Not your typical skylark…but very original & especially good
Follow Hillary Griffis’ skylark series of short stories only in e-Veritas.
‘The race is on through the grounds of this historic military college, not only to have the most unique skylarks but to be remembered forever. The cadets want to go down in history but will it be for their greatness and team work or for the danger they put themselves in? With only so many months to make an impression, the skylarks are bolder than ever before. Fun or dangerous, the cadets are skilled and unstoppable.’
Fourth years Gary Fields and Tray Beaulieu are walking back from downtown late on Friday night. After checking their arms at the Memorial Arch, Fields asks, “What do you think that girl meant when she said I had big ears?”
“Well, I think she meant that you have ears that aren’t exactly proportionate to your head…”
“Oh my god!” Fields stops
Beaulieu walks a few more paces and says, “Well, it’s not a big deal. But I think it was more that she didn’t want to give you her num-
“No, not that! Look!” Fields points towards the water on their right. They don’t see any water though, only fog. Fog that was engulfing the edges of the rocks next to them and spilling on to the ground. It was a full moon, but with the cloud coverage their only light source was the old campus lights on the path. With a yellow glow upon it, there in the water, they saw a ghost ship. Sailing quietly but steadily out towards the St-Lawrence River. An old ship, as if destroyed by the invisible forces sailing it, it was solemn and determined as it glided softly through the haze.
“Uhhh… Wow” says Fields.
“Yeah… Wow…” Beaulieu replies.
“You see it too, eh?”
“Well, I’m not just looking at the fog with my mouth open here.”
The cadets are silent for twenty-eight seconds before Fields turns around sharply and shuts his eyes. He walks five paces with his head down and his eyes shut and he stops suddenly.
“Is it still there?”
Beaulieu, who still hasn’t taken his eyes off of the ship says, “Yes.”
“I don’t feel drunk”
“I would be more surprised if you were drunk right now after the one beer you had than if I was actually seeing this thing that looks like a ghost ship in front of me.” Beaulieu says pointing out towards it.
“One beer… one…for real? No. Not real…Not real…” Fields mumbles. But before Beaulieu can reply, Fields screams a string of curse words and runs. Bolts, more like it.
“Hey!” Beaulieu screams at his friend who has abandoned him and starts running after him towards their dorm.
The two cadets run so fast and are so intent on their destination that they failed to hear the muffled laughter as they run down the curved road and pass the thicket of trees next to Fort Sauvé. And once they do pass, the muffled laughter turns into full out hysteria.
Six squadron members Nina Clay and Kyle Watson were on the ground rolling and laughing at the screams of the two cadets who just ran past. That would be the 8th and 9th cadets they had frightened that night; a perfect night for their unique Skylark. Fourth year Clay was the most brilliant at school when dealing with technology and with the help of first year Watson, a talented artist, they created a skylark fit for six squadron: a simulated ghost ship. While not exactly a pirate it was the ship the squadron imagined for their mascot. The success of the skylark was even greater thanks to the night’s eerie conditions as well as the access to dry ice which helped easily scared many of their classmates.