Chapter 2


        Kiran spent the next bit adrift in the land of nod. Dancing and frolicking, and kissing and loving his sweet Llora. Everything was perfect and all was right in the world. And it was like that forever and . . .

        Then Kiran awoke, and reality came crashing in on him. It was the ever annoying call of a herring gull that stole him away from his dreamland Eden. He found himself afloat on a piece of The Marinella’s shattered skeleton. His head hurt like nothing before; the ache of someone who had just been through all that Kiran had just gone through and miraculously survived. He was severely sunburned and pruney.

        The gull spoke again, and Kiran’s wits came back to him. Land. It had to be close. For where there were birds, there had to be land. At least that’s what he sorta recalled someone saying somewhere once.

         He scanned the horizon. “Stupid, bird,” he muttered mostly to himself. “What good are you if you can’t even find--”  His search finally hit the one-hundred-and-eighty degree mark. “Oh, there we are.” Land! Sitting there behind him this whole damned time, just waiting to be found.

        Kiran let go of his savior as he planned to swim to shore, but his feet immediately touched down causing a cloud of sand to stir up. He took three steps toward shore and found himself atop the sharpest piece of something there ever was. An awful string of blasphemies could be heard as the water turned crimson.

        Hobbled, Kiran made it the rest of the way to the beach, screaming and cursing. Cursing and screaming. He plopped down in the sand and surveyed his split toe. A mere flesh wound.

Chapter 1

The Last Throes of The Marinella

     “We've sprung another leak!” the first mate screamed over everyone’s panicked din. But by that time, what was the point? When a ship has taken on as much of the ocean as The Marinella had, is another trickle really anything to get on about?

     Hari was more concerned with quickly plotting his path to the few fastly filling ship’s boats than everything that came before. After all, he was ever venturing towards the ultimate goal; his amor, Llora.

     It had been less than two weeks since life spat in destiny's eye and the two lovebirds were separated so unceremoniously. Less than two weeks had passed, and to Hari it felt as if it'd been two lifetimes too many.

     In his mind, Hari was already secure with all the other lucky ones who would survive to tell tales of their narrow escape from the torrential sea that dark day so long ago. In reality, Hari was being battered over the head by an hysterical passenger, one Mr. Aldous Banks, who figured he had more of a right to survival than some peasant boy who probably stowed aboard illegally, or even worse, someone who had won the trip in some sort of common raffle. Neither was the case, but that didn’t make a lick of difference once the battering was underway.

     The ship’s boats were being lowered into the rough, roaring abyss while Hari fell into a quiet calm.

     Though he was unaware of it, Hari was the only one to stay aboard for the remainder of The Marinella’s final hurrah. Everyone else managed to make it to safety. Even the good Captain Blom had no use for tradition that day.