October 24, 2020


posted on: Thursday October 8, 2015

by Konner Jebb ’16

Portfolio Staff

Midnight’s storm shadowed tides as the seaman clutched his wheel, hands lost to his eyes and himself lost within the ocean. Above him the sky was the color of smog and his boat trudged forward on a wake of tar. Tar that towered and bellowed fifty feet above the wooden ship, like a demonic god, taunting the bough, dissecting the rudder, rocking its rotten hull closer to damnation within the murky pit. The wind tore at his eardrums, skinned his face. Rain, like bullets scourged the deck, the seaman weakening to splintered planks. How dare he cross through our sacred realm! Screaming in contempt, the storm hurled waves over the boat’s rails, choking the captain who hurried to man ropes. He dared not do anything but travel home.

Where was home? Hugs. A daughter with swollen lungs. Attending to her. Land. The dark world around him drained these thoughts from his mind, detonating the word among rounds of thunder for the sky to listen. A cloud of flame devoured the smog ahead, slinking steadily towards the ship, molding a beam. Land. The ship cut through the vengeful waves, bow caressing the dim sheer of the water, wading within the light. Warmth swept his face, his hair, he was found. The boat, reliable. The light source blared in the distance, sun awake into the night, a halo, a sign that the seaman, possessed, followed its illumination like a passageway. This circular yellow savior grew closer, the seaman’s eyes burned, reaching his visible hand beyond the wheel, grasping. His boat, miniscule beneath this twinkling path, obeyed captain’s orders, sailing on. Larger, faster, eyes ablaze.

Crash. The wooden ship crumbled against cliffs. Its wheel, detached, surfed atop shallow tides. The seaman, a ragdoll, disposed of within the tar-like waves, salt licking wounds. He was swallowed, lost. The light did not tremble as the well-fed sea slept.

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