Author Topic: Surfer Pirates And The Battle Of Tahiti - Chapter 1 - Part 1 - 1172 words  (Read 276 times)

Offline PhilipCK

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Noa rides one more wave, all the way to the beach, and steps off his surfboard. This is his favourite time of the day, and not just because he can surf in solitude. It is when infinite shades of orange and gold burst across the horizon, accompanied by an eruption of birdsong, from the jungle. His mum says that Apollo himself orchestrates this symphony of lights, and Noa rarely misses it.

His rugged red van is waiting on the road, with his creaky canoe fastened on the roof, ready for their final trip to the market. It is not uncommon for kids in his community to do drive or do grown up things, in general. It’s simply a necessity. A lot of them, never continue past primary school, instead they start working, as farmers, builders or fishermen, which is what Noa did, after his dad disappeared in the sea.

He secures his board next to the canoe, and drives off. On his right, the morning clouds, on top of the vivid green Tahitian mountains, start to disperse. He rests his arm on the open window, enjoying the view of the ocean, on his left, and the cool breeze. Since last week, big swells have been arriving from the south and the iconic wave of his village, Teahupo’o, booms like thunder. That break is the reason his beach is one of the hottest surfing spots in the world. And it is key to Noa’s impossible plan, which begins today.

He remembers the morning it took shape, a few days ago, when he came back from fishing, stormed into their hut and found his mum, Rona, mending his spare net.

“Good morning,” she said. “I took a few hours off, so that we can have breakfast together.”
Noa threw his fishing equipment on the floor, climbed into his hammock and folded his arms.

 “No use mending that,” he said, sharply. “There are no fish left.”

“What’s the matter, my love?” said Rona, and put down what she was doing.

“The sea is crowded with those new boats. I mean, I paddle out in grandad’s canoe, what chance do I have?”

“Yes, I’ve seen them. They all belong to that horrible company, the Mann Group. Looks like, it wants to push every other fisherman aside.”

“Well, it’s working. Not only I caught nothing today, but also one of those boats almost drowned me. They can’t even see me,” said Noa, and got up, walked to the edge of their small hut and banged his fist on one of the pillars. He then stayed still, looking at the sea.

Rona also got up, went next to him and put her arm around his shoulders.

“It’s going to be fine, Noa,” she said. “Forget about fishing, there are other things you could do. Maybe get a job in town. They always look for hands in the docks’ warehouses.”

Noa shook his head and muttered, “I’m not getting trapped inside four walls.”

Rona sighed and said, “It’s OK, darling, we’ll figure it out.”

She was trying to find something cheerful to say, when Noa turned and grabbed her arms, his eyes wide open with excitement.

“I’ve got it!” he said, “I know what I’ll do, Mum! In fact, I should have done it earlier.”

“Well, don’t keep me waiting.”

“I’ll surf in the Grand Prix! I’m thirteen, so it’ll be the Boys category.”

The most prestigious, and most dangerous, event in the World Surf Championship, is the Teahupo’o Grand Prix. It humbles even the best surfers and the contestants’ number one aim is to come out of it unscathed.

“The Grand Prix?,” said Rona, in disbelief. “We can’t afford the entry fee!”

“I know,” said Noa, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Right. There is a way. I will sell my canoe. No, that won’t be enough. I will sell my van too!”

“Noa, be serious. That will leave us with nothing.”

“Only for a few days, until I win the event.”

“And if you don’t?”

“Mum, I am the best surfer in Tahiti, for my age, and I have been surfing that wave all my life,” he said and paused to look at his mum, who remained still with folded arms. “You and dad took me surfing ever since I was a baby. I could stand up on the board before I could even walk. Remember when I caught my first wave, on my own?”

Rona nodded.

“That was the best day of my life! How old was I?”

“I think you were five,” said Rona, and a little smile returned to her face. “We spent hours together in the sea, the three of us.”

“We did, and, now, I rarely see you anymore. By the time you come back from your night shift, I am on my way to the market. Things will never change if I remain a fisherboy and you a cleaner. That’s why I must win the Grand Prix,” said Noa, in a determined tone, pointing at the wave.

Rona thought about it, rationaly. “I just can’t see how you can do it,” she said. “Yes, you are the best amongst your friends, but Grand Prix winners have incredible advantages. Their parents provide them with the best surfboards, the best training, the best everything. Take the current Boys champion, for example, that awful brat, Stuart Mann. His dad is Gordon Mann, the billionaire. Have you ever seen a local take part? We don’t belong in that world.”

“Someone has to be first.”

Rona went back to the net, folded it and put it in its basket. “Let’s go out,” she said.
They walked across the rocky shoreline and, for a while, they stayed silent. Rona had a smaller basket with her and, every now and then, she stopped and collected mussels, with her knife.

“OK, let’s say you do win,” she finally said. “This is only one event in the World Championship. There are twelve in total and they are everywhere; USA, France, Indonesia, South Africa. How will we travel around the world?”

Noa had the answer. “When the big sponsors see me, they will all want to sign me. You can be my agent, Mum.”

Rona took a deep breath, preparing to reply, but paused. She thought about what her grandmother, Leilani, told her, before he was born. Leilani was an oracle and a healer. People from across Polynesia visited her for advice and counsel, and, if they were lucky, for one of her glimpses into the future. When Rona asked her about her baby’s fortune, she replied that his name would become known around the world and his adventures would be likened to Odysseus’. They will sing about him, for a thousand years, she said. Hero or not, one thing was certain, thought Rona, he didn’t lack stubbornness.

“OK, you’re right,” she said, putting her doubts aside. “You’re so right. It’s an incredibly stupid thing to do, and you must be crazy, but if anyone can pull this off, it’s you!”

Offline nosuchmember

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Re: Surfer Pirates And The Battle Of Tahiti - Chapter 1 - Part 1 - 1172 words
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 11:54:13 AM »
I enjoyed reading your story, PhillipCK.     Keep writing......
Jan