|The Ship (standard:travel stories, 1231 words)|
|Author: Brent Belchamber||Added: Nov 17 2002||Views/Reads: 2191/1209||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The humorous adventures of a little boy on a world tour by ocean liner.|
Scott's eight. I'm Eleven. We're on board an ocean liner just outside the harbor of Cape Town, South Africa. There are rich, dark clouds in amazing contrast to the lush sunlit greens of land. The Captain announced that an unfortunate turn in the weather had caused all craft in the area to seek immediate shelter in the harbor, but that it wouldn't include us. It was a question of space, he said. Because of the warning, the harbor was full and the Harbor Master had asked us to ride it out. It would be windy but tea would still be served. And it was true. Scott and I watched those rich dark clouds overtake us while the wind picked up considerable force. As we went to tea, the blanket-wrapped, deck chair people changed color. And we beheld a room full of cakes, cream puffs, donuts, tarts, pastries, cookies and a gazillion sweets and treats. But no people. It was suspicious. I studied the walls for surveillance and the ceiling for traps but it looked clear. With the precision of military training beyond our years, I sent Scott in first. It was still clear. We performed a clean sweep of everything we wanted and in a moment our sticky fingers were elsewhere on the ship. Scott's face was covered in icing and for good reason. He couldn't very well wipe it off with his little hands full of the spoils of our timely raid. We made our way past the discolored, blanket-wrapped, deck chair people, enthusiastically commenting on the G-force the ocean swells were causing and the height of the waves. “Wow!”, Scott screamed, “That one went right over the deck!” Pale faces turned, but not in our direction. The ship heaved. Scott and I quickly made our way to the latest sweet spot which would guarantee our being splashed by the ocean. Those rich, black clouds boiled just over our heads. The ocean darkened and the atmosphere changed. Occasional lightning thrilled us. The deeply discolored, blanket-wrapped, deck chair people left. The wind was wonderfully fierce. We pretended to be sky divers. Leaning into the wind (and I mean leaning) we were still easily pushed around by the gale. How we were blown! The storm heralds, having delivered their message, carried on to the mainland. We were in the company of a hurricane now. The atmosphere was hugely charged. Everything was dark and loud with the might of its imperial presence. My little brother and I loved it. Standing on the back of a deck chair, much as an Eskimo does his sleigh, the wind would catch the canvas and fill it, as a sail. At tremendous speed, we'd accelerate across the deck. The physics of doing this and living is extraordinary. Of course, getting off the chair was its own special art. Ask any deck chair user. Now, for those who need to know where Mom and Dad were, let me tell you. First class. It was here, next day, when we learned that the ship had lost an anchor to that hurricane. There is a surprising amount of adventure on a vast ship. The ocean is a desert. Scott and I are nomads. Doug and Charles, our older brothers, are probably pirates. More than this, I can not say as we have been sworn to a secrecy that transcends mutual convenience, plus we share a cabin. Unlike my brothers, however, danger isn't always loud in its presence. Most would have thought that the absence of a hurricane was proof of safety. Nevertheless, an invisible phenomenon was stalking the entire vessel. The day was pleasant enough as was the evening. But in the wee hours I was awakened to an increasing need to clear my throat. My brothers could take only so much of that before I was asked to leave. Click here to read the rest of this story (67 more lines)
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