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Grandpa

Story ID:10989
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2016
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I entered into the 24-hour Short Story Contest
today.

Here is the topic and my entry

TODAY'S TOPIC!

~~~~~

A brisk breeze pushed through the hatchway, cooling
her sunburned cheeks. Saltwater lapped at the hull.
A mariner's lullaby. She smiled, pondering her
perfect life. No people. No stress. Just the
occasional storm, and sojourns to the mainland
for provisions. Just as her tired eyes closed,
violent knocking and shouting erupted on her
starboard side...

~~~~~

WORD COUNT: Stories for today's topic must not exceed 925
words.

My entry:

December, 1944, near the end of the of the second world war, the HMCS Clayoquet
mine swept off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. She was in preparations to escort a convoy of
ships to Europe, when she was struck by a torpedo, fired by a German U-boat.
Eight men lost their lives, including Samul Smith, only 28 years old.
******************
A brisk breeze pushed through the hatchway, cooling her sunburned cheeks. Saltwater
lapped at the hull. A mariner's lullaby. Sheila smiled, pondering her perfect life. No people. No
stress. Just the occasional storm, and sojourns to the mainland for provisions. Just as her tired
eyes closed, violent knocking and shouting erupted on her starboard side

“What the hell?” Sheila rose from her slumber. The knocking continued.

She rushed up the three steps to the deck.

“Help!” she heard a man call.

On the starboard side, she looked over the rail. A man attempted to reach the side of her
boat. Near exhaustion and frozen by the cold Atlantic Ocean, he failed. “Help!”

Sheila, in a panic, threw him a rope. He grabbed it. She tied the other end to the rail.
He pulled himself onboard.

“Are you, OK?” She asked. “How long have you been in the water? What happened?”

Samul stared at her bare legs, looked at the strange craft he boarded and wondered
where he was. “I don’t know.”
After a pause, “Where am I?” he asked.

Sheila laughed nervously. “On my boat.”

“I know, woman!” he replied with exasperation.

“I’ve never seen a ship like this."
The unfamiliar materials – no wood or steel – confused him.

“It’s not a ship. This is a sailboat.” She looked at the man, his hair matted to his head
by the salt water.

“Sailboat?” Samul looked around, confused.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked. “Haven’t you seen a sailboat before?”

He stared at her, a blank look on his face, “Yes, but not like this. Where is the wood?
What am I standing on?” Samul stomped his feet and looked down. “This is not wood!”

“It’s fiberglass!”

There was a moment of silence. Samul raised his hands in exasperation. “Where
the hell am I?”

Sheila laughed, “On my boat.”

“I know that!”

“Well, if you know that, stop asking me!”

They stared at each other. Water dripped off Samul. The deck was soaked around
him.

“What did you say your name was?” She finally asked.

“I didn’t, but it’s Samul.”

“Mine’s Sheila.”

He took her out-stretched hand, “Glad to meet you, Sheila. Thanks for saving me.”

“You’re welcome. How did you end up in the water?”

“My ship was sunk by a U-boat. It was 1944”

“A U-boat? German U-boat?”

“What else is there? Yes a German U-boat!”

Sheila stared at him in shock. “1944?”

He looked confused, “Yes.”

"It’s 2016 now.”

“What?”

“It’s 2016.”

“No!”

“Yes! How did you survive in the water for more than seventy years?”

“What do you mean?”

“You said your ship sank in 1944.”

“It did.” He paused. Tears appeared in his eyes. “I regret signing up for the fight.”

“You mean WW2?”

“Yes! I left Stella with six children.”

“My grandmother’s name was Stella.”

“From Sambro, Nova Scotia?”

Sheila stared at the ghost from the past.

“Grandpa?”

Michael T Smith
Word count: 540