The Sea Heaven
Some men cling to the helm, while others pull the cables to change the orientation of the sail. The boats bump into each other loudly, the wood creaks, the oars break in the crash, the sails crack like a whip. Everyone is screaming except the woman.
“Man overboard,” one can hear in the distance. Pedro turns to his crew. “Are we together?” he shouts. “Yes,” they answer. “May God save us all.”
The bow faces down, and the bow faces the sky. The compass breaks free from its wooden box and takes the north to the bottom of the ocean, dooming those men to float in uncertainty.
“Cut the cables!” Mestre Pedro shouts, fearing that the nets will entangle or get stuck somewhere and pull them to the bottom of the “bastard.” The lesser of two evils: to lose the fish, but to survive. Survive. He has promised his mother that he will go back — all those men have the same promise to keep. And they will keep it, if God looks their way only for a moment. But God does not seem to be looking.
Salt water is eagerly invading the boat, soaking the faces of those aboard. Cold, dirty water with objects that cut the fishermen like knives. Their faces are bleeding, and the wounds sting with the salt of water and tears.
“Man overboard,” one can hear in the distance. “Man overboard,” one can hear even further away. “Oh, the bastard is killing us!”, the men shout.
“Dear God, where are you?”