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The Shakespeare Thing
“Hurl it over!!”
The rain hit hard. The wind blew hard swaying the large ship in the raging waters. His voice was swallowed by the whistling of the wind.
“Mum, what is gonna happen to us.”
‘Hold me baby. And no matter what don’t let go.”
The little girl wrapped her arms around her mother as her mother carried her up and strapped her to her chest.
“Nellie this is it. Give it your best.” He said as tears welled up in his eyes. “I love you.”
She nodded as tears hit her cheeks. He hugged her and the baby in her bosom.
“Take care, Jackie. I’ll see you soon.” He told the little girl.
The woman hurled the boat over the ship to the sea. She strapped her child to her back tightly with a cloth and climbed down to the boat.
“Goodbye.” He said as he dragged up the ropes Nellie has untied from the boat. She began to journey across the sea, fighting with the waves. The water got into their boat, drenching both the baby and the mother. Making them shiver, still struggling with the waves.
The Man, his name was Kenneth Morgante and he was my father. He knew that contrary to what he promised my mother, he wouldn’t be able to safely bring the ship to the shore. But he told us that so we could save ourselves. The boat couldn’t take us all. I knew, even though I was nine then and quite too little for my age. The ship wrecked and he drowned. But our boat never got to shore as well. Though, mummy and I got to shore safely but when she figured Daddy had died, she slowly died of heart break. She only lasted a few weeks. And I’ve been living on my own ever since, on this lonely and uninhabited island. But that’s not all that happened. There was something before then. There was betrayal, treason.
Few days before the storm and the ship we had been at the huge house we lived, with my Dad as the Duke of Milan. It had been my birthday and I had succeeded in persuading Daddy to come on a boat trip with me. He wasn’t supposed to do that but, he loved me and he would risk it. Uncle Rodrigo and his son Marcelina had come along and two guards also - to protect the king. We were already far away from shore when Rodrigo turned at father and pointed a sword at him.
“Rodrigo, what’s this” Dad had asked, perplexed
Rodrigo suddenly grabbed my fragile arm and placed the sword so close to the skin on my neck. I remember being very scared and beginning to cry.
“I’ll hurt her Kenneth” He had dared my father
“What do you want?” Dad had asked him, still as stoic and calm as always. Rodrigo put on a smug grin on his face as he asked his son to stir the boat to shore. Where we stopped at was a thick bush and there was a big ship laying there. We were forced off the boat. I was in tears and I had no idea what was happening. Daddy had a strong grip on my wrist. Right now, I don’t know if he did that because he was scared or he was trying to comfort me. We were led to the big ship with swords pointed at our necks.
“Brother you don’t need to do this” Dad said his, eyes dark.
“Get in the ship” My uncle said in contempt
“Milan doesn’t deserve this attitude for a leader”
“What do you know?”
“I know I have served Milan for thirty three years, selflessly. And now you’ve turned even my loyal guards against me” Dad looked at the guards sadly as they pointed their swords at his neck. They pushed us into the ship; it was dark and smelled musty.
“Daddy is this where we’ll live” I asked my dad in a shaky voice.
“You mean where you’ll leave…”Rodrigo answered and then a cackle “…Milan”
“Don’t you dare talk to my daughter like that!”
“Relax Brother, no harm done. Suisse will soon be here to join you on the trip. You didn’t think I’ll leave you two alone did you? I’m not that heartless.”
“You son-of…What did you do to my wife?”
Rodrigo only gave a low chuckle.”Ask her when she comes, bound and slightly unconscious”
Daddy lounged towards him but before he could hit him, one of the guards had knocked my dad out.” I screamed and ran under a table.
I don’t remember what happened after that but I remember waking up and Daddy was awake and stirring the ship and Mother was all white and resting my head on her lap.
“Are we going home, Ma” I asked.
“No, We’re lost…They tied us up and blind-folded us and sailed a long distance away from shore before getting off board and…we have no map.” She replied grimly
“Mum why did they do this.”
“Baby, sleep, the world is a wicked place.”
We were sailing for four days and then the storm came that night that drowned my Dad and caused my mother a heart break that led to her death. And that left me an orphan.
Does the story sound bit of familiar or perhaps plagiarized? Actually I’m thinking perhaps you read Shakespeare’s Tempest. And you’re laughing at my non-creativity for stealing from his story. Well, the fact is that was my story he told. He was writer and he was going through Writer’s Block. So, he had set out in search for inspiration. Weird. After days of sailing, he landed on the island where I was and we met. He was a great guy. We talked a lot and I told him my story. He was sorry for me.
“That’s wicked.” He said.
“I know…But I’ve forgiven him.”
“Five years ago, his son went on a search for me and found me here. His father was dead and he was the new Duke. He asked for my forgiveness…”
“Did he give you a chance to leave this Island?”
“Of course but I wouldn’t”
“The island, It’s what I have left. It’s part of me.”
“But you have my friendship now.”
I smiled. “Yes, Williams. And I’m glad I met you.”
“I was looking for inspiration but I found friendship instead and it’s worth more.”
“You know Shakespeare, I may not be a writer but I can tell you that you can’t go in search of inspiration. Because it’s inside of you. The only limit you have is your imagination. And with it you can rule the universe. Search your heart.”
“I guess I was naïve. There’s a lot happening around you. All you have to do is add your imagination and we have a story.”
I smiled. I was happy for him, he was beginning to understand.
The next morning, he had to leave and as he got his ship ready, I went over to him.
“So, you’re leaving?”
“I have to. I can hear the world screaming my name, to go out there and take it over.”
I chuckled.”I can hear it too.” My eyes moistened, in three days that he’d been here, I had gained a friend in him. He was a great man and no one would ever replace the impact he would make in this world.
“Thank you for your inspiration.”
“I’ll miss you.”
I’ll miss you too.”
“You don’t have to stay. Let‘s go.”
I smiled grimly. “I have too, Will. In this island is all that I am.”
He took my palm, opened it and dropped a locket in it. In the locket was his name engraved in it.
“Thanks.” I smiled as tears dripped down my eyes. “I have a gift for you too. Take my story and use what’s within you to tell it to the world, however you like.”
He was ecstatic and thanked me. He wanted to make my story.
“Good bye, friend”
He left – a great writer, actor, poet, and friend. He left with the knowledge of his greatest possession, his imagination. And then, he wrote my story his way, and named it Tempest.