomer when you grow up?”
Everyone was quiet as Skye pondered the question; Morgan and Tammy listened with interest.
“I don’t think so, but that’s a hard question to ask someone my age. I do have dreams, and I have lots of prayers. My dreams are only dreams. My prayers are different, because I know they’ll be answered. I’ve been asking Jesus for a miracle!”
Skye glanced at her mother and father who were standing quietly, and then her gaze shifted to Morgan and Tammy.
She reached her arms upward. “If you want your dreams to come true, you have to reach for the sky!”
Everyone watched as the young girl twirled around, hands extended skyward.
“Come on,” Skye said. “Everybody, think of a dream! Say a prayer! Reach toward the sky! Everything will turn out all right.”
Before long, nearly everyone was reaching heavenward. Even Morgan.Yup. Skye is definitely going to start a cult.