Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger (Part 1 of 2)

This is a small excerpt taken from my novel, The Carpenter’s Son. This is from Chapter 11, entitled Food From the Ocean. A description of the novel can be found here

The following afternoon Brian woke up feeling awful. He had barely slept, and had a massive headache. He stood up and looked for water, luckily he found a jug across the room. Brian grabbed the jug and found a place to sit on the floor. He sat there for quite awhile, just chugging water. Once he felt slightly better he stood up again. Brian desperately wanted to go back to sleep. However, he had responsibilities to attend to. He was already late and assumed his crewmates let him sleep longer only to harass him. Brian quickly got dressed and headed up to the top deck. As he emerged, he felt the wind press up against his skin. The temperature was not stifling, as it was usually overtly aggressive in the mid afternoon. Everything felt just right. Across the ship Jim could be seen working with Scott, Brian walked towards them. “Ah Mr. Morrison, glad to see you graced us with your presence today” laughed Jim, as the crew looked on with delight. “Apologies sir, I indulged too much last night” admitted Brian. “I swear to god boy, if you call me sir once more…” warned Jim.

Jim took a deep breath, “But I spose’ I had some part in your current state. Though I expect you to not be so courteous to someone when they’re trying to take the piss out of ya” laughed Jim. The crew had seemed to surround the two, all eyes were on Brian and Jim. “Sorry what were you trying to say?” asked Brian, who looked confused. “It woulda’ been nice to see you have a backbone boy” smirked Jim. Brian smiled, “I’m about two steps away from puking, and have lost all good sense of direction. I’m a hazard at any rate to be on this deck, though I assume still less of one than you,” bragged Brian. As Brian finished his sentence he could see eyes and mouths both open staring directly at Jim, obviously wondering what the old man would retort with.

Jim grinned, then smiled “You cheeky bastard, off my deck and down below you go. You’re gonna help the cook prepare dinner, that is if you’re able to control that sensitive stomach of yours” mocked Jim. The entire crew roared with laughter, even Brian let out a little laugh. Brian headed below deck and sat down at the wooden table for a couple minutes trying to regain his composure. He eventually got up and moved towards the kitchen. Brian never talked to the cook much. He knew his name was Michael, and he was a tall, thin, black man with a light complexion. There wasn’t a particular reason Brian hadn’t talked to Michael before, for Brian had very little communication with the majority of people on the ship.

The two men introduced themselves and shook hands. Michael asked Brian to start chopping vegetables, as he was busy skinning and cutting fish. Both men did not initially share much conversation; given the event that just unfolded there was no time for small talk. Panic erupted; Brian nearly cut his hand while chopping an onion. There were sounds of screaming terror. Both men looked at one another and instinctively headed top deck without saying a word. When both men arrived, Michael headed left, and Brian headed right. There was men arguing, pushing one another, and shouting. Brian looked down and saw red everywhere. It was blood. Brian heard a blood-curdling scream, he thought it might be Scott, but he couldn’t be sure. Brian pushed his way through the crowd that was surrounding the screams of terror.

Brian looked down; it was Scott covered in his own blood. Brian saw the captain in a panic telling men to shut their mouths and back off as he was trying to get closer to Scott.

“Michael!” the captain yelled. “Yes Jim” replied Michael who was crawling over others to hear him. “The crate crushed his foot, get him below deck. It’s a fuckin’ bloody mess!” exclaimed Jim. Brian stood there, looking down at Scott screaming in pain. Beside Scott were two individuals who were helping him the best they could. Michael finally made it to Scott and bent down to grab him. As Michael was trying to help Scott up, he looked and Brian and said “Brian”. He did not hear him even though he was beside him. Brian had never seen someone severely injured. “Brian!” Michael screeched this time. Brian turned his head towards Michael. “Help me, get him below!” yelled Michael. Brian did not reply, he knew exactly what to do now. He reached down and grabbed one of Scott’s shoulders and helped carry him below.

**********To Be Continued**********

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9 responses to “Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger (Part 1 of 2)”

  1. dragontailsandscales says :

    cool – thanks for sharing and best of luck

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