What the Old Man Did 22

December 12, 2012

Hovering at the edge of consciousness, I feel myself slipping into a dream. I’m standing in the middle of a white room, alone. I cannot discern the corners and edges of the room it is so uniform. Suddenly a man seems to appear out of nowhere. I feel my heart rate increase to panic levels. He has a syringe in his hand and I realize I’m actually secured to a vertical post with some kind of material and I’m naked. Looking wildly around, I try to move but it is useless. The man moves closer and smoothly pushed the needle into my side and injects me with something. “Good luck,” he says. I wake again to the rhythm of water sloshing and I gradually remember where I am. Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

I get up and look around. I expect to find no one and that expectation is rewarded. Except for the low swells there is nothing that indicates action or motion. Climbing out of the bed, I go upstairs and stand on deck. The breeze is mild and I see nothing but water. Checking the compass I see that I’m still heading east, though what happened over the last six hours is anyone’s guess. I head back down and start the solar coffee machine and unwrap a stale pastry from the warehouse near the wharf where I took this fifty-foot yacht. Luckily there was a hand pump that let me fill the fuel tanks with diesel (thinking about the endless turning to do that makes my arm sore).

I set the engines to 10 knots and make sure the bow is heading for the European coast. Maybe someone is there. The owner’s manual suggests there is enough in the bunkers to make it, but I really don’t know. The boat’s radar shows nothing on the horizon. But I now begin to wonder: what happens to a zombie when it ends up in the water? Does it sink to the bottom? Does it drown? Can they swim? My mind drifts back to the dream. I shiver and try to block that, but the image just shifts to a string of mental pictures involving Toni, Sarah and the Old Man. I begin to cry.


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