Reflections in a Rippled Pool
by Lynne Charles
the matter, lad ? Dinna ye hear me ? I told ye ta get onta the ropes
! Aye, sir !"
blond-haired youth turned and sprinted away down the deck. He took his place
beside Karl and shifted his weight as he grabbed the coarse, burly coil.
were you ?"
sorry. I was on the far end of the deck."
you know that the captain ordered stations ?"
boy made no reply, but strained harder against the pull of the sails. Finally,
the wind ebbed and the struggling men could relax. The next watch displaced
the bone-weary sailors, and they returned to their bunks to get some
much-needed rest. The boy slid exhausted into his bed. In truth, he had not
even known any orders had been given. He had been searching desperately for a
future, any future. The boy sank into a fitful sleep.
LeRart looked up from the old log he was reading. Then, he turned to an entry
towards the center of the manuscript.
blond youth knocked nervously on the captain's door.
Lockland ?" The boy waited anxiously until he heard a gruff voice asking
him to enter.
wanted to see me, sir ?"
down, lad. I want ta talk ta ye."
boy sat down on a wooden chair across from his captain.
lad, I've taen a likin' ta ye. Ye remind me o' me back when I was a lad. Ye
know I dinna got nae relatives. I be a sailor all these thirty years. When I
die, I want me ship in good hands. Lad, I want ye ta have the ship. Ye are
bein' me first Mate onwards. I'll teach ye ta run the ship, and when we next
dock, she's all yer own."
sir, you can't do that ! You can't give up your ship !"
argue wi' me, lad! The ship belongs ta ye now !"
light in the cabin was beginning to dim. LeRart closed the log and put it
gently away in his footlocker. Snuffing out the candle, he climbed into his
bunk, and settled for the night. Soon, he began to doze, dreaming of his early
years as a sailor.
tiny cabin was filled to overflowing with the men, watching hopelessly the
labored breathing of their captain. Summoning a measure of strength, Captain
Lockland ordered everyone out of the cabin, save Jacques and two other
Jacques is the captain o' the REBELLION now. Ye'll obey him just like ye did
turned toward Jacques and said,"Lad, bury me at sea in the mornin'. Take
care o' the ol' ship for me."
youth nodded solemnly, though he wondered if he would have the wisdom to do
so. Lockland beckoned to him and pulled him down to his face.
give ye me stren'th, lad. Hold me hand."
took the proffered hand and held it tightly in both of his own. Lockland tried
to say something, and Jacques leaned forward to hear his words.
. . . love ye, lad."
tears streamed down the boy's face, the captain's grip loosened, and his hand
fell heavily on his chest.
!" screamed Jacques.
was sitting straight up in his bunk, covered with sweat. He lit the candle on
the desk, and got out of bed. He unlocked his footlocker and retrieved the old
manuscript. Written on the cover was: Personal Log, Captain L.R. Lockland.
LeRart opened the cover to read the poem his captain had inscribed:
in a Rippled Pool
mysteries of life are locked in a pool.
skipped, and rocks dropped in mark the passage of time.
a person examines the pool, he sees only ripples in the water,
not the water itself.
of life in rippled waters,
as memories in the mind.
is fantasy, and fantasy reality,
only distortions appear.
is its memories.
in a rippled pool, truth in life.
silently closed the book.
| ||© 1984, ||L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|