Today, I decided to do a writing exercise. It has been a few weeks since I last sat down to write some fiction. One of tips that I learned when I attended a writing seminar was to sit down and right freely for ten minutes per day. This is a tip that I posted in “Becoming a Genius…” and “Things to Do, No TV.”
This week, I only spent 1.5 hours watching TV. I am very proud of myself. The 1.5 hours consisted of half an episode of Ghosthunters and their full new episode where they investigate the Presidio in San Francisco and Lullaby Lane. I wasn’t impressed and think the show has lost its innocence.
Anyway, back to my writing exercise. Awhile a particular phrase got stuck in my head, so I wrote it down. I think it was inspired by an episode of Deadliest Catch. Here it is:
“The sun glistened off the side of the cruise ship as it limped through the heavy seas.”
So, for today’s exercise, I decided to use this line as inspiration and wrote a short-story, using it as the first line. This is what I wrote:
The sun glistened off the side of the cruise ship as it limped through the heavy seas. The passengers hung tightly to the handrails as the ship dipped and rose with each wave. The captain felt uneasy as he looked to the horizon from the bridge. The storm was growing, which conflicted with the computer in front of him. In the distance, a flash of light drew attention for miles. The dark clouds had accelerated and moving into the ship’s path. There was no going around.
The captain picked up the mike and made a feeble attempt to inform the passengers of the approaching chaos. The tingle in his voice did little to calm the passengers, who were now heading below decks in preparation of what was to come.
The size of the waves increased dramatically in the next hour, the ship rolling, pitching, and swinging about with its contents holding onto what it could. The sun is gone making the ship look like a mere grey spec in a vast universe of white caps and black haze.
The captain’s heart began to pump faster as the ship tilted 20 degrees to port forcing his crew off their feet. In cabin 324 on deck E, little Joseph McKray slammed his head against the desk, instantly knocking him unconscious.
The ship’s doctor’s phone began ringing off the hook as passengers recovered from the event and requested medical attention. The doctor and his aides instantly started following emergency protocol, logging injuries and locations, prioritizing the injured. Little Joseph was not the only one that needed attention.
On the bridge, the crew yelled status reports as the ship continued to rock up and down. Then another tilt to port, this time only 10 degrees. The captain’s stomach practically came up and out his mouth. Then, the red phone rang. The captain’s heart stopped.
The person on the other end explained the dire situation. The ship was sinking, and fast. No one had noticed the permanent 5 degree port lean with all of the oscillations. The captain had less than thirty minutes.
He screamed at his crew with everything he had, recalling the chapter on abandoning ship from his school days. The crew looked stunned, and soon realized that they were abandoning ship.
Sirens blared and emergency lights flashed the way to safety. But it wasn’t worth it, in a flash, a giant wave crashed down on the ship, taking everyone not inside out to the vast grey sea. The force was so tremendous the ship was sucked down.
To the captain it was a blink of an eye. Windows were covered in darkness, then they blew, allowed the frigid water to come pouring in. He was hurled back over the equipment and slammed against the back wall. Instantly he was paralized, as his back snapped against a water pipe running along the wall.
Then there was silence. At the surface the only indication a ship had been were chair cushions that slowly began taking on their own water. Below the surface were screams of terror as the water continued to fill the ship. The McKray family were washed off their feet, slammed against a painting and then drowned. Then there was silence.
It wasn’t a happy ending, but in ten minutes, I felt like I had to make a big splash… no pun intended. I hope you enjoyed it. I would encourage you all to try this, whether or not you are a writer. It is a great exercise to stimulate your brain and is quite motivating.