With the tortured voice of lost souls, wind howled across the surface of the sea. From the deck of my small ship, I watched waves churn. Boiling foam of crashing white caps turned the normally turquoise water black; it became an impenetrable abyss. The calming sound of waves lapping against the side of the boat became angry, haggard.
On the horizon a setting Sun cast beautiful rays of orange, yellow, and red over the world before they were consumed by a thunderous cloud; a tightly wrapped cocoon of chaos. Unlike my vessel, which was thrashed violently by the chop, the storm sailed across the sea with ghoulish grace. Cutting effortlessly through the vehement throws of the Neptune with such ease it must be a ghost ship sailed by a skeleton crew lost somewhere between this world and the next.
Lightning, like cannon fire, erupted from the portside of the raging storm cloud. The entire sky was scorched by the intensity, if only for a second. Thunder bellowed from the belly of Mother Nature’s beast; shockwaves exploded across the surface of the ocean with such tremendous force I could feel it course through my bones. The storm spat bolts across the waves while orange fire twirled in the nest of mayhem. The sun continued to drop behind the horizon, yielding to this force of darkness.
As if yearning for a better vantage point, the moon rose ever higher into the night sky. Not to be outdone by the storm, by the wind and the rain, by the bolts of fury that electrified the sky, the moon exerted its force over the tides. Driven forth by the irresistible pull of gravity and eager to participate in this dance of the damned, the waves surged with new found strength; they worked in unison with the dauntless gale. The strength of the wind pushed by boat sideways, allowing waves to beat violently against the hull, tossing it around with ease. To go overboard here would be the end.
I could do nothing but watch.
While the furious squall fueled the storm along with vigor, it could do nothing for me but cause destruction. The mast could be ripped down. The main sheet would be torn from my hands. The jib might tare, the ship could be capsized as easily as a stone is tossed into a pond. In the angry face of the storm, with the sails down and tied away, with ever persistent waves smashing endlessly into the hull, with wind fighting my heading, and lightning ferociously brewing, I’d never felt so helpless. So fully lost and at the mercy of forces outside my control.
And yet, I’d never seen something so beautiful, so unique. Terrifying and terrific, awesome and awful are the words that come immediately to mind. This was something so awfully terrific, so awesomely terrifying, I doubted I’d ever experience something quite like it again.
So, I sat on the deck of my little ship. I listened to the scream of the wind and the clap of the thunder. I heard the rain slapping the deck and felt cool drops splatter on my skin. I watched darkness descend over the world save for the brief flashes of hellfire that tore through the sky. I held on as the ship rocked, kicked, and bucked through the water. Eventually, I rode out the storm.