143. The teeth of the storm


Mabel was crossing the strait in an inter-island ferry. She had been to visit her daughter who lived on a neighbouring island. It was a three hour crossing in the ferry. The strait was known to be one of the roughest in the world.

Today the wind was wild. The sea was wild. The water churned green. Mabel felt sea sick. She climbed up to the highest deck on the ferry to get air. She was next to the funnel. It was raining. Mabel’s clothes were wet. Mabel didn’t care. When sea sickness sets in, one does not abandon ship, but one abandons all care.

A small boy came cavorting up to the top deck.

“Isn’t it fun!” shouted the boy.

“No it’s not,” said Mabel. “Go away before I puke all over you.” With that, Mabel ran to the side of the deck and heaved her guts out. She wanted to die. If the boat sank she would thank God for small mercies.

Two hours later the ferry arrived at the terminal; quite the worst and longest two hours of Mabel’s life. Her husband was there to meet her.

“Where’s your false teeth?” he asked. But Mabel didn’t give a hoot that her teeth were somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. She was happy to be on land.


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