A Widower’s Story

Maine and More 138

It didn’t go according to plan. One night on the yacht with Barbara, was more than enough. There was no romance at all, just cold rain on the outside, door slamming and yelling, on the inside. He would have to get the door to the bedroom fixed now, because she had broken it. As they coasted into the harbor the next morning, he realized they hadn’t said two words to each other since last night. He tried to apologize, as she stepped off at the pier, but all she said was, “Yeah, thanks for nothing!” and then she was gone. That one really hurt.

At the harbor inn, he had a few too many beers that night, and decided to stay. He was angry and alone, but had no idea what to do about it. He felt stupid, as he fumbled with the card, trying to get into the room. Once he was inside, he passed out on the bed.

His phone woke him up the next morning, along with a splitting headache from the night before. “Hey Bub!” It was Grace, the office receptionist. She always called him Bub, even though his name was William. Were all young people so disrespectful?

“Shhh, not so loud please.”, was all he could say. She said, “Wow you sound awful…..I’m sorry it didn’t work out, with you and Barbara.” “Are you ready to try that online dating service I told you about?” He was shocked. “Wait a minute…..you know?” She said, “Yeah of course, it’s called social media.” His heart sank.

“I’m not ready Grace……you know that”. He wasn’t sure what he was feeling, and it was true he wanted some good times, a friend maybe……but a relationship? He told Grace he was going out to sea again, this time alone. “I need the solitude, I’m not grieving anymore (which was a lie) I just need the ocean.”

She wished him well, but before they hung up, she said, “Listen, please do me a favor, and think about online dating…….and stop feeling guilty about wanting someone…….you’re a human being.” He just listened. She continued, “….And your wife would have wanted that for you.” He realized she was right, and he was shaken to the core, as he hung up the phone.

       

The conclusion tomorrow!

        

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

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The Escape XIII – JLo and JJ

Oceans 817

Microfiction

They were both surprised by a surface to air rocket, that went after the back of JJ’s F-18. “Lookout!!” JJ took evasive action, turning his plane upside down, to the left, down and then up again. The rocket barely missed him.

JLo swung around, to the right and away, banking sharply. She came down low in a turn, until the pirate vessel was in her sights. She was barely 50 ft. above the water, with the engines screaming. She yelled, “Locked and loaded, you sons of devils!!” She flipped up the plastic cover over the trigger button. The M2 Browning, from the pirates, started blasting. JLo yelled, “Go back to hell…… now!!!” She pushed the red button, and two rockets launched simultaneously. She pulled up, and banked to the right. Both rockets met their target, resulting in a ball of fire on the ocean. JLo continued with, “…..where you belong….”

The four people on the Escape saw the ball of fire, but it was very brief. After a minute even the smoke and steam were gone. The two F-18’s swung around, and then together came down low, to make sure it wasn’t there. As they flew over, there was nothing left, except a few boards, floating on the water. “And the ancient evil was destroyed”, JJ said in a low tone. “Is that from a poem?”, JLo asked. He responded with, “Yeah, but I can’t remember who said it.” “Was it Tennyson?”

Jonathan asked Belinda to head for the Dominican Republic, and Costa del Sol. “We’re flying back to New Jersey as soon as possible”, he said. They all understood. Elaine wasn’t looking well. In fact, she looked terrified, and said, “I can’t wait to get off this boat”. And she meant it.

A few minutes later the two F-18’s flew over the Escape, waving their wings in victory, and saying goodbye. They pulled up sharply, and very quickly they were in the clouds. They leveled off, and headed home. The sun was fully up now and filled the sky with beautiful colors.

At 5,000 ft, JLo said, “So, you owe me a dinner at La Plata Grande…….”. “Yeah I know….but you’re worth it!” he said. Privately he wished he’d never said anything about a bet.

JJ turned to his partner, and asked, “So are we ever going to get married – or what?” He had asked her before, in a more formal way. She turned to him, looking through their cockpit windows, and said, “JJ, my Mama didn’t raise no fool!” She broke off to the right, laughing to herself.

“Hey wait a minute!” JJ yelled at her, “What the heck does that mean??” He broke off to the right too, and followed her. Privately she was having great fun, but knew she should say something else. “It means JJ, that sooner or later we should get married!” “I would be a fool not to.”

Now that was something, he thought. “Sooner or later” she said. So there was hope after all. JLo slowed her F-18 down, and the two best friends were once again flying…….wing tip….to wing tip.

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape XII – Help from Above

Mountains and Rivers 213

Microfiction

They tried reaching the Haitian authorities for most of the night. There was no answer. Was there something wrong with their radio? Were they out of range? They couldn’t tell. Jonathan even tried using the satellite phone. Nothing.

A little after 3:00 am the rain stopped, and so did the wind. Belinda had no choice, but to start up the diesel. She kept it on a low speed, because they were running low on fuel. She and Robert took turns at the helm, or what was left of it. Elaine tried to sleep below deck, but kept waking up with nightmares. They heard her scream in her sleep several times, and Jonathan ran to her side. When he wasn’t next to his wife, Jonathan was working on the communications, or trying to.

At about 4:30 am, they noticed a vessel on the radar, moving quickly, from the exact direction of the attack. Was it the pirates? Usually fishing vessels traveled in groups, and it looked to be about the same size as the pirate vessel. They weren’t sure, but they were all awake now, and they all shared the same worried look on their faces.

At 5:15 am, Jonathan remembered the number to call, to reach a friend in the Dominican Republic. Col. Jorge Rodriguez. The Rodriguez family had been Jonathan’s friends since college, and owned a resort on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, called Costa del Sol. The phone rang repeatedly, and Jonathan was losing patience. “C’mon!” “Pick up the phone.” He said. Then suddenly it was “Jorge!” The two talked in Spanish, while Jonathan explained what had happened. Col. Rodriguez promised he would get them some help. He wasn’t sure what kind of help yet, but promised that it would be quick. Several governments had been looking for the pirates, for months. Their favorite method, was to bait tourists and travelers with a distress call, and then attack.

At 6:05 am, the sun was coming up, and they noticed the vessel was following them. It was less than 25 miles away, and closing in. It was Elaine that first heard the jets. Two F-18 fighters came down out of the sky, with a roar. Would they attack?? No, they flew over, within 500 ft. of the surface, pulling back on their throttles so that everyone on the Escape would know, they were on their side. The jet thunder was deafening, and as they flew over, the four people on the Escape held their ears, then whooped and hollered for joy! “Yes!”, Jonathan yelled – “Go get em’ guys!”

What he did not know was that one of the pilots was Lt. Cmdr. Jacqueline Lopez. Her sidekick, in the other F-18 was Lt. James Jacoby. Their friends called them JLo and JJ. JLo was one of the best fighter pilots in the Atlantic.

When they got close (several miles away) to the pirate vessel, they could plainly see on their infrared camera, a swivel mounted, twin barreled machine gun, mounted in the bow. The plan was to come in low, and hit them with air to surface rockets. At one mile out they heard the enemy machine gun spring into action. “Break off!!”, It was JLo giving the command, and the jets split off to the left and right, pulling upward. “I’m going to enjoy frying these idiots”, JJ announced over the radio. “Not if I get them first!! And remember our bet!!” JLo was serious too. She wanted that expensive dinner out and he was going to be buying!

 

 

To be continued.

 

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape XI – Recovery

Ships 152

“Robert…… you need to let go of the wheel”. It was Belinda checking on him again. “Who’s in charge of this crew anyway?”, she asked. It had been three hours since the attack, and he was still standing there. He turned to look at her, getting her loose strands of hair in his face again. They both smiled, and he realized he was trying too hard to be a hero. He shook his head yes, and let her have what was left of the helm. He liked it when they were close together.

In fact, it seemed right, it seemed natural, for the two of them to be on deck, especially at the helm. He asked her again, “Any leaks?” She said no with a sigh. “I’ve checked three times, there are no holes below the waterline”. “Relax Robert”. She was right, so he went below deck, to see how Jonathan and Elaine were doing.

He found Jonathan in the chart room, pouring over maps and charts, with Elaine sitting nearby, drinking a cup of tea. It smelled like chamomile. They both said “Robert!” at the same time. Jonathan said, “Thank you Robert for saving our lives!” Robert cut him short though, not wanting the praise. He responded with, “Just doing my job….”

“How did you know they were baiting us?”, Jonathan wondered out loud. Robert explained that the fire on the pirate boat was not spreading. “The smoke stayed in one spot, like a barbeque.” “In fact that’s probably what they used”. “There’s only one reason, you would do that, and then call for help.” Jonathan and Elaine both shook their heads yes, understanding completely. Elaine asked if he was sure the pirates couldn’t catch the Escape. “Not a chance”, he said. “They have an ancient, wooden boat, that is too heavy”. He added that there was nothing on the radar, except some rain that would be here soon.

Later, Robert went on deck, and sat next to Belinda. He told her about the coming rain, and they both watched the clouds building. “No thunderstorms though……just beautiful rain” he added. He knew he was going to do it, but he was working up the courage. It was the right thing to do, as they watched the setting sun bounce off the rain clouds, in a million wonderful directions. They felt a few drops and he got their rain gear out.

“We’ve been through a lot today….” she said, seemingly almost asleep, or maybe in a dream. Now, he thought. He leaned over and kissed her cheek, her hair was being tossed in the wind. She wasn’t surprised, she had been wondering when, and why he was taking so long to make a move. He went for her lips, but gently. It was a kiss that said, “Yes we’ve been through a lot, but I think I’m falling in love with you”.

 

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings and peace to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape X – Gunfire

Ships 145

“Pirates??” Jonathan’s face was covered with disbelief. “Yes, they…..” Robert was about to explain when gunfire from the other vessel erupted. “Get down!!” “Get down everyone, get down!!” He heard himself yelling. Belinda cursed below deck, while Jonathan threw Elaine down gently, and covered her with his own body. A firestorm of bullets pounded the Escape. Robert had just time enough to switch on the diesel, as he fell to take cover at the helm.

He had no choice but to take evasive action, and as he reached for the wheel, pieces of it were broken off by the impact of the 50 caliber shells. “M2 Browning”, he thought to himself, probably twin barrel. He turned what was left of the helm, to the left and then the right, and back to the left, alternating, throwing everything on board the Escape, from one side to the other.

He looked at the back of the yacht and noticed everything was shredded, including the canopy, deck furniture, and pieces of cushions were floating in the water. He continued the back and forth with the helm which caused the sails to swing wildly. It worked. As more blasts from the M2 Browning went off they mostly missed, sometimes just nicking the back of the Escape.

He heard Elaine praying over the horrible sound of the machine gun, “Please God…….I’ve come too far…..please help us!.” Was that Jonathan crying, scared of losing his wife? Belinda cursed again as he turned the piece of helm hard to the port side. He took the diesel up to ½ power, causing the Escape to lean to the right. “Hold on Jonathan!”, he yelled. The danger now was capsizing from being under full sail, and using the diesel, which was normally used only during times of no wind.

Belinda stumbled up the steps and yelled, “Here!”, throwing him a 9mm pistol. He made sure the safety was on and tucked it in his belt. Belinda went down on one knee, leaned on a railing, took aim and fired at the enemy boat. Robert yelled, “What are you doing??” “You know you’re out of range!” Belinda kept firing, emptied the clip, and reloaded quickly. “I want them to know we have firepower!” Her face was red hot with anger. Secretly she was hoping that some of the 9mm shells would fall on the pirates, if she aimed high enough.

Robert could barely control the helm, and cut back the diesel to ¼ power. The Escape pulled away, and the gunfire lessoned, falling short of the yacht. Belinda was calming down, and asked Robert, “Was that a 50 caliber?” “Yes, check on Jonathan and Elaine…….” was all he could say. They both knew that with another mile, they would be clear from the pirates.

A few minutes later, Robert was relieved to see Belinda helping Jonathan and Elaine below deck. They were emotional wrecks, but they were alive. He knew it was going to take some incredible healing to overcome this. He deeply admired this couple that had been through so much. He looked up at the sky, disgusted. He was about to launch into, “How could You let this happen……”, when he realized they were all alive, and the rigging was still in place.

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings and peace to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape IX – Danger

Ships 152

Contemporary Microfiction

His wife Rachel, never liked the water, in fact she was scared of it. Robert was thinking about his wife Rachel, as he and Belinda prepared the Escape for sailing. Just before daylight the harbor was mostly quiet, with only a few people stirring in their boats.  The two crew members barely spoke, too tired to say much. They each forced a smile, and a quiet, “Good Morning”. As Belinda lifted the anchor, Robert started the diesel, and guided the yacht peacefully past the Tall Ships.

Robert was mostly reflecting on his life since his wife’s death, and how guilty he felt. He was lost in his thoughts, no wonder he couldn’t sleep last night. The truth was, he had given up his career in the Navy, for Rachel, and lived six years in the corporate world. Now though, he was living a dream, and was having the time of his life. Rachel was gone, and yet he was thrilled about living on the open sea. He felt awful about it. Yesterday with Belinda, was the icing on the cake. They had shared so much together looking at the ships.

They were just good friends (in his mind), but he wondered how long it would stay that way, or could stay that way. Belinda started untying the sails, and he offered to switch. He knew as soon as he said it, that it was a male instinct response, trying to protect her, and help her, but she was grateful, and said yes.

Once they were at full sail, they took turns at the helm, while the other slept under the canopy, in the stern of the yacht. After Jonathan and Elaine were up, they both took turns at the helm, seeing their crew exhausted. Jonathan wondered about the two, Robert and Belinda, and if they were a couple. Elaine just smiled, thinking they were cute. She did think it was too soon for Robert though.

Five days out from Nassau, Robert was amazed at how much he knew about Belinda now, including the heartbreak with her boyfriend. Not only did the boyfriend secretly have other women, but he slowly stole more than $10,000 from her. She was devastated and took off, eventually landing on the Escape, after a stint on a cruise ship.

Belinda, on the other hand, not only knew more about Robert, she was fascinated by him, and his entire life. She commended him time and again, for hanging in there and being faithful to his wife, in spite of the alcoholism. She had an admiration for him that she did not have before, and she loved his quiet strength.

They talked about everything during their times together on the deck, including rock music, food, family, and of course the ocean. Dolphins were regular visitors, and they took them as a good sign, most sailors did. Robert felt scared though, of how he was beginning to feel, about this beautiful sailing companion. Was she more than a friend now?

It was Jonathan that first saw the smoke. The black smoke on the horizon, had a menacing look. At about the same time they heard a mayday, scratchy and filled with static, on the marine radio, but the call for help was unmistakable. “Mayday! Mayday!”

Robert was at the helm, and headed the Escape towards the fire, still miles away. It wasn’t until they were closer that he became suspicious. At about ¾ mile away, he knew, and took the Escape hard to the starboard side. Jonathan yelled, “What are you doing??”

Robert yelled, “The only thing that will save us is speed!” “I think we’re faster, and we might make it to the northern coast of Haiti!” Belinda instantly knew what he meant, and went below to find some weapons.

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings and peace to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape VIII – Nassau

Ships 118

Contemporary Microfiction

As the Escape zeroed in on the harbor of Nassau, Robert was tying down the sails, while Belinda guided the yacht from the helm. They were both surprised before they pulled in to the beautiful bay. From miles away they could already see the unmistakable masts of several tall ships. They were as excited as two children in a candy store, pointing, smiling, and saying, “Look at that!”

Once in the bay, they slowly glided by each massive sailing ship. They were awestruck. They saw flags from Nova Scotia, Spain, Portugal, and France. It was Belinda and Robert working the Escape now, while Chuck stayed below deck. He didn’t come up very often, and when he did, he didn’t say anything. Robert thought he had never known a man that could sulk so much. Belinda did try to talk to Chuck, like she said she would, but it didn’t help much.

Once they tied their ropes to a pier, Belinda and Robert talked about their plans, and which ships to visit first. Suddenly, Chuck hurried past them, without saying a word, wearing a shirt and tie, and carrying all his gear! What was that all about? Belinda and Robert looked at each other, and said at the same time, “What is wrong with that guy???” They burst out laughing.

They hurried to the Portuguese brigantine first because it was the largest. Along the way they found there was a tall ship festival for the next three days. It was going to be very crowded. Once on board, Belinda started speaking in perfect Portuguese! “Are you kidding me?” “You know Portuguese?”, he asked her. Belinda just smiled.

They had a great time, touring each ship, talking to the crew about sailing, the sails, the rigging, the speed, “Did they have diesel engines?”, and anything else they could think of. The two of them were inseparable. Robert saw the two of them hanging out, as being best buddies. For Belinda it was more, much more. She kept staring at him, telling herself not to fall in love with him, but she was already madly in love.

Belinda got a phone call from Elaine, and they arranged where to meet up. Jonathan and Elaine had a pick-up, loaded with supplies for the Escape, and they would need help, unloading. They all loaded the Escape, and filled her to the brim, with new provisions. Belinda was already calculating how the yacht would react in the water, with the extra weight.

After they had a quick dinner on the deck, Jonathan shared with everyone, that Chuck would not be returning. Chuck had taken a job in town, at one of the hotels, as a chef. No one said anything else, and there was no need to. The plan was to leave again, at dawn tomorrow, and for the islands further south. They would have to take turns cooking. Robert couldn’t help notice how relaxed, and how in love, Jonathan and Elaine looked. In fact they were glowing.

They all slept onboard that night, well at least Jonathan and Elaine did, in the master bedroom. Both Belinda and Robert had trouble sleeping, and were awake in their bunks, most of the night. Belinda was wondering how long she would have to wait, to tell Robert how she felt. Six months? Did it have to be that long???

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings and peace to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”