Chapter 1: Boarding The Boat
We boarded the boat with no real difficulty. Me, with my dark hair and unhappy face. My attitude that day matched the water - dark and sullen. Angry, miserable. This was because I really didn't like boats. They were horrible, masochistic machines that needed to learn that sea is for swimming in, or flying over. Not swimming over.
They got me paranoid, and from the second I step foot on the boat, The Green Lady, my legs were shaking like mad. My mom, in all her blonde-hair-blue-eyed mystic glory, was as reserved as she usually was in her blue jacket. Although, unknown to most, there was a light smile at the corners of her mouth that portrayed her carefree - yet hidden - ways.
I was dragged out of my musings by my mothers sing song voice.
'Caroline, don't forget your bags!' She yelled at me from in front as we went up the steep, wooded hill up to the boat. She was looking at my dad as though he was a pesky bug that was in her way. He was slowly walking in front of us, his greying hair and kind eyes hung limply as he trailed along, causing Mom to slow down and use her patronising tone of voice.
Obviously, Dad shared my hatred of boats. Or did I share his?
'I wont mum, don't worry!' I shouted back. Honestly, anyone would think that I was 5 years old like my brother James, and not my real age of 14.
James was the most adorable little brother anyone could ask for. When he smiled, his eyes lit up and his dimples made you laugh - but in the kind way. He was very polite most of the time, if not slightly grammatically incorrect. His tendency to say "No please," and "yes thank you," made most people look at him like he wasn't raised properly. It made me look at him as though I was the luckiest sister alive. I guess in most ways, I was.
We got onto the boat and went into the foyer, my sleepy eyes barely able to take everything in. I was tired and all I wanted to do was sleep, the sooner the better I thought to myself. We got shown to our barely furnished room and I collapsed straight onto the bed. I was exhausted! The thin sheets were enough to relax me, even though I preferred my usual extra thick duvet. The fabric was scratchy, yet I still found it comfortable.
Wow, I was becoming soft.
We had got a plane to Miami from the airport near our house, and then had gotten a taxi straight to the boarding dock. The journey had been long and tiring, but still James was the most energetic I had ever seen him - this was the first time he had been on a boat.
I suddenly felt a wave of nausea come over me and I jumped up suddenly, my earlier thoughts of sleep long forgotten. Oh great, the sea sickness had started, I thought bitterly to myself. I legged it to the bathroom, and spewed my guts out in the toilet, and by the looks of it, I wasn't the first. The seat was slightly yellow and the smell wasn't too charming either. What a lovely start to our holiday.
I couldn't wait to get off the stupid excuse for a boat first thing in the morning.
I looked half-heartedly at the clock hanging on the greying walls, to find that it was already ten 'o clock.
Wow, time flies.
I managed to stumble back to the bed without having another sick-attack. I fell onto the uncomfortable bed - for the second time - and closed my eyes. Ah, rest. This boat ride was going to be worth the two weeks in the Caribbean that it was heading towards.
The sun, the sea, the sand, heaven on earth . . . I soon fell into a deep slumber, thinking of the wonderful time that we were going to have.
* * *
I awoke the next morning feeling on top of the world. It was half past seven, only an hour until the beginning of our holiday in paradise! I was the first person awake, so I shook James out of his deep sleep and told him to brush his teeth. As I was watching him do this, I wondered which swimming costume to wear first. The pink one with sparkles? Or the black one with the skull? Girly or Goth? Such a hard decision.
When James had finished brushing his teeth, he got dressed.
So did I. I dressed light, knowing that it was going to be boiling outside. I put on the black swimsuit, (I had thought better of girly), and a pretty white t-shirt that said the words 'Love Life' on the front. I also slipped on a little white skirt with ruffles around the edges. Finally I put on my white flip-flops and then went into my parents bedroom to wake them up. It turned out that they were already dressed and clean. They thanked me for getting James ready and then we went down for breakfast.
We never got there however, because suddenly there was a horrific bang and the floor started moving, going upwards so it seemed. Doors burst open and people rushed about, talking loudly about a... disaster?
Chaos erupted around us, and there was a message alert coming from one of the speakers above our heads, the woman's voice full of panic and stress as my heart went into overdrive. I heard screaming, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I heard the woman repeat the message:
'The boat has hit an iceberg, we have not got time to evacuate, prepare to swim.'
Seriously, I thought to myself. Is that seriously all the warning we were going to get? Apparently it was, as a second later the first drops of water were forming at my feet. The water was cold, penetrating.
Without knowing what I was doing, I ran for the nearest exit before something on my right exploded with a loud bang.
My ears seemed to drown out any noise, just like the water would soon drown out any screams still in the air around me. All I heard was a faint buzzing, all I felt was the need to run, to get away. Fast. My senses were on fire, yet I couldnt feel anything. Maybe I was on fire? No, I thought, the burning was deep inside my chest. It was telling me what to do. It was telling me wrong.
I don't know why I didn't drag my family with me, I was so stupid. My own family, the loved ones in my life. And I didn't have the guts or the brains to go back and save them. I knew in the depths of my mind that they wouldn't have followed me. They would have gone a different direction, just presuming that I had followed. Not finding them is something that I will regret for the rest of my life, but first I need to know when my life is going to end.
Suddenly, my hearing and vision came back as I ran even further up the boat. More screams, terrified people. Injuries, blood. It was all happening, like a horror film. Only this wasn't a film; this was real, happening. Now.
I found a lifeguard ring and threw it overboard before I could think about what I was doing. I didn't need time to think - I needed to get off this boat. I followed the ring, launching myself into the freezing depths of the ocean below. Grabbing onto the safety ring that I had thrown overboard seconds earlier, I started to kick my legs. I could faintly see land and that's where I was heading, I knew that the land was my best bet.
I could still hear the screams, the panic, the sheer terror. I could still feel all of those things in my own blood. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion, yet as swiftly as light. I couldn't keep up.
Right about then, a sudden calm surrounded me. Everything was still happening elswhere, but I was inside my own little bubble. Right then, I knew I would be okay. But would my family?
The water was freezing, as deathly as a knife piercing a lonely heart. I started shivering uncontrollably, and the salt water kept getting into my mouth, making me cough and choke. I spat it out and carried on swimming hard in the general direction of the patch of land.
I briefly remember seeing a small patch of golden brown hair, and a pair of beautiful eyes. The eyes looked straight at me for a second, before they dissapeared into the bottomess pit of death - the sea.
I had to survive this, I had to. I suddenly heard a loud explosion coming from the boat behind me. My simple decision to jump overboard had probably saved my life, but what had happened to my family? Would I ever see them again? I forced myself not to look back or to think about it, as I carried on kicking my legs...
This version of chapter one has been editted.
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Shipwrecked (A short story.)Teen Fiction
"Life is hard," says just about every teenager living an easy life, including Caroline. But when a boat journey goes terribly wrong, life is not just hard. Life is precious.