"The Circadian" - Short Story Submission
The air was sharp when I rose this morning, its cold salty fragrance causing chaos to the appealed senses, rolling off the nose like sweet sulfur and cutting every inch of my skin like a knife with its merciless chill. Nevertheless, God’s grace gave me the courage to emerge from my cabin where I thankfully greeted the calm waters that surrounded our vessel. She’s a humble ship, able to rival the grace and fortitude of any predecessor, and upon her deck I’m not alone. For many souls accompany me on this journey, in hopes to find the tranquility that’s been made abstruse to humanity throughout the pace of time - time that has allowed our enemy to cloud the judgments of humanity though a truly corrupt vision of a modern world.
So we find ourselves daily battling this corruption - Sometimes falling prey to the idea that we are somehow wholly sufficient unto ourselves in defeating the temptations that follow. It’s with this way of thinking that we besiege our souls with anxiety when the waves come daily to batter all sides of our corporal and spiritual protection, our ship. A ship dutifully named the Circadian, and until we’ve reached our final destination, she shall be our labor.
As I stared out across the restful waters, I found myself wishing that for just one day they would remain so calm. But then I was quickly reminded that without the wind we would remain where we were with no progress. So I gave thanks to God at once that He alone has the power to humble a man. Forcing him to realize that everything he receives, the good and the bad are all gifts, and that not one thing is owed to him. So, crossing myself I abandoned the sanctity of the still waters to prepare for the struggle we were all soon to face.
I walked over and took my place in a line. This line is made of every soul on this vessel and at the front stands a man named Peter. He’s been appointed head of the Circadian, and every morning he gives us the food necessary to survive from day to day. It’s never enough to fill the belly, but always enough to satisfy the need for sustenance. After receiving my rations, which were always in the form of bread, I said a prayer of thanksgiving then made my way to the standing rigs. Every morning I checked the tension to make sure it was adequate to hold the mast during the storm that the day would inevitably bring.
Then I made my way to the running rigs to prepare to release the sails once the wind became strong enough to carry us. As I began rubbing the front sides of my fingers across the rope checking for any frayed fibers, indicating signs of wear, I caught sight of John out of the corner of my left eye.
“Morning Matthew,” he said as he approached. He was a true friend John; I’d met him early on in this journey. He and I had learned how to help one another deal with whatever tribulation we faced daily, and I’ll have to admit, it was nice to have a friend like him.
“Hello John, ready for another day?” I asked looking up to watch him make his way around the mast.
“Another day gone, another day closer,” he said stopping to face me, leaning his right shoulder against the mast and crossing his right leg in front of the left.
“It’s a good way to look at it.” I said, returning my attention to the ropes.
“The only way if you ask me”
“And I’d find it hard to disagree, I suppose,” I said finishing with the last check of the knots upon the ropes.
“True it would be hard to disagree with such an advanced intellect as mine,” he said, a proud smile upon his face. As I continued trying to hide the one he’d placed upon mine,
“Yeah well…let’s see if that advanced intellect can figure out how to run the oars,” I said, as we both began walking in that direction.
J.M. "The Circadian" - Tuscany Prize 2015 Short Story Submission
Post Your Comments
Sign up for Catholic, Ink.
and receive our FREE weekly e-newsletter and the exclusive article "What is Catholic Fiction?"