I had Uni late in to the evening yesterday and when I got back home, my youngest was standing by the door looking terrified.
My heart missed few beats, while I tried to quickly analyse what disaster had happened in my absence.
“What happened?” I asked her and she answered “how bad was it?”
“Huh? How bad was what?”
“My report card” She replied
“You did well, No Mottas, so we can’t make any omelette” I replied. (My children consider the motta and omelette the lamest joke their mother could ever say, but I just can’t resist saying it)
“Then why didn’t you tell me? All the parents texted their kids and let them know what they got and you didn’t”
I really don’t understand this need to let your child know their grade as soon as the parent gets it. What is wrong in coming home and going through the report card together in the evening? I do not think I was wrong in not texting her results. I didn’t even think of doing it. I was at Uni when I got the report card by email and I thought I will show it to her when I get back home, least expecting that my actions caused my child few hours of misery.
“What did I get for English?” She asked
“Oh Goody, then my teacher liked my essay”
“What was the essay about?”
“Speculative fiction” She replied
“Can I read it?” I asked
Surprisingly she sent to me. If only I could write like her !
The sea spray hit his face like a slap, remnants of the salty droplets falling and catching into the tangles of his beard. The sunset was resting behind the horizon, the moon only just starting its journey through the night sky, surrounded by the splattering of stars, as if a white-tipped paintbrush had been flicked upon a black canvas,
“Captain, we are cleared for the course, the iceberg was a false alarm.” His co- captain shouted, trying to let his voice carry through the tough winds tearing through the freezing air.
He nodded, staring into the endless churning of the cold waters, captivated by their serenity.
He knew the iceberg was of no danger to the ship. It was the instinct of the captain to know the dangers of the sea.
He did the last final checks of the ship, making sure everyone was underdeck, making sure that everything was in order before heading down to the mess hall for dinner himself.
As he walked through the long oak tables, surrounded by the hundreds of passengers munching on the exquisite foods, he received looks of respect and admiration, and with each he returned an equally-respectful nod.
He took his seat at the end of the room, his co-captain seated beside him. By the time he had finished his plate of food, people were already shouting for a toast.
He stood up, raising his glass of champagne.
“Honest people, do you know what ship you are on right now?” he shouted, his voice carrying through the large ballroom.
Choruses of shouts and cheers resounded, urging him on.
“This ship is the mighty Titanic,” he roared, “The mighty ship that will never sink. The mighty ship that God himself would never strike down!”
The boisterous cheering and applause only died down when he sat down, a smug smile embracing his aged face.
Later that night, when he was lying down on his bed, staring up at the wooden ceiling that creaked with each wave that hit the side of the ship, he swore he could have heard a faint roaring in the distance. It did not sound humane, it sounded monstrous, but it was just in his imagination. No such thing as monsters existed in this ocean, and so with that thought in mind, he closed his eyes, drifting off slowly into a calm sleep.
A clamorous ringing sprung through his head, shocking his half-asleep brain. Shooting his body forward he ran out of his room into the corridor, looking around at the other passengers who were searching the hallway, terror clear as daylight shining in their eyes.
“What’s happening?” A young child said, her eyes desperate and terrified, before her father ushered her behind him, her face disappearing amongst the mass of people.
Lights were blaring red, warning signals going off the charts. A sudden crash hit to the left of this ship, causing the ship to tilt with enough force that he slid and hit the side of the wall.
Pushing himself up, he ran into the control room, looking wildly for his co-captain.
He was at the wheel shouting directions to the crew.
He ran to him clapping a hand on his shoulder to turn him around.
“What the hell is happening?” he screamed.
“There was an attack on the left side of the ship! The crew said something about a massive creature but… how is that possible?” he said, his voice laced with fear as it shook,” It punctured a hole and water is leaking in fast. We need to get the passengers into the life boats before we sink.”
His eyes widened, a monster? That couldn’t be possible. But whatever it was he had to take care of it, he was the captain, and the captain takes charge.
“William, go above deck, help the passengers onto the life boats and then get on one yourself, and make sure the crew get out too, if this ship sinks, I’m going down with it.”
His co-captain looked conflicted, but he knew exactly what he meant. A captain always goes down with his ship. He nodded, turning around and shouting instructions at the crew to get overboard.
A few minutes later, as the last few members of the crew trickled out of the room, he stood alone at the wheel, staring at the glass window of the front of the ship, the glass window that was now underwater, the dark stormy waters all that he could see.
He could feel the distress of the ship, but he stood standing, his hands clutched tightly against the wheel, the pressure bleaching the blood out of his fingertips.
The glass was cracking rapidly with the pressure of being underwater.
He only had seconds.
Water was sloshing beneath his feet. But before the glass cracked fully, he saw something huge and sleek, a large brown body swimming in front of the window, until he could see one giant, beady, monstrous eye staring at him. And that was the last thing he saw before the glass smashed, water streaming inside as strong as the bottom of a waterfall, hitting him fully in the chest with enough pressure to break him, until all that was left was a void of darkness.
“What do you think that was Will?” A passenger said, his eyes laced with fear and disbelief.
“I have no idea. But I sure as hell hope it was a real monster. Just think about it, the front page of the newspaper, a captain died defeating the dreaded creature of the sea. To make sure that he goes down in history as one of the bravest captain’s ever.”
“They’ll never believe that.” The passenger replied, letting out a wary chuckle.