A Storm Of Tranquility This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Ethan Jacob, where do you think you're going?"

Her last words were muffled as he slammed the door in his mother's face and ran to the back of the garage. With lightning speed, he hopped on his bike and with one push, he was on his way. Just barely missing the wiffleball bat that lay in his path, Ethan barrelled down the driveway and nearly took out the mailbox as he shifted his weight to the left for a sharp turn. A cold sweat sent shivers down his spine as he yearned to hear the rumble of his mother's Saab trailing him or the shrill of her staccato voice from the porch, but the sounds never came.

Overwhelmed with fury, he pedaled on through the driving rain and gale-strength winds. His strawberry blonde hair appeared brown as his long curls clung to his inflamed cheeks that billowed with each breath. Warmed with anger, Ethan took no notice of the fact that he was dressed only in a pair of soccer shorts and a paper thin shirt that had once been his brother's. Neverthe-less, his muscular legs continued in their perpetual struggle as his head strained forward to make the most of his tiring momentum. From the top of this hill, he would be able to see the coastline and even as far as the little island nestled in the bay.

Rejuvenated, he sailed down the incline and sped through the center of Freedom, Maine as he drew closer and closer to his destination. Through the pouring rain, Ethan finally saw the old anchor with Quayside Yacht Club stenciled on its corroded metal. He skid into the parking lot and abandoned his mountain bike on the blue stone, before running off around the club house. On any other day, he would have strolled through the building to check out the local maritime gossip, but today he could not be bothered as he raced to the docks.

With haste, he untied the docklines and leaped into the seventeen-foot Boston Whaler as vivid memories of his fifteenth birthday filled his mind. A push of the choke and a turn of the key sent the engine into high revolutions, the throttle was almost at full. Ethan snapped his head around and, without a second thought, he slammed the throttle into reverse. As soon as the boat was facing the open water, he threw the engine into forward with a flick of his wrist. Taking no heed of the "No Wake" signs, he took her up on a plane while still among the docks and proceeded to steer a course for the island.

His vision began to fail as drops of anger mixed with drops from above and Ethan could hardly make out the buoys in the blinding rain and fierce winds. The constant hum of the bilge pump was the only sound he could decipher as he continued to flee into oblivion. Lost in an abyss of despair and bewilderment, he almost relented to a life lost at sea when he saw the faint silhouette of the island.

It was not long before he had beached his boat and trudged up the shoreline of his coveted escape. Dow Island was the Barts' family retreat, but the dismal forecast had kept them in Boston that weekend and Ethan knew that he would be alone. Without thinking, he automatically set off for the south side of the island. Here, he and his brother had once built a fort and memories of their childhood flooded his mind as he pushed through the thick underbrush.

As he was enveloped by a grove of birch trees, he knew that the fort was just beyond the outcropping of wild blueberry bushes in the distance. With his hands stained violet and the sweet juice still on his tongue, Ethan entered the tired, old shack that had once been a palace to them. As no dry spot was to be found, he hunched up in a corner and leaned his back against the feeble structure. In the failing light, Ethan could just barely see the tattered picture he had brought with him. Drops of anger became drops of anguish as he held the photo up so that a sliver of light could illuminate the image of his brother. 1


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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