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Sail (Day 26)

Sail (Day 26)

Posted September 28th, 2018 by EJChang

by Eric
in California

September 28th, 2018

Wednesday, August 17th, 1892:

          8:32pm: We pulled into the harbor at about 10:00am. And I could spot the Brave! “Grab your belongings! We’re getting out of here!” shouted Captain Woods. I grabbed my backpack and a sack of cash, and then hustled my way forward. Everyone got off the boat and onto the dock, and then ran forward, where our ship was parked. Something was strange, though. There was absolutely no one in sight! “Where is everyone?” I whispered loudly to Richard as we ran forward. He shrugged. This didn’t seem right. It couldn’t be this easy. And twenty yards away from the ship, my suspicions were confirmed. An avalanche of the horrible elf-people sprung from behind bushes, rocks, and poles, carrying guns. “Caught you!” laughed one of them. In the distance, I thought I recognized the elf-lady that had stolen my backpack. All of us pulled out our guns, but we were significantly outnumbered. That’s when I noticed some normal civilians. They were tied up in ropes and gagged! From the west, I could see more elf-people coming across the bridge to the harbor. And a group of them were shooting across the small body of water from the Hazel Parker Park. I ran with Shawn all the way to the edge, and farthest away from the elf-people. We then started firing our guns. I’d say in the first minute or so, I managed to gun down three victims. Everyone else in our group was doing the exact same. Well, everyone but Cory. No one had known he’d had this skill, but he had killed fifteen in one minute! “What’s gotten into you?” asked Captain Woods, shocked. “Don’t talk to me! I’ll lose my focus!” shouted Cory in response, continuing to fire his gun rapidly. Thankfully, Shawn and I had an okay amount of guns in our bags, so if we ran out of bullets, we would have that to refer to. With my sack of cash, I ducked down behind it and popped out to shoot. I got another five in the next two minutes, but Cory must have already gotten thirty-five. After a few more minutes, the elf-people seemed to decide enough was enough. They started to advance forward. Our killing numbers were rapidly increasing the closer they were getting, but it was hard to contain all of them, as so many were advancing. Eventually, Cory, who was really far ahead, was surrounded by six elf-people. There were six large bangs, as the elf-people fired their guns. Cory, with such elegance, jumped high in the air, twisting around to avoid the bullets. And while in the air, he gunned down two more. When he came down, he spun around and jump-kicked another into the ocean, and then gunned down the last three without even looking. Two more were converging on him, and he didn’t seem to notice, but Captain Woods handled them with his own gun. After a bit, Shawn and I crept a little closer to shoot. Our group must have killed three hundred by now, but there were just too many. And then there was a bang and a shout of pain. Richard had gotten grazed by a bullet, but it had hit his right arm. “Get back! Get back!” shouted Captain Woods. Richard scampered all the way to the back, where he ducked down. Shawn and I posted ourselves in front of Richard to protect him. After another ten minutes, five hundred elf-people were dead, and none of us had gotten hit except for Richard! And then the next line of elf-people came forward, and the evil elf-lady stepped up. She must have seen me, as when she looked in my direction, her eyes narrowed, and her face squirmed up. She then ran forward, kicking Chris out of the way as she did so, and then quickly ran to my spot. Not even bothering to use her gun, she gave a quick flurry of punches that knocked me backward, and then I tripped over Richard and fell on my back, dropping my gun in the process. Shawn tried to kill off the pest, but she ducked under his bullets and continued to run towards me. She started throwing punches even before she got to her intended target, so I had a decent sense of what she was trying to do. I put my hands over my face to pretend that I was going to defend myself, and then quickly dived out of the way as she came forward. There was a splash, and the elf-lady was stranded in the ocean. I picked up my gun and ran to the edge to finish her off, but she had disappeared. Huh. Forgetting about that, I ran back to the action. After twenty more minutes, we were getting exhausted, but the elf-people were almost down! And then multiple ships from the Vero Beach police force got to the harbor… With their cannons and riflemen, they easily killed off all the rest of the elf-people, and then returned their attention to us. But we were already on the Brave and taking off. The Vero Beach police forces came after us. A few jumped onto the Buck to add another ship to the chase. Captain Woods was willing the Brave forward as fast as it would go. Cannonballs were flying in all directions. This went on for twenty minutes, and then it seemed like the Brave, had gotten a little limp. We slowed down at an obvious pace, and the Protector, the closest ship to us, quickly caught up. As they pulled up alongside us, we got a clear look at them. I fired my pistol and tried to gun down as many as I could, but nonetheless, a big group made the jump to get to our ship. And then Captain Woods swerved to the left, causing the invaders to fall into the ocean with a sickening splash. Our cannons managed to sink the Protector after that, and it seemed like the Brave had regained some speed. The next ship, the Adventure, was right on our tail. Cannonballs were fired from both sides, but none of them made contact. Cory climbed up the lookout tower in an effort to hit the captain’s quarters and kill the captain, but it was too difficult a shot. One of my pistol shots actually made contact, but all it did war jar a wooden plank loose from the deck. After two more missed shots, my pistol was out of ammunition, so I grabbed my backup pistol and fired away. The Adventure seemed to lose some speed a few minutes later, or the Lookout just gained speed, as the latter ship passed the previous and went for us. But then the captain of the Adventure lost control of the ship and sent it swerving to the right, knocking the Lookout off balance. There were many shouts and screams, but the captain could not steady his ship. A minute later, both ships were down. Now it was just the Buck, and this ship was relatively far behind. But with a sudden burst of speed, it seemed to catch up to us. An officer named George made an incredibly risky move, trying to jump onto our ship before they were even that close, but he managed to get his hands around the railing. But Marcus ran up and uncurled his fingers, and that was the end of George. Johnson and Sid both managed to jump onto our ship after that. I gunned down Johnson instantly with my pistol, but Sid somehow got past our first line of defense and headed for the quarters. Thankfully, Cory nailed him with a perfect shot from up above. If not for him, who knew what could have happened? Our rifles and cannons proved too much for the Buck. It slowly sank into the ocean, a collection of officers still on top shouting for us to save them. Land was about a two-minute sail away, but it was awfully far to swim. I didn’t know if they would be able to make it, but it might have been possible. In fact, George might still be alive, as he might have managed to make it to shore. After that, it was celebration all around. Everyone jumped around with joy, thrilled that we were finally out of Vero Beach forever and heading to New York. We ate lunch soon after that, and Marcus and William fixed it so the meal was so big it was like a feast. Let me just say that there were some mad dashes to the bathroom after that. Since I wasn’t really in a mood to be partying at the moment, I volunteered to head up to the lookout tower. Soon, though, the sound of laughter and joy coming from down below got the better of me. I climbed back down the ladder. I waltzed into the sitting room, where Henry, Richard, Shawn, Theo, and Chris were gathered in a huddle, talking rapidly. I also noticed some beer on the tables nearby. Whoa. Apparently, Richard and Theo were drunk. As soon as they saw me, they tackled me to the ground. “Donald!” cried Theo unnaturally, laughing hysterically. “How are you today, sir?” asked Richard in a deep voice. I wasn’t sure how much I liked this side of them. It was a little strange. “Donald, what is eight plus eight?” Theo whispered excitedly. I shrugged. “Do I really need to answer this?” “Oh, okay,” Richard responded, giggling. “But still, keep thinking about that, you know what I’m saying?” he told me. “Richard, cut it out,” snapped Henry sharply. “I think Don doesn’t know what the answer is,” Theo whispered, laughing hysterically, over and over. Shawn and Chris looked a little uncomfortable. Henry looked very angry. “You know you’re not supposed to drink alcohol on the ship!” he hissed. “Captain Woods will have your heads for this!” “What if he’s drunk too?” asked Theo. Him and Richard burst out laughing. “Guys, come on,” I whined. “You shouldn’t cause problems while being drunk.” “Nah, don’t worry,” replied Theo. “What’s the answer?” “Sixteen!” I snapped. “You got it wrong!” laughed Richard. “It’s twenty-one!”  “Shut up!” Henry shouted. Shawn and Chris fell back in their chairs, surprised from the force of the shout. That’s when the door to the room swung open, and Captain Woods barged in. “What’s all this noise in here?” he demanded, his face red with annoyance. “Nothing, sir, just having some laughs,” I replied, trying to keep a straight face. Thankfully, Captain Woods seemed to believe me. “If you’re going to have some fun, you’ve got to quiet down. I can hear you from up there!” he shouted, pointing his finger upwards. “Yes, sir,” I told him, saluting. Captain Woods nodded, turning to walk out of the room. And that’s when he spotted the bottles. “What the…” he muttered, frozen in place. Everyone else was frozen as well. “Don’t tell me…” our captain snarled. “You’re drinking beer down here?!” Everyone cowered under his anger. “It’s not beer,” I protested weakly. “Not beer?!” thundered Captain Woods. “Then explain this!” He pointed to Richard and Theo, who were still bouncing around, laughing. “Come on, sir!” cried Chris. “If there’s a no alcohol policy, why’s there even any on the ship?” “There isn’t supposed to be any on the ship, you stiff!” roared Captain Woods. Chris gasped. “It’s not like you do anything helpful, anyway! You’re lucky to still be here!” Chris suppressed a sob. “Well, then don’t blame us!” shouted Shawn. “They probably snuck the stuff on board, not us!” “Coward!” accused Captain Woods, pointing his shaking finger at Shawn. “If anything, you were a part of it as well!” “What? No!” cried Shawn. “Oh, yes!” thundered Captain Woods. “You three are coming with me now! I have some nice chores in mind for you!” He pointed at Richard, Theo, and Shawn. Shawn grudgingly stomped forward, in anger. But Richard and Theo were still oblivious as to what was going on. “Get over here now, fools!” Captain Woods screamed, so angry that steam was literally pouring out of his ears. “Captain, are you married?” Richard asked giddily. Captain Woods turned even redder at the mention of this. He grabbed Richard and slapped him in the face, Richard not reacting. “We’re going up!” he announced loudly. “Donald, grab Theo. Let’s go!” I grabbed Theo’s arm and ushered him quickly out the door. But right after moving through the doorway, Theo stopped. “I’m not going,” he announced, laughing. “Come on, Theo, we’ve got to go,” I whispered urgently, hoping Captain Woods wouldn’t see us. “I’ll get you a treat if you follow me. You can have some cash,” “Oh, okay! Deal!” giggled Theo, and he continued to stumble about. The five of us emerged onto the deck, two of us still laughing and tripping everywhere. The people who were on deck were staring at us in surprise. “Are they drunk?” Scott whispered. “Sure looks like it,” grumbled Murray, who he was playing cards with. Captain Woods stopped. “Donald, you can go.” “Yes, of course, sir!” I saluted, rushing back downstairs. When I got back to the sitting room, Henry and Chris were still there. “What the heck…” mumbled Chris, who was just staring down at the floor. “This is a problem,” said Henry, his voice shaking. “Who knows how many bottles they really stored throughout the ship? We’ve got to look for them!” “Right on, boy!” shouted Chris, throwing his hand in the air. “I’ll look in Richard’s cabin,” explained Henry. “Don, you search Theo’s. And Chris, you look in the rest of the ship. The three of us scampered out, me grabbing a banana on the way out. Can you blame me? It was right there, I mean, and I was hungry. Chris decided to search in the storage unit first, where there might be a few. Henry and I ran down to the cabins. And then I realized something. “When would they have had time to grab those bottles?” I asked. “I mean, was there really time to go shopping in Vero Beach?” “Maybe they snagged some on the way out,” replied Henry uncertainly. “Or maybe they’ve had them before Vero Beach. Maybe they’ve had them for a while.” “I still can’t believe they would do this,” I grumbled. “What do they think they’re doing?” “There might be a reason for this,” responded Henry. “We can figure that out later. For now, let’s search for more bottles.” I threw the door open to Theo’s cabin, and my first reaction was to slip and fall onto the floor. Every single inch of the cabin was covered in orange wallpaper, I’m not kidding. The floor, the ceiling, the walls, it was all orange. Most of the shelves, tables, and chairs were orange, and even the bed was orange. Orange is a nice color, but it can be blinding if put together like this. I continued my search around the room. I threw off the covers to the bed, but there was nothing there except for a pencil and a picture of some people that must be his parents, as I’ve never seen anyone who looks more like Theo. I checked the shelves, but it was all books. I noticed that the room was really untidy, as there were all sorts of items strewn all over the place. And if I really thought back to my previous encounters with Theo, I remembered he had littered some tissues and paper multiple times. Theo actually had a camera on his desk, which shocked me, as cameras are crazy expensive. But then I remembered to one of the first times I talked to Theo. “I’ve had a really nice childhood,” he had told me. “My parents had a lot of money, and my job paid pretty well.” I also noticed that Theo seemed to enjoy photography, as there was a good amount of photos in the room, far more than the amount in mine. Pictures were also an expensive thing, but again, Theo had some money. I opened this one trunk that was right next to the window facing the ocean, and discovered a truckload of cash. I really didn’t think it was a good idea leaving this lying around in case someone like Cory stumbled upon it, but Theo probably wasn’t the most careful person. I dug around a bit more in the trunk and discovered some other items on the bottom. There was an old letter and envelope. “Dear Theo Bradley Johnson,” the letter read. “We are making a last attempt to reach you by letter. You currently have twelve books checked out from the library and have held them overdue for almost four months, not bothering to renew even once. More than ten of these books have been requested by other readers, so we would extremely grateful if you would return the books now and not wait any longer. The current fine would amount to about three dollars. If you do not return these books in less than four days, we will be forced to send some people to your house, as this cannot wait any longer. Thank you for reading this. The Brooklyn Public Library sends its sincerities.” Wow. I mean, just wow. Theo’s had twelve books overdue for four months? And has he even returned them yet? And when I looked around, I saw twelve books piled in the corner, all with library cards attached. I checked the date of the letter. It had been sent on December 16th, 1890. Goodness, he’s had these books two and a half years overdue! I can’t imagine how big the fine’s going to be! He’d better hope he doesn’t run into those guys when we get to New York. I couldn’t find any bottles in the room, but my mind was on other things when I was leaving the room. What was Theo really like? I mean, he seemed like a nice person, but he was careless, messy, and didn’t care for returning what was not his. Could those qualities rule out the kindness? I have no idea.

 

 


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