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Sleepless Sails

For everything you hear in Silence, don't be too sure about a human's Presence...

By Geetanjali NaiduPublished 2 years ago 6 min read
Sleepless Sails
Photo by Ben Lambert on Unsplash

I live on the east coast of India, recently I moved to Mumbai from Malvan and I figured it would take a couple of days to sail my boat down there to our new waterfront house.

I didn’t have any cars with the tow hitch to carry the boat, let alone a trailer to carry it with.

So sailing seems like the best option.

While my sibling finished moving the rest of the stuff to our new house, I kissed my family goodbye and set out to sail.

None of them were really willing to come with me on this adventure and honestly, I didn’t blame them.

But anyway I bought enough food and fuel to last me the whole trip.

The first day was breezy, I got some sleep and then sailed for 10 hours the next day, with breaks in between.

By nightfall, I went to bed in the cabin.

Sleeping in a rocking boat isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, so I was up for hours rolling on my side trying to find comfortable positions, trying to press my head firmly enough into the pillow thinking it would hide the unbearable feeling of the boat rocking over the ocean’s surface.

Eventually, I heard sounds coming from above my head that could be best described as small humps and it sounded like someone walking on my boat.

I couldn’t tell yet.

With a medium-sized fishing boat floating on the ocean, random sounds like creaks and thumps are going to be made.

These thumps were coming so rapidly and consistently, I started to get sick with the thought that someone out this far could be on my boat.

I had to get out and look, but I wanted to be quiet.

I opened the cabin door very slowly but before I could even try to open it, all the way I heard a big splash in the water.

It sounded to me like someone or something just into the water.

I wasn’t honestly scared, I wasn’t alone.

Even though it didn’t make any sense to me I didn’t want to go outside.

I felt I should move the boat away from whoever or whatever was out there in the water.

So, I ran outside to the cockpit and started the boat engine.

I gave the boat some fuel and got myself the hell away from there.

Immediately, I heard my boat bump into something in the water, not something heavy enough to cause any kind of impact but heavy enough to hear it and slightly feel the boat bump.

I didn’t see what it was because, to be honest, I wasn’t paying much attention to whatever was out there in the water plus the lights weren’t on.

Anyway, I sailed for a few hours in the deep night because I was wide awake anyway.

When I started to get tired, I killed the motor and went back to bed.

Emphasis on the word ‘bed’, not sleep.

Even though I felt tired, I was still having trouble falling asleep.

Roughly half an hour had passed, and I started hearing more thumps, this time the thumps seemed louder and more clear for some reason.

In a split second, my heart started racing again, the thumps were consistent and deliberate sounding again.

No way it was just boat noises.

I felt like someone was following me, I couldn’t just sit there and hide in the cabin like this all night.

I had to sum up the courage to go outside again.

Everything outside seemed normal, the sound of waves hitting the boat, the breeze on my face, the oceanic odor, and the flag.

When I checked, there was no one on the entire boat.

Was I hallucinating?

Was it just my Imagination?

Did I fall for sea-sickness?

Where the sounds really come from the boat.

I decided that must have been the case, and once again went back in the cabin to the bed.

I lay there extremely silent, trying to listen to any little noise.

And when I did this, I heard something I knew I did it wasn’t the sound of thumping or anything like that.

I had to perk up my ears to really pay attention, and I figured out was I was hearing.

It wasn’t the sound of the wind outside or the water hitting the boat, it was the sound of someone breathing!

It was not the sound of my breathing, but someone else's.

It was coming from inside the cabin of course.

I panicked!!!!!!

But I tried to maintain composure so I did not make it obvious.

I got out of the bed, walked outside the cabin, locked myself in the cockpit, and intended on sailing until I could find a dock by the shore.

There’s a small window that looks into the cockpit from the cabin, it has a curtain.

I turned every minute or so at least to look back at it expecting to see someone watching me.

One of the times I looked back and I did see someone.

The curtain was curled a little bit in the corner and I saw someone’s eye and maybe a quarter of their face peeking into the cockpit.

I turned away right away acting like I didn’t see them.

I had a thought, what if it was one of the young naughty neighbors trying to scare me but it wouldn’t make sense.

I saw him waving goodbye when I set sail from the house.

It was 4 hours of intense hell, thinking at any moment someone could break into the cockpit and stab me.

But I made it to shore and sailed the narrow canal, I had already called the cops 15 minutes earlier, requesting they have a few officers waiting at the dock I was headed to.

It was still dark out, but I saw people standing at the dock and I couldn't have been more excited to get there.

When I stopped the boat next to the dock, I came out of the cockpit screaming at the officers to help, pointing at the cabin door.

The two officers went into the cabin with their hands on their pistols and ten seconds later I heard them yelling at someone.

They pulled out some guy with really long grey wet hair and a similar beard, wearing wet skinny ripped jeans and a grey t-shirt.

They had him in cuffs, as they walked past me.

He looked at me and just laughed, this insanely off-putting laugh.

The guy looked and sounded like a knucklehead, the best way I can describe him.

The police questioned him, but he never answered anything as to how or when he got on my boat or what he was trying to do.

But thinking back when I heard breathing in my cabin, it’s likely he was hiding under my bed and that’s the most horrifying thought imaginable.

By then I was exhausted and went back to my cabin and fell asleep right away.

By late morning I made it to Malvan and my nightmarish adventure was over.

Short Story

About the Creator

Geetanjali Naidu

I can’t remember the horror fiction I read or when I read it.

But I have a stash of real-life-based horror.

Writing short horror fiction will always be my favorite pass time.

Ready for some spine-chilling short horror fiction?

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