Chuckle, The Sixteenth


The five million £ plastic boat bobbed up and down on the growing waves… Like a child with growing pains, it cracked and tried to fall into place, but failed miserably.

The wind picked up force. The lines (ropes) became strings on a very thin, and very long violin; played by a tone deaf orangutan, with stumps for hands.

At the helm, a young captain with fogged glasses. I’m sure he didn’t clean them, so he had an excuse if things went wrong -“I couldn’t see! My glasses were all fogged up”.

Down in the galley, a fierce woman restled with a gimbled stove… She was no cook, she was the hardest sailor you’ve ever met, and the only one who could stomach cooking in such dire conditions.

The boat wasn’t rocking, it was heavy metalling… The ups and downs were brutal, and could have given anyone a whiplashed neck. The Rain was mixed with salty spray, stolen from waves crest.

Darkness struck around quarter to ten in the evening. Something must have washed over the electrical panel -like the huge wave which seconds before shattered the porthole and flooded the interior, or maybe some rain coming down from the wrong angle.

And then light. Lots of it. A light so white it was blue, and so bright it made no sense to seek for darkness, none would withstand this intensity. It felt as if my body had been Xrayed, as if I’d been seen from the inside, like putting a flash light to someones ear lobe, (it gives off a tainted orange glow).

And then it happened… God’s chuckle. My eardrum burst with the initial crack, and my knees fell to the deck in submission to it’s might…. If you believe in such things as Gods Might, of course. Which I don’t, unless it’s handy, like the night we made it back to port with a flooded boat, a lightning struck mast, and only our instincts to guide us back home.

The meal was cooked, and shared evenly between the flooded cabins and the saloon as the lasagna floated around, unrestricted. No one manage to get a bite in, but we couldn’t care less… Life had smiled at us.



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