San Diego, CA

On a beautiful clear day under a stiff breeze Montegar, a forty foot sailboat, rigged and equipped for bluewater sailing, slips into San Diego Bay past the Harbor Police office on the tip of Shelter Island.

Silas Tufts, forty-six, handsome, weathered and hardened, sits behind the helm. His movements sure, he looks only ahead.

Beside him, Beth Portman, recently eighteen, stands easy, hand on his shoulder. Exuding confidence, she, too, only looks ahead. They had no need to talk. They’d lived and sailed together for four years, they each knew what to do. And after the events of that morning, what was there to say?

No use looking back. There’s no family or friends to wave goodbye to. This is not our home anymore, and it’s likely we’ll never be back. The last four years Death prepared Silas and I for this day, for this morning. It’s said that bad memories prepare you for life. If so, we’re ready. If I hadn't met Silas, I wouldn't have any memories any different than an ordinary eighteen-year-old girl. Even so, if I hadn't met Silas, there’s a good chance I’d be dead. Funny how things work out.”

Beth Portman

Death takes many forms: The Grim Reaper in all its many aspects, a mythological beast, one of four horsemen, a cloaked demon, an old woman with empty eyes. Or, an Albatross, large and dark, following you, watching over you, guiding you for its own enigmatic purpose.

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