Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Four, Part Three

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Book Three, Chapter Four, Part Three

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“What did these sea monsters look like, Maestyg,” asked Jonathan cautiously, not sure that he really wanted to know, but too curious to not ask the question.

“The tales say they were as big around and at least twice as long, as the largest known whale.  They look like an eel with a continuous dorsal fin running the length of their spine, but they have two sets of legs with giant clawed toes, and ferocious teeth – able to swallow this longboat whole if they wanted to.  They swim like a crocodile on the surface and underwater, but also have a way of looping themselves through the water with flexible vertical dips and valleys, like so many small islands moving across the water.  There’s no use trying to fight off a sea monster at sea, Jonathan, because it will do what it will, for it fears nothing.  If we come across one, that will be our end…”

Jonathan grew silent with the description of sea monsters in the Endless Eastern Sea, wondering how they could possibly survive this journey into the unknown.  As if that wasn’t enough information to depress him, he still asked another question of Maestyg saying, “That sounds bad enough, Maestyg, but what else do the old tales and legends say about these waters?  What else can we expect to face?”

“The second thing to know, Jonathan, is the fact that these waters are known to harbor vast tracts of dead areas where the wind doesn’t blow, called doldrums.  They’re even worse than the sea monsters to mariners, as one doesn’t know if an encounter with a sea monster will ever take place, but we know these doldrums exist.  Once a ship enters a dead area at sea, nothing can save it but time and shifting currents.  The problem with the currents in these parts, is they often flow in circular patterns, because there isn’t a wind to help move them in a continuous direction.  Normally, the sea flows like a river in predictable wide flows of water from say, west to east – but in doldrums, the sea has no where to go but to linger in place, and sometimes swirls around in great circles.  It’s been reported in years past, that these swirling waters have even caused whirlpools to form in open water, collecting within them all the flotsam and floating debris like driftwood, logs and ghost ships.”

“What’s a ghost ship?”

“A ghost ship, Jonathan, is a ship that has been caught in the doldrums for an extended period of time – sometimes for years they say.  The crew of these ships perished relatively soon after having been caught in one of these dead zones, yet the ship was perfectly fine to stay float almost forever in these calm seas.  Eventually, everything that floats is pulled into one of these dead areas of swirling waters, and then into an eddy or whirlpool, where they turn in endless circles without a crew to man them – literally ghost ships, because their crews’ ghosts remain aboard the vessels long after their sailors perished.  It’s a graveyard of sailing ships from which there is no escape.”

Jonathan was paralyzed by the thought of one day ending up among the flotsam and jetsam, and ghastly ghost ships haunting the doldrums of swirling waters in the middle of the Endless Eastern Sea.  What of his life, and of Sammy’s?  Why here, and why now?  This wasn’t the adventure he planned with Sammy – how did it all go wrong?  He then recalled Dijia saying to never give up hope, but how could he sustain any semblance of hope amidst such odds?  How could they survive in a forbidding sea and watery desert of sea monsters, doldrums, and swirling cesspools of refuse that refused to sink beneath the waves?  Ghost ships with long lost crews still manning their stations, each ready to hoist their sails at the direction of their captains – waiting, endlessly waiting, in their long lost and abandoned dreams…

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