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Thursday, June 2, 2011

From "Sink or Swim" by Stacy Juba

Sink or Swim
Personal trainer and former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak has just come in second on the show Sink or Swim and will be getting off a Tall Ship for the first time in three months:

Manhattan skyscrapers rose through the pearl gray mist, looming outlines ghostly. No more staring wistfully as the Atlantic Devil cut endless circles through the North Atlantic, passing Nova Scotia, Iceland and Greenland.

No more scrubbing toilets, chipping paint off bulkheads or climbing ratlines to furl a sail. After the wrap-up stint in New York, she was going home, back to Garrett, Massachusetts, a quiet town no one had ever heard of. She'd sleep in her warm bed instead of a wire-frame airless berth stacked three tiers high.

Cassidy wished she could hibernate in that bed. She cringed, picturing herself crawling back to her boss Spike and resuming her lowly role as assistant manager of his health club. Spike would crack plank jokes for weeks, while everyone else would feel sorry for her.

Then there was her kid brother, who idolized her, at least until now. He must be crestfallen.

Lacing her fingers, Cassidy leaned over the railing. Choppy gray water led to the Statue of Liberty. The lady's spiked crown, raised torch and flowing robes splintered Cassidy’s heart with dread.

As much as she craved the comforts of land, nothing could change the reality that she was going home a loser.

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