Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Prompt: Portal Arch Over the Ocean

Kerri lay in the bottom of her dinghy, feeling the cold water soaking her clothes. She was too tired to move, too tired to row any farther. Her small boat rocked over the ocean waves, and she was grateful for the calm. Soon the sun’s rays would warm her weary body enough to sit on the crossbar and lift the paddle once more.

Four days. Kerri had pushed the dinghy into the water four days ago, when the portal appeared in the dawn after the full moon. She had been ready, waiting for it. Hoping it would be close enough. Hoping she would reach it in time. The portal stayed in place for five days at a time, then it disappeared until the next full moon. It never reappeared in the same place.

Today was the last day. Kerri could see the portal from where she lay. The giant arch looked like it was made by giants, or gods. Slender columns rose into the air, with intricately carved designs she had never seen from afar, but became more clear as she slowly made her way across the water toward it. They curved in to a point, reaching to the sky. As she drew closer, Kerri could see the rough, rocky base hovering over the ocean’s surface. She didn’t know how she would get up there once she reached it. First, she had more rowing to do.

She sat up slowly, groaning as every muscle and bone in her body protested. Strong from a decade of farm work, nothing could have prepared her for this challenge. The constant rowing blistered her palms and fingers, made every joint and muscle from her hands to her shoulders burn in agony. Her back could find no relief from her bent pose over the paddle when she rowed, or the uncomfortable bottom of the boat, even though she had padded it with a quickly-sodden blanket. Her stomach and thighs burned from the constant rocking motion of rowing, and her calves had started spasming from disuse as she sat or lay down for four days and nights.

Ignoring her body’s demands for rest, Kerri pulled herself onto the wide crossbar she had carefully hammered over the dinghy’s sides. She lifted her water bottle and took a small sip. A light rain the second night had given her a good supply, and she had been ready with a plastic sheet and gourds to capture it. She’d had good fortune with the weather, and no storms had threatened her so far. The light clouds she saw this morning told her the sun would be blazing by midday, and she would need to setup her makeshift shade again, or risk punishing burns.

She could only pray that by evenfall, she would reach the base of the portal and find a way to get through.

Dogs in house:

Rachel Portman, Chocolat soundtrack

February word count:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Donatas at DeviantArt for the beautiful prompt!