The Prisoner


6. New Tides

“ Stunning, isn ’ t, Kai? ” Captain Ellsworth asked. He and Kai stood at the helm, staring

out at the open sea before them, waiting to embark on their journey.

“ Yes, Captain. It ’ s much more exciting than gazing at it from the docks, ” he replied,

turning so his back was to the setting sun.

The rest of the crew bustled about the dock and ship, loading their provisions. They were

set to travel for many days, stopping at numerous ports along the way until they reached the

northern shores of the country, where they would resupply a fort there. When the last of the

cargo had been loaded, the crew began to prepare for their departure. Captain Ellsworth

disappeared below deck to finalize their course, leaving Kai in command. He took to the helm

and began shouting orders over the roaring ocean.

Wind whipped at their faces, distorting the first mate ’ s orders. The crew didn ’ t seem to

have any issues hearing him, as they worked swiftly to follow the instructions shouted from the

helm. The sun glared brightly down at the water, making it shimmer. Before long, Kai was

navigating the channel.

He kept the wheel steady, his hands naturally adjusting and working with the sway of the

water and the push of the wind. He stood firm, his feet even with the width of his shoulders. His

muscles were tensed. Kai grew conscious of the soreness and adjusted to relax his body,

allowing it to move with the smoothness of the ship, becoming part of the ship, an extension of

the helm.

Fluffy pearl clouds dotted the bright sky, obstructing the sun ’ s rays. It created a sort of

heavenly view, making the day all the more perfect. He grinned, watching the waves crest and

even out on the surface of the water, only a minor bump in the smooth sea. The clouds glided

smoothly across the azure sky. The sea breeze caught in the sails and made them puff out like a

proud man ’ s chest. The plum-colored flag with the golden crest waved and snapped happily in

the wind. The spray of the ocean misted his face.

If this is what salvation is like, Kai mused, I no longer need to die to reach it.

Even on the days when it stormed, when there was no land in sight, and the thunder was

louder than it was on land, it was still salvation to him. Stormy days were a treacherous time to

be at sea. But they managed, and they survived.

Kai survived.

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