November 29, 2011

Atlantis 1

Jack had every reason to be worried. For the last couple of hours, he had been praying that the waters would calm down. He had been praying that his fears would prove ungrounded and that there would be no storm. But alas, judging from the dark gray clouds that had gathered, there was no doubt about it now. A terrible storm was on the horizon.    At first, he tried to outrun the inevitable. He changed course drastically out of sheer desperation, hoping that he would still be able to avoid the upcoming storm. But all his efforts were in vain. On this day, nature’s violent side simply would not be denied. Jack and his trusty, old ship would have to endure the storm and just hope that everything would work out.

A true menace had descended upon Jack and his ship. Jack felt powerless as he watched the thick, gray clouds roll over his little ship. It was very dark now, although it was still only one o’clock in the afternoon. Lightning began to strike down from the skies. The deafening sound of thunder echoed over him. It was all a very gloomy sight for Jack. Then, all of a sudden, he realized it. There was something terribly different about this storm. In his 20 years of experience at sea, he had seen many strange things before and survived countless storms. But this was something else. This was going to be something he had never experienced before in his life. He could feel it in his bones. Something bad was going to happen..........

Jack regretted for not listening to his wife back in the Virgin Islands. Before he had left port, his wife Janet told him about the bad feelings she had about the trip that simply would not go away. “A few days ago, I had this awful nightmare,”  she said. “I was standing over your grave, crying desperately.”  She pleaded to him not to leave and to stay at home because of the bad omen. But that was easier said than done. Jack had a lot of bills to pay. His wife had fallen ill a few weeks before and had to stay in the hospital. The prolonged stay had virtually drained their financial resources. As a result, he needed money in the worse possible way.

There had been many storms as of late and captains were hesitant to put their ships on the line. A local merchant called Mr. Taylor was appalled by this because he had a cargo that had to be shipped as soon as possible. The company that usually transported goods for him said that it was too dangerous and that he had to wait until it was safer. Then he heard that Jack was desperate for some work. He approached Jack and requested to charter his ship. In return, Mr. Taylor offered to pay him a very handsome amount of money to compensate for the risk that he had to take. So despite Janet’s pleas not to go, this was one offer Jack just could not refuse.

Jack did not have to wait long for nature to unleash its vicious frenzy. Never before had he experienced such colossal waves that rocked his ship to its core. His ship quickly became a puppet in the hands of mother nature and was left to its mercy. There was nothing Jack could do behind his steering wheel to prevent his ship from gradually being pushed off course. Desperately, he tried to radio for help, but all he heard was static. The electrical storm interfered with the radiowaves and made all communications as good as impossible.

There was no reason anylonger to control the steering wheel, since his ship was now controlled by the sea. His ship was thrown around like a rubber duck in a bathtub. Jack fears grew by the minute. He doubted if his ship could take this very long. After all, it was but a small ship and not designed to take such a beating. But there was something that worried him even more. If the tales were to be believed, these waters were the supposed realm of the dreaded Bermuda Triangle. Legend has it that countless ships and their crews have disappeared without a single trace in these waters for ages.

A half an hour had gone by, although it felt more like an eternity. Surprisingly, Jack’s ship was still afloat. “Perhaps I am going to survive this terrible ordeal after all,” Jack thought. He became relieved at the mere thought. “I’d better check on the goods in the cargo room to make sure that they are not damaged,” Jack said to himself. “Mr. Taylor will not accept cargo that is useless to him. I took a great risk and I can’t afford to screw it up.”

Unfortunately, the second Jack had set foot in the cargo room, he was in for a horrible surprise. Jack had celebrated too soon. There was water dripping from the sides. The constant banging of the waves on the ship’s hull had been too much to handle for the old, wooden planks. Jack did his best to salvage the situation, but there were too many cracks. The ship was slowly, but steadily, sinking. It would only be a matter of time before she went down. Jack had no choice but to abandon his ship that had served him so well for all these years.

There he was now, all alone in his little rubber lifeboat. Jack desperately held on to his boat with all of his strength, while the ferocious ocean pushed it up and down. “Will I ever see land again?”  Jack thought anxiously. “And what about Janet? What will happen to her, if I do not return?”  He started praying that someone would come and rescue him. “Please God, help me survive..........”  Just as he was praying, a huge, almost Tsunami-like tidal wave, rose up from the ocean like a Cobra ready to strike at its prey, and splashed down on Jack and his pathetic little boat.

Back on the Virgin Islands, Janet was absolutely terrified. She stared out of the window at the ocean. Outside, the storm was still raging in all its fury. “Oh, Jack, why didn’t you listen to me?”  Janet whispered. “I knew something bad was going to happen.” She looked at the waves and wondered if there was anything out there that could survive such a storm. Janet was born in a family of fishers and therefore knew the sea very well. The chances of surviving such a storm were very, very thin, to say the least. She kneeled down in front of a statue of Jesus Christ. “Oh God, please stand by my husband,”  Janet said. “Sent someone to bring him back home safely.” It was all too much for her. She could not control her emotions anylonger and burst into tears.


 Click on Part 2 for what happens next in this series.

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