By Puffinstuf (1/07/2000-04/07/2000)
Creaking. A strange noise of the ship hobbling from side to side echoed in my ears. I remember when I didn't have my sea legs working just a day ago, but under this sort of pressure they sure as Hell are.
"Get in there!" Teacher yelled, shoving me into the closet and slamming the door. "Get in! In!"
Teacher is a middle-aged man who mainly stands out with his brown sideburns. He is the strictest of our four teachers on The Schoolboat, but only giving out to people in his own satisfactory manner. The same man who has just locked me into the darkness of the closet.
There's water outside but it is ocean water; this place may as well be a desert and I am thirsty. But when I hear the sound of marching footsteps just outside the closet door, I forget about my thirst.
Gunfire. Already it begins to shake the boat and I slowly feel sicker and sicker with the sound of every blast. They must be the of the East; possibly Chinese.
The door! What happened to the door? Gunfire? Collapsing? Aw, shi-
I awake slowly; I stir painfully even though there is no more of the door's apparent weight on my cringing torso. As I slowly come to, I notice someone looking down at me. It is the Head, and by the look on his face I can tell that he is the only survivor.
I stand up to look at him and Head observes: "oh, thank God that you're still alive; this boat shelters the best and the brightest in Ireland and now I can go with at least one person." I look at the bodies of Teacher and several Asian soldiers, beckoning him to continue.
"We must abandon ship, Ken. One of the soldiers' shotguns has accidentally blasted through the plasma engine. The explosion has caused a hull rupture; she's sinking. We may be able to get the life-boat; come on." Now I begin feeling more anxious, even though I have been prepared for this
Head acknowledges my nod, turning towards the lifeboat. He hauls a huge backpack up onto his shoulders, and then I remember that we need food and drink to survive, even if the lifeboat had a powerful solar/wind motor.
I follow him.
Head sat at the edge of the lifeboat at the end of the ramp. Water was at our feet; the boat was truly sinking, and I could smell the engine's plasma fire from here.
"Come on, Ken. Not a moment to lose. Get in there."
At that moment I could remember Teacher telling me to get into the closet during the infiltration. Nevertheless, I didn't want to get killed too so I did what I was told to do in both cases; I got into the lifeboat, carrying the backpack for Head.
The boat suddenly sloshes upward above the water that was at my knees. Head grabs onto the boat's side and attempts to climb on just when I hear a moaning from the body. Water has sloshed onto his face and he wakes up bloodied and weak. He looks at Head and a glimmer of something is seen at the corner of my eye when-
"Head!" But it was too late.
The sawed-off shotgun smeared the lifeboat's outer hull with blood just as he was helpless. His fingers hold on desperately for a few seconds further before they collapse with the rest of his limp body into the devouring saltwater. His killer looks at me with his foriegn eyes and I realise that he is a soldier. Soldiers kill. And just as soldiers kill, soldiers die. The water took the soldier and his shotgun in waves just as he begun to collapse again after a sufficent kill.
I never expected or wanted this, but I am now the only one left. The lifeboat is now seperate from the ramp; I slosh the water out of the inside before watching the ship fade into the horizon. I look at the controls and hold the steering wheel. I turn the boat away and never look back. The sun is shining; the solar engines are on and now heartily chugging away from Death.
I feel down. Not sad, but physically. I lay down and can't help but feel tired. I can't blame myself after this experience; I relax myself and slowly sip a drink with little to worry about.
Besides, I see it now. Land ho. I don't know where it is, but I appreciate it.
Irish soil now. Or at least, that was his destination.
The morticians looked down at a dead child. One of them picked up a seething LAZER and began to work, the other started the conversation.
"Poor kid. Looks like he's a few years gone now; one of those Schoolboat elites during the war. The war's ended, thank God."
"Yes, Bernard." Those two words halted the conversation abruptly. The LAZER began to burn a hole through the boy's body.
Bernard turned away from his colleague and looked inside an old backpack found at the scene. The contents: water bottles, rotten food and 40 letters adressed to Dublin.
Just old, school-boy letters.