Farmer Nick stood before the Guilty County... Excuse me, I keep doing that over and over again. I meant to say Farmer Nick stood before the Guilford County Commissioners, pleaded his case, and begged for more time to pay his back taxes and avoid foreclosure but the decision was unanimous: Farmer Nick had just 30 days to pay all his back taxes or the Guilty... I mean, Guilford County Tax Department would take Spring Fed Farm and force Nick and his children to leave.
Of course the local News & Fishwrap wasted no time in running a sad story about the foreclosure of Spring Fed Farm and by the middle of the next morning every leech... ah, I mean, real estate developer in 15 counties was looking over Nick's farm like vultures circling dying road kill. Some of them were even flying around in airplanes or using unmanned drones to get a better look at the property since Farmer Nick had expressly forbid all of them from coming on the property.
For a time there was hope as someone set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Spring Fed Farm but then it turned out to be a fraudulent attempt to play on people's sympathies and Nick never collected a dime. To this day they still don't know who did it but thankfully everyone got their money back.
It appeared that despite everyone's best efforts, Farmer Nick and his family would soon find themselves homeless and separated, perhaps never to see each other again.
The storm was getting worse and the yacht was still taking on water. Julia had never before been on a yacht, much less piloted a yacht but she knew it had to be done if the beautiful ship was to be saved for the return of the handsome sailors she dreamed of meeting. Julia made her way to the bridge. On ships, the bridge is what they call the room where the captain and pilot or helmsman work to control the ship. It's on the bridge that the ship's wheel can be found. So too are the many gauges, switches, and various controls necessary to operate a modern sailing vessel.
While Julia had no previous experience with ships, boats, engines, or anything man made, everything her ancestors, both mermaid and human, had ever known, was locked in her DNA. While she had never before learned to read she looked at all the instruments, switches, controls, and gauges and was instantly and instinctively able to read what each one was. Quickly she located the necessary switches and controls to start the engine, engage the twin propellers and bring the engine up to speed. "Ahead full!" Julia shouted!
But the ship only moved a few feet before pulling tightly against its anchor and rolling towards the sea! "Full stop!" Julia shouted as she pulled the throttle all the way back, shut down the engines, and made her way to the anchor. "I'm a mermaid, not a fish. Even flounder know you can't go when you're hooked. How could I have forgotten the stupid anchor?"
Julia tried to use the winch to pull up the anchor but each time she tried, the winch pulled the ship down instead of pulling the anchor up. "Oh no," Julia shouted, "the anchor is stuck! What do I do now?"
Julia looked around for something to cut the anchor rope but couldn't find a thing. All the while the ship was taking on more and more water as the waves continued to crash on top of the ship. Finally, with no other options that she could see, Julia began chopping at the rope with her tail fins! "Ouch!" Julia shouted, "That's going to leave a bruise! If men only knew all we mermaids go through for them maybe they wouldn't be so hard to catch."
To be continued...