"I had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream." - Daniel 2:3
A cold wind blew across a dark, black ocean. Drifting silently along in no specific direction is a large wood vessel with no captain and from the looks of it no crew.
Her mast is broken and her decks are shattered. Here floats the Saint Mary, battered and wreaked. Though there is no crew left to man her, only one soul still remains.
He sits alone in the bowels of the ship talking to himself out loud as if to relieve his distress. He sits clutching a tattered leather book close to his chest. He is none other than the Cabin boy, no older then thirteen. His brown hair and sailing clothes are drenched in seawater and his face is stained with tears. Deep within his bright blue eyes sits a lonely enemy still laughing at him.
The enemy is the thing that drives us all, Fear.
No one knows what happened to the crew or the ships captain, Captain Valdez, except the boy.
- Hours Earlier -
Captain Valdez looked up from his book when he noticed that his reading light had diminished greatly. Upon looking out the window he could see why.
"Damn storm clouds," said Captain Valdez. "I'll never finish my book now."
Captain Valdez sighed as he marked his spot in his book and set it down on his night stand just as he did every night but tonight was different.
"I am afraid I will never get to finish you my friend," the Captain said to the book.
Suddenly there came a knock at his door.
"Come in," said Captain Valdez.
The door opened and in walked the first officer, "Sir I know you don't want to be disturbed but it is growing darker at we get ever closer and the men are frightened."
"That is to be expected," said the Captain as he got up out of his chair. "We are already closer then we should be."
The first officer looked confused, "But sir we are where you want us to be, are we not?"
"Yes indeed but you miss my meaning," said the Captain as he took out his pipe. "Do you not know where we are?"
"Well sir, by all accounts it really makes no sense," said the first officer. "We have followed your map exactly but I haven't the slightest idea where we are."
"And why have you followed that map?" asked the Captain.
"Sir, I came for my own personal reasons," said the first officer. "You know this. In fact that is why most of this crew volunteered for this mission."
"Ah, the promise of wealth was too great to pass up," the Captain said as he lit his pipe. "But you know not what the treasure is; all you know is what I have told you."
The first officer nodded, "That is true sir, but if the great Captain Valdez thinks it is worth risking his life for then we shall follow."
"Then you are a fool," chuckled Captain Valdez. "The treasure I seek is not something tangible, it is not something that can be spent, it is not something at all, and it is a state of being."
"What do you mean?" asked the first officer.
"Right over your head, that's too bad," said the Captain. "What I seek I have sought all my life but now that I am so close to it I fear I am too old to have it."
"Sir you are making no sense," said the first officer.
"No sense! Then tell me do you know the legend that tells of a place called Forty Winks," shouted the Captain.
"Are telling me that we are out here searching for some island that only exists in a fairy tale?" said the first officer. "Ha, you really have lost it old man! So tell me oh great storyteller what treasure is there to behold on this great island of fantasy?"
The Captain smiled, "You can mock me all you want but it is too late now, too late to turn back. Only one of us on this ship will make it through the night."
"My God you are delusional, this is just another storm," the first officer ranted. "The Island of Forty Winks is a myth old man! Some tale we tell children to shut them up at night! There is no place where dreams are made and live!"
"Careful, they might not like what you have to say," whispered the Captain.
"The Fates you fool! They are always watching, but now we are near their home so they watch even closer," said the Captain.
"Old man you are washed up, I am taking command of this ship," said the first officer. "You are obviously suffering from some kind of mental illness."
"That's fine with me but may I make one request?" said Captain Valdez.
"Very well," said the first officer. "Make your request, if its not too far fetched then I will grant it."
"Bring me the cabin boy, you'll find him below cleaning out one of the storage closets," said Captain Valdez.
"What in God's name do you want a thirteen year old boy for?" asked the first officer.
"Does it matter?" replied Captain Valdez. "That is my request, will you grant it?"
The first officer sighed, "I don't see why not, I will have him sent in. As for this quest, it's over. I am turning this ship right around."
The first officer then turned and left.
"You fool," the Captain said out loud. "It's too late to turn back; the monster will be on us soon."
Captain Valdez went over to his book case and retrieved a tattered looking brown leather book. He examined it for a moment and then with book in hand sat back down in his chair to wait for his companion's arrival.
About fifteen minutes later there came a small knock at the door.
"Come in," said Captain Valdez.
The door opened just a little and a thirteen year old boy poked his head in, "You wanted to see me sir."
"Yes Kaleb, please come in and have a seat," said the Captain.
Kaleb slipped into the room and closed the door behind him. Slowly he walked over to where the Captain was sitting and sat down on the floor.
The Captain smiled, "I don't bite Kaleb."
"I know sir," said Kaleb. "Did I do something wrong sir?"
"No Kaleb, you didn't," said the Captain. "I called you here because I have much to tell you."
Kaleb stared at the old sea Captain for a moment, "Does this have something to do with where we are?"
"Yes, my dear boy, it does," replied Captain Valdez. "Long ago in a land many believe does not exist there lived a young man with a tremendous gift and responsibility. It was his job to watch over the dreams of humanity and use his abilities to help spawn creativity and hope. He created many things and soon his creations filled the land in which he lived. In fact he had created so many wonderful things that he felt he no longer had to watch them, so he gave them free reign over humanity's dreams. With that done he left that land and came to live among the humans whose dreams he had watched for so many years. Do you know this story?"
"Yes sir, my father use to tell it to me before he died," said Kaleb.
"Ah, but that is the end of the story, is it not?" said the Captain.
"Yes sir, that is where the story ends," answered Kaleb.
"That's true but that's also not true," said Captain Valdez. "The legend stops there but the young man did not die there. He lived a normal life, but exactly what happened to him is not entirely known."
"Well, did he get married?" asked Kaleb.
"Ah, yes he did," said the Captain. "That is one of the most important parts of the story. You see..."
Suddenly something hit the hull of the ship.
"What the hell was that," said the Captain.
A moment later the first officer came into the room, "Sir I know I said I was taking command of the ship but I am not ready for something like that and right now I don't know what to do."
"What hit my ship?" asked Captain Valdez.
"It was a wave sir," replied the first officer. "Sir, water is washing over the deck, the men are scared, and I don't know how to steer the ship in this kind of weather."
"Get back out there, I'll be right there," said the Captain.
The first officer nodded his head and quickly ran back out the door.
The Captain turned to Kaleb, "Son, I don't have time to tell you everything that I wanted to. So all I can do now is tell you what's important."
Captain Valdez handed him the tattered leather book, "This book is the book of the young man from the story. It contains knowledge that I can only begin to understand, I want you to guard this book with your life. I happen to know that you will be around long enough for it to be of some use, just don't lose it, don't misplace it; this book is the beginning of knowledge and knowledge is truth."
"I don't understand sir," said Kaleb as he took the book.
"I know, hopefully with time you will," said the Captain. "I pray that you will. Help make this old mans dream come true."
The Captain then rushed over to his closet and pulled out a thick rain coat, "Stay here Kaleb." He put on the coat and rushed out the door.
Kaleb hurried over to the door and opened it just a little so he could see what was going on.
He could see the crew running about in a panic locking down the hatches and tying down the cargo.
"Lock'em down tight lads," yelled the captain from the wheel of the ship. "We'll meet the monster soon."
The captain was referring to the massive black storm clouds in the sky and the approaching sheets of rain. As they got closer massive waves washed over the deck knocking most of the sailor down as they scrambled about.
Then came the rain, pouring down like hail and ripping lose any sailors that were not prepared. The water pushed against the door and Kaleb had to struggle to keep the door shut.
Just as Kaleb got the door almost closed the monster of all waves overtook the boat. The water caught the mast just right and "snap" it broke in half and was washed overboard with half the crew.
Kaleb watched with horror as he peaked out of the door and saw his shipmates being washed away. But then out of the sea came a large black wave that took the form of a gigantic monster.
The monster wave seemed to smile and pounded down on the deck with its watery fist.
The door that Kaleb was behind blew open from the pressure and threw him back against the wall. He quickly got up and tried to shut the door.
As he tried to force it shut again he witnessed his captain yelling at the monster.
"He hasn't finished his training yet," the captain bellowed, "I haven't told him everything he needs to know! I'm not prepared!"
The monster seemed to ignore him and plunged its head right down onto where the captain stood.
The captain had just enough time to glance at Kaleb and smile before the wave broke over him and he was gone.
Kaleb cried out for Captain Valdez and tried to get to where the captain had been standing but was again thrown back by a gust of water.
Then a blanket of darkness formed around the vessel and the whole ship was engulfed and disappeared.
When Kaleb came to is were we found him, floating on an ocean of black waters. The ship drifted for what seemed like hours and Kaleb sat in what was left of the Captain's quarters talking to himself. Finally the ship struck land.
Kaleb came out onto what was left of the deck and stared out at the island that the ship had washed ashore on. It was a large, harsh, rocky island that had swirling black clouds over its highest mountain.
"Where am I," Kaleb said to himself.
Then Kaleb thought back to what the Captain had told him and what he had seen before the Captain was washed away. That wave did take on the form of a monster, he knew it did but it made no sense.
"What if what the Captain told me was true, what if the legend is true," said Kaleb.
He looked down at the tattered book in his hands, "It has to be true, how else do you explain this strange island."
Kaleb again stared out at the island before him, "I wonder what awaits me out there?"
To Be Continued ...