A Beautiful Thing Part 216

The waves were tossing the small life boat around violently. It would climb each monstrous wall of water then crash down the backside. Each time the occupants inside thought it would tip and spill them into the black water.

There were three men on board including Joshua. They had been adrift for five days since the ship sank. It was 95 degrees at noon without rain. But now a fierce storm was approaching and the sky was molten gravy. The men were reciting their oft-repeated prayers or making up new ones on the spot. Whatever hope they clung to after the torpedo struck was fast disappearing. The ocean was vast and indifferent to their prayers.

Joshua was having fever dreams. Birds made of silver and copper, aluminum and sheet metal, were bringing him jewelry and photographs and other sundry items that don’t mean anything 200 miles out to sea. The clouds were doubling in size and tumbling over themselves. Big menacing hunks of grey, fed by tropical moisture and rotten luck.

Thinking time was running out, he pulled out the last of his rations: a peanut butter granola bar.

Joshua was allergic to peanuts.

He bit into it, tasting peanut butter for the first time, and smiled wide with a kind of religious ecstasy, finally understanding the brutal universe for what it was, as plastic birds pelted him with calculators and coffee mugs and condoms.

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