I studied for my captain's test, which I passed. Just barely, but passed is passed.
Not long after, I and my first mate stood on the dock, ready to get onto the ship that would take me on a great sea voyage.
I just had no idea of how great of a voyage it would be or what difficulties awaited my crew and me.
The first day went well. We were headed out to sea, and the water was calm. The salt air smelled good. No more of that stale city air that had assaulted my senses for so long. The birds swooped and rose. We caught fish and our cook prepared a feast for us. Life at sea was good.
That night, the sky was a collection of dark, dramatic colors. A storm could be coming. We chose a sailor to do night watch and the rest of the crew slept the sleep of the weary. I did not, however, because I was the captain, and I felt attuned to every movement of the ship. Its rocking and its bouncing as the wind picked up kept me alert.
It was dark, as only a sliver of the moon appeared in the sky. Early in the morning, the rains fell sideways. The winds howled and the ship rocked violently. I sounded the alarm, and all hands reported to deck.
|A storm approaches|
Before long, he had vanished. I believed that he was lost at sea. Later, I would learn differently.
I never imagined that I would lose my friend like that. The mood aboard deck became somber as we pondered our sad loss.
We fought a terrible battle against the sea. Our ship was not as seaworthy as I had believed when I inspected it before we began our journey. Before long, it became apparent that our ship would not last much longer. The ship broke into pieces as it continued to be battered by the driving rain, the enormous waves, and it became apparent that everyone was going to fall overboard. It was time to abandon ship. Of course, as captain, it was my duty to go down with my ship.
All hands got on life boats. I gave the order for the boats to depart, to seek out safe ground, and I stayed on ship, waiting to sink with the ship. But the ship did not sink. It floated on the water, pushed by the waves and by the wind and by the driving rain until, at last, it hit dry land and with a heave, it was grounded.
I climbed out of the ship, amazed that I was still alive. I was alone, and I was wet from head to toe. I hoped that the crew had found safe ground and had survived their ordeal. I surveyed my ship. It would never sail again. I was stranded in an unknown land and I did not know if I would ever see home again.
Just as I was taking inventory of the destruction of my first ship, humans surrounded me. They had weapons aimed at me. I did not know why. I was not a threat. I had no weapons, no ship. I was completely harmless and helpless. One of the humans said that I had arrived illegally onto their land and that I would be detained. The humans manacled me with huge, heavy handcuffs and placed me in a car. They drove me to a fortified building in a grimy city that was even larger than the city that I had left and locked me into a tiny cage.
Terror gripped me and...
(to be continued on Monday)