Lost At Sea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: The Imaginarium

Submitted: September 14, 2018

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Submitted: September 14, 2018

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Lost At Sea.

There’d been no warning. None at all. If there had been would it have made it better or worse. One minute we are sailing smoothly, steadily on course, and the next, the whole boat starts to tilt. It seems that second by second the lean gets that bit further towards the sea itself, as it churns beneath the now rapidly sinking ship.

Panic! Absolute total panic! What was meant to be a pleasurable voyage has been instantly plunged in to nightmare territory. Screams and shouts from all directions. I’m sure there is an emergency routine, but in the face of an emergency it has all been forgotten.

No one is in charge. The Captain is one of the first to bail from the ship in one of only two lifeboats. What about the crew? The passengers? He’s interested in nothing more than saving his own skin.

In a combination of horror and a feeling of justice being served I see the shark circling, going in for the kill. That little lifeboat with the cowardly Captain is like matchsticks in its jaws. At least we now know what has caused the damage; I think I preferred it when I didn’t. For now, not only is there the fear of imminent death by drowning, but the prospect of being half-eaten first. No wonder we are all gripped by mass hysteria.

There are not many of them, though; sharks I mean. No more than two or three and they are not going to be hungry enough to munch their way through over one hundred people. It’s just a case of hanging on as long as possible, until the appetites have been quenched.

I’m lucky, in a way. I was at the far side of the boat. It has lifted alarmingly high out of the water but I have a good grip on the guard-rail. It’s not easy hanging on and the more it tips the more my arms and shoulders scream out in agony. The screams from those who have not been able to hang on for so long drown out my physical ones though.

It’s getting lower in the water now. I guess it will not be long until I find myself truly out at sea, in deep, very deep, water. It’s hard to see the surface of the water now, but apart from the odd moan, the lapping of the water against what is shortly to be another shipwreck, it seems quiet. No more screaming, shouting, frantic splashing. I can only hope that this means that there are no more sharks too.

* * * *

I’ve not heard anyone else. Does that mean that I am the only survivor? I can’t believe that, won’t believe that, because the idea of being totally alone in the middle of an ocean is too much to contemplate.

For the first time I am beginning to wish that I had been one of the first to be devoured. The shock of it all is starting to set in and I cannot allow myself to succumb to it. After all, isn’t shock one of the greatest killers of all.

It is not cold, but even so, dressed only in a nightgown and already drenched to the skin my body shivers and my teeth chatter. I’m in the water now and will have to let go if I am not going to allow the ship to pull me under. Shutting my eyes, pointlessly as I can’t see anything anyway, I force my hands to loosen their grip, and I begin to swim.

I must be charmed, lucky or something, for before I tire completely I bang into a large floating case. Something to hold on to that will keep me afloat. I’m not heavy, would it hold my weight? Should I even try to climb on top of it, risk it disappearing too? But then, if it doesn’t work, surely it will just pop up again. It has to be worth a try.

It’s not easy, climbing up on to something I cannot see but only feel. I manage it though, but for a moment wish that I’d remained just hanging on. It sinks beneath me, so I am almost level with the water again, but then, to my relief, it rights itself once more. Dripping wet, saturated, I hold on and hope that the tide will bring me safely to land.

* * * *

For a moment I think it is nothing more than a reflection. There is a light, bobbing in the water nearby. Isn’t it too yellow to be the image of the moon, because that is up in the sky glowing silver, while that on the water’s surface is glowing gold.

A lamp! If I reach out – carefully, very carefully – my hand might just reach it enough to pull it towards me. It burns of course, for the part of it not in the water is boiling hot glass and metal. But it is a lamp! It’s value is not so much in the light it casts, but somehow it makes me feel less like all is lost.

The sky is full of clouds though, I can see that already. Heavy ones, full of rain, and the wind is beginning to pick up soon. A storm? That’s all I need.

I scan the sea’s surface for as far as I can see. There is no-one, nothing in sight – only me. It’s not possible that out of more than one hundred I am the only one left adrift. They must either be in front of me or behind, or two far off for me to make out.

The sea, that’s from where any threat would come. At least that was what I believed. It never even dawned on me that I should be wary of the sky. But hear they come, cawing and squawking, with a flapping of wings and a snapping of beaks. Seagulls, hungry and seeing me as a certain catch.

I have no free hands, will have to let go of the lamp. But then I can only wave at them, trying to deter them from getting too close. There are too many, coming in from every direction now. I should have drowned along with the ship for I realize now that I will never make it to shore.

 


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