The Captain

I’ve been neglectful of this online scrapbook of mine. I could ramble off all of the various excuses, but suffice it to say sometimes life just rears its ugly head in all of its Medusa-like glory.

I’ll spare you the details. Trust me, you don’t really want to know them all.

You do?

Let’s just sum it up by saying loss in the family, blood vessels forgetting their true function, and a teething toddler. We seem to have passed the worst of it. Let’s hope that 2011 is a quieter year. A simplier year.

In the mean time, for your entertainment purposes, here’s a little story to keep you entertained.

#

I stand on the bow, face tilts toward the sun. I can feel the heat press down on me and wonder if more freckles are growing. I am happy. Opening my eyes, I see nothing but the cerulean sky. No clouds blemish my view, no other ships on the horizon to distract from the calm waves lapping against the hull. The rocking lulls me, and I am at peace.

I glance over my shoulder towards the quarterdeck. He is there. Only intead of the peace I expect to see, he’s frowning. His hands grip the wheel. I can see the white-knuckled grip from here, the fierce furrow of his brows, the tension of his body.

Between one blink and the next, the sky darkens, waves rise up and crash against the ship. Lightening flashes, striking the water in loud slaps. I throw myself around the foremast, holding tightly against the sudden storm. Electricity ripples through the air as another strike of lightening hits the water. I become drenched. Rain pounds down upon me and I’m blinded. I can see nothing. Not even him.

Only over the loud rumbling of the sky, the heaving of the water against the ship, and the brief flashes of light do I catch glimpses – him struggling to hold on, littles faces looking out from the Captain’s cabin. They appear¬†frightened.

I’d heard of other storms like this one. Storms that came on so slowly they caught the sailors unaware, destroyed the ship and took some lives hostage. Other storms came fast like this one. Sailors could either ride out the storm or let the storm take them.

I refuse to let the storm take us.

I let go of the foremast. Blind from the rain, I struggle across the forecastle to the main deck. My balance is uneven, my arms out in front of me ready to catch hold of something. I reach the main mast, wrap my arms around it. I look towards him. Through lightening strikes I see him there. The grief of the storm is hitting him harder than it is me.

I let go of the main mast. Each steps brings me closer to him. And each step takes me farther into the storm. I go anyway.

I reach him. He screams at me. He’s angry. Angry that I’m there, that I won’t let him ride it out alone.

My hands grasp the wheel. We fight for control. The ship is facing the wrong way. If it keeps facing the wrong way, it’ll capsize. I know this, but he is blinded by the tempest. Against his wishes, I steer the ship into the wind, into the storm. Better to face it head on.

He fights me every inch of the way.

But I know something he doesn’ t know. He is not the captain of this ship. I am.

And there, just on the horizon, is calmer waters. He sees it.

We steer towards it together.

This entry was posted in Writing.

One comment

  1. mom says:

    Cool! Most men would probably argue about ships and their captains. However, women will agree that most ships are navigated by their gender…..now whether they end up on the rocks or on calm seas depends on the compatibility of the working relationship. HA! How’s that for symbolism? Or is it metaphor? Or is it simile? more ha-ha! Keep writing. It’s therapy and I love it and you.

Leave a Reply