Picture it & Write

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The following was written for Ermilia’s Picture it & Write

Alvin had been swimming for the past two days. But, he hardly felt exhausted. His heart was burdened with grief though. He had lost his ship and the entire crew to the devastating storm. His captain as among the last to fall. Alvin could still see his best mates, old hands and some new crew members struggling for their lives. He thought that he was going to die too, but was just briefly unconscious. He cursed his strong constitution and his fighting spirit. Land at last! He could see sailors on the shore as sun sparkled in the sea. All he had to do was swim for a few more minutes. Alvin could feel conflicting emotions war within him as he took a deep breath. He forced his body to be still and sank deep into the sea.

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18 thoughts on “Picture it & Write

  1. I wonder what forced him to conclude everything this way? He swam for two days but when land was seen, he gave up. But then, well, I suppose I chronically start and stop projects all the time. Tho probably not one with such a dire conclusion. In all ways, loved it!

    • It was probably ‘guilt’ that made the decision for him. Though there is no reason to feel guilty, he felt that he was somehow being ‘unfair’ to his crew by outliving them. And, well, the ship was everything to him. It may not be the conventional or ‘right’ ending. But that is the kind of person he was…Thank you so much for reading, Cao

  2. Intensely riveting nightlake. Wow…was surprised at the ending… so close to rescue after such struggle and then to submit. He must have been in a post-trauma state and lost his will? 😦 Excellent prose my friend – you had me on edge of seat here ~ x much love, rl

    • Hi Robyn, How are you doing? Alvin had the fighting spirit and the desire to live, which kept him going for two days. All the while he is also consumed by a conflicting feeling of loss and guilt. When he sees the land, he wonders if he really wants to be rescued when everyone he has been close to have died. So, he decides to give up. That was the idea. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, Robyn. Have a good day:)

      • that is exactly what I imagined… it hit him when he saw the land — all he lost, and all he’d been through… pretty intense stuff nightlake – excellent write!!!! I’m hanging in – hopeful couple days gone a little south today. Overall improved but still not where I need to be for function day to day in the real world 😦 I will keep at it, and may ultimately need more risky surgery – but will try to avoid. Hope you are well ~ sending bug hugs! RL

      • Thank you, Robyn. Glad to hear that you are comparatively well. Hope you get better to carry out everyday functions without the pain. Sending good luck and warmth to you

  3. I’m curious as to why he didn’t go to shore. An interesting tale. I love your description of emotions at ‘war’ within him. A nice surprise at the end! Thanks for contributing this week to Picture it & write. 🙂

    – Ermisenda

    • Alvin had fought the sea for two days. He could have easily been rescued. But, he loses the will to live when he recalls his drowning shipmates and the fact that he could not do anything for them. Therefore, this ending.. Thank you so much, Ermilia

  4. Oh, Padmini…. I understand, and yet a part of me was hoping he’d be triumphant and live…

    Your ‘take’ on the image was ‘haunting’ and eerily beautiful, in a sad way…
    I loved it…

  5. a shocking ending! and he was such a strong person too.. but then again suicide does take a great deal of courage also 🙂 well done

  6. Interesting. I wrote a story called Walter’s World Record that this reminds me of a little.

    It seems like everyone in the comments wants him to keep fighting. I guess maybe with all the others who died, it would have been less in vain if Alvin had lived, but what do they care? They’re all dead. It does seem a little odd for someone of such strength to be overcome with guilt or whatever. Very provocative!

    • Alvin does have the strength of character, but also some weaknesses. He has grown in the ship and somehow feels responsible for his friends. When he sees shore, he is overcome to feelings and makes a sudden decision..Thank you so much for taking the time to read, Anne. Have you published the story in blog or could it be found in any journal?

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