Sean awoke breathless, his body covered with tiny beads of sweat. It was pointless to regain sleep now. He had lost this battle, falling asleep meant he would be haunted once again by the overpowering nightmare that had replaced his insomnia. The nightmares began two years ago after both his parents had been lost at sea. Somehow it was always the same he was always drowning in slow motion as if in a movie. A painful sting on his lungs and the taste of saltwater as it entered his throat. Then blood red eyes stare back at him – yet somehow he always escaped the horrid dream by waking up to his reality.
Two years ago – his father set his last sail accompanied by his Mother. She had insisted on going with him. Assuring everyone that Sean and Alyssa the oldest of her kids would take care of things while they were gone. It was pointless she set her mind to do something it was bound to happen.
“The kids will be fine. They will go to school and Sean will look after them if we are late. He's old enough you know” The gentle voice of his Mother was livid in his mind.
That night was cold and cruel. The chilling wind made an ominous sound as it entered the front windows. Sitting by a fire, worried and scared Sean understood what had to be done. His sisters Alyssa and Amanda, the twins Amy and Andrew all awaited Sean’s final decision.
Amy started crying holding on to her sisters while Andrew placed a hand on Sean’s shoulder. Assuring him that he was with him no matter what. They were alone, Orphans. It was up to them to stay together and beat all the odds life was about to throw at them. This was their last night as children.
“I know this is hard to take in, but we have to face reality. If Mom and Dad are not back by now – something must have happened to them” Sean said in a cold yet sour tone.
“How could you say that Sean, what if they get home tomorrow?” It was Amy sobbing clearly in appalled.
“Amy you know Dad would never stay a night at sea knowing we are alone in this house. Something did happen and it can’t be good” Andrew said a bit agitated at his sister.
“Don’t you have feelings at all?” Alyssa scowled at both boys. “This is Mom and Dad we are talking about, do you know how long he has been a sailor?” She was appalled and her voice was as sharp as a knife.
The consternation in that room was clearly escalating slowly. The girls were perched conjointly on the sofa while the boys paced back and forth. Sobs and tears followed by arguments without resolution. It went on and on for hours until they all gave in to sleep.