WWE 01/06-01/12/10, Seaworthy

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on January 8, 2010 0 Comments

Prompts for January 6, due by next Tuesday, January 12:

  • Use the words sharp, press, and ocean
  • Make use of a flashback
  • Make this one a cliff-hanger
  • Include a photo with your story
  • tag with wwe



The once sharp-dressed, high-powered, executive I had been was lost…lost at sea…literally.


Had it only been a week ago that I’d left the Port of Galveston, determined to pilot my sailboat from there around the Gulf of Mexico, through the Keys, and up the Atlantic coast to Maine?


It didn’t seem possible, in the pitch black of night, all power lost, the boat a cork bobbing in an angry ocean, but as I had nothing to do but wait out the storm and try to figure out just where I was and how to get back on course I had to face the facts.


I was in deep trouble.


“Susan, are you serious about this?”  Jim asked me over lunch as we discussed my ocean adventure.


“I most certainly am, “ I said, dabbing the corners of my Chanel-covered lips with my napkin, “I have climbed mountains, and bicycled across deserts.  Hell, Jim, I’ve engineered mergers and acquisitions totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.  I think I can handle one trip on the ocean.  You forget, I grew up in Port Aransas. I’m a water-baby.”


Jim shook his head, “That arrogance will be your undoing, girl.”


He grinned at me, temporarily making me forget how condescending he sounded, and reminding me how much I loved this man.


I hate to admit I’m wrong, but if Jim were here right now I’d tell him I was wrong.  Wrong about this whole thing.  If I live through this, that’s the second thing I’m telling him…right after I give him a big, fat, kiss and tell him how much I love him.  I thought as yet another wave crashed against the side of the boat, sending it listing some forty-five degrees to the port side.

I hung on tightly to keep from tumbling across the floor.


Damn, that was close.


“Jim, are those reporters here for me?” I asked as we hauled the last of my gear across the dock and to the boat.


He looked at the small crowd gathering in front of my slip, one of them complete with a cameraman, and laughed, “Honey, the press is here to make you a star.  Don’t disappoint me.”  He winked, and I felt my face grow hot.


“Ms. Johnston,” one of the reporters thrust a microphone into my face, “Ms. Johnston, I’m Melissa Mills, Eyewitness News, and I’d like to ask you a few questions.”




“Right, Ms. Johnston, why did you decide to make this journey?”


“Well, I…” I shrugged, and looked around desperately for Jim who had found a way to disappear right at that moment.


“Are you making a statement on the condition of the world’s oceans?”


“No, No.”


“Are you doing this to raise money or awareness for a specific cause?”




“Ms. Johnston, why then are you doing this?” The perky Ms. Mills’ orthodontic-enhanced smile twitched at the corners of her mouth.


“It sounded like fun.”


The smile disappeared, and Ms. Mills stared at me, blankly.


The cameras shut off, and the murmuring crowd of reporters quickly dispersed.


Jim came walking across the dock; he’d apparently gone back to the car for something at the last moment.


“You butthead!” I shouted at him, “You left me here to deal with those, those, sharks!”


Jim laughed, “Honey, you’ve dealt with the press before.  I didn’t think you’d have any problems with them.”


“That was business, Jim, this was personal and yes I was flustered.  I probably sounded like a complete idiot.”


“What did you say?”


“Well, when they asked me why I was doing this I said because it sounded like fun.”


Jim laughed again, and I punched him in the arm.  He playfully scooped me up in his arms and carried me onto the boat.


Maybe I should try starting the engines again.  It has to have been long enough.  If I flooded them, maybe the fuel has drained back out by now.


Fighting to keep my footing I headed to the bow where the controls were.


I pulled the choke and pushed the button.




I did it again.


Again, nothing.


I went back to the galley, and sat down on the bench.


Still on the table was “the box”.


Jim had given me “the box” before I left, but told me not to open it until I left the Keys.


I knew what was in “the box”, it was very small, the tell-tale blue of Tiffany’s, and had a silver ribbon on it.


“The box” had “the ring” in it.  


The same ring I’d refused countless times before.


Maybe Jim thought that by the time I made the Keys I’d be ready to accept “the ring”, and that’s why I couldn’t open “the box” until then.


I don’t know where I am, my GPS is scrambled and I’ve lost all power to the boat.  For all I know I could be headed to South America.


I pondered my predicament, as I turned “the box” over in my hand, and the waves crashed relentlessly down around me.


I may not make it to the Keys, or to anywhere for that matter, so now’s as good a time as any to open “the box”.  I rationalized, as I felt its cool smoothness in my hands.


I slipped the ribbon off, and just as I was about to lift the lid I heard a tremendous crash as a massive wave ripped the forward hatch off its hinges.


The box flew from my hands as cold seawater spilled over my head and shoulders, knocking me off my feet.


“Will you marry me, Susan?” Jim said, as he finished dressing and got ready to leave the boat for the last time before my voyage.


“Jim, why do you want to go and spoil a good thing?” I asked, still lying naked under the sheets.


He took my hands, and kissing my fingers, he looked earnest as he said, “Because I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Have babies with you, and make a home with you.”


“Psshht…” I pushed him away, playfully.


“Seriously, Susan.”


I sighed, and that’s when he had handed me “the box”.


Dammit! Where’d that box go? I thought as I shook the water off me.


I didn’t have time to look as another wave brought more seawater down on top of me.  I had to secure the hatch or I was in danger of sinking.  Or, in more danger I should say.


After securing the hatch, I began searching for the box. 


I looked all over, but couldn’t find it.


I tried the engines, again, with no luck.


I decided it was time to call it a night, and prayed that the morning would bring better weather, and that I’d find “the box”.



About the Author ()

A big kid - though I'm a grandma

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