Chain Reaction

Louise Cooper

Everyone was enjoying the cruise. The weather was warm and sunny, the sea was calm, and the passengers hadn’t complained about anything, which was unusual. Even the chief engineer wasn’t bad-tempered, which was very unusual. Until, one morning, the ship suddenly stopped.

‘What’s going on?’ roared the captain from the bridge. The jolt had spilled his morning coffee all over his uniform.

‘Don’t know, sir!’ the third mate shouted back. ‘But I think we’ve snagged our propeller on something!’

The chief engineer hastily shut down the engines (which did make him badtempered), and the trouble was investigated. The propeller was snagged, all right. An enormous chain was wrapped around it, and if the engineer had not acted so quickly the blades would have been mashed beyond repair.

‘What idiot left a thundering great chain drifting around in the sea?’ the captain growled.

‘Don’t know, sir,’ the third mate said again, gloomily. ‘But it’s going to take some clearing.’

The captain sighed and looked around. It could have been worse, he supposed. The sea was dotted with small islands fringed by white beaches on which waves broke gently. The sun shone from a cloudless sky. If the purser organised a few deck games, then with any luck the crew could free the propeller before the passengers started grumbling.They set to work, and by lunchtime they had untangled the propeller. But the captain was curious. The freed chain disappeared down into the sea, with no end in sight. Who on earth had put it there, and why? He wanted to find out, and another hour wouldn’t hurt.

‘Haul it in,’ he ordered the second mate (the third mate was off duty by now).

‘Let’s find out if it’s attached to anything. If it isn’t, I’ll complain to the local coastguards—it’s a hazard to shipping!’

The crew started to heave the chain aboard. It came easily enough, but there was a lot of it. Half an hour passed, and they were still hauling. Then suddenly the chain became harder to winch in.

‘I think we’re nearly there, sir!’ the second mate panted.

The captain did not reply. He was staring at the nearest island. Strange… the beach looked much bigger than before. And the low cliffs weren’t low any more, but seemed to have grown.

‘Sir!’ bawled the second mate. ‘Come and look at this!’

The captain hurried to the winch. The crew had reached the end of the chain. Attached to it, bumping and clanging against the ship’s side as it was heaved up, was a circular object about five metres across. The captain frowned. It reminded him of something. In fact he had a thing just like it, though much, much smaller, in the bath in his private cabin. It was…

A plug?

He looked at the islands again. The beaches were getting bigger. The cliffs were getting higher. As if the sea level was dropping…

‘Oops…’ said the captain.


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14 комментариев к “Chain Reaction (Louise Cooper)
  1. Ilya

    Couldn’t they see earlier it’s an anchor?

    • Марина Борисова

      It wasn’t an anchor, it was a huge plug, like the one we use in the bath.

  2. Otabek Uzbek

    aha

  3. nata

    How could it happen, that the plug was there in the sea? Who could use it and how, before it was left there?
    There is something in the story I cannot understand. Which point makes me laugh, smile or have any other emotion? Please, help me.

    • Марина Борисова

      Это такая странная история, в ней не надо искать правдоподобия или какого-то глубинного смысла — просто странная история с неожиданным концом.

  4. valentin

    марина,я затрудняюсь перевести thundering great chain drifting around the sea помогите пожалуйста.

    • Марина Борисова

      «Какой идиот оставил громадную цепь плавать в море?!» — прорычал капитан.
      Примерно так :)

  5. Аноним

    здесь очень много рассказов с нелогичным концом…. публикуйте нормальные, каждый раз переспрашивать приходится что есть что… плюс essay не получается написать, т.к рассказчик и тот(та), который(ая) публикует сами с трудом доводят смысл рассказа читателям

  6. a3amat

    А где мр3 вариант?

    • Марина Борисова

      Этот рассказ без аудио. Mp3 есть только для тех рассказов. рядом с названиями которых есть зелёный значок.

  7. валентин

    марина, в самом деле разве годится 5 метровая в диаметре пробка для ванны? Чушь какая-то !

  8. валентин

    Марина,что-то интернет не выдаёт мне Jaws Петера Бенчли. Если можно то хотя бы сокращённый вариант из первоисточника. Спасибо.

    • Марина Борисова

      К сожалению, у меня тоже нет этого романа. Советую поискать на торрентах, там должен быть.

  9. valentin

    не нашёл. спасибо.

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