The Cult

Travel fiction by Adam J. Cheshier.

Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

“Here’s to new beginnings. Knowing sometimes they’ll bring the good and other times they’ll bring the bad. Everyone is ugly as they are beautiful and as long as intentions stay — for God’s sake, as long as they stay half-way pure, we’ll make it through. None of us are perfect — we couldn’t even touch perfect with a ten-foot pole. We’ll keep getting pissed, we’ll keep pulling gags, we’ll keep doing things that aren’t good for us or our health, but we’ll keep living because that’s the only thing we got. Our right to live and each other; that’s all we’ve got. This isn’t a goddamn 100-meter dash; this is the long-haul and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the motherfuckers in this room. Here’s to us — because we know damn well we’ll love ’til the end — no matter when that happens. So, let’s travel and hide it from the world. Let’s live love stories with no endings. And let’s make sure our time left counts to fucking Hell.”

Chills tingled my arm to the tips of my fingers. Bohdi sat down but no one could speak after him. He always had the sensational words to cut through everyone. The power of the pause said everything nobody could. A moment in time when everyone tries to collect their thoughts.

It was the biggest moment most of us had ever lived. Not because of any particular event or life-altering realization; although all of our lives had been dramatically altered. The moment grew without a special reason. It was the moment we realized the impact the days would have on the rest of our lives. For good, bad, and the ugly. What happened in those days remains with us forever in our conscious and our memories.

This is the tale everyone wishes they had, but those of us who know it best know nobody ever wanted to tell it. I tell you it now because I have to. The secret is already out of the bag and no matter how bad we want to rope it back in, our secrets will remain open and vulnerable until the full truth is known.

So, it is without pleasure or guilt I start this story. It’s not for the fame, though, some will assume that’s my desire. If I had a choice, I would keep this story short because that’s how it happened. Our words were never meant to leave our circle but things became scarcely credible far quicker than we could realize and the only way to exonerate any of us is to be blunt about how everything unfolded.

I apologize prior to anyone who feels our morals and character disrespected or commandeered their own righteousness. This is simply the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And it starts at sea.


I was 27-years-old and going through a find-your-own-path identity crisis as I cruised around the South China Sea alone.

I wasn’t alone, though. Only figuratively. It turns out, there are thousands of us who, after a few failed attempts at a complacent life, go rogue usually with a ticket to some exotic world location. For me, it was responding to an ad in which a French man was recruiting a crew of volunteers from half-way around the world to help him man his yacht and sail the South China Sea.

Little did I know this French man would turn out to be the most notorious person I’ve known — all with my help, too.

. . . to be continued.

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