The Burning Ship

One leap at a time, one more dash against the road and the countryside, one more run around a curve and he would  escape. One more stroke, one more lunge through the dark water, one more kick forward towards the surface and he would find safety. The burning ship lit up the horizon and revealed the closeness of the sea; the burning ship poured its dark amber light into the fathomless sea to light the way to the surface and the beach. The runner sprinted barefoot across the sand towards the rocks and the flames. The swimmer staggered out of the waves and welcomed the warmth that blew off the crackling hull. In the twilight of flames and shadows the runner and swimmer found each other and embraced, their bodies shaking with terror and relief. They spoke in whispers and gasps of how they longed for wings to become like the white birds who were taking off from the sands to fly to the stars. In the early morning, they  sat down in the sand to have a breakfast, some bread, fish and wine, their souls still trembling in the wind blowing through the smoking ship.

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