Hi, everyone. Here is the 13th and final chapter in our continuing collaborative story, Alone on a Boat. It was put on hold for a few weeks since Sharmishtha had some unexpected, terrible flooding. If you’ve been following along, you can read all the chapters, including the previous one on her blog.
Or here’s the synopsis: Angelique is 20 years old and sailing solo around the world. Two men kidnap her in the Indian Ocean and bring her to an island where there is an ancient Indian temple. They get killed by monsters but she escapes and meets an old man, John, who brings her into the temple, which is full of treasure. Her father arrives the next morning because of a distress beacon she activated. He sees the treasure but before he can go in, Angelique is transported into the temple alone and confronts a naga woman. Because of Angelique’s honesty in not trying to take the treasure, she is rewarded with a nagmani, a naga’s third eye, that will take her back to the temple if she needs to go. Her and her father go back to the boat but he sneaks out at night to go find the treasure. She goes after him and finds him in an altered state, imagining he is at the temple and taking jewels, when he is only in the jungle.
Alone on a Boat – Part 13 (The final chapter)
By mid-morning, John and Angelique had gotten her father down to the shore. He came willingly enough, but often stopped to pluck imaginary gems out of the air and store them in his bag.
“Do you really think he will be okay?” Angelique asked.
“I hope so,” John said. “Get him far away from here and then see. It may take a while. I’m not sure; I’ve never seen this sort of thing before.”
“Thank you,” she said. “You saved my life. I’ll never forget you.” He smiled and held out his hand but she moved past it and gave him a hug.
“Come back sometime, if you can,” he said. “I will still be here, I’m sure.”
John helped her get her father onto the ship, then she brought him back to the shore. He stood waving as she pulled up the anchor and set the motor to bring them away from the island.
Her father was now lying on the bed, and was asleep when she checked on him. He continued to sleep all day and she checked several times to see if he was still breathing.
She made supper and went into the bedroom. “Dad, Dad, it’s time for supper.” She shook him gently, but there was no response. Was he in a coma? After a few minutes more, she went up on deck and ate supper by herself.
She had sailed solo for many days, but never had she felt more frightened and alone than at this moment, with her father unconscious inside. What if he never woke up? What could she do? What would her mother say?
The sun went down, extinguishing itself in the waters of the Indian Ocean. Angelique lay down and looked up at the millions of stars shining above her.
She looked down and saw that her shirt was glowing. She pulled out the nagmani. It was glowing with a reddish luminescence that grew brighter and then suddenly faded back to black.
There was a noise from the cabin and the door opened. Her father stood in the doorway.
“Are we on the open sea?” he asked. “Weren’t we on an island?”
“We were but we left,” Angelique said, going to him and giving him a hug. “You’ve been sleeping for hours.”
“I feel pretty tired. What happened? The last thing I remember I had taken a helicopter to come find you and I remember something about being on the boat.”
“Well, that’s passed now, Dad,” she said. “We’re heading for Jakarta; I can drop you off there, if you wish, or you can stay until Singapore.”
He nodded. “Either one is fine. I wonder what the name of that island was? I’d like to go back there sometime.”
A stab of apprehension went through Angelique. “I don’t know, Dad,” she said.
“Well, whatever. I’m so tired for some reason. I think I’ll go back to bed.” He went back in, closing the door.
Angelique leaned back and looked up at the night sky again. The stars seemed to be smiling down on her. She was happy now. She was ready for the next adventure.