Thursday, November 18, 2010

Errors and Omissions

She beheld her dream; hair like coal, cerulean eyes, ruddy face and a fatal smile. That picture made Ruth buy the June issue of Sail Magazine and predisposed her to a life-long passion for pretty yachts and handsome strangers.

"Why shouldn't I take sailing lessons" she asked her friend Tracy who looked at her like she was an alien.
"How about, because you don't own a boat, you don't know anyone else who sails and you don't know how to swim – just for starters" Tracy replied.
"Hummph, I'm going to anyway," Ruth asserted.
The first week of lessons was a roller coaster ride – terror when she first felt the boat heel over, excitement when she first took the helm and agony when her skin got torn up from hauling lines. But she loved it – all of it.
"I'm doing a weekend charter on a big boat if any of you are interested?" Rick said at the end of their graduation celebration.
Ruth looked at her sexy, blue-eyed sailing instructor and asked casually, "when would that be and how much would it cost?" She made an effort to appear like his answer would make all the difference in the world to her decision.
"Next weekend; sailing from Frenchman's Bay in Whitby and it's a delivery so it's just a food and drink expense." He flashed that smile that knocked her overboard more than once that week and she looked at her empty appointment book.
"I think that would work great" she said finally. Igor and Daphne signed on too and the food plan and meeting times were all arranged.
I'll board the boat wearing white shorts, large dark sunglasses, a brown straw hat and a red and white striped blouse, she planned. At sunset, I'll pour red wine and we'll talk about Hemingway and Conrad while we listen to Bach or maybe Mozart. Rick will fall under my spell like I've fallen under his and we will plan our next cruise – just for two.
"Oh" Ruth shivered a week later, as the pouring rain found a path down her back through the collar on her jacket. "Someone really screwed-up my weather order" she called up to Daphne as she passed her bags up to her shipmate. "Thanks!" she said and climbed aboard.
"We're heading out now" said Rick. "Stow everything quick and take up the fenders; Daphne take watch on the bow and you two" he said pointing at Ruth and Igor, "on hand in the cockpit." "If we're lucky" he said smiling, "we'll reach Cobourg and make anchor before the storm. If not, you'll get another lesson – in heavy weather sailing." He grinned evilly.
Igor disappeared below decks then returned with a broad smile and a bottle of vodka. "A little something for courage perhaps?" he suggested and passed the bottle around.
That was the last moment of levity for Ruth. "You look a bit green, Ruth" Rick said as they passed the breakwater and sailed into the waves. Each slap of the waves on the hull weathered away any romantic notions Ruth had constructed about the joys of sailing. The only encouragement Rick offered was a cheerful, "Don't feel too bad; you're not as bad as my girlfriend. She even gets sick in calm seas."
"Girlfriend", "seasick", "cold" and "wet!" Damn sailing magazine said nothing about that!

Judi Hopper


Rick Garel said...

Nicely done. A little Leacock style of levity, perhaps?

Juds2U said...

Sure! Leacock's good... It was a "flash fiction" piece I did for my creative writing class. It's a fun genre as is the "55 word fiction"