THE GIRL WITH THE DRAWINGS
It’s just before 10 p.m. Guests at coastal bars gobble up their clams and shrimps. Two couples at two tables look at each other lovingly, while shyly taking sips from the white wine on tap. At one of the tables, a girl was engrossed in the drawings she was drawing at that moment, so you would think she moved to some other, magical world. Three fishermen stand on the pier, vainly guarding their hooks in the murky waters. Children run around their feet, using the last moments before their drunken parents put them to bed. A cheerful group of a dozen young people, sitting in a circle on the deserted beach, loudly laughs. Not far from them, a woman spread out, as she’s basking in the new moon.
“Look at the ship! Look at the ship!” shouts one of the panting children around the fishermen’s feet. No one pays attention to him. Everyone is used to the flashy tourist boats that sail near the coast at this time of night. Some of them are decorated with fluorescent lights like Christmas trees. Various and loud music mixes from their decks.
“Look at the ship! Look at the ship!” the child shouted. The other children stop and stare at the dark horizon.
The girl with the drawings suddenly emerges from her mysterious world and stares at the horizon. “Wow, the ship,” she whispers and begins to cry. At that moment most of the guests in the bar raise their heads and look out to sea. And as if on command, everyone gets up and stands at the edge of the restaurant terrace. And they look in admiration at the vastness of the sea.
And there, off the beaten track of tourist boats, floats a ship as if lit by flames.
“What an illumination! What a marvel of technology,” commented the wise gray-haired man with a pipe in his left hand.
“I want you to take me on this ship. I want to be on it,” a girl, covered in a transparent lace robe, through which her bikini is clearly visible, sweetly addresses the man in shorts standing next to her. “Of course, honey, of course,” her partner answers without much eagerness or enthusiasm.
“They are having a night swimming,” observes someone with good eyesight. And indeed, if you concentrate better, you can spot dark shadows jumping from the ship. But the ship does not stand still. It moves slowly, but it still moves. And it leaves red marks on the dark water.
The fascination with the unusual ship soon ends. People return to their wines, fish, and octopus. Fishermen check their hooks in vain.
Only the girl with the drawings is sobbing inconsolably. “Oh, the ship. Oh, the ship.”
That same night, the local television broadcasts the news that a ship sailing on the route from port A to port B has caught fire. There are 14 victims, and 17 people are found missing.
The next day was declared a day of mourning. The tourist ships did not sail. There was no music in the bars.
Only the girl continued to draw her imaginary world in silence.