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Monday, August 29, 2016

Ship In A Storm


    Groggily I woke up from the deep sleep whose tentacles refused to let go. Still under the sheets, my arm crept out from under the bed sheet, groped from the snooze button as the radio blared out some song as the faceless voice moaned about the changing weather patterns and sudden storm which might hit the town in the night. Failing to switch it off, I stuck my head out and looked at the world through my bleary eyes. Not liking the world view, I hid back under the sheet and hoped that it would get better the next time I stuck my head out.   
    Getting out of the bed, I wandered around as if in a daze to the dining table to pour myself a shot of whiskey. Nursing my only constant companion these days, I lifted the mug, took a long sip and then poured myself another shot. Looking out the window, I see a vast forest that seems to stretch for miles upon miles. The activity in the small trading town some distance away is in full swing and I can hear the dim voices of men in the street. As my gaze drifted to the wide body of water in the bay, I see a ship had pulled in. The phone started to ring madly. Picking it up, I said “Hello.” 
      “Sir, Captain Cook is unavailable for todays journey. It seems like he had a run in with some wild beast and lost his hand. Could you step in his place for todays journey?” Asked a nameless voice from the Shipping Corp.    
    A short time later, I found myself at the pier. The ship which I had seen from my home loomed ahead and I stopped momentarily to marvel at its huge size. Anchors were being pulled in and it was being untied from the dock. The crates and barrels for the outward journey were being tied down and the crew was in a mad rush to leave before the storm hit the island. A whistle and then a holler broke the spell and I hurriedly walked down towards my own ship. The crew was in full force and someone hollered for me to hot foot to the cabin as the ship was pulling anchor and heading out of the bay.
      The waters were getting choppy and the ship was swaying and heaving even though the crew tightened the ropes and the goods. A storm was brewing and the harbor offered no safety. Anchors were raised and final calls were made. The sails soon caught the easterlies and became taut. As the ship start to move away, I felt my lungs draw a deep breath of the salty air and I felt alive once more.   
    Time passed by and the land we left behind became a distant memory. The ocean stretched from one horizon to the next and there was no land in sight. Looking upwards, I could see nothing but a few stray clouds as they floated past the bright sun which seemed to blind me with its light. The screech of the sea gulls which ebbed and rose seemed never ending, yet seemed to break the deadening monotony. The ship rose and fell as it tried to ride out the storm and the creaking sounds from the hull below my feet made me wonder if it would last this storm.
      Lightning flashed in the distance and one could hear the gentle booming thunder even over the waves which crashed against the hull. The rolling and churning clouds made their way from one end of the horizon to the next. I really don’t know how much time passed by, yet when I came back to my senses I noticed that the wind had died down. There was utter silence all around. A sailor in the crow’s nest was hollering while the sailors in the sea water swept decks were barking and cursing in return. It was still pitch black outside and it started to rain heavily. The sudden downpour soaked me to the bone.  
    Minutes turned into hours and not even a speck of god forsaken rock appeared on the horizon. Looking up, I saw a pale yellow moon appear on the horizon. Turning around, I made my way to the cabin for a shot of whiskey to still my beating heart which seemed to beat so hard as if it wanted to pop out and seek shelter elsewhere.
      Upon entering the room, I flipped the lights on. Total darkness prevailed yet my hand persisted in flipping it back and forth hoping the lights would come on. Down below, I felt the generators kick in and the intercom blared that the hull had been breached and the pumps are on. I felt the ship tilt to one side as it struggled to regain the balance yet failed. I lit the hurricane lantern and hung it in the corner. The constant swaying of the ship was starting to make me uneasy and I grabbed whatever I found nearby to steady myself. As I neared the intercom, I flipped it on and asked for a status update. The future looked grim as we faced certain death as I started to pray to all the Gods I knew.     
    The darkness began to clear as I groggily regained my senses and claw back from the nameless horror pits which I had been dragged to. I woke up after what seemed like many eons with every inch of my body screaming with pain and I slowly started to sit up. I was wondering where I was and what happened to the ship. A sunken vessel with debris around it drew me as if I was in a trance. There were small school of fishes and at times a lonesome shark swimming in and out of the open port holes As I near the deck, some memory ignites and I realize that this sunken ship was my own. The ship which was once proudly sailing the seas was now lying on the bottom of the sea, its sails tattered and torn, its hull breached and the crew dead. As I floated around, the cabin door which had the company emblem gently swings in the currents as if inviting me to enter. As I swim past, the dead crew seemed to look out wanting an escape which they’ll never get doomed to be trapped in this watery grave till eternity.
    The heavy knock on the door and the persistent loud voices woke me up from a horrible dream. I woke up with a gasp as I realized that it was early in the morning and the sun was burning away the last remnants of the dream I was caught in. Sweat was pouring down my face and into my shirt which was soaking wet. The dream was so persistent that the visions seemed imprinted into my mind forever. It seemed to pursue me into this world as I toppled backwards and fell out of the chair.
    Opening the door, I saw my Bill standing at the door giving me the puzzled look. Drawing the ship port curtains aside, I saw that the city life was in full swing as the ship neared its destination. As time wore on, the lingering effects of the dream faded.  Time flew by, I felt the ship dock at the pier, heard the loud curses as the ramp was lowered and help was ought to unload the shipment. Taking a horse drawn carriage to the city where I grew up, I left for shopping district hoping it will be tame compared to the dream I had. The first thing which I will be doing is hitting the well maintained children parks so that I can use the swings and slides for a few hours to dispel the persistent dream.

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