Pain Room

The Adventures of Augustine

Augustine is working on a story for you!

He wrote; I’ve changed my mind about Jonah, and about my mother because of a strange adventure, which occurred to me on the Island of Salamis.

I was traveling back from x when we ran into heavy weather. I had taken a chance on a ship that would have me home sooner, but whose crew were superstitious apostates. When the storm blew up they decided I was the cause because they didn’t know me from Adam. I was heading below decks looking for safety. I was picked up under my arms by two brutes, with a third grabbing my legs. In a dozen short steps they had me leeward-side* with one back swing they swung me forward, deaf to my promise to still the waters with prayer. They threw me overboard. I lost my breath as soon as I hit the stormy sea, going under then realizing I was breathless. I said a quick prayer, struggled out of garments but one, and made for the top of the ocean threatening my very life.

When I surfaced, I gathered as much air as I could with out swallowing sea water in which I might likely still drown. For a moment I made an effort to walk on the water like Jesus did, praying in my head and exhaling very slowly, but sank. Less quickly than a stone perhaps but still going down. I continued to walk in the water and used my arms to keep my head above water. I could see nothing that might help me. I gave my soul over to the Lord and said I’d meet him in heaven.

I took my last breath and let my body be tossed about in the ocean, I thought like an empty cask, making me wish for some wine. Instead I swallowed water, trying to keep it out of my lungs. From habit, I opened my mouth to spit, only to take in more water. I imagined my Lord God must have thought I had learned what he wanted to teach me about humility,  but he was far from finished my lesson.

I’ve just read this paragraph I’ve written and I can hardly believe it myself. A big fish, just like Jonah, swallowed me! I know it’s hard to believe, you’d think Yahweh would have enough imagination not to repeat miracles. There I go again. I heaved, my mouth opening in gladness and praise for the Lord and air. Fresh air would have been better, but I was still alive.

Rubbing my eyes, and covering my nose, I looked about with only the slightest luminescence coming from the narrowing chamber I assumed was the bottom back end of the fish. Maybe it wasn’t just a big fish but a sea monster. I followed the light but could see it would be necessary to kneel, perhaps even crawl on my stomach if I wanted to leave with what I had been walking in. Never knew a big fish would expel excrement like men.

Turning around I saw a large, huge amount of disgusting fecal matter come toward me, I turned again, choosing to go to the light. Maybe that’s how the Lord will help me out of this predicament. In the twinkling of an eye, I was sliding out of the monster. I was so repelled by the monsters effluvia I held my breath an extraordinarily long time. As the Lord would have it I grabbed onto what turned out to be an empty cask! I know! Hard to believe! The Lord works in many and unfathomable ways! I will continue this story of adventure tomorrow.

Author’s fact checked: Lee-side; the adjective leeward describes an area or side of a boat that’s facing away from the wind. If you move to the leeward side of your sailboat, you’re shifting to the sheltered, downwind side.

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