The Ship in the Water | In This Future Or The Next

The Ship in the Water

At first there was a ship crossing the sea. Its captain pointed to a dot in the horizon and its crew were quick to move that way. Around the world they went, time and again. Sometimes sailing, sometimes drifting, but always in command of their own destination.

Whether their decisions brought good or not did not matter to them. In their ship their lives were encapsulated. In it, they drank, they ate, they made friends and enemies and at the end of the long days under the sun, they slept. In their quarters they lay awake some nights, thinking of the reason their lives had ended up the way they had. Some other nights they sat silent on a stool or on a bench, and, along with the rocking of their imperfect vessel, they made sense of the events they had experienced that day; But when sun came up in the morning, and the screams of the captain echoed in the halls, they knew their freedom was intact. They scurried together around the hull, and together the crew set sail again for their next adventure.

With the passing of the years the ship encountered others in the sea. From afar they watched the other ships cruise in the almost endless oceans, and from the distance these ships were art. In the dawns and the dusks, on rare occasions another ship would pop into their sights, crossing the waters way over there, near the horizon. The orange sun cast an elongated shadow of the strangers, and in the dimming light, they seemed to be connected through the darkness. Even from their place in the ocean, they were touched by the distant sailors.

Populations across the globe grew, and, slowly and steadily, the people spilled into the blue. There came a time when the children of our sailors were sailing too, and the view of the horizons became polluted with the sight of endless masts. Currents of water carried old shirts, and pants and boots; And the dead from the ships were eaten by the monsters down below. The bottoms of the sea were littered with their bones, and with the population rising, pointing towards a dot in the horizon became a task only for the most able bodied. Soon the world of our sailors was reduced to an area no larger than four ships. The change had happened across so many years that the lack of freedom that they once cherished went unnoticed.

The men woke up the same as always, they ate and drank, they slept and thought, but when they looked outside their ship’s decks, they felt no love, no craving and no hope. They filled their days with drinks and chatter, and in the nights could find no motive of why they dreaded the hour of the rising sun.

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