Perhaps you will be sheltered…

Page 38 in the series Before the Pirates Came*

The storm was raging now, the beast was poised to strike.  Miranda scurried onto her boat, slipped on a step, and fell onto the aft deck.  She was unnerved by the fear in Greg’s voice.  If he was so intimidated even with all his experience, where did that leave a rookie like her?  She grabbed a handrail, pulled herself onto her feet, and sealed the little door in the shrinkwrap that was flapping in the wind.  Out of breath, she made it down the steps to the cabin which was toasty warm, thanks to the extra power from the dock down the way.  She was grateful to be safe and out of the weather.

She remembered the half eaten can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce in the refrigerator, grabbed a spoon, and felt her stomach churn as the boat started to rock.  She wouldn’t be having a snack tonight.  A blanket, her pillow, and a bottle of Pepto Bismol would have to do.  Then another assault–  a crashing wave, some cans of soup, a bottle of pills, and a cordless screwdriver fell hard at her feet.   

The old boat was supposed to be water tight. But tonight Miranda wondered if boat-builder George Garcia was thinking about a Lake Michigan snow storm when he created the first aluminum Marinette 30 years ago.  She wondered if welded marine grade aluminum was strong enough to take what the night had to offer.  Miranda listened intently, waiting for the sound of the bilge pumps. Oh my gosh–  were they even working!?  

With an ear to the floor, she became obsessed with the thought of her boat filling with water and her dockmates finding her lifeless body in the morning. Miranda had to think fast before she submerged herself in thoughts of doom. She reached up to the counter, fished around for a pencil, and grabbed a small flashlight. Then, crawling on her belly to the hatch in the floor, she grabbed the pull ring and heaved open the heavy panel.  The bilge was dark, and vast.  In the hollow space the sounds of the storm echoed.

Before she lost her nerve, Miranda put the flashlight between her teeth, took the pencil, and reached deep into the murky hull.  She held her breath as she tripped the bilge pump with the eraser end of the pencil, hoping not to be electrocuted. A whirring sound told her the pump was working, and the lack of rushing water meant the bilge was dry. Thank God.  Relieved, Miranda closed the hatch and wiggled back to her spot on the floor. 

Just as she was patting herself on the back, the boat began to list and she puked all over her new Oriental rug, another gift from Charlie.  He always came bearing gifts, and cash, and a smile.  But none of that mattered tonight, did it…  BECAUSE HE WASN’T THERE!  And even if he was busy at work, he could have called! 

This was the last straw.  If it weren’t for Charlie, she and Harry would still be together.  Miranda would forever regret looking into the eyes of the pirate who took what wasn’t his.  Instead of lying face down seasick in her own vomit, she would be at home taking a bubble bath while Harry smiled and looked on.  There in the storm, Miranda decided to end it with Charlie.  She had enough money socked away that she didn’t need him anymore.  The area rug cost as much as a small car.  She hoped the dry cleaner made house calls.   

Soon she would be on a plane to West Palm Beach where she could relax and forget for awhile. There was nothing to be gained by celebrating Thanksgiving alone in the snow.

“Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger.”  Zephaniah 2:3  (NIV)

Somehow between the waves, and by the grace of a God she didn’t even know was watching, Miranda drifted safely to sleep.


*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in About Him, About me, Bipolar girl. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Perhaps you will be sheltered…

  1. .endtransmission. says:

    It’s always calmest before the storm…. I feel that this storm will lead Miranda to a clear moment, as if the clouds part in the early morning sun after a dark night of heaving waves. It appears that Miranda gets her strentgh from many sources. Well written, Linda… You really took me there this time.

    • Linda says:

      Thanks e.t. What’s up? Have you been reading my notes again? (Yeh, I still write alot of stuff long hand.)

      Soon, Miranda’s “oh crap” moment will surpass any waves on the sea. But don’t tell me about it… I want to be surprised. : )

  2. Theresa says:

    I would have been terrified! I will be so glad when the morning comes and the storm subsides.


    • Linda says:

      Yup, she was terrified. But an adrenalin rush took over after the first wave hit, and that carried her through. Brave girl… : )

  3. Tara says:

    Your writing is so descriptive it always makes me feel like I am right there alongside the characters. Thank you for keeping us on this journey!


    • Linda says:

      Hi Tara… That is a very nice compliment, thank you! : )

      If you saw me at my laptop gritting my teeth trying to find the right words, then rewriting five times, you would see that I am such a beginner. And the more I write, the more I learn how hard it is to write… especially descriptive things like the weather. Yikes. : )

  4. Larry Who says:

    “… by the grace of a God she didn’t even know was watching…”

    Thank God He watched over us before we knew Him otherwise in my case, and many others, we would have never known Him.

    Okay, I’m ready for the next page.

    • Linda says:

      I will always be a church basement Believer, happy to preach that God is real even when we’re clueless. I get excited just thinking about that!

      Hey… I loved your piece about the lady prophet and the two year Christian. I’ve thought about that many times since reading it, and it really encourages me. Thanks.

  5. Debbie says:

    Miranda is going through so much! It’s so hard not to want to snatch her out of there. So glad God was watching and waiting for the perfect time. Your story is awesome, Linda. It has us all on the edge of our computer chairs!
    God bless you and watch over you in love today!

    • Linda says:

      Computer chairs… I like that!

      I’m so grateful Miranda never got rescued in the traditional way. Help was offered. That’s what I love, love, love about the story! If God wanted me so bad that He kept on trying, He will do it for anyone… even the biggest drunk, loser, cheater, thief, of any nationality… even the ones we don’t like in this country. What if one person sees themselves that way, and decides to whisper a prayer just to talk to Him and see…

      It’s just me, but this is the coolest story I’ve ever heard. : )

  6. ann says:

    Thank you, Linda

    These last few pages have me thinking of a song I heard many years ago. A prayer for Him to keep us “safe ’till the storm passes by.”

    Thanks for sharing that beautiful scripture. I am so thankful for the Shelter that He is. Our family lived through a major hurricane that brought loss of life and property. Thankfully, we all made it safely through. Praying Miranda will get through this with not much ‘damage’.


    • Linda says:

      A hurricane… no kidding. It sounds awful, but times like that stengthen our faith, you know?

      A few pages from now Miranda, in drunken desperation, walks to the end of the (now melted) pier, and cries out to the Lord. Can you believe it? She couldn’t either. Some of us find Him sooner, some later. I pray that everyone would.

    • Linda says:

      In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face,
      While the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place.
      ‘Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry,
      Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

      I love every word in this song. Thanks for sharing it with me. It will be my new Bible bookmark!

      With regard to verse 3, I can’t believe the similarities there, too. Some people take longer to find Jesus, other people are curious on a Tuesday and in church by Sunday morning. I wouldn’t trade my messed up and delayed experience for anything, storms and all. Hugs, Ann : )

  7. Jan says:

    Linda, you sure were busy writing while I was gone! I love these last few pages–so descriptive, as only you can do it. Keep writing–I’m on the edge of my chair!

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