Sailing Beyond New Horizons
Sailing Beyond New Horizons
By Paul Mc Cann
It was a quiet evening when he walked into the bar in Sailorstown . He looked lost and sat by the bar .The barman walked over and the stranger said ,
“Bartender give me an Irish in a large glass .“
“You’re not from around here . Have you jumped ship then ? “ Asked the barman .
“No I turned right instead of left fifteen years ago and took a cut against a wind blown by the devil himself .“ Replied the stranger
The barman poured a whisky and left the stranger alone and he did the stranger poured the whiskey down his throat and tapped his glass for a refill The barman obliged and then turned his back and left him with his glass and motioning to the clientele in the bar that he had a cuckoo at the bar .
Most of the patrons moved to the other side of the bar except for one old sailor who was dressed in a donkey jacket and wore a star on his cap .
He went over and joined the stranger and ordered a bottle of whisky and another glass .
The barman interrupted , “Its closing time .“
They took no notice “The old sailor produced a blue stone from his donkey jacket . The stone began to glow and flashes of lightening went out from it As he held the stone up in the air the eyes of everyone in the bar were fixed on it . No sound or movement was in the bar . It was like time had stopped . The old sailor softly spoke .
“Only ghosts of time can say when it closes.“
As the blue stone continued to glow stronger everything in the bar froze . Except for the sailor and stranger
“You said fifteen years ago you took a wrong turn . I’m a man of the sea who has seen and heard much my friend . Tell me more .”
The sailor poured a large measure of whisky into the strangers empty glass .
“About fifteen years ago I applied for a job on the docks with a cargo ship . As I remember it was October when we sailed out from the bay . A mile out to sea and l was thinking of home . I was thinking about jumping ship at the next port . I was looking forward to seeing my wife and four sons again . I was confused . I was under the effects of a fever . Semi-conscious I saw things through a haze ”
The sailor put away the stone . Everyone in the bar was in a trance .
“Have another drink “ Said the sailor who took of his cap .
The stranger took a drink and the sailor refilled it Then the star on the sailors cap started to shine .
“Tell me about the voyage .“ Said the sailor .
The stranger was began to speak easy and free .
“ I woke as the wind roared like a lion across the port side . It cut like cut like scissors through the sails of the ship . I looked into the sea and heard and saw what looked like sea dogs come up for air . Deep down under the waves . I saw the sun rise up . The wind roared louder and louder and up ahead I saw what I though was the devils mouth . It opened wide and looked like it was going to devour thee ship . But then I saw what I can only describe to be a gap open up somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea .
The ship fell into the hole and we were in another world empty of humanity .
Some of the faint hearted sailors jumped off the ship . Maybe I should have too but I stayed on board like the rest of the other fools .”
The old sailor said , “Have another swallow . It will help you spit it all out “
The sailor placed his cap on the strangers head as the star continued to shine
“It was like years passed on the ship . We all stood there like statues . We couldn’t move and we couldn’t talk .We were all terrified with fear . Our eyes deep and intense looked at this strange world around us . Weird it was . A weird world man .“ said the sailor .
A few new customers walked into to the bar and came and sat down in the company . The new company all wore caps with stars . One of them took out a red stone that shot a bright light around the entire room . He looked deeply into the strangers face and said .
“Yes my son . Its time to go .”
“We are here to bring you home in our ship “
“ Take me home ?“ Said the stranger .
“Yes . Back through the void where you fell .“ The man with the red stone said .
The stranger was stunned and said . “Home to my wife and family ?“.
“Yes . Our ship is waiting in the bay .“
They all rose from their seats at the bar .
As if in a trance the stranger said , “ Right let us go then and sail out on the sea. Let us find the places where the sun hide . I want to feel the winds beyond the horizon . “
“In our ship .“ said the sailors with the star caps .
“Ah yes in our ship . came the reply .
“We’ll be fine sailor’s dancing on the sea . “ Said one and all .
They made their way in and out of the streets to the waterfront . Then on through Sailorstown and down to the low dock where a tall ship was waiting . It was indeed a tall ship and one that any Captain and crew would be proud to sail in . A crew of strange looking beings greeted the men with the star caps .
“Now we have him . He will be born again . Let us find fine winds .“
The stranger was deeply entranced as if he was gripped by a fever . Placed into a hammock on the deck he lay still for a moment until a sea surge underneath the ship rose the ship about six feet in the air . The captain appeared on deck . His face shone like bright diamonds in the sun and as he pointed his telescope to the sky he said ,
“Time to set sail . “
It wasn’t long before two huge wings shot out from the ship and everything started to happen . Three engines started to roar , four more wings appeared with a bubble shape roof closing over the entire ship , With a bright flash and a loud blast the ship lifted off from the bay and exploded like a rocker off into the sky . Propelled further and further beyong the earth the ship made its voyage beyond the galaxies glow .
Onto the blackness of space the ship sped alone in an ocean of stars like a speck of light in a universe . Planets and comets spanned the way ahead as the spaceship headed for what seemed to be a pillar of light in the distance .
The ship began to increase speed and the engines noise got stronger .
Soon the ship became hot like a fire and it started to twisted around and around . Tossing and turning into the pillar of light the vastness of space seemed to be running away from the ship .
Space was falling away from the ship and shortly after the roof came off and the wings folded in . The engine noise cut and again the riggings and the mast of a sailing ship appeared as the tall ship fell from the sky into an ocean aglow with a strange blue light .
The ship continued to sail across the shimmering ocean that was full of wonder . Like a parallel world many other life forms appeared ..
Strange creatures with orange skin flew in the sky . On the rocky islands skeleton like beings walked around on their web feet . They had constructed igloos from rocks and seemed harmless . Green lizard like people lived in huge dome shaped sea-cities that floated and hovered above the water. As well as the futuristic sailing vessels there were some others that were very old . Swimming in the ocean were many weird and wonderful things . Now and then from underneath the deep mermaids would arise and talk about their sunken kingdoms with secret treasures unseen by anyone . Here and there whales and dolphins appeared . Enormous jellyfish and octopus were often seen . Suddenly a wind took the sails and a storm surrounded the ship . It was as if time itself was being sucked through a porthole or the universe was drawn to an open window . Waves like mountains arose and tossed the ship like a toy towards a hole in the stormM Then what seemed to resemble the mouth of the devil appeared in front pf the ship . Sailing inside there was a violent storm that ripped the ships sails into shreds . After passing through the storm the tall ship was making its way towards an island . There was a light that spread over the ship and inside the bright light a soft voice spoke
“Be at peace and do not fear . You have returned home . You will not remember the voyage . “
The voice said .
When the light faded there was five figures standing on the shore .
An woman with four young men waited there and began to wave as the ship made an approach . A small lifeboat was sent out with a few sailors and the stranger who was so happy to see his family once again .
The captain and the crew waved goodbye to the small human family , who embraced one another on the shore . The woman threw her arms around her man and said ,
“Welcome home darling . We got a letter from the merchant supplier who told us you’d be coming home today . They have sent on your pay for the past fifteen years . We are so proud of you . Now we can pay off the house and build another .“
“Wow Dad . That’s a cool cap . Where did you get it ?“ One of the boys said .
The cap had a gold star and the words Space Cadet written on it .
“I got it in one of the ports son .“ He replied .
The he looked at his wife and said , “I’m so happy to be back . This is where I want to be . I don’t ever want to return to sea anymore . “
By Paul McCann