Peter turned off the alarm clock in haste. It was 9. In 15 minutes, he was in the living room, ready for office. However, there was no sign of breakfast. “Maisy, where is my breakfast?” She stared at him and turned away. Peter had slapped her yesterday and she was acting up. The next day was the same and so was the next. If he made extra food, meaning to save some for the night, she ate everything. Anger rose in him, but he thought of its consequences. “Maisy,” he began in a low voice, “I am extremely sorry.”
Fali looked out of his cabin window. He recalled his dad’s toothy smile, their old boat, and his simple childhood as a fisherman’s son. He still heard his dad’s wild laughter, echoing in the sea. Now nobody around him laughed loudly and neither did Fali. They smiled out of necessity. However, one thing did not change. The waters had ruled his father’s life and now they ruled his. “Sir, the Captain’s cocktail party begins in 10 minutes.” A young officer stood there. Captain Fali Dastur nodded his head without bothering to smile. He followed the officer to the deck.
As soon as Clara and Nick took their seats, he sighed loudly and stretched, causing a grandpa next to him to frown. After the chick flick started, he kicked a coke can below his legs. “I am thirsty.” he declared.
had spilled popcorn all over the front seats.
To think we came to this theater,” said Nick who never cleaned his room.
at some teenagers cuddling, “The current generation is indecent.” he told grandpa.
grateful for the interval. “Shall we go?”
He did not belong to anyone. He used and threw them. Now he was sick from a terminal illness, lying alone. His housekeeper of 10 years walked to him and changed his clothes without emotion. “Thank you,” he told her. Had he spoken to her? She looked at him, stunned. He could detect some deep feeling behind her eyes for the first time. He had never known her eyes were intelligent and kind. Why had he not seen her before? The way she looked at him! He held her hands, gratified that he had found true love at last.
He stood in front of the crowds, his mouth wide open, and his guitar hanging by his side. He stared at the ogling girls and the scowling boys who had been dragged there by girlfriends. He had forgotten everything. What was he supposed to do? “Come on, man. You are the greatest rock star of the century. Get going.” his lead guitarist hissed at him. The rock star blinked. He could remember nothing beyond his 10th birthday when his dad had insisted that he learn guitar. “I had always wanted to be a rock star.” his dad had said.
The horse flew ahead, eyes half-blinded by the fog. The exhausted soldier was in no position to command, though he led the horse with a weak hand. They had travelled for days, braving heat, storm and hunger. “Just an hour more” pleaded the soldier to a God he did not believe in. They reached the land of exile, at last. The horse slowed down at the sight of a boy. “Our country is free”, shouted the soldier with a last burst of energy, as he fell down, fatigued.
Steph adored oceans, rivers and even ponds. Apparently, water loved her back. That was probably why she was able to become a competent marathon swimmer. Starting with the English Channel, she was able to conquer the toughest of straits. Steph was called the ‘Queen of Channels’ until she encountered the Red straits.
Nobody had conquered ‘The Red’(as it was called) until then and the only teenage champion who attempted died mid-way in 1929. Surprisingly, her separated parents and old school friends came to see her off. Steph understood her enormous responsibility to her country and the hopeful crowd, as she dived into ‘The Red’ with a prayer.
After swimming for 18 hours, Steph was felt invigorated, instead of exhausted. She plunged on, with renewed energy, as she reached the middle of the straits. There were remnants of a wrecked ship. Steph ignored it and swam ahead, her goal in mind. All of a sudden, someone pulled her down. Seaweeds or sharks? Steph felt scared for the first time. As hard as she tried to rise above, she found herself going deep inside. There were further wreckages deep down- parts of an aeroplane. The last image she saw was that of a young man, wearing an outdated blue swimsuit. ‘The sea always claims its own.’ he said, shivering at the memory of 85 years.
He stared at the ship, called Victoria. Now was the time to attack, he felt. The ship was surrounded by fog and his men were ready with weapons, just waiting for a word from him. He was about to turn when a moment caught his attention. An elegant woman, aboard Victoria’s deck, was examining something. He, with an eye for these things, could clearly see that the ‘something’ was diamond. Then she carelessly tossed it to the river, as he stared. Now she held a chain, examining it. In a thoughtless frame of mind, he jumped into the sea to retrieve precious jewellery.
The next moment, a squad from Victoria jumped into the nameless ship. “You are under arrest.” thundered the commander. He called a number as the dumbfounded pirates were handcuffed.
“Task done, ma’am”
The elegant lady smiled, “All for some trinklets.”
This was written for Alastair’s photo fiction.