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The Canoe

The clouds rolled in fast, covering the sky and bringing a chill to the air. Ryan looked up from his book. He took in the sight of distant green hills, the tall pine trees that blanketed the landscape and the smooth glassy lake. Then he looked at the sky. The roiling clouds seemed to boil like they were seeping from a cauldron. It was going to storm.
Ryan got up and checked his camp, making sure it was all securely fastened to the earth. He looked at the sky again and decided to grab his jacket. After grabbing his jacket he returned to the shore of the lake and sat back in his camp chair. Ryan gazed across the shore, he saw his kayak pulled high up on the beach, he saw huge logs strewn across the sand like a game of pick up sticks, he saw rocks and boulders that had been eroded into twisting patterns by ages and ages of intense weather, and, as his gaze shifted out to the lake, he saw a canoe.
The canoe grabbed Ryan’s attention and he could focus on nothing else. Why was the canoe out there? With a storm so close, being out on the lake could very well be considered suicide. He watched for twenty minutes, and still the canoe had not moved. The clouds had gotten even darker and the wind was starting to kick up waves. Ryan was not sure what he should do. He could rush off into the lake to warn whoever might be in that canoe, but then he himself might be caught in the storm. Or he could just leave it to whoever was in there to get themselves to shore. The wind got stronger, and now the canoe was disappearing behind waves. A light rain started to fall. Ryan started pacing. Who was in that canoe? The question was driving him crazy. The wind got stronger and the rain fell harder. In his minds eye he could see the canoeists huddled in the bottom of the canoe, drenched and half submerged under water, the waves pushing them around threatening to drown them. Then another thought crossed his mind, what if there were children in there. It made sense. They wouldn’t have known to get off the lake because of the storm and once the storm started, they would not have enough power to get themselves back to shore. The vision in his mind of a couple of kids crying and powerless made his decision for him. He was going out there.
He pulled his kayak to the shore and hopped in, launching himself out onto the stormy lake. Waves were driving him back and he had to power over them. The storm was nearing its full strength and the waves were easily ten feet tall. For every twenty feet he went forward a wave would carry him back fifteen. As he crested the top of a wave he caught a glimpse of the canoe. Then he plunged downward once again. A wave took him from the side and flipped him over; he strained his muscles against the paddle to flip the kayak upright. Gasping he continued forward his muscles nearing the point of exhaustion. The cold was starting to get to Ryan, he could barely feel his fingers and he was shivering uncontrollably. Just up ahead he saw the green flash of the canoe, and with renewed effort he pushed forward. He crested another wave and there below him was the canoe. He let out a cry of victory but he cut it off almost as soon as he started.
The canoe was empty except for two lifejackets buckled to the seats. Nobody was there.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

5star_writter_mone said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 10:55 am
i liked it but i knew nobody was in it from the beginning
 
Rafttheslopes replied...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:50 pm
I'm glad you liked it. I was hoping it wouldn't be too obvious nobody was in there but that was not my entire goal so i guess thats alright. 
 
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