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Life at Sea: Storms on the Atlantic

Sam felt like he lived in an aquarium. Like he was circling eastern Canada waiting for a bored child to tap on the glass. Under such scrutiny, his plans were a temptation to the fates instead of a way to define his possible future. He tried to keep his hand firmly on the tiller, but sudden rocks under the hull, treacherous currents, or cross breezes, constantly seemed to shift his course.

He decided he would change that when he began to fix an abandoned wreck of a boat near the marina. Once it was seaworthy, he would be Joshua Slocum sailing around the world, and the adventures he would wrote in his cramped journal would expand until all the books in his village library could not contain his endless travels. Months later, when the boat was marginally closer to righting, he met Jennie and like a rogue wave she turned him from his intended course.

A beautiful, clumsy, bespectacled mermaid of a girl, she was a confusing combination of rippled water and waves thrown up by a storm. The touch of her body suggested a horizon that no amount of sailing could have revealed, and he felt like the curse he'd been under since the day he was born had been lifted. Every tack has a reef, and with his fears thumping against the solid planks of his reality, he worried he would be cast adrift again, his hull leaking and not a ship in sight. He gripped the tiller and kept an eye on the water's surface.

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