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Old 09-25-2005, 10:01 PM   #1
JEM's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 425
Default here it is

Well here is my first work to be published.
The Battered Ropes
“Heave! Ho! Heave! Ho!” the master of the ship yelled, “Heave! Ho!” A group of sailors pulled the rope when called upon to do so, but reluctantly. The ropes were old and battered. Few sailors thought that the ropes would hold up for their six month voyage to the Cape of Good Hope. The captain, whose budget was small, ‘tested’ the ropes with hired experts who were bribed to tell the captain that the ropes were fine.
“Heave! Ho! Heave! Ho!” the master’s voice echoed around the ship, “The anchor is being raised and we shall leave Lisbon momentarily.” The warm summer wind blew at these sailor’s backs.
“This will be the last time we will see Lisbon mates,” a pessimistic sailor said. “How can we sail to Africa if we only have this floating brig of rotting wood?”
Ignoring the words of this sailor, the captain yelled, “Lets begin our journey south.” With those words the crew began their journey.
The wind was at the stern of the caravel at the beginning of the journey. The first week made the voyage look easy: plenty of food, no storms and a good tailwind. The ropes didn’t get any worse either. The crew started to like their captain. He must have been doing something right if the conditions had remained this good.
As the sun rose one morning the men spotted land. “Land-ho!” shouted the sailor in the crow’s nest. The men knew they had many miles to go, but they didn’t care. They saw land for the first time in weeks.
The pessimistic sailor said in his soft voice, “This will be the last time we see land mates.”
The captain of this ship yelled at the pessimistic sailor, “Shut ye mouth before I make ye walk the plank. I trust me ship with me life.”
As the ship went further south, the moods of the men got worse. The pessimistic sailor told sad stories about other sailors who went to the Davy Jones locker. This pessimistic sailor was so certain that the ship would not make it back to port, he started writing a journal which he called his “Journey to Death”:
September 23, 1498, 12 degrees N, 18 degrees W,
T’day me Captain and I got in a big figt over the cndition of me ropes. I think that me ropes wont last another week... they are falling apart. They are impossible to mend at this poit. The captain belives with his salty sol that me ropes are stong and that the crew is on his side. How rong he is. I thik that the crew might mutiny in a cople of days and I, I will be their leader. Captain Daniel Baker. I like the sound of that name.

As Daniel Baker prepared for the mutiny, the ship continued its journey South. The weather got worse and worse. Waves pounded the ship like a boxer punching his opponent. Each wave made the ship more vulnerable. The wind was rocking the ship. Many sailors started praying as they felt the water spray onto the main deck. This lasted all through the night.
Early the next morning after the storm had subsided, the navigator shouted, “we have passed the equator. We are more then half way to our destination at the Cape of Good Hope.” The crew celebrated by drinking some extra rum.
As the ship went further south, storms now occurred every night delaying Daniel Baker’s plans. “This weather is as cursed as our captain. We must be destined for danger. The ropes are on the verge of ripping in half, but that is of no concern to our captain,” Daniel thought to himself, “I hope we have one fair night before we get to the Cape.”
Sadly for Daniel, this did not happen. Night after night the storms occurred. Each one a little more damaging than the previous night’s storm. All of them were gone by the morning. The ropes had turned to threads, but the captain still turned a blind eye to them. Even the inexperienced master of the ship was starting to notice. “We need to fix these ropes.”
“No we don’t need to fix those ropes. By my salty soul, we have more important things to do. We need to scrub the deck. The ropes are fine,” shouted the captain.
With that the crew went back to work resenting the captain for putting the ship’s crew in such a vulnerable position. The storms got worse and worse as the ship went further south. By the time the ship 3/4 of the way to the Cape of Good Hope, the ship was almost falling apart. “Yee landlubbers need to start fixing me vessel before I make ye walk the plank,” the captain shouted at his crew.
The more the captain yelled, the less his crew listened. Instead they started listening to Daniel Baker whose attitude resembled the condition of the ship, weak and torn apart. He knew this vessel was going to sink and there was nothing he could do about it.
His last journal entry read:
December 25, 1498, 28 degrees S, 18 degrees W,
Mery Christmas, my fot. How can one be mery on a floting prison. I don’t know what is keping this ship together. A miricl in itself. Me ropes are in such dispar that they fel lik giving up. I see the pain they are going through. In fact I feel the pain. Like everyone else on the ship, I am tired. I almost want to giv up, but I can’t. I will take over this ship if it kils me. I fel that I will be sucessful before we rech the Cape.

That night the ship got caught in a hurricane. It was so bad the navigator couldn’t use his astrolabe to find out where they were. To make matters worse the compass broke when it’s glass case shattered. The helmsman was steering the ship blindly.
The captain never was in a situation as bad as this. He locked himself in the captain’s quarters. “A prisoner on his own ship,” Daniel thought to himself as he braced for the next wave. Unaware to the captain, the crew was mutinying and decided that they could sail to the Cape of Good Hope without the help of their captain. The crew, led by Daniel Baker, stormed into the Captain’s quarters to find the captain already dead. The ship surgeon took a quick look and said that the captain had killed himself.
“Serves him right,”Daniel tells the men.
Just then the master of the ship ran below the main deck yelling in fear, “The ropes are tearing! The ropes are tearing!” The whole crew ran up onto the deck to see that one of the nine ropes had been reduced to spindles and was ripped in half.
“There is nothing we can do about that rope,” Daniel told his crew, “now we must make sure that none of the other ropes break.” Just as Daniel finished his sentence a giant wave hit the ship ripping three more ropes. Daniel looked down at the stormy sea and thought to himself, “I guess someday an old sailor will be telling stories of how our ship sunk to the ocean floor.”
The damaged ship continued sailing south through the night.
“Lets keep this ship afloat mateys,” yelled the inexperienced master. He didn’t realize that the crew was too weak to do so.
A scared sailor wept,“We feel like a drop of water in an endless sea. Is there anything we can ...” SNAP! Another rope broke, leaving only four unbroken ropes remaining.
A sailor then ran up from the bottom of the ship and said, “we are sinking.”
“I guess it is now to late to turn around,” Daniel thought.
“Quick report captain: we lost 2/3 of our crew, we have three ropes left, and we well be totally underwater in half an hour,” the master said.
As the ship continued to sink, two more ropes snapped in half.
Daniel’s last words were, “We will never see Lisbon or land again for only one more battered rope remains on this cursed ship destined for nowhere.” With these last utterances the last rope snapped and the ship sank. The only clue left of this ill-fated voyage south to the Cape of Good Hope was Daniel’s journal, “Journey to Death” which ironically floated ashore
to their ultimate destination in Capetown three months later.

This is being graded on the elements of fiction, five part storyline (expostion, etc.), and theme. Do you see all this? Can you figure out the theme.
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