Ike slowly climbed back to the deck. He heard giggling and moans. He stopped, took another breath, and then stepped into the sunshine.
Ginger and Jack laughed looking at each other then back at Ike as he climbed back into the captain’s chair moving everyone out of the way.
“Easy dude.” Jack laughed taking another sip of wine. “Did you bring up the bottle?”
Ike gave him a blank glance then view the stars giving the wheel a jerk. “Stupid, didn’t follow the path.”
The Dusty Rose leaned to port and the sail blossomed in the morning wind.
“Wooo.” Jack gleefully responded. “Ride the curl dude.”
“So what happened here? And why are you still ALIVE?” Ike interrupted the joyous moment.
Ginger took another sip of wine and stared at Jack.
“Well, it kinda goes like this man.”
“I’m listening.” Ike growled wrestling with the wheel to turn the vessel back on course.
“Man, I don’t know all the details. I’ve been surfing down here for about 5 years. There was this money thing going on but I didn’t worry about it ‘cause I didn’t have any. I saw it on the tube man, but who cares about that stuff, dig? Well all the folks went crazy and started to tear down the establishment. Then the power went out so I turned to the water. It is always there.”
“What happened to everyone? And when did this happened?” Ike gruffly replied still pulling at the wheel as the bow pointed to the white sand.
“Man, I don’t know the answer to your questions.”
“When did this all happen?” Ike insisted.
“I don’t know, “ Jack stammered, “around 2009 I reckon.”
“So what is the year now!” Ike pressed.
“Dude! It must be 2020 by now. I don’t have a calendar but it’s been a while.”
“And a strange thing seems to happen. I don’t grow old.” Jack disclosed.
“Where is everyone else?” Ike yelled.
“Dude! I don’t know. They started roaming through the streets and then thinned out and man they were all gone.”
“What do you mean ‘all gone’?’”
“They all just disappeared.”
“Yeah man, like they were here one day and the next they were gone. No cars, no cats, no kids. Just gone.”
“Ike we are getting close to the pier.” Ginger broke in.
“Where did they go? Why did they leave?”
“Man I don’t know?”
“And why did you stay??”
“Ike…. Ike the dock.”
A sudden lunge and the Dusty Rose suddenly stopped. Grounded on a sandbar with a sail waving back and forth trying to find a direction.
“Damn, we’ve run around. Lower the sail.” Ike ordered, breaking his focus to the survival of the vessel he commanded.
Ike, Ginger and Jack jumped up to release lines. The huge pink sheet dropped down to the deck releasing the pressure on the hull. Ike pointed and instructed the others on how to wrap the sail and secure the boom. He checked the rudder and picked up his spilled glass of wine.
“Man, that was boss.”
Ike responded, “ We’ve landed. Drop the anchor and we’ll swim ashore.”
The sun was a full bloom and high overhead with sweat stirring heat. Ike checked the deck and lead the three in diving into the water toward the beach.