A frenzy of activity and machinery rousted boats from their slumber like a string of light bulbs flickering on, one at a time.
That was a quick winter, Dragon said.
“What’s the latest?” A man’s familiar voice rang out across the lot.
Dolphin’s Tail woke up. Spring already? Yay, spring!
“The Weather Channel is the only thing on TV,” Another man answered.
A nor’easter maybe? Better Days asked.
“They’re saying Category 3. We’ve been through it before,” The first man shouted back.
Hurricane? All the young boats turned their panic toward the Queen. What do we do?
Calm down everyone—it should blow out to sea, The Queen said, We’ll be fine, as long as we’re together.
“Guys, did you hear?” A truck gunned through the gate, with its driver hollering out the window. “The storm’s turning—rocketing directly at us.”
Something’s wrong, Better Days gasped.
“They’re evacuating the whole island,” The driver said.
Dreadfully wrong. Gusts off the ocean whipped a cloud of salt spray across the Queen’s bow. Clara is praying for me.
Within a day, the sound of power tools and storm preparation faded and vanished along with the last evacuees. The beach road was deserted, but the air was far from still.
I know it’s daytime, but I don’t feel one ray of sun, The Queen said to Better Days, If that quaking is the surf, it sounds like a monster beating down a steel door.
There’s always been someone here to watch over us, Better Days’ voice cracked, Tonight, we’re on our own.
White foam exploded through a breach in the sand dune, followed by green water that turned the beach road into a river of debris.
How can we save the little ones? The Queen moaned as shards of shingles and cracked ceramic tile ricocheted off her hull.
The boats braced against the fury of the ocean and none paid attention to the silent encroachment of the bay until they started to float off their blocks. Shrieks of terror joined the howling gale.
Better Days shouted above the wind, They’re sinking!
Dolphin’s Tail, hang on! The Queen screamed in the bedlam.
I’m behind you, The little boat answered, Hooked onto your swim ladder.
Blowing sand assaulted the Queen like a thousand flying needles. I’ve never felt wind this vicious.
Shock waves rolled across the floodwater, heaving asphalt and sand toward the bay. Better Days spun off her blocks and slammed into the Queen.
That felt like an explosion, Better Days said, From the north.
I feel heat to my port side, The Queen’s voice jumped an octave, I must be facing the beach. Ripples spread as a fireball cut through rain and wind. Something’s burning.
Something huge. Dragon shuddered as her fiberglass skin was ripped open under the Queen’s anchor. What’s going to stop that?
Another wall of ocean water swept boats into piles, crushing some instantly, while dragging others sobbing into the lagoon.
A towering wave of mangled roof trusses lifted Better Days up and smashed her into the Queen again.
I have to let go, before I sink you too, Better Days said, I really wanted to see Tahoe.
Don’t you give up! The Queen wailed, I can’t survive alone.
Yes, you can. Clara would be lost without you, Better Days forced her accent over the gale, until the swirling current sucked her away, Hold on for Clara.
Splintered pilings, and the remainder of the house collided with the Queen’s bow like a knockout punch, bending her steel bow rail, piercing her deck and driving her deeper into the water. One more hit like that and I’m finished. The last of her companion’s tortured pleas were swallowed by claps of thunder—even Clara’s prayers became distant and finally vanished.
I must be dying.
Nose down. The battered Queen sighed deep in her hull and shut down her consciousness, driving all her remaining power at one goal. Hold on, with every ounce of strength…hold on.
to be continued…
To catch up on the talking boats…Soul of Glory- Part 1 – https://monstersnangels.com/2016/08/15/the-soul-of-glory-1/