Captain Wayne

Follow me
She beckoned
But I stood back, tense and uneasy
I'll show you.
She swept her arms wide
A blackness full of peace and void of stars filled my vision
You have a place here, far from pain, she bribed.
I don't want to die, I lied.
I looked into her eyes, shadowed and without bottom.
The dark was warm and silent . . .
As eternity stretched before me.

-- Forever,
-- Alysen

A brilliant sunset beamed through gleaming clouds to cast it's light upon the sleepy Pacific, it's waters glowing like a vast expanse of molten copper. A short distance from shore the corpse of a mighty dreadnaught battleship lay tilted against the swells, it's spires and bulkheads standing inky against evening's red splendor.

"Here." The red headed boy said, sitting down upon a silver driftwood log. "It is warm and there is plenty of firewood." The girl shrugged and sat cross legged in the yellow sand.

"Looks fine to me. I don't think the weather will go bad tonight." She withdrew a ragged magazine and a blanket from her backpack, then a brush that she pulled through her straw colored hair as the young man looked out upon the huge wreck that lay upon the submerged coral.

There was no sound but the gentle lap of waves on a breezeless shore, no life visible but a couple of land crabs scavenging through storm tossed wrack for something edible. Far out across burnished waters was the hulk of yet another wrecked warship, it's stern section lifted upwards.

They dined upon tinned peaches and beans, tossing the empty cans into the fire that was built more for psychological comfort than any need for heat. He was a miracle fire maker. Even though they had several cigarette lighters apiece, he never failed to delight in how easy it was for him to make a fire with just his hands and some dry sticks and twigs. Sometimes he would vary the routine by using a flint.

"How do you move your hands so fast?" She had once asked when he had built up a blaze in a couple of minutes using nothing but friction against tinder.

"Gotta want to do it." He replied with a grin, watching her fumbling efforts. Thus far she had never been able to achieve fire on her own without the help of a lighter. Giving up in disgust, she turned an impish smile on him. "Wanna do something else?"

The tropical moon rose to illuminate waxy palm fronds overhead as they laid down upon the threadbare blanket. As usual, he took her over her half hearted and false protests that quickly turned into soft sounds of pleasure, then, they drifted off into sleep together.

In the quicksilver light of a full moon he awoke, aware of nothing at first, except a vague unrest, a troubling something that stirred in him like an itch. Gently disentagling himself from the sleeping girl, he stood and stretched in the moonshadow of a palm, looking out onto the indigo sea that quivered with a billion jiggling silver ripples.

Directly above, amidst the twinkling stars, he could see one of the travelers, a dim star that raced across the sky in an unvarying path towards that spot where the sun had dipped it's flaming brow into cool ocean waves.

His nameless feeling of unrest was familiar to him by this time. It was the call. The call always came at night, causing him to rise and turn his steps inland, up off of warm beach sands to that place. Sometimes they explored the place together, but these nocturnal urgings were different. He felt the intense need to wander there alone, in a daze of half-sleep. He walked away from the beach, his legs brushing through tall grasses that sprang from warm sand as he strode inland, feeling a mystical enchantment within himself as he saw familiar outlines take shape ahead, outlines of the place.

Long empty buildings stood around the edges of an expanse of hard asphalt, broken through here and there by the persistance of life, the sproutings of grasses, palms, low shrubs and other plants who refused to be denied the sun's life giving essence. Windows without glass stared down at him in lifeless scrutiny, interiors hidden in inky gloom.

Passing the buildings with their cracked paint and bleached wood, he came to the airplanes, parked here and there, looking ready to fly except for layers of dust and grime, windows and cockpit bubbles fogged in brownish haze, spiderwebs strung between prop blades. They were in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small, single propped fighters to large, multi-engined bombers with gun turrets and tightly shut bomb bays.

Sometimes, when the darkness was not too oppressive, he would open a creaking hatch and crawl into a musty cockpit, sitting there to fly his own imaginary mission under cover of night, his mind conjuring moonlit waves far below. A falling star through the dusty bubble became a downed enemy, streaking towards the hungry ocean.