Listen to the Madman
Dedication: To God, my friends, my family, and anyone else who reads this.
The boat maker looks proudly at his work. He had spent a lot of time on it. A lot of people said that he was crazy, for building this boat. This was his beauty though, the biggest boat he had ever made. It was actually one of the very first boats he had ever made, and he was glad that it was coming along so beautifully. This seems to be the best thing he has done in awhile.
His wife comes out and checks on him. "N----- How is it going?" She brings him a glass of cider to drink. It is a hot day, and she doesn't want him to dehydrate. He has spent a lot of time on this project of his. He has been working on for almost a year, and most of their neighbors and friends have called them crazy, and have stop communicating with them. If she was a lesser woman, she may have left him, too. She has decided to stay by him though, and let him have his vision. She is lonely sometimes, he spends a lot of his time out here, and their three sons though supportive of their dad, always have something to do. They don't have enough time to help him finish the project. "Thanks." He says, taking the cup from her and taking a hearty sip, almost draining the contents of the mug.
"You should come inside, and finish this later." She pleads. She knows he is dedicated to this project but he has been working so hard on this, forgetting about everything else. Things like spending time with his family, eating a meal at a table, and even lovemaking seemed to be out of the question right now. He was always too tired, too dedicated, that he had to make sacrifices, and they could only accept them.
"I can't right now, I need to finish this. I know I have been neglecting you lovey, but I have to finish this soon. It will be used soon."
The man puts a cloth over his hands, and pulls out the bread from the oven. His mate had almost burned the bread again. He shouldn't let him cook, but he insists he helps around the house. He was glad he came in from the garden on time to catch it. He sets it on the table, where his mate is sleeping, and his head resting on his art supplies. "R----- Will you get up, it is the middle of the day, and you shouldn't be sleeping, especially when you are cooking."
The man gets up quickly, his dark hazel eyes dazed. He shakes his mop of brown hair, staring at the man in front of him. "Sorry…I burned the bread again, didn't I, T.?"
"I caught it this time, you almost did though?" The man sits in the other chair. "Guess what I saw outside though?"
"What, the old man's boat?" R laughs, a hearty laugh. "I am surprised he hasn't given up on it. Plus, he is so secretive, it can't be very impressive. I can't even believe he think there is going to be water for him to sail on. What is it going to come from the sky?"
"I don't know, but , I didn't see his boat, but his yard is starting to look like a zoo…I guess he has decided that he needs to have animals on his boat ride as well… I don't understand how that poor woman puts up with him."
She sits in front of a warm fire, sighing. She doesn't like this eating dinner alone, and now that all the animals have started appearing in the yard. She is worried. She doesn't understand how a man could put so much time into building a boat, and taking care of all the animals.
He goes off on walks now, and comes home hours later, and animals follow him home. She is surprised that even her sons still are talking to them. The animals have decided that they are the controllers of the house, and have taken up much of the rooms, even their bedroom. But it isn't like N. comes anymore, all his days are devoted to other things. He spends the mornings going on these walks, and bringing back the animals, or tending the animals that are here, and all night he spends finishing the boat. She seems to hear his tools at all hours of the night, and she wonders if he sleeps anymore.
She has started to leave food outside for him, because it seems that with all the animals, she has to do her share of work tending to them. She isn't sure if he even eats it anymore. One of the goats, and some of the other animals, seems to eat the things she puts out, half the time. She can't tell him to come inside to eat, and to sleep, he won't listen to her. He tells her he knows what he is doing, and when everything is done, it will be a time for rest, and to eat properly. He says that for that he can run on the energy of almost having this complete, since he knows the time to use this is near. Only a few more weeks, and everything will be done.
Her sons come over to help tend the animals as well, but they seem distant. They are finding it hard to live normally in the community they seem to be shunned wherever they go. S----- The oldest was having his house broke into on a regular basis. True, this was a crime area, but they usually didn't tag things like "You're father is crazy" "N----- is bringing this whole place down, and you are helping him." And the other sons J------, and H----- seemed to have the problem with being ridiculed everywhere they went. They all are still supported of their dad, they are just as confused as their mother is. They wonder if maybe due to the age of their father that he may be developing some mental disorder.
She hasn't even stepped outside in a few weeks, for fear of something awful happening to her. Or worse, those sad looks that everyone seems to have plastered on their face. The look that says, you poor creature, you must have great courage or cowardice to stay with such a fool. She knows deep down that it doesn't really matter what other people think about her, but it is weird feeling like a foreigner in a country she has lived all her life. She feels like an outcast.
A few weeks later, T-----comes running into the house that he shares with R------. "They are boarding that boat. It is hilarious. I don't know how they think they are going to sail, there is no body of water around for days."
"So, you mean they actually are going to use it, that is hilarious, and did they leave the animals there."
"No, they are loading them first."
"What it is going to be a zoo on water…I have to come with you to check that out."
They run outside, almost pushing each other as they both have to see this circus sideshow in the yard next door. The animals are walking patiently into the boat. The boat looks very stable, but seems very out of place. It sits calmly in front of a sky filled with approaching black clouds.
"Do you think he could have built a bigger boat?" T chuckles, his words full of sarcasm, he can't believe this. This has to be the attraction of the millennium. He notices that other people have also come out to watch this spectacular site, of the crazy man loading in his animals.
The animals seemed to be well trained are loading into the boat very quickly, in a perfect straight line, in pairs for most of the animals. It takes only thirty minutes before they are all in, the giraffes with their long necks being the last animals in. N----- And his family begins to get on the boat as well, as all his neighbors stand still watching laughing hysterically.
R-------getting bored decides to head back in, when he feels a drop of water on his head. He looks up, quickly to see where it is coming from, and notices the clouds from before are directly over them all now. They open up, letting out oceans of water.
R-----, and T----- , and the rest of the neighbors begin running to Noah's boat for protection as their simple houses are not going to keep out this water. They notice the door on the boat is closed though, and some eager neighbors begin to pound on the doors. "Let us in, let us in, you sorcerer, you brought this water to us, you have to let us in!!! LET US IN !!!" Their voices feeble, and sobbing.
"I can't open the door, the Lord has sealed it." They hear back from the inside of the boat.
R------soaked to the bone, begins to sob. He has stopped running and has looked down at the ground, the water has come up to his knees, and he isn't sure what to do. He sinks to the ground. "We should have listened to him, he wasn't crazy at all."