Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: White (10/29/09)
TITLE: Black Intention, White Design
By April Gray
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I was lying on something hard and gritty. Though I was awake, I kept my eyes closed, sensing an imminent danger just beyond my perception. I could hear waves beating against the side of a ship, canvas snapping with wind, and a mordant voice bellowing orders, followed by affirmative replies. I smelled salt, leather, and wood.
I was on the deck of a ship, as well I should be. I had been sailing for many a week now, having left my warm, solid, dry home in merry England to come on this great escapade to the West Indies.
The ship rolled to larboard and so did I, keeping every effort to remain limp and languid. Something was amiss, I just couldn’t remember what.
I focused hard.
Back in London I met up with a group of adventurers. They told my of a lush green paradise, some rimmed with white sand beaches and others with black, that lay waiting across the wide blue sea.
I was intrigued.
Then they told me of the poor souls languishing there without guidance, forced to make immoral choices to survive in some of the wickedest cities on all the earth. Port Royal, Tortuga, Providence…the list went on.
I was convicted.
Surely God meant for me to pack up my comfortable home and go to these people. To bring the truth of his light to their dark and depraved world.
I hired aboard a ship, the ‘White Lady’, as carpenter. I delighted with the knowledge that God gave me that skill for a reason. I would use it to further his work. I wouldn’t need to rely on another to build my church.
The journey had gone well—we were only days from arrival—until…
A man in the shrouds called to our captain: he saw white to our starboard.
The captain had looked worried.
Presently barefeet padded with seeming urgency around where I now lay. The ship rolled again and my head hit a crate, making a spot that was already tender pound. I groaned aloud…I couldn’t help it for finally, I remembered.
The ship on the horizon was full of freebooters, marauders—pirates. They quickly and expertly seized our merchant trader.
Someone told them I was a carpenter.
They said I should join their crew.
I remember the white stars that danced across my vision just before it went black. And now, here…
I slowly opened my eyes. They were filled with the white billowing clouds of the mainsail. A flag flew atop the mast, a white skull in a field of black. I was aboard their ship, ‘Black Hand’.
‘God? Is this want you meant for me? A forced man on a pirate vessel? Can I serve you here?’
Fat stinging raindrops began to fall on me, around me. I sat up and brushed the hair from my eyes.
"I say mate! You’d better haul yerself offen’ that thar deck! There be a storm a'comin!" advised a dirty tattered sailor, eyes and teeth yellow with scurvy.
Lying beside me was my canvas sack, holding all my possessions. I was sure my Bible was still tucked safely inside.
I looked at the pirate and nodded. There surely would be a storm a’comin.
I smiled at him. "You have no idea!"
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