Chapter 13: "Down at the Water's End"
For those first few days, they spent their time learning how to assist Captain Evinrude with whatever duties were necessary to operate the trawler. He was a fine captain but, on such a long and aimless journey, the help of a crew was a necessity. Those early days were packed with labor-intensive work and well-earned sleep.
Claire sang for them frequently. They were songs of a different life and a different past, songs with foreign words and concepts. Her voice was quite nice and it blended softly with the steady drone of the sea around them. Claire’s lyrics slowly but surely became stories and memories of a place that none of the others understood…though they loved to imagine.
Sorell sat closer than the rest. She kept a forgiving and appreciative hand on Claire’s knee throughout each tale of wonder, sitting like a child listening to a bedtime story. Perhaps it reminded both of them of the life that could have—maybe should have—been. This activity continued each day for weeks and, possibly, months. But there was tragedy in her life as well; lost loves, betrayals, even an attempt on her life. And Claire relished the chance to weave her tapestry of intrigue.
Their lives went on this way for months. Soon enough they had all become skilled men and women of the sea. They could each track weather patterns and star paths and spot surface currents. They each knew the inner workings and shortcomings of the vessel; the captain had taught them well.
But they awoke one day to find that none of that mattered anymore. Suddenly, Bert’s charts no longer matched the sea or the stars. Everything had changed. When the sun rose high in the sky that day…it never set again.