Young Tomás shook the older man, “Padre!”
Then Tomás looked over the bow of the boat. The line of darkness was approaching faster. “Padre! Snap out of it, the men need you now.”
The older man looked out at the Pacific Ocean as if he had dementia. His eyes where as dark as the ‘rollers’ approaching them, and just as troubled.
The ‘rollers’ would come with the storm and the rain. Wave after wave would pound the ‘Minnow.’ ‘Rollers’ could easily swamp their lifeless motorboat.
Tomás asked him, “What about María? Tell me about her? You must help us if you will ever see her again.”
“María?” Spark jumped in his eyes, he looked around wildly. Everywhere was the Pacific. The angry storm moving towards them.
The older man put his hands on his knees and took a deep breath, “God if ever I needed you, I need you now.” He pushed down on his knees as he stood up.
A couple of the men hugged each other.
“Father, you must not go crazy like that, you scare the men. And you scare me.”
“Please call me Alex. I am not a Priest.”
“You are our Holy Man.”
Alex pursed his lips and nodded his head, “I guess I can understand that. First, we must get the men rowing. We have to stay with the wave, or the storm can swamp us.”
As if Poseidon himself was sending his exclamation mark from the deeps of ‘Davie’s Locker,’ a roller caught the poor boat and lifted it like a child’s toy. Slowly the boat listed to her right side.
Alex yelled, “Row on the right side, hard.”
Tomás translated into Spanish.
The men fought the Pacific the ‘roller’ they were riding. The Minnow straightened into the wave. The very top of the wave crashed over the bow.
One of the men chanted in Spanish, ‘One, two, three, row.’
The men were coming back to life. Like a downtrodden sports team when one moment they think they have lost the game, and the next moment a turnover brings the team back to life and on to victory.