Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YEAR (05/17/18)
TITLE: Waves of the Heart
By Karen Dick
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I rolled over, squinted at the clock and moaned. “It’s four in the morning. The fish don’t come until six.”
Harry stood over me with his waders on shoving his arms into his slicker.
“We’re not near quota yet, and Skipper’s testy.” He rushed toward the door. “You better hurry. He might come after you with a giant fish hook.” He grinned and left.
I groaned, rolled out of the cot and grabbed my waders. The ship rocked as I pulled them on. Lord, help me do this for a year. If you don’t want me to, please make it clear.
As I left the warmth of the sleeping quarters, I entered the frigid Alaskan air. I pulled on thick gloves while I rushed up the stairs. Once on deck, ocean spray hit me in the face. I ducked my head, pushed against the wind and moved toward the stern.
Skipper and Harry had already lowered the large gillnet into the ocean behind the boat. Skipper looked at me and yelled, “I ain’t paying you to stay in bed. You have to get out here.”
“Sorry sir, I didn’t realize we were starting two hours early.” I yanked my hood over my head and sidestepped water as a wave crashed over the side of the boat.
“We start when the fish are ready. You missed it.”
I glanced at Harry and shrugged.
“Hey, Skip,” Harry yelled over the sound of the waves. “You and Joey get some coffee. I’ll man the helm.”
Skipper nodded as he adjusted the large net.
I waved to Harry, and then rushed to the galley before Skipper got there.
He came through the door and plopped onto a stool. “Where’s the coffee?” He dropped his arms on the counter. “I don’t have much time while Harry’s at the helm. Not sure I trust him.”
I poured the steaming liquid into a mug and placed it in front of Skipper.
He rubbed his whiskered face with his hand. “Hey, kid.”
“You sure you’re cut out for this?” He slurped from his cup and stared at me. “Why aren’t you behind a desk somewhere?”
“I want to work here.”
“I’m not sure this is right for you.” He took another gulp.
“Sir, I need this job.” My face grew hot. The boat jerked.
“Oh boy, I hope Harry can do this.” He muttered.
With a deep breath, I blurted, “I want to marry my girl in a year. But I need money to do that.” I pulled Sarah’s picture out of my jacket pocket and showed him.
He glanced at it, then back at me. “Kid, when you have a good looking girl like her, you shouldn’t wait a year.”
I swallowed hard. “I want to provide for her.”
He nodded. “That’s good…but some things are more important than money.”
The ship suddenly shifted with force. Skipper wobbled as he stood.
“We have to get out there!”
I quickly followed Skipper onto the deck while I clung to the side of the boat. It rocked violently. Huge waves crashed over the side.
“Help me get the net in!” He yelled.
Together, we cranked the lever on the drum, slowly pulling the net out of the water. It caught on the edge of the boat. Skipper leaned over the side to untangle it.
I scanned the bow to locate Harry but instead saw a monstrous wave headed toward us.
“Skipper, let it go!” I shouted.
The wave crashed into us and the boat tipped. I lunged for Skipper as he flew back onto the net, suspended over the ocean. I grasped him by his waders at the waist and hung on tightly. Another wave tossed the boat while icy water drenched us. I don’t know if I can hold on. We’ll both go over.
My arms ached. I continued my grip, and my thoughts went to Sarah. Father, please still this storm!
Finally, the storm and the boat were calm. I pulled Skipper up and he stared at me as he steadied himself. Gradually I let go.
“You can stay.” He blurted.
With a nod, I gazed out at the vast ocean.
He gripped my arm. “Are you sure you want to?”
I sighed deeply. “God will provide…. I’m going home.”
Philippians 4:19 (NIV) “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
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