Chapter One

All four of us girls sat straight up in our bunks. I held my breath listening in terror. The wind became a deafening scream and somehow, we were flying. Clutched with fear I instinctively covered my ears tightly and prayed.

All of a sudden a large crash, Oh God, we've been hit. I started praying faster. I knew what was coming next.

"Please God, let it be swift and painless," I repeated over and over again.

My sister started shaking me, "Are you okay?" she yelled. I came out of my deep trance only to hear guide wires clanging against the mast, so hard and so loud the roof of our stateroom appeared to be shifting from side to side. We weren't flying any longer.

I found myself holding on tightly to my bunk rails. We were rocked back and forth and side to side. It was like riding a wild stallion, except there was no jumping off.

I heard the guys voices yell through the intercom, they were all right. The captain bellowed out, "Everyone stay put, do not go out on deck."

"John, you and Steve stay in the flying bridge until whatever this is passes," he said.

I finally got my bearing and managed to climb the six steps leading up to the main salon.

"Sam, where are you going," Tina said, as she clung to my nightshirt.

"I have to know what's going on," I whispered hoarsely, as I crawled across the main salon. Walking was impossible.

With Tina right behind me, we made our way across the main salon which lead down to the captain's stateroom. Once in front of the stairway, we gripped each others hands and made every attempt to control our breathing while we listened to what was being said.

I could hear John's hoarse voice through the intercom. He recounted the chain of events leading up to the big crash.

High winds came from nowhere, all the sails were up, no time to react, yacht became airborne skimming the water doing 40 knots, then, John's voice cracked choking back tears, this was a side of my macho, invincible brother I had never heard, my sister and I held our breath and waited.

"Then the mast broke," he whispered. My sister and I didn't stick around to hear the terrifying details. We swiftly crawled to the starboard pontoon entrance way, where we paused briefly and heard our sisters whispered fear. Finally, we made our way back to our stateroom to await our fate.

Antoinette Sheppard