By Grace Augustine
Lake Superior the largest of the Great Lakes and under its surface lay hundreds of shipwrecks and interesting water creatures. Even today, lost souls and ghost ships wander the lake above and below its surface. Pop-up storms are not uncommon on this body of water and have sunk many vessels. Superior falls prey to the Ides yet again, as does an unsuspecting fisherman who is caught in the waves of the storm. Spiraling downward to the bottom of the lake, the man is near death’s door…until he is whisked away. Superior’s Elixir is an imaginative take on what life is like under the surface of this Grand Dame we call Lake Superior. Filled with fantasy and mysticism, you float along with the characters and learn a bit of history, too.
“The morning was like any other early autumn Minnesota morning: cold, gloomy, yet hopeful. Thankfully, winter hadn’t stretched her icy hands to freeze the lake.
Dave set out to catch his limit of lake trout. His friend, John, was busy and Terry, another friend, couldn’t be bothered, so he decided to go it alone. He readied his boat and set out to fill his empty cooler with the best tasting fish available…in his mind anyway.
Dave packed a smaller cooler of food, grabbed his bait, tackle, poles, and life jacket, and drove to the pier where his boat, Angel of the Lake, was moored.
The ropes soon were untethered from the tie-down, and Dave steered Angel from the harbor into the cold waters of Lake Superior. He was a master at navigating his vessel. It wasn’t the smallest in the harbor, and not the largest, either. It was just the right size for taking a few buddies and spending the day fishing and telling stories.
Dave had lived in the area most of his life and was accustomed to the frequent storms that blew in across the lake, especially this time of year. Minnesotans always chided that you could blink, and the weather would change. One always had to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
As he moved farther into the lake, he noted several larger vessels ahead of him in the distance. He wondered where they were headed. It was common to see these 20,000 to 60,000 ton ships that hauled taconite to the steel mills. There were others whose cargo bays were filled with grain that would eventually find its way to foreign ports around the world.
Dave knew enough to keep his distance from these big boys. They required lots of room to slow to a stop and could kick up water that would capsize a boat the size of his. In all his years of being on the water, he’d never had an accident, had never capsized, had never run into any bad weather. That all could change today.
The water reflected the gloominess of the day. The farther into the lake Dave drifted, the more the wind whipped murky five-foot waves on what normally was calm, clear water. The eerie sound of air rushing around him and the waves slapping the sides of the boat set him on edge.
Dave pulled on his life jacket. He knew he was in trouble. These pop up squalls on Lake Superior were normal. Living in Duluth most of his life, he’d heard many a tale about them, though he’d personally not experienced one, until this moment.
The winds grew fiercer, and sleet stung his face and hands as it pelted his open skin. The waves violently rocked Angel of the Lake side to side. In an effort to stave off the beating, Dave headed the bow of the boat at an angle into the waves, trying to make his way back to the shore. Water continued slapping over the edge of the bow and soon he was standing in knee-deep water that had to be eliminated.
After slowing his speed and still angling into the waves, Dave took the lid off the empty cooler and began scooping and dumping the water over the side of the boat. He wasn’t sure he would win this battle. The boat took on more and more water, and the next wave sent the Angel flying in the air to crash upside-down in the churning water.
Dave tried to reach the boat, knowing if he climbed on top, he could stay afloat; he’d survive this storm and get to shore. Now he knew why he never fished the lake alone.
The vessel succumbed to the countless waves crashing into it. Dave was lost. With his boat no longer there, nothing floated to the surface. It was just him against the fog and the angry Ides who’d stirred up the storm.
Wave after wave shoved Dave deeper into the frigid lake. It became difficult to keep his head above water. Shouting for help was useless. He was cold and tired of treading water, fighting the waves. A freighter passed within feet of him yet seemed to run right through him.
“This is crazy,” he uttered aloud, spitting water from his mouth. “I know I saw that ship.” He wiped a wet hand over his eyes, hoping to clear his vision. “Oh my God…it’s the Bannockburn!”
Those were the last words he uttered as he sank deeper in the lake, becoming another lost soul on Superior.”
*Giveaway is now closed.
*Giveaway is now closed.
Grace Augustine is giving away 3 ebook copies of her fabulous book
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Editor and award-winning novelist, Grace Augustine, grew up in Montana. The ideas for her books stem from her growing up years as well as the issues she has had to overcome along the way. "Most of my books deal with real life issues, overcoming adversity, maintaining a positive outlook, and Romance---of course!
Grace enjoys cool autumn days, old movies, acrylic painting and public speaking as an advocate for Multiple Sclerosis. Diagnosed with MS in June of 2003, she’d had to navigate many new normals.