Thursday, December 15, 2016
Dead Wind by Chilly Sample
His eyelashes appear in front of his face, the sun sharp, and warm, stinging his eyeball, it is just saying hello. He struggled to lift his head, brain swelling, he was already self diagnosing. A hypochondriac by nature, Jack was quick to jump to conclusions. He muttered over and over again “pain” “pain”. Words typically followed by assistance, there was none of that out here. His first introduction to loneliness; he was feeling claustrophobic. He got to his hands and knees, took a deep breath in, then collapsed. Pupils dilated, head ringing, he’s been here before. Only last time he was looking into the eyes of his high school football trainer, now glaring at the old cedar wood, he hates waking up to strangers. He bent over, waiting for the ringing to stop, he felt the wood on his hands, it was warm to the touch, feeling each and every grain, the ringing started to echo, and eventually die. The only thing keeping him company, gone forever. He got up, and sat at the helm, looking around to see an endless sky of blue, his world grew and shrunk within a matter of seconds. His head collapsed in his chest, as if a bolt came loose in his neck. He closed his eyes, then opened again, he did this 20 more times. It was true. The sail flapped unconsciously in the dead wind, the sound traveled through Jack’s spine showing him death, giving him life. He saw a shape lying on the deck, “Sam!” “Sam!”. He rushed over to his brother, flipped him on his back. Sam’s eyes buried in a pit, Jack quickly fell.
Jack awoke lying over his brother, he jumped up, and fell overboard. He hit the water, a sea of blankets, soaking into him gradually. He closed his eyes, fell deeper and deeper, feeling every breath. The sound of silence filled his head, whispering, telling him to let go. Nothing to lose, Jack’s grip loosened. His body loosened. He felt the end was near, suddenly his lungs collapsed, he was not ready to die yet. His eyelids flashed open, Jack saw life, he swam up, till his arms breached the surface. His mouth grasped the air, it rushed through his body, giving him hope. Jack swam back to the boat, and curled up next to his brother on the deck. He wept, thinking back to the time he caught Sam still in the snow, when he was younger. Snow fell heavy, and dense, trees crackled in the wind. Jack went into the sun room to get his shoes;he saw the purple pom pom of Sam’s hat. Nothing but the socks on his feet, he rushed out, hurling himself on Sam. Sam pushed Jack on the ground, “What the fuck Jack, I was almost there”. “What the fuck are you doing Sam”, “ I wanted to know what it felt like to be buried alive”. Jack left Sam on the deck of the boat. He went down to the cabin of the boat. A monster was inside of him, and it was hungry, voicing its complaint, Jack tore through all the drawers. A hole filled Jack’s chest, as he kept coming up empty. The monster inside, eating at him, taking every last ounce of hope. Jack began to hit his stomach with his fist. “Shut up, shut the fuck up, leave me alone”. Breath left his mouth, he collapsed to the floor. Heaving, trying to grab air, but nothing. Breath finally returned, Jack went to the bed, and looked up at the ceiling. Wishing he would sleep, and not awake.
The ocean roars against the rocks, clashing with one another. Sun shines through his cheap curtains, sea breeze creeps under his nose. The sea grass sways with the wind. The dry sheet scratch against his legs, as he pulls them from his body. He untangles his boxers, and heads down stairs. He walks across the living room as it moans beneath him. Pushing the old wooden door, he slides out into the breeze. Eyes closed he walks across the sand, feeling every grain beneath him. He stops. The water rushing forward to greet his toes, then running away in fear of rejection. He hears a squall, getting louder, and louder, until the sound of the ocean is but a dream. Jack springs upright, hitting his head on the low ceiling of the sailboat. The ringing is back, gripping his hand tightly, then disappears. Jack walks up to the deck, to find a mass of seagulls pecking at Sam. “go away, get out of here!” . The sea gulls fly away in a hurry, not before one takes a nice juicy piece of Sam’s forearm. “Eat him” “eat him Jack” “he would do the same to you”, “no, he wouldn’t!” “do it, or you'll die Jack” “do you want to die Jack?” "Answer me now Jack, or I will leave you”. “Good, great, leave me alone”. “Just kidding Jack, I’m here to stay, the only way to get rid of me is to eat your brother”. Water is dropping from Jack’s mouth, his eyes opened, his body warmed. He rushed over to Sam, grabbed his arm, and brought it up to his mouth. He took a deep bite of the flesh, a water park formed in his mouth, and explosion in his eyes, shock therapy in his hands, a pin dropped in his ears, he swallowed. He stood there still, took his finger, and shoved it down his throat. His brother departed his body, faster than he went in. He ran to the front of the boat, and took the sail down. He quickly wrapped Sam in the sail. He went below deck, and grabbed an anchor. Tied it around the body, and with no hesitation shoved his brother overboard. Watching him disappear into a mist.
With every last ounce of energy in Jack’s body used to set his brother free, he went downstairs to the bed. He found a bottle of painkillers in one of the drawers, and one by one he took them, until there was nothing left to reach for. He lied on the bed staring at the ceiling. He was walking around Paris, barefoot over the cobblestone streets. He sat down at a cafe, and ordered two Coffees. The waiter placed the coffees at the table. Jack stared blankly into the coffee across him. “Are you expecting anyone?,” a voice said from over his shoulder. Without looking back Jack replied “Yes, my brother he should be here any minute now.” Jack stared down at his coffee, and watched as an eyelash slowly floated into his coffee.
Chilly Sample is a sophomore from Concord, MA. He is a Hospitality Major at Endicott College and complements his studies working part time at Privateer Rum, an Ipswich based distillery. Chilly is a certified Underwater Whale Tour Guide, having worked for 6 months after high school at a Tongan resort renowned for its migratory Humpback whale population. He enjoys numerous and eclectic activities ranging from spearfishing to snow skiing.