NaNoWriMo: The Islands Beyond, Day 13

Day 13

I did not post about NaNoWriMo yesterday because I went to bed early. Really early!  In total, I got 10.5 hours of much needed sleep. I suppose there had been one too many late nights of writing.

Thankfully, before Morpheus snatched me away, I got to 22,400 words. Here’s an excerpt:

“Excellent.” Tapper Tom clapped a hand on each of the boys’ shoulders and smiled. “Well, best of luck to you both. I’m sure we’ll meet again soon.”

He shot a glance at his companion, who, for the first time, smiled, revealing a row of yellowed teeth. The boys climbed aboard the sailboat, and the men untied the ropes from the dock. Ethan felt incredibly self-conscious as he and Pete fumbled with the mainsail cover. Thankfully, they managed to get it off without too much difficulty.

Ethan remembered how to hoist the sail, pulling on the two halyards and tying them to the cleat so that they wouldn’t slip, but he wasn’t sure about what do next. He tried to think back to what Henry had done. Not surprisingly, Pete seemed to know what to do, and he stepped in and took over the operation.

The wind was mild and blew gently from the direction of the inlet. They would need to sail into the wind, tacking in a zig-zag pattern to reach the open sea. Pete let the boom come across the deck until it caught the wind, and then tied off the mainsail sheet. The boat began moving away from the dock, leaving the men and the town behind.

After they had passed between the vessels anchored in the harbour and were safely past the seawall, they put up the staysail and the jib. Yesterday, with the wind coming across and from behind them, they had not needed to do any tacking. At first, the boys found it challenging to keep adjusting the sails every time they changed directions, but after a while they got the hang of it.

At the mouth of the inlet, the wind direction changed, blowing up from the southwest. The boys could now run at a broad reach, and only had to trim the sails every so often. They sat side by side in the cockpit in silence, staring at the rocky coastline and the waves that moved across the surface of the water. Pete was quiet for so long that Ethan began to wonder if he was refusing to speak to him.

Ethan finally asked, “You’re not still mad at me for telling you to shut up back at the tavern, are you?”

Pete looked a little surprised. “Oh. No, I was just thinking.”

“About what?”

“Well, I guess it’s kind of dumb, really.” Pete hesitated. “It’s just that guy who was with Tapper Tom. He really creeped me out.”

“Me too.”

“Actually, Tapper Tom creeps me out as well,” said Pete.

“Why? After all, he helped us by paying the slip fee.” In spite of this, Ethan couldn’t explain why it was that he agreed with his brother.

“Yeah, I know.” Pete shrugged. “It just seems like he has some reason for acting so friendly.”

That’s exactly what it seemed like, thought Ethan with a shiver. Tapper Tom seemed like the kind of guy who helped people because he expected to get something out of it in return.

“Well, it doesn’t matter now,” said Ethan. “We’re on our way to find Dad, and we’ll never see him again.”

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About jackfrey
Jack Frey lives somewhere in Northeast Asia with his wife and two young boys. He finds the letter K to be the most aesthetically pleasing of all the consonants, in both its upper and lowercase forms. Like many of us, he is currently seeking publication of his first novel.

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