Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Eyes

Randall waited on the edge of the rocks for the boat. By then the wind was blowing her toward the rocks and it took four oars to hold her off. The bow bashed against stone. Randall threw his body into the boat, hardly touching the sides, landing badly against the thwart. Hook felt the deep bite of his oar as they struggled to back away. The bow smacked into the granite again. The wind grabbed at the stern, which should have been pointing east, and started swinging it around parallel to the ledge.
“Jesus!” Shouted Everett. “Don’t let her get around. Fuck! Randall! Get an oar.”
Randall held his head. Blood ran through the webbing of his fingers.

“Randall! Let go of yer useless fucking head and get an oar.”

Randall could hardly see for the blood in his eyes and felt around for a length of wood. As he closed his hand upon the waddy, felt its weight and threw it down again, the sea rose under the boat and hefted her sideways onto the rocks. Sal screamed something. Seventeen foot of men, woman, dog, seal and wood lay suspended for what felt like an age, the oars writhing in the air. Hook was on his back and scrambling to regain his seat when he saw The Eyes again.

The boat crunched down as the swell sucked away from the rocks. The crew clambered to the windward side of the boat ready for the next wave. There were very few words or oaths coming from frightened mouths. It was quite silent but for the wash of the water and the smash of wood against stone yet again. Their faces were white. They all knew the next wave would flip the boat and crush them against the rocks. Hook knew the time when he would dive overboard to save himself but it wasn’t quite yet and the others felt the same. 
Keep her off. Get an oar. We can get away yet, all of us.


  1. It is curious ... I've been in this 'on the rocks in a small boat' situation myself and it is really, really scary. But on writing it out, I don't want to kill anyone off or even break their bones because I know I will have to deal with the consequences for the rest of the story and that is even scarier.

  2. Interesting comment Sarah. I hadn't thought about writing in that way but of course it makes sense. Killing them off would be much easier than having to deal with an injured person, who would take up valuable narrative space I guess.

  3. Make it bloody and gory, and kill the token black man, if there is one.

  4. It requires deep commitment to break someone's bones... Actually I just realised Anne that the only dead man so far is black! But that really happened. I'll have to even up the score methinks.

  5. Whether you just splinter some bones or bleed a man out into the sea, you should aim to injure the reader with an equal fury.

    1. I'm still not sure if I have a license to do that Spencer yet. That's half the problem. Still on my L plates. Stay off the footpath.