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Updated on June 10, 2011

The boat was creaking. The Captain looked down at the wood beneath his feet and it seemed to be moving in and out, breathing almost. He turned to the crew who were staring at him, their eyes a glaze with a feverish insanity he hadn't seen in over twenty years since the time he and his whole ship had been devoured by the glutinous sea serpent off the Cayman islands during the worst storm in recorded history. It had been a dark night with treacherous rain and force gail winds. They had gotten very wet and it had taken several hours to dry off after they had dug their way out of the beasts belly with an old soup ladle and a broken tin can. In such sittuations, invention and quick thinking is everything.

The ships quarter master broke wind viciously. The crew began to giggle. The Captain broken from his nostalgia looked at the crew and spoke. "My plan is simple," he said, "The treasure is buried somewhere in that island over there." He pointed into the distance. The crew looked and seemed confused. The Captain was pointing to the ocean but there was nothing there but a large expanse of water. The crew began to murmur that he was seeing things, that there was no island there, that maybe months and months out in the salty ocean had finally driven him mad. The Captain shook his head vigorously and said, "You have to remember where we are and where we have come from." There were more disagreeable mumblings from the crew. "When we sailed off the end of the world this morning, " said the Captain, "and toppled down into space beyond the reaches of the know universe we left the world and found ourselves here....." He paused. The crew were listening intently. The Captain smiled. He was very fond of telling stories. "We are in the land of fables now," he continued, "In the world of make believe and in this place nothing is what it seems." The crew looked around at the blue ocean. It seemed to be changing colour. It was turning red. The Captain grinned, showing three golden teeth. "All you have to do is believe that the island is there and it will be there!"

The Captain seemed satisfied with his explanation and pointed out to the sea. The crew looked. The water was now blood red and slowly in the distance a small green island was beginning to materialise before their very eyes. They blinked and began to pinch each others bottoms, just to make sure they weren't imagining things. Maybe the salty water was getting to them all. "See?" said the Captain, laughing, "I'm not as mad as I look!" The crew were incredulous and the first mate, a fat short balding man with a purple face and a strange accent was the first man to break the awkward silence. "Where did the island come from?" he said. The Captain produced a bottle of rum from his trousers and began to drink it. "The hows and whens do not matter, " said the Captain, "What does matter is that its there and that magical place is where we are headed. That is the place where our ship is leading us and it is the place where all our dreams will come true."

The ship was creaking even heavier now and was making belching noises as it moved up and down. It seemed to be alive and had a mind of its own. Slowly the ship started to move of its own accord and the crew watched with a mixture of surprise and excitement as the large boat began to move speedily towards the newly appeared island. The Captain was laughing like a maniac possessed by insanity. The crew were starting to get nervous. "Get ready men," said the Captain, "The place that we are going to is like nothing you have ever seen before!" One of the crew members, Jack Fortune, a dirty looking fat man said, "What will happen when we get there?" The Captain let out a roar from deep within his rum filled gut. "Who knows what happens when anyone gets anywhere or arrives where they have set out to go. Time is a fleeting concept and the present is always in the past, just as the future is often in the present!" Now the crew were really confused. The island was getting closer. If they looked closely they could see that there were happy dancing folk on the outskirts of the island waving colourful flags in the air and singing songs of welcome. The crew watched with great anticipation. "I have waited all my life for this day," said the Captain, "because now I am finally going home, to the land of the ever young." The third mate scratched his greasy moustache underneath the hot sun. The island paradise was nearly upon them. The scent of flowers and fresh mango was strong in the air. "What is this place?" he said. The Captain looked longingly at the dancing folk on the island. "Paradise on earth." he said smiling. The crew looked out to the island and the people on the island looked back at them. Neither understood each other, the crew or the colourful dancers. The Captain was laughing and muttering under his breath because he understood everything and he knew that it was going to be a long night. It would last an eternity but the dawn would last even longer. Magic was a wonderful thing. He walked towards the mast and readied himself to embark upon the island and fulfil the last stage of his life-long quest. "Get ready men," he said, "This is where the magic begins."

The crew looked on nervously. The dancers on the island were jumping up and down. The Captain was smiling. The water was starting to disappear and the island seemed to be growing all around them. The boat was making a low hum. It was singing because it knew it was coming home.


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