The Hidden Hero

November 27, 2008
By Netta-Lee Lax, Woodbury, NY

The ocean was fierce and strong, as its waves moved the boat with harsh intent. Scraggly men of short stature with bulging bellies were thrown across the deck by the strength of nature, that which is unmatched by man. The sun shone down, barely peeking out between the clouds, on the sailor who stood atop the tallest of all the masts. The thin skin of his fingers grazing the splintered wood of the old ship, as he was flung around the post with great force. He seemed to be fighting against the force of nature herself, the maternal spirit betraying the safety of her son. His deep brown eyes stared intently into the abyss, as if he were a lion looking into the eyes of his prey. Mother nature was not startled by his look of intensity as she whipped his golden hair from his face and tore his linen shirt off of his astoundingly strapping chest. He stood atop the mast naked and betrayed, yet fulfilled and protected. The white foam of the fierce waves ceased as the waves became one united body of water. The man cautiously climbed down the daunting mast, his bare feet, callused and worn, touched the cold iron, which held the mast upright, a midget in the presence of a giant. As he touched the deck a shiver ran down his spine and he shook his head as if to rid himself of a fly. His hair moved like the waves that had just calmed. The men, of considerably shorter height and plumper build, looked at him in awe. Like a dragon slayer who rescued the princess, he was their hero for he had slain the storm. Their eyes looked longingly as if envious of the man’s gift. He looked at them and then walked down the steps, they creaked as the weight of his feet settled, to the hold where he stayed until the next storm arose.

The author's comments:
Netta-Lee is a high school junior at Solomon Schechter who is an avid equestrian and writer. This piece was inspired by the narrative voice of Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter.

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