“Oh, God,” Angie groaned. “Not again.”
Graceful, three tall masts held sails bulging with wind. The ship coasted, distant in Angie’s sight, growing closer.
If she ignored the ship it would depart. But not forever. The ship always returned. Over the years the vessel came to her, again and again, like a silent invitation that could not be denied. Each time the ship approached, Angie turned her back and walked away, the only thing she could do. Still, the ship found her, no matter where she hid. Now it came gliding out of the sky before her, soaring over the treetops, scudding through clouds.
“So beautiful…” she sighed, “but just a hallucination, a childhood dream.” She watched the sails gleam in the sun; the wood of the deck shone rich and golden. Her lips twisted to the side. “None of my paintings have ever been so lovely.”
The critics had savaged her last gallery opening, scorning her “lack of imagination” and “dull colors.”
“Lack of imagination, indeed!”
With a start, Angie realized her reverie had betrayed her. The ship had sailed perilously close, nearly within reach.
She began to turn away, to will the thing out of existence once more, to bring back sanity and normalcy. She stopped. Angie stared down at her paint-stained hands.
“What, exactly, am I hanging on to? What makes me want to stay here? No pets, no close family or friends, no real relationship…”
Slowly, Angie turned back towards the ship. The gangway lowered. It floated in the air, just a few inches above the ground.
Waiting. For her.
Angie took a deep breath and boarded the ship.