I am trying to decide whether or not to accept my death.
The dinghy is taking on water. At dawn the ship on which I sailed had done the same. Much larger, it sank all the same. Even with a dozen men to bail water.
I am only one, and the dinghy has a much smaller margin of error.
Something in the sea hungers for flesh. Not content with the entirety of the ship’s crew that I sailed with. It persists. I survive – so far – and so its task is not complete.
I have bailed water for the greater portion of the day, and still no land on the horizon. Now I sit, small sail furled above me. I contemplate the bucket, as it softly bumps against the bench before me. The ocean rocks the little craft gently, lulling us both.
The rope line behind me could loop over the mast, lead me by the neck out of the water. The ocean wouldn’t get the pleasure of my last breath.
Soon the bright white sun will turn orange, approach the shore in the west that I cannot hope to reach.
I pick up the bucket. Bail again.
Author’s note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook, and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I do tiny grammar and spelling checks, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.