Phoenix of the Seas

The boat took on too much water. Several small fish scurried about in the disappearing hull. Then my pitiful sail boat rocked to port and my only water bladder rapidly descended into the depths. With a final lurch, the boat vanished under the waves.
I swept my arms though the water to collect my provisions before they joined the water pouch or drifted away in the swift currents. I fished a life preserver from the ocean and placed the sinkable goods on it while lashing the buoyant items with the buckle straps. I would not allow the dark Pacific waters to steal anything else from me.
I treaded water with my forearm snagged in the preserver’s mesh. I was able to delay the inevitable, but I could not prevent it. My legs began to tire and my head barely bobbled above the surface. A few gulps of salt water found their way into my mouth and I violently sputtered them out. My nose kept falling below the surface and each upward thrust was becoming decreasingly powerful. I could not continue. My stores of strength and will had been expended. I cast my measly cache of goods into the waters and donned the life jacket.
My vision had been reduced by the salty water that rushed into my eyes. The crisp, blinding sun that had been overhead was only a blurry, radiating semicircle on the horizon. Stress, salt, and exhaustion weighed on my eyelids until I couldn’t hold them up anymore.
I was startled awake by a swell rising from below. The bubbling uprising brought my water bladder within an arm’s reach and I grasped at the straps until it was mine. I unscrewed the lid and gave my dehydrated body some relief. As I finished drinking, a broken mast gracefully pierced the surface and pointed to the moon. The crushed hull followed minutes later.

 

Bewildered, I sat on the mangled deck. The skiff continued to rise as the swell quickened. Waves radiated out from under the boat. The water morphed into a magnificent geyser as a guttural groan emanated from below.
I watched, in horror and exhilaration, as shoots of rock grew from the salty expanse. The segmented tendrils curved inward until they joined each other. The platform lifted my destroyed craft completely out of the churning waters. The rumbling continued for hours and I dared not leave my skiff until it stopped. When the growls finally ceased, I sat fifty feet above the violent waves. I gingerly took my foot from the torn deck and placed it on the rock.

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Hands From the Ocean Photograph

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