• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 11

The Boat

The boat seemed already full but there were still at least 200 people pushing and shoving on the beach. The boatsman was giving orders to his crew and yelling to the people who were already on the boat to make some space.

Move to the back, you fucking morons! Move back!

His men started to push the men, women and children towards the stern.

Are all those people supposed to fit on this tiny, ramshackle boat? wondered Naja. She was searching the beach for more boats but there weren’t any. She didn’t dare to ask. The boatsman and his helper weren’t very patient when it came to questions. The other passengers were mostly men with savage eyes; she tried to avoid any form of contact. They reminded her of hungry, stalking hyenas. She trembled in the cold evening breeze.

The other passengers seemed to share her worries.

Is that the boat? Are you serious? We paid five thousand bucks! complained a young man.

Fine gentleman can stay here if he doesn’t like it. The boatsman’s position was clear. As the last person was on the boat it was so stuffed there was hardly any space to move.

Naja still trembled though she was surrounded by warm bodies. She ignored the thought to abolish her plan to leave the country, to forget about the five thousand dollars it took her parents three years to save and just run back home.

She got distracted by the view of a chubby man. He wore a massive wide brimmed hat and an artfully woven, woollen gown in bright red. He was not so much chubby as he was broad and solid.


The Boat

The hat with the enormous brim held back the others and created a circle around him. He looked like a big rock in a stormy sea. He gave her a conspiratorial smile and nodded reassuringly.

Sluggishly the overloaded boat took off. Its tempo was ridiculous.

My fat grandma swims faster. A group of young man went into a mocking rant.

A crew member gave one of them a hard push. Wanna show how fast you swim?

Despite the mutter of voices Naja fell into a fitful sleep. When she woke she was startled and needed a moment to realize she was not dreaming. It was awkwardly silent. She searched for the smiling chubby man and found the wide brimmed hat at the bow of the boat. What was he doing there? She noticed that there was something different about him. He turned around and the realization came slowly. It was not him.

The boatsman was wearing his wide brimmed hat and the red woollen blanket. He caught her glance and she looked away.