The sky above the port was the color of television turned to a dead channel. That static grey sky will be burned into my mind forever. I told Martlen we shouldn't set out with such a tempest on the way, but the good for nothing drunk just laughed and said, “Where's your stones, man? We all need to eat. Think of that daughter of yours!” He then stumbled away. I should have let my damn pride go and gotten off the ship. Maybe then I could have seen my little girl grow up... maybe then I would never been lost at sea.
“AHAHAHA IS THAT ALL YOU'VE GOT??? THIS IS NOTHING! YOU ARE NOTHING!!! HAHA!” Martlen bellowed over the storm's wrath. He was furiously pulling the main sail trying to make use of the head wind, wind like I've never seen. It seemed to have a mind of its own; whiping this way and that, beating the icy rain to the sides so that it hit me from all angles at once, roaring in my ears, drowning out all sounds but Martlen who hooted and screamed; challenging the world. The seas swelled under the Wave Strider, dark and grey with white caps where the waves were the strongest. I was manning the tiller, trying to keep us on course, but the wind was just too strong and Martlen was too busy with the sail to help me fight. Slowly we were pushed and tossed off course. I was desperate. I had to live. I needed to see her again. I called to Martlen: “We’re off course! What do I do? The storm is only begun...”
“ I know! It's glorious! Look at the sky! It's like the eye of God!!!” He looked at me and smiled. I wasn't sure it was rain alone that soaked his cheeks. “Jack, it's beautiful!! ” he exclaimed. I looked up to the sky and my jaw dropped. The thunder head was swirling in a great pattern that with the constant lightning wove a pattern of bright lines and colored gray the moon in the center. I stared in wonder and it seemed to stare right back. The piercing gaze... drilling into me... searching...laying bare my entire being. The storm was like the all seeing eye of God. I shook my head. It was as though I had been mesmerized.
“Martlen!” I awoke from my trance…” we are off course by nearly 12 leagues! I need your help, you crazy bastard! Snap out of it!”
He looked me in the eyes and said more calmly than I have ever heard him speak before...or since. “Drop anchor.” He paused and looked back up at the sky. Keeping his eyes on the storm, he said, “If you ever want to see that little girl again, you will drop anchor. The force of it will swing us about and put us back on course. But you’d better be ready to pull it back as quickly as you drop it or say good bye to the hull.” Before I could say anything in reply, he shoved me violently. “Just do it. NOW!” There was nothing else I could do, but the second I tugged the release chain, I knew we were going to lose the ship...