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Tidal Storm

This story was written in answer to The Word of the Day Challenge
Emphatic.

This story also included the Your Daily Word Prompt word – Inconsequential.


Here’s what I came up with…

Tidal Storm

The storm had come out of nowhere, great grey waves, many metres high slammed against the hull of the coral-red hulled Seafarer yacht. It’s captain Leo Duke wrestled at the wheel in the white-walled, oak-panelled pilothouse.

“Come on, baby!” he begged as he tried to force the fifteen-metre Seafarer into the waves. A broadside hit would sink the vessel he was sure. “Skye! Where are you?” he yelled as the yacht dived into a trough between waves and bounded up on the next wall of water. It hurled him to the deck. Bounding to his feet, he seized and turned the wheel once more.

‘Unable to obtain GPS’ chimed in the boat’s navigation computer.

“Oh, good! That makes two of us who don’t know where in this arsehole maelstrom we are then!”

“Sweetheart!” Skye screamed.

The boat took a massive hit from a crashing wave. One of the pilothouse windows exploded allowing water to thunder in.

“Skye! Get your lifejacket on!” Leo climbed to his feet again, bleeding from several glass lacerations. He forced the boat into another mighty wave. He saw a blue shark smack down on the bow of the yacht and vanish overboard as the wave swamped over the gunwales and railings of the vessel. Leo grabbed the radio, desperate for help. “Mayday – Mayday -Mayday! This is the Yacht Amphitrite Caught in a storm. Vessel taking massive damage”

Foaming water lashed inside the pilothouse drenching Leo.  “I repeat – Mayday – Mayday -Mayday! This is the Yacht Amphitrite – Caught in a storm. Vessel taking massive damage, two people aboard.”

Leo saw lightning flash through sheets of rain and hit the ceiling as the boat dropped and rocked into another terrifying trough. The wave which followed was immense. It towered over the stricken yacht and slammed down upon it with emphatic force.

Leo saw Skye appear on the steps, she screamed as boiling seawater obliterated the remains of the pilothouse windows and swept her back below decks as it turned the yacht into a washing machine.

A guttural crack, saw the upper deck tear from the yacht as it barrelled through the turbid waters.

Leo slammed into the wall and rolled out of control with the vessel. He watched the deck vanish into the grey, churning waters. His stomach dropped and fear tightened in his chest as his world flip upside down. He splashed down on the ceiling and shook off a daze.

“Well, dad’s going pissed at me. I just killed his boat.” Leo sucked in air. He didn’t know how long the yacht would float belly-up. He swam for the steps and hauled himself below decks.

The once lavish boardroom on the yacht was swamped with water. The mattress and cushions from the master bed and chairs were floating about. Food, cooking utensils, clothes and all manner of other things were sloshing about too.

Leo seized his life jacket and dragged it with him. He took a slap in the face by something pink as the boat lurch under the power of another wave crashing over its hull. Leo pulled the bikini bottoms from his nose and groaned. “Now, is not time!” he hurled them aside. “Skye, where are you?”

“Over here! I’m stuck!”

Leo spun in the water to see his fiancé, barely above the water. “Oh, sweetheart. What happened?” he asked having swum to her side. Another wave thumped him into the wall of the boat.

“The wave which upturned the yacht; hurled me down the steps. It broke the porthole in this wall. My leg went through and now the metal framework is wrapped around my shin.” Skye dressed only in her yellow bikini was shivering with cold and grey with pain and fear which caused tears to leak from her aquamarine eyes.

Leo placed his hands on her cheeks and kissed her. “I’m going to get you out. We’ll make it —” Thunder rolled as something else sheered from the vessel with an agonising screech of metal. “I promise! Now, hold this.”

Skye took the life jacket, “Leo …”

He shook his head and dove through the floating debris and beneath the water. Hurling a teddybear, chopping board and a map aside he followed Skye’s lithe body to the wall of the boat. He could hear the waves still pounding on it outside. She was right the whole wall had buckled under the impact of the wave. Skye’s foot had gone through a porthole which was now crushed around her shin like an enormous shackle. Panic stole the last of his oxygen and he burst back to the surface.

Skye saw his face emerge from the water and burst into tears. “Leo, I love you but you have to get out. You don’t have to die here. I can’t escape and you can’t get me out. Please, just go for me.”

“Me escaping is inconsequential. If I survive and you die, I’ll never forgive myself anyway.” Leo hugged her close and placed his forehead against hers. He could feel her shivering against him as he locked eyes with her. “You are my world and I can’t and won’t live without you. We get out together, or we go to heaven together.”

“No, sweetheart —” Skye tried to push him away through her anguished sobs.

Leo’s face was set and determined as he braced against the rocking boat. “Wherever we go, we go together!” Leo avoided a cushion to the face. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

“Leo!”

He ignored Skye’s cries and ducked beneath the water. Swimming passed the former kitchenette he entered the guest quarters. Beating debris away, he found and dug his fingers into a wall hatch. With all the water pressing against it, it took all his strength to prize it off. Rising to the surface, he realised the water was an inch away from filling this room. He gulped in air and dove through the hatch. Glad he could see a little underwater, he scanned the engine bay and seized a claw hammer from a spilt tool kit.

“Leo!” Skye yelled.

He popped up beside her. She was a centimetre from going underwater now. “Hold on for me, beautiful mermaid.” Leo kissed her and then powered beneath the water again.

Reaching Sky’s trapped foot, he began hammering away at the crushed hull, bending and forcing it away from her flesh revealing at least one deep wound. He drove the claw in by the porthole frame and wrenched on it for all he was worth.

A hand waved at him.

Leo saw Skye had manoeuvred herself through the water to face him. She made a ‘0’ shape with her fingers.

‘No breathing space left – shit!’ Leo thought as he nodded and refocused on the wall. He drove the claw in and pulled on it again to no avail. He pointed up and shot to the surface. There was very little air space left, Skye could never reach it; she was effectively drowning now. He drew air in deeply, plunged back to Skye and kissed her, pushing his oxygen into her lungs.

Up he went again, getting more air. Wasting no time, he returned to the hammer embedded in the porthole. He planted his feet on the wall and hauled upon it, forcing the stressed metal and fibreglass to bend and break.

Four times more he gave Skye rescue breaths through refusing to give up on her.

Returning to the hammer on the last breath. He kicked out at the wall and felt the whole boat tumbled in the water. Something snapped and he pulled Skye free. Feeling a surge of hope and adrenaline, he caught her around the middle and swam for all he was worth. He gained the deck stairs powered down them into the open water ocean.

Skye was still clasping the life-jacket, it gave them a little buoyancy now.

To his delight, Leo and Skye burst out of the water gasping for air. The rain was still hammering down but the wave height seemed lesser.

“We — made it!” Skye gasped.

“Not yet!” Leo took her shoulders and plunged her beneath a wave. Surfacing he pointed to the upturned keel of the boat. “Come on!”

“Okay.” Skye angled her body toward the boat and began swimming.

Leo could see she was kicking with only one leg. The trapped one had been injured without doubt, yet she wasn’t complaining about it. He helped her reach the boat and pushed her up the hull until she could haul herself over the keel.

“Come, on, Leo! You need to get out of the water too!” she cried.

“I know.” Leo swam to the propeller shaft. He counted the waves and on the largest of the set he kicked out of the water and scrabbled up the hull to join Skye.

“We have to hold on and hope rescue finds us soon. I got a message out I think.” Leo told her while tearing off his socks. He knotted them together and then bandaged them about Skye’s injured foot.  

“Thank you, sweetheart. I hope you did get that message out. We’re a long way from land.” Skye hugged him close. “Thank you for not giving up on me.”

“Never! I love you so much.” Leo kissed her and braced them both against the hull in the wake of another set of waves.  

Both would fall off the boat several times during the storm. Each time they’d regain it and battle on until the coastguard helicopter finally rescued them an hour after dawn the next morning.

The End


Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories and poems to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 and Poetry Corner tabs.

Have a great day!

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