Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Cardamom Sea: One

In the glow of the sunset, the ocean was transformed into a pool of gold. It would be a calm night, almost eerie. This was not the ocean he was used to. He only knew the thrashing wild storms and the waves—not water, but huge beasts that wished to escape the surface of the ocean and hurl themselves at his boat. They were calm now, the submerged beasts, and he was awed by the sun’s radiance reflecting off the water’s surface. Now, a warm gentle breeze swept up and caused the water to ripple. It hit the side of his boat in soothing, even intervals. He was drifting back to sleep for even though he had just awoken, he could no longer hold his eyes open. No thought had crossed his mind in his few moments of alertness for they were overshadowed by the sea’s brilliance, but as weariness crept upon him part of him seemed to whisper: Where am I and how did I get here? These questions would go unanswered. He was asleep.

            Something about the image that the prologue set up captivated Christian. It nagged his memory, tempted him to remember something; it did not come. He had the feeling that he knew the person the prologue, like he had been there. Something else had caught his attention too. While he was reading, it seemed like the picture that preceded the prologue had moved. He had seen ripples on the surface of the sea. They seemed to shimmer and move in the fictional sunset. It was probably a combination of his unsteady hands and his imagination. He had glanced quickly past the illustration before reading, but decided to reexamine it.
It looked like it was done in pencil or ink. It was not intricate, just a boat on the sea with a figure asleep in it. There were some ripples drawn, but while he read, Christian distinctly remembered them coming in great sweeps with the breeze. Shadowed by the setting sun at the center of the drawing, floated the boat and figure. Neither had any detail because they were backlit now. But while he read he remembered distinct features of the figure and boat—the person wore torn clothing and looked unshaven but young, the boat looked ancient and barely able to float on the ocean.
But Christian had an overactive imagination. His mom still had to check his closet for Velociraptors each night, even though he had seen Jurassic Park five years ago, and sometimes his imagination ran so wild that he believed he was still awake after he had started to dream. Therefore, his mind probably added details to this simple picture; he was very logical.
It didn’t really matter if the picture moved or not, he was curious about the character described, he liked the book, and he couldn’t stop reading now. 

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