Hi, Welcome to Windhaven 23 and a couple story prompts for writers or the curious.
If you want to know what school custodians do while you’re all snuggy at home with your pet or spouse check out The Custodian 1
Speaking of surviving I had my first Covid vaccination recently. A sore arm and 10 minutes of feeling a bit wonky the only side effects so far. Looking forward to #2.
Windhaven is a survival adventure that could happen any day now. I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever. The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me. Comments and suggestions are always welcome, as long as I’m allowed to not use them without hurting anybody’s feelings.
WhatIf? a woman, possibly with a questionable past, died. She is in Limbo, waiting to find out where she’s going, when a demon takes a shine to her and kidnaps her and takes her down into Hell? Not being a poor me type of woman she fights and gets away from the demon, but she’s still in Hell. She has no choice but to venture into Hell proper to find a way out. She wanders through the different sections, sometimes she has to fight her way through, sometimes she gets a helping hand from a Soul Retriever (some blatant promotion there,) sometimes she’s able to help a soul. Eventually she makes it out of Hell in a dramatic way.
WhatIf? you are trapped in a high-rise building, being pursued by a ghost, demon, monster, your ex? Are there other people in the building, or is it strangely unoccupied? Through flashbacks you come to realize that whatever is after you has a reason to be after you. What did you do in the past to warrant such a pursuit? And what will it take to survive, if you do – if you deserve to?
To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE
As he knelt on the wet floorboards Noah said to Thomas, “We had a bit of a leak on deck. It took two of us to fix it so there was nobody at the helm for a few minutes. We went off course for a little while. Don’t know how we can win this race by going off course like that. In any case it’s all good now. I managed to rig some self-steering that will keep us going straight for about five minutes.”
With Leigh pumping on deck and Noah inside the water level in the bilge dropped noticeably. Noah sat back on his heels and rolled his shoulders. “How’s the pain?”
“The pain is great, having party, dancing the happy dance on my knee. Me, not so much.” Thomas’s voice rode the rising anger as he spoke. “It’s all good until I want to move even a little. I expect my leg to be there, but a pillow or sheet or one of the posts of this fabulous four-poster bed I have might hit the leg that isn’t there and the pain goes through roof and I have to stay still because I don’t have any fucking leg there!”
“Thomas, I’m sorry, we….”
“I know. I know. You had to cut my fucking leg off to save my fucking life. But you know Noah, sometimes when the pain is a bitch and there’s no pills, no relief, I wonder if you did me a favor.”
“Stop with the sorrys, will ya.”
“Right. But you’re alive and there is some hope.’
“Hope? Half the crew is dead or dying, three are useless, we have no sails, no engine, no communications, we don’t really know where we are except thousands of miles from any fucking where.” He slumped back on his bunk. “Sorry, Noah, I don’t quite feel the hope.”
“You should. By tomorrow we will have some sail up and be able to make some miles. That little GPS unit occasionally comes up with a position that make sense. I know you hurt, but you are getting better.”
“I know you guys are doing the best you can, but it fucking hurts, man. What I need more than hope or a ra-ra speech is two of those good pain pills. It’s making me crazy. I can’t move I can’t do anything and it’s frustrating as hell. Seriously, man, I do think about dragging myself up on deck and taking a jump.” Thomas’s body tensed and he let out a piercing soul breaking scream.
Noah gripped his friend’s shoulder. “I’ll get the pills.”
A thump and an equally loud outcry stopped Noah.
“Ricky, Leigh! Leigh where are you? Larry. Thomas.”
“What the hell? Red.”
Noah ran to the amidships area. He found Red sprawled on the floor, twitching and cursing. He had a small gash leaking blood on his forehead.
“Red, Red, stop. Let me help you.” Gently Noah helped the captain roll onto his back.
“Noah, what the….” He coughed for a minute, a hacking cough that left his voice rough like it had to slip over sandpaper. “What the hell is going on here? Where’s Ricky?”
“I’ll explain when we get you back in your bunk. Leigh, where are you?” he shouted.
“Right here. No need to yell.”
“You sure about that? Help get him up.”
Red stopped questioning, moving on to a pitiful moan. Together they lifted him up to his bunk. His body trembled as he held his head. “Headache,” he grunted unnecessarily. “Leigh, where’s Ricky? … happened to me?”
“He doesn’t have a clue,” Noah said.
“I know,” she whispered. She gently turned the captain’s head. She didn’t need to say anything, they both saw the blood leaking from the hole in Red’s head. “We need to rebandage that and I don’t think Tylenol will help that headache.”
“I’ll get them. Thomas is in real pain. I’m getting some for him, too.”
“Noah, we’re awful low on the strong stuff.”
“Yeah, but he mentioned crawling on deck and jumping.”
“Jesus. He’d better get well quick because when they’re gone….”
Noah blew out a deep breath. “What can we do for Red?”
“Really, I don’t really know. Keep the blood off the pillow, feed him some pills, wipe his ass? Any ideas?”
“Probably won’t hurt. But the way this cruise is going we might need them. There’s not much left.”
Noah squeezed her shoulder. “I’ll get’em. You can explain stuff to him.”
Listening to the water sloshing about the bilge, Noah made his way forward to the medicine cabinet. Noah wasn’t squeamish about medical issues. He’d seen a couple nasty crashes, watched his leg be operated on as a teenager, but he’d never had aspirations to be a doctor.
He trembled as he leaned, head hanging, hands against the counter and, unbidden, his mind replayed Thomas’s amputation. He couldn’t believe did that, or drilled a hole in Red’s skull. He wanted Red and Thomas and Alain to recover, but at the same time he wanted all the medical stuff to stop. It wouldn’t, though. He was trapped on a disabled boat that nobody, including himself, knew the location of. He had no choice except to carryon on and do what he could to help them all survive, and, he realized, not let Leigh down. And what would he say to Linda if he didn’t keep on keeping fucking on.
Deep breaths calmed him. He raised his head, sighed deeply, and searched for the meds.
Noah stopped beside Alain, still except for the barely perceptible rise of his chest. He was pale, thin and stinking. They had to change and clean him soon. Noah looked down on him hoping for a movie moment when his eyes popped open and he said, “Hi Noah, what’s for lunch?”
Noah bowed his head; he knew it was unlikely Alain would ever wake up. There was nothing else they could do for him. “Sorry, Alain, we don’t know what to do.”
As he passed Leigh he handed her the pain pills and a bottle with two tablets in it. “That’s it for the antibiotics. “How you doing, Red?” Noah asked, though it was plain the way Red held his head and clenched his jaw that pain had the upper hand.
“Hurts,” he said without relaxing his jaw. “Can you save the boat?”
“We’re doing our best. We’ll get you home.”
Noah exchanged a glance with Leigh, squeezed her shoulder and moved on to Thomas.
“Take these,” Noah said. He held up Thomas’s head and held a glass to his lips. “Make’em count, there’s not many left.”
“Why, you need me to run about on deck for you?”
“We can always use an extra hand.”
Thomas managed a slight smile. ”That’d be funny if it wasn’t funny.” He settled back on his bunk in anticipation of the pills kicking in. “You going to get up some sail?”
“What we can. This boat doesn’t go well on idle.”
Thomas’s voice turned dreamy as the pills began to kick in. “Yeah, got to speed up to get to nowhere.”
“Somewhere, Thomas. Somewhere.”
Thanks for reading Windhaven 23. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. email@example.com
To check out another sailing tale, Girl at Sea, Click HERE.
My other books can be seen to the right or HERE.