Beyond the Horizon

Photo by Kelsea
Photo by Kelsea

I was at the beach today, just enjoying the day. There was a cool breeze that would glide over me every now and again, bringing comfort from the warmth of the hot sun that blasted down onto the fine grained sands of the beach. As I sat on my thin blanket, looking out over the miniature sand dunes of broken sea shells and the multicolored umbrellas of fellow beach dwellers, I caught the glimpse of the fog as it began to roll in over the endless horizon of the sea. In its trek across the water’s surface, a small sail boat was ensnared. Taking all these wonderful adventures that crossed my mind, I had a multitude of thoughts that went through my mind that I couldn’t possibly surmise in one simple way, so I had to choose one..

What I See.. I chose to watch as the white triangle of a sailing boat was captured by the dense fog that seemed to come out of no where in particular. I watched still as it disappeared. And that was when my mind began to wander. That overactive imagination and creative writers blood took over and all of a sudden I wasn’t just sitting on a hot sandy beach watching the fog, I was a young man in a white naval uniform aboard a large sailing ship that was crossing the transatlantic waters into the pacific. I held my gun firm in hand, glad for the sword that was at my side. My eyes scanned the foggy seas in search of the infamous black sails that haunted these very waters. My shipmates were just as weary as I, though some of them chose to drown their fears in ale. I walked my past along the starboard edge of the creaking wooden vessel. We were carrying precious cargo, food and supplies from the motherland to the new colonies. In my mind I wished for those fiends called pirates to dare and try to take this ship, I was newly recruited and ready for a fight, but my boots wobbled on the swaying deck, my hands fumbled to hold my rifle. Long days led to longer, sleepless nights. The rations for food never got smaller, but they were still very small in proportion to what I had been used to eating back on land. Days became weeks, but there was still no sign of pirates, and our sails had been catching the winds, keeping us both on course, and making great time. It was two long months into our four month journey and the rations began to shrink, the crew got testy, and not one of us was sober longer than five hours, just so we could handle being on the same ship with each other. It was then that our good luck and fortune had run out. The skies darkened and our long, pleasant journey became a fierce storm that tested our skills to their limits. It had sprung out of no where, the swells that crested against the edges of our ship, dangerously close to the deck line. Each of us had to take our turns in the rigging, fastening the sails and checking to be sure the ropes were tight. For three days our ship was stuck in what seemed to be a never ending battle with the waves, unsure if we were still on course, because the storm blocked out both the sun and the moon. Just as quickly as it came, it left. Light was seen on the horizon and like children who see the bright face of their mother after a first, long day at school, we all clung to the hope that soon we would be out of this nightmare. Our sh crawled towards the light with every creak of its weight, coming from the storm like a champion who had been at war, returning a victor. We all have a shout and a holler, especially when the captain allowed an extra ration for the night. That night we feasted like kings with one small loaf of bread, two helpings of fruit and a small slab of meat that was drenched in salt. But our mugs were filled with ale and we sung the shanties of the sea well into the night. At daybreak, we unfurled the sails and let the winds of the storm push us back onto course, getting ever closer to our destination. Our navigator estimated a three week arrival time. Spirits were high, and it wasn’t just the barrels of rum we were emptying. One week later, those same spirits dropped as we watched the black sails of the pirate captain “Black beard” come out of the morning fog and head straight for our very own ship. But I didn’t shake anymore, our crew had just survived the trials of a fierce storm, we could handle one pirate ship! But with meager rations filling our bellies, lack of clean water, and having been on this ship for too damned long, out chances didn’t look good. That was when my nephew decided it was time to pack up and leave the beach. With a groan and a wail I put down my pen, closed my notebook, and we left the Pirates and the sailors at the beach, my mind then focused on how to entertain my just as overly active minded nephew.

Should I finish the tale of leave it stand and let the mind wander as to the fates of those that become entangled in the epic battles at sea? Perhaps, there is something else that has caught the attentions of my overly active mind, and for now, I am thinking of the journey that comes next. What do you see when you let your mind wander when at the beach? Do you go so far as to envision the tale? Do you glimpse another world, with characters coming to life before your very eyes? What do you see? Leave a comment, and let me know your ocean tale!

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