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A Hero In Disguise

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The creaky boat swayed back and forth as the raging waves crashed upon the deck. The stormy sky was full of thundering clouds that looked unwelcoming to any sailor unfortunate enough to venture into these plagued waters. I felt a chill run through the very depths of my soul. I glanced at the captain, standing on the stern with resolve as set as stone. I felt myself smiling as I thought back to how he found me. I was scavenging on the streets and homeless when he took me in. He gave me food, water, and a place to stay near his crackling fireplace. I shook myself out of these comforting memories and turned around. I needed to stay alert. These waters are wholly unpredictable. As if on cue, a hoarse yell arose from the water. I hurtled to the side of the boat and found the captain struggling to stay afloat amidst the churning, black waters. “He fell off the side!” a crewmate shouted frantically. I could not respond. I was paralyzed with fear. It felt like a nightmare that I couldn’t seem to wake myself from. A quick look at the captain’s hauntingly desperate face jolted me back to the danger at hand. I thought of all the captain had done for me out of kindness and I knew that I couldn’t stand by and witness him drown. I took a deep breath and leaped into the frigid waters below.
The biting cold water soaked me to the bone immediately, but I ignored the chill as I searched for the captain. I spotted his head bobbing above the water and paddled toward him as fast as my little legs could go. I reached the captain and noticed that he was absolutely exhausted. I clenched the scruff of his coat in my mouth and slowly started swimming back toward the boat. The waves relentlessly pounded on us and I felt my eyesight blurring and my grip on the captain loosening. Thankfully, we had reached the boat and the sailors pulled the captain aboard. A few sailors reached out into the water and carried me onto the deck as well, but I knew that my time was short. Dark spots were appearing in my vision and the lower half of my body was unresponsive. I flopped my head over to the side and found the captain wrapped in a warm blanket, looking over at me with eyes brimming with tears. He took me in his arms and gently caressed my head. “You saved me... My hero,” he whispered fiercely into my drooping ear. I felt pride radiate through every part of me. He was safe and that was all that mattered. I licked his face in a half-hearted attempt to say goodbye as I sank into an eternal slumber.



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