Tied To Shore

Poetic Short Story
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Short Story


The yacht tilted and dipped, then violently lurched from side to side. It’s sinking and there are no life vests aboard this vessel. The Captain’s angelic wife, darted out from the galley with a terrified look on her face and when he witnessed the absolute horror in her dark eyes a stark realization of death entered into his mind. Suddenly and without warning, there was a horrific roar all around them as the yacht rammed into what appeared to be a large shipping container for the second and final time. The force of the violent impact nearly tossed the Captain over-board and splintered the mass in half, sending it crashing down to the deck and striking his wife in its descent. Quickly he regained his bearings and franticly tied a rope from her ankle to his. Over and over his thoughts repeated, this all can’t be real, this all can’t be real, this all can’t be real. With all his might he dragged her lifeless body to the tip of the bow, embraced her tightly and together they flopped over board.

For that moment of free fall they both stood suspended in time, frozen in purgatory. On the horizon, was a surreal sight, vibrant splashes of orange and pinkish hues painted the scattered clouds. A heaven full of beautiful colours casted a faint glimmer of hope and one that held thick in the air. Then, in the blink of an eye it was all gone. Torn away, as the vicious beast of fear sunk its talons deep into his skull, rooting themselves into the very corners of his mind.

Thats when they hit the water, and thats when he knew she was gone—he struggled and he pounded on her chest for hours, until her colours gently faded off.

Then he kissed her, he held her, he told her he loved her.

When I close your eyes shut and your face holds a smile
This was our own choice,
This was our own style
That kind of a hint,
That said all worthwhile

Out there in that great vastness, he began to untie her from his ankle and release her out into the unknown. As the rope tugged ever so gently away from tips of his fingers, he franticly snatched it back into his grip and promised never to let go.

The rope it cuts deep and straight to the core
I cry and scream and I beg out for shore
I gobble some water and choke out a roar
I speak to the gods,
But I talk to you more
You just float there in silence— without such a word,
I think to myself,
This is all just absurd

He could still feel the tickle of fear in the back of his throat no matter how much sea water he gargled down. Thats when it struck him. The awful dread of the blackness below. For he knew what ferocious beasts lurked just beneath his toes. He feared the pain mostly and how it would all come to an end. He felt like every second was one step further into some uncertain and brutally savage doom.

Over there— I see a fin
My mind is drifting ever thin;
A toothy monster lurks within
I dread and fear my next of kin
That her body shall bring them in

He was terrified. Every fibre screamed for him to just give up. Depressing, evil thoughts spun in his mind about abandoning his wife again and again. He could simply bury her at sea he thought, save himself the risk of attracting the wildlife. But he ultimately questioned if he could even save himself with that firmly imprinted on his conscience. He couldn’t just leave her out there in that blue abyss to be gobbled up and devoured.

We drift on out, deep into night
The moon itself, it shines so bright
Reflecting diamonds within its light

I still worry though,
And just the slight—
That soon enough I’d feel that bite

Horrific jaw,
My final straw
The one that might,
Just end it all

Together they just float there in the blackness, the Captain firmly held his wife’s icy hand. He tilted his head back and gazed skyward up into the universe. He reflected on their life and the many possibilities they had shared together. He imagined things were different. He imagined a world far different from the one they had both been brought to life in. A place where life was held to the highest order, where it was cherished and hailed for its beauty. Instead of frivolously destroyed, snuffed out without a second thought and taken for granted on any order.

I dream of a far off and distant place
One that drifts deep out into space
Where love is free—
Is where she’ll be

Oh blasted sea;
I beg to thee
Please taketh me—
And set me free

He cried that night, he cried more tears than that ocean had waves. Not only was he drifting into the vast unknown, but also he teetered on the verge of insanity. With the morning light came a very dire reality for the Captain, that no one was ever coming for them. He never felt more abandoned and utterly alone than at that moment. At one point, he feverishly hallucinated that he saw a man wearing a jet pack soaring overhead, amongst the puffy cotton ball clouds, that dotted pale blue sky. Franticly, he thrashed his arms and splashed wildly until his shoulders were about to give out. He was on the cusp of a complete mental breakdown.

I now feel a gentle stillness
As my brain succumbs to mental illness
I don’t want to be here anymore—
I swim and dive, towards floor
My mind it spins, and feels at war

Then you whispered—
What I can’t ignore

He snapped around and shot back upward, out from the darkness in a gulp of air. There it was right before his swollen red eyes. Barrelling down on him in all its glory, a mighty ship. He knew somewhere, somewhere in all that craziness of his mind that out there on that horizon hope was always desperately storming towards him. Relief and joy washed over him like a rogue wave. “We’re going to make it my darling,” he screamed in joy, as he tugged on the rope and hugged her stiffness.

I splash and I fling;
I yell and I sing
It’s a beautiful thing
To hope and to cling

Drifting by just a thread
I could’ve been dead,
But rather instead;
A lone ship lay ahead

WE SEND DINGHY! PLEASE REMAIN CALM!” A speaker blasted out at him from the enormous rusty tanker ship.

He shivered in happiness watching them lower the little orange dinghy into the water. Three men approached the Captain and his wife.

ARE OKAY?” One of the men yelled out as they steered the dinghy along side him.

PLEASE— I beg you, take my wife first,” he cried out to the men.

Two of those men looked at each other shell shocked, as they were confronted by her awful greyish state.

STOP—she not come! Only him,” the man perched at the dinghies helm screamed towards the other two leaning overboard to help.

NO—you take my wife first,” the Captain demanded, as he splashed them and swam just out of their reach.

No dead bodies allowed on ship! She must stay in sea,” sternly barked the dinghies captain.

If she stays, then I stay!

He hadn’t come this far not to bring her back with him.

She gave him hope, she gave him purpose and without her life would be useless.

So the meaning of life isn’t always that clear, but as time fades so does the fear.

The Captain slipped out of the rope attached to his ankle and took one final breath of air. Then he dove straight down into the murky depths below.

His final bubbles float to the surface
She gave him hope,
She gave him purpose

It didn’t have to end this way
A simple yes and he’d of stayed
This was not his choice that had been made
It was his mind that had betrayed
Watch the bubbles, as they fade



read Roach Adams’ blog Animals Of Progress

photograph by Kelly Sikkema


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Roach Adams

Roach Adams, made of twisted steel and raw sex appeal. He resides in The Great White North. Often, he can be found wrestling wily eyed beavers just to maintain optimum muscle strength and sustain good mobility. To sooth his demented mindset this man simply writes. Look out for his debut short story collection coming soon. www.animalsofprogress.blogspot.ca

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