On The Horizon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   On The Horizon

by S. M., New City, NY

The sunlight was only creeping over the horizon when David awoke. It was a cool July morning along the Connecticut shore, and he gazed out the window across the deep blue waters of Fishers Island Sound. It was a beautiful day, the sun was rising and there was a delightfully cool breeze blowing in from the water. There were only a few clouds arriving from the east, all the while doing their best to shade the earth from the early morning sunlight. There appeared to be no sign of the previous night's storm that had terrorized the northeast. That morning did not seem like much to David, only a large blur, a frustrating wait until the race that afternoon. Before he even realized it, it was time.

David grabbed the tiller and pulled it tight into his chest; he had momentarily lost the grip of the four-foot piece of mahogany, sending the boat off course 15 to 20 degrees. It was a cold, nasty day for racing, and he could feel the frigid air biting through his rain gear, sinking to the bone. The warm summer weather of only a few hours ago had given way to a cold, winterlike storm. The rain continued to pour down in sheets, saturating everything on the thirty-foot R-boat. Maps, deck lines, clothing, nothing was safe from it. Sight was impossible; as the fog rolled in, it covered everything around him.

As before, the wind began to pick up. This time it felt even more powerful than the predicted 30-knot gales. "Pinch her closer," shouted Edward. "Bring us tight on the wind." As David pulled in the tiller, the old boat began to squeak as it came farther out of the water, the mast now at a 75-degree angle to the water line. He was concerned about his patchy repair work to the mast supports, but he had no time to worry about it now.

"Try to hold her steady," shouted Ed again, "while I find our next buoy." David did all he could to keep the boat on a straight course, but the wind playing its game of hide and seek through his sails didn't make it easy. "There it is! Seventy degrees to starboard, on the horizon. Prepare to tack the mark," Ed shouted as he removed the black binoculars from his eyes. "I see it, one pot to starboard," David replied, acknowledging the sighting. "Prepare to tack for the finish line, hard to lee!" And with that the boat flung around 90 degrees, with a loud crash of the mast as it swung across the width of the narrow sailboat. "Pull in on the mast while I tighten the jib," yelled Ed, "we've got to move it; Princess just followed our tack. She's our competition now."

David realized their situation. They had to pick up as much speed as possible in hopes of being first across the finish line. He quickly trimmed the main sail, in hopes of catching all the wind. As he was doing this, Ed was running from side to side, tightening and releasing sail pressure, in hopes of picking up speed. David picked a straight line, across the sound, heading for the horizon line. He could no longer feel his toes, or even his fingers, but that didn't matter any more; he had a greater purpose, to win. Even though his throat was sore from shouting, he did his best to relay their speed to his mate as it appeared on the digital information display. Little by little, he began to realize that they might just pull this one off; they might just win first place in the most important race of his life. Princess began to fall farther and farther behind until she was completely engulfed by the chasing fog. When no other boats were visible on the horizon, he knew the cup was theirs; they were in first. The days of hard work would all pay off when they heard the gun as they crossed the line.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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