Stringers – Tenth Wave

Tenth Wave

Square tail, quad fins and heavy-duty glassing, the pale-blue surfboard lay at Caspar’s feet as he began his final preparations. Removing each article from the pack he placed them carefully on the board in the order he would use them. Carelessly discarding the boots, sweatshirt and shorts he stepped into the full body suit pulling it up over his legs, letting the upper body hang at his waist, interest drawn by the complete lack of sound as the tide began its return to source. As the rain began falling in sheets, the wind swirling without design, Caspar took the cool salt air into his lungs, and letting it go doubted his purpose for the first time, wondering if this was after-all a fool’s act.

Finding himself thigh deep in the fifty degree water, Caspar leaned into the storm, faced a battalion of white-tipped soldiers, and launched himself atop the glossy deck of the nine foot gun. His focus trained beyond the nose of the board, Casper steadied himself and began the long paddle to the island, the final obstacle as he crossed over the threshold.

From her vantage point on the beach, the girl watched Caspar greet the summer swell as it arrived from its lengthy Alaskan journey, meeting each wave head on, with confidence, driving down, pushing through and popping out cleanly on the other side. With that observation, the girl let her thoughts wander to an image and the words and rhymes of Jim Morrison, and his fateful “…climb through the tide…”.  As she watched, Caspar paddled further and further from shore and seemed to shrink in the shadow of the force that roiled the sea sending wave after wave in an attempt to dissuade the young man from his quest. A black speck on the horizon now, indistinguishable against the shifting backdrop of silvers and greys, Caspar drifted out of sight, to a place where she believed, if the earth were truly flat, he would simply fall off the edge and slip into the void.

Caspar found the going much rougher than expected. And as the bitter chop grew in size from breakers and easy rollers, to waves two and three feet in height, his only option became to duck each wave, escape the blows by going under, rather than taking them on face to face. As he forced his way up and out through the backside he was met by yet another wave, each more determined than the last to knock him loose and flush him back to the mainland.

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