Round Up

The ship lifted. Puddles raced toward the bow. Water drained from the freeboards as the old girl rose and raced head long down a black mountain.

An icy rush shot through Quintal’s veins. He checked his grip on the wheel. Without looking back, Quintal could gauge the danger by the fear in the eyes facing him.

Quintal instinctively shrugged to protect his neck. He didn’t need the sun to see the acceleration; Quintal could feel the speed. It was hard to hold course. ‘Please don’t break’, he begged to no one. ‘Please don’t break.’

The wave did break, but it had already passed amid ship. The crash deafened the screams as the foam spread ahead. The old boat fell into the trough and stalled. The bow plowed in.

The men up forward scrambled fearing the old girl was about to be swallowed. A well seasoned sailor ran back to help Quintal. He never made it. He froze against the rail. Fear filled his face. Quintal looked aft.

An inky monster sprouted a thin gray beard that spread and swept over them like a landslide. This time there was no lift. Tons of rolling wash smashed the aft windows. Unabated fury pressed into the lower decks.

Quintal was pinned against the helm. He could feel her tipping. “Nooo…” he cried. With all his strength he managed to turn the wheel. It was too late.

The old girl rounded up. The rigging cracked and shrieked and she tumbled over in the spray.

Round Up

Bob Fox

Ypsilanti, United States

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Writing Exercise #1

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