a Short Story by Raquel Swann
My body is battered and my soul is crushed. I lay upon my bed with the feeling of thousands of butterflies fluttering about looking for shelter. I feel a sense of calm come over me for just a moment and I begin to drift out beyond the vast oceans of the mind. The water is calm and there is a lone sailboat that seems to be lost at sea. I can see the captain of the vessel folding and unfolding a map attempting to re-plot his course. His lips are cracked and white with signs of dehydration and frustration. His brow furls as he looks into his binoculars again and again and again, looking for any sign of dry land. He tips over a leather flask over his dry mouth and sticks his tongue out to allow a few drops of water to fall from his depleted supply onto his lips. It quenches his thirst, barely, but he is determined to reach his destination. I drift over several feet in the air but he doesn’t notice me. I wonder what he is looking for but it is too late now. I am already drifting higher and higher into the clouds. The smell of the sea fills my lungs and it is peaceful, tranquil.
I am on a journey somewhere and for the first time I cannot worry about those in need of my assistance. It has been far too long that my needs have been put before others, but that lonely sailor and his obvious plight weigh heavy on my heart. I circle back as the force of the wind blows me in opposite direction. However, I struggle and fight my way down towards the wayward vessel. I notice that his ship is pointed towards some land in the distance and I know he will be all right. This satisfies me to no end and I continue upwards towards the blue skies overhead.
The winds are strong and I wobble to and fro towards the north. I know it’s north because I begin to feel the air growing colder and colder. My skin feels the frost of the air and I begin to shiver. My heart begins to beat harder and harder as I fold my arms to my chest seeking warmth. I can’t hold my flight any longer and begin to desend back to the sea at great speed. I am certainly going to perish when I crash upon the calm waters. Perhaps if I didn’t help that lonely gentlemen I would be safe. Perhaps if I knew where I was going I would now be there on the shores of safety. The ocean closes in and I shut my eyes with fear in my heart.
I shutter in my bed, dry and safe bit shaken and emotional. A tear forms at the corner of my eye and streams down my cheek. I am not crying but there are tears. They are not tears of joy but of terror. I was lost for a night but was it only a dream? What next?