Short Stories

SS Heroes- A Human Odyssey (Part 1)

It was a regular day aboard the SS Heroes luxury liner. SS Heroes was the fastest vessel of its kind and every day it seemed to go faster and faster. It had been travelling on this aimless course for decades. It had an enormous capacity of one million passengers. Days seamlessly blurred into nights in the middle of the ocean and it was rumoured that the ship never docked on land.

As the SS Heroes charged forward, the passengers awoke from their deep sleeps and wandered into the main dining hall for their first meal of the day. Every meal on this ship was decadent, including breakfast. Eggs, sausages, baby greens, toast, and bacon were regular items and of course, coffee. Meals were served to people individually by SS Heroes staff, identifiable with their golden badge and forked black coats. Relaxing piano music played over the loudspeakers; it was a nice background for the hum of tired voices, clinking of silverware, and jangling of chains.

I sat down facing the staff person of the day, Jorge, and was spoon fed my meal as usual. Each bite was scrumptious. I looked around at the others eating their meals and smiling, sometimes making casual conversation with neighbors or staff. It was all very peaceful. Jorge grimaced a little and said ¨Have a good one, Koa¨ then took my plate away and towed his long line of chains back to the kitchen.

Lately, I had some big itches that I couldn’t scratch and I don’t mean the inevitable ones you get when you wear a straight jacket. Every passenger on board this vessel has to wear a straight jacket for their safety. They all come in different sizes, brands, and colours. My straight jacket was fairly comfortable, like a blue blanket that wrapped around my torso and held my arms tightly behind my back. It was a bit tight in the shoulders but I had gotten used to it. The itches I had were of the mental variety. I had a lot of unanswered questions and most people on board the SS Heroes got used to this. For instance, no one knew who the captain was and we were forbidden to visit the deck. I also mentioned we had no idea where the vessel was headed and we didn’t know when or if we would be getting off. Most people had just accepted the whole scenario! But not I.

Curiosity was getting the better of me and since I knew the staff wouldn’t answer my questions, I began to wander the SS Heroes after breakfast. I looked for signs of anything that would lead me to some clues…

¨SS Heroes- A Human Odyssey¨ is a metaphorical short story written as three articles. The main character, Koa, is trapped on the luxury liner SS Heroes and is beginning to question their surroundings. The passengers are along for the ride and many have accepted the somewhat suspicious circumstances. SS Heroes represents Earth and the passengers represent humanity, but who is the captain and what are the signs of danger on Earth? Koa (the reader) is faced with a difficult question: ¨How do I move forward when I am beginning to sense the urgency in this situation and everyone else seems content to play along? (…or are they?)¨.


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