Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Eight
In the chaos of trying to escape the Island Fortress of Tyull, Jonathan tried to make his way to the stern of the sailboat in knee-deep water, but bumped into one of Maestyg’s invisible tribe members in doing so. He was knocked down onto his knees in the surf accidentally by the collision, and struggled to just get his feet back underneath him again on the irregular stones under the water. Sopping wet from his spill into the surf, Jonathan finally made it to the rear of the boat and grabbed onto the transom with both hands, as the boat was being moved into deeper water. Maestyg realized Jonathan’s predicament, and literally picked him up by his belt and backpack and threw him into the bottom of the hull at the sailboat’s stern.
As Jonathan scrambled onto his hands and knees in the bottom of the sailboat, the tribe continued pushing the boat into deeper water, while the guards poured from the tunnel’s opening and ran down the beach towards them. There must have been about thirty guards in total racing down the beach, trying to recapture the boat before Jonathan even had a chance to grab the oars and row away from the beach. Sammy was midship taking in the chaos and commotion of so much invisible splashing around the boat and action on the beach, while Jonathan finally made it to the middle set of oars by crawling to them on his hands and knees – trying to figure out how to move the oars from their stowed position to extend them. It was a hopeless endeavor to even think that Jonathan could row this longboat by himself away from the beach with the guards racing to stop him, but it was his only hope at the moment.
Half the guards split off to the second sailboat down the beach to begin launching it with swift efficiency. Ten of the men took up their places at the oars – five oarsmen to a side – while not even bothering with the sail. They could see the sails hanging limp on the single spar of Jonathan’s boat, and knew there was no need to bother taking the time to hoist their own without any wind. As other guards pushed their boat into deeper water, the oarsmen extended their oars to then race out in front of Jonathan’s boat to block him from leaving the beach. It was in that moment, that they noticed their oars refused to function properly, as members of Maestyg’s invisible tribe had run over to the guard’s boat to grab ahold of the ends of their now extended oars with much splashing in the shallow water, effectively rendering the oars useless for the moment.
At the same time, the other half of the guards were almost to the shoreline at Jonathan’s boat, who had only just extended his own oars to get started rowing away from the beach. With a giant lunge off the rocks below the surface, Maestyg threw himself over the transom of Jonathan’s sailboat and quickly grabbed the last set of oars in the stern. It only took three or four powerful surges with his oars and the sailboat was already in water over the guards’ heads, as the narrow beach dropped sharply away from this dormant volcanic island. “Row for all you’re worth, Jonathan,” yelled Maestyg over his shoulder while shrouded in his invisibility. “There’s no way you could have escaped on your own, so I’m going with you!”
Jonathan synched his oaring to match Maestyg’s, knowing his own efforts had little effect against the water compared to his friend’s powerful rowing action. Sammy ran to the boat’s stern to bark and bite at any of the guard’s hands that tried to catch hold of the sailboat’s transom, which was becoming less probable with each of Maestyg’s powerful pulls with the oars. The guards’ own boat had finally freed itself of the invisible hands of Maestyg’s tribe that were clinging to its oars, and was now beginning to make headway away from the beach. It was now a race against time, as Maestyg began a turn towards the southern tip of the Island Fortress of Tyull to where they had earlier come up the beach. If they could only make it closer to the southern tip of the island, perhaps there would be a sea breeze to pick up – if not, the guards outmanned them with their rowing power, and it was only a matter of minutes before they would catch the escaping boat, dooming their attempt to escape from this cursed island…