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written by: Ann Christine Tabaka
The ocean slapped her in the face as large waves crested over the bow. Rocking side to side, Laurie fought to keep her craft upright. Cold and exhausted, she wondered how did she ever get this far from shore, and where did this storm come from? It was a beautiful day, calm and sunny when she put the kayak to sea earlier that morning. Everything changed in an instant as the sky darkened, and the wind picked up with a roar. The heavy downpour seemed to materialize out of nowhere, as the waves grew larger.
Fearing that she would lose her bearings, she desperately searched the horizon for any sight of land, but could not see beyond the waves lashing at her vessel. In tears she forced herself to stay conscious. She told herself that she had to remain in control. Finally, giving in to fatigue, she closed her eyes and started to daydream. She tried to envision all the wonderful things in her life up to this point. She believed this was the end.
Just when Laurie thought she could not paddle another stroke, she thought she heard a faint whisper calling her name. The sound was being carried over the water. Then she noticed movement far off in the distance. It was a person. Someone was waving their arms in the air and shouting. Laurie drew in a deep breath and started paddling towards the figure with all the strength that she could muster. She had to maneuver back and forth diagonally to avoid being capsized from the violent surf. As she drew closer to land, the breakers swamped her kayak and she was tossed out. She had to crawl on her hands and knees to reach the shoreline.
Just then, she saw her husband Jim standing there. The nightmare now over, she collapsed in his arms, and gazed into his smiling face. Tears poured down both their cheeks as he lifted her up and carried her home to safety. The tempest did not win, not this time.