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Lost at Shore - Part 5 Finale

 
Veronica Volt's picture
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The storm howled outside as Veronica, the three sailors and "Captain" Graham of the recloning bunker sat around a wooden table, sipping rum. The wet coat and hat of the Captain hanging from a hook.

'We drifted,' Jim explained. 'Lost at shore, no compass, stars hidden.'

'We could not find the way back,' Stormy added. 'All at sea, all at sea we were.'

'Marooned,' Ishmael exclaimed. 'We were marooned.'

Veronica half listened to the conversation but her concentration wandered away as her eyes danced around the bunker. There was something strange about all this. 'We have a chest of things,' Jim had said to her the day she met them,' Would you like to see?'

Would you like to see? Veronica walked away from the table and looked around the bunker. A hammock in the corner. A painting of a ship on a wall. A shiney shell from a sea creature who lived yeas before. A bottle with a tiny ship inside. A bookshelf. Veronica walked to the bookshelf.

'Would you like to see?'

Veronica twisted around startled. 'Would you like to see?' the Captain asked her again. 'The books, please take a look.'

Veronica looked back to the books. 'Sure,' she said before pulling one from the shelf and opened it to read a few words. In the words the boy was listening from inside the apple barrel, listening to Long John...

    Would you like to see?

Jim Hawkins!

    Would you like to see?

It was Jim Hawkins! Of course. Veronica looked to the title of the book. She had read this before. Ishmael... the name also familiar...

    Would you like to see?

Call me Ishmael! Call me Ishmael!

    Would you like to sea?

    Shore!

Veronica turned back to Captain Graham. 'Their names,' she began. 'They are all from-'

But she stopped her words when the Captain put a finger to his lips. 'Shhh' he muttered.

*     *     *


The hour was late. The three sailors, exhausted, were asleep in three hammocks tied in corners of the bunker. Outside the rain had stopped, and on the bunker steps Veronica and the Captain looked to the moon.

'It is the moon which makes the tides,' Graham explained. 'I always loved reading the sea stories,' he said before adding sadly 'I have never seen the sea, probably never will.'

'Why are their names from books?' Veronica asked.

'They came from the pods without identity, without purpose,' Graham explained. 'Made for work, not made for life.'

'You gave them life?' Veronica asked.

'No, the machine gave them life, Graham said. 'I gave them purpose.'

'You are a Graham,' Veronica said, 'but different from the Grahams.'

'I read,' Graham said. 'I read and dream. I gave some of the dream to these empty shells of men, washed ashore here in this bunker.'

'They think there are sailors,' Veronica considered. 'But not really sailors?'

'Does it matter?' Graham replied. 'They have identity now.'

Veronica was silent a moment as they both gazed to the moon again.

'Jim Hawkins,' Veronica said. 'Treasure Island?'

Graham nodded, 'Yes'.

'Ishmael. Moby Dick?'

'Yes.'

'But Stormy?'

Graham smiled. 'I tried to write a story. Stormy was one of my characters.'

Silence again. Veronica looked at the sailor's ship nearby, still standing on its wheels. 'What will they do with that?' she asked.

Graham smiled. 'I have the perfect idea.'

*     *     *

The day after was a sunny day, all rain vanished. Veronica and the Captain stood on the shore of the lake to which he had taken them. Veronica waved and Stormy waved back before returning to his work lifting the sails. The other two helped to him. The ship, without the wheels, now floated in the water and slowly moved as the wind gently pushed it. Veronica laughed with delight as the purple flag she made for them was lifted by a rope.

'Will they be okay?' Veronica asked the Graham.

'Yes,' he replied. 'They are home now.'

'They will not sink?'

'No.'

Veronica looked at the ship, now smaller, further away. She looked at the water, then looked again.

'Are there.... sharks in the water?' she asked.

Graham laughed. 'No, not here,' he said before pausing and asking. 'Why do you ask that?'

'I thought, i saw something,' Veronica replied.

Graham looked at her puzzled. 'Saw what?'


            FIN

Comments

Engel's picture

(( That was a complete story. A beautiful journey. ))


- this comment was brought to you by Oilville Primo™ -

Joe Spivey's picture

((Yes, a beautiful journey through the slightly surreal world of Veronica Volt. (fin, lol)

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Hyle Troy's picture

((  VV weaves a beautiful perfect purple web......  encore!!

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers



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