Sunday, March 3, 2013

the voyage of the morning star

"I will tell you all. Come closer - as I will not speak louder, my lungs scarred from the salted, I feel no movement of the lips at the present". I leaned forward, dropping my pad and pencil. "I found the ship deserted in latitude 38º 40´, longitude 17º 15´ W. It was silent, all was clear, the vessel had not been through a storm, watertight and good paint, blue deck, the sky too. Below, in the captain's cabin, I found her, Celeste, alive but unconscious, naked. I wrapped her in an Indian quilt I found neatly folded and sun dried, watching over her, deciding my next move. An hour passed. I glanced at the glass case holding the compass and brass chronometer, all seemed accurate. One last search above and nothing. Pacing the quarter-deck, and called to action by the ship's colours rhythmically snapping in the breeze, I started below to carry the woman away. But there she stood, both hands wrapping the cover, her hair matted, a look of horror and shock upon her white face. I went to her, catching her up into my arms as she fainted. Do you mind if I rest? I feel a breath".
"I will get you a glass, John".
"Aye. You're a gentle soul".
I touched his shoulder. He raised his head, recalling.
"Morning Star". He drank three-quarters. I was silent. He rose to leave, but I pleaded for him to stay by touching his arm. He looked at me kindly and nodded.
"I only noticed her marking as we drifted away. Hated to strand a beautiful vessel as she. I was above in the cold, late. Celeste was in and out below, hopelessly crying out, the victim of devilry one could only imagine. There were scattered moments when I cradled warm broth to her lips, and her black eyes shone familiarity. Like a daughter". He turned away and swallowed hard. "Magnetic deviations made my compass useless. Took me awhile to align by the stars and I finally retired, completely exhausted. I awakened by the touch of her small hand upon my cheek. Lost complete track of time. She whispered close to my ear something about dastardly pirates leaving her alone to die. At that very second we heard heavy foot fall above and she put her hand over my mouth".
I had been sporadically admiring a sword and scarlet shield decorated with a tassel of hair, the most prominent decoration of an otherwise damp and drab pub, but turned to him again when he mentioned pirates. His eyes were bright, nearly flooded with tears.
He wiped his mouth and grimaced in pain. "A brave lass. The part the constable never believed. She pushed me back down, taking my revolver and matters into her own. The ball came to rest in the chest of the third man, having blasted large holes out of the first two. Quite an extraordinary shot in the dark, don't you think"?
I swallowed hard then.
"And she stood before me laughing, the gun smoking. The first two went over easy of course, but as I was tossing the man with the ball in his chest, he grabbed me by the throat and we went overboard together, his mouth full of blood. I peeled him off easy enough but", he leaned forward close and whispered, "I don't know how to swim".
I laughed through my nose.
"I took in quite a bit of water." And he was laughing too, struggling to halt harsh coughing. We sat quietly and sipped our drinks.
"Who saved you?"
He began to answer the obvious, but was distracted, looking over my right shoulder towards the front door. He rose from the table and I turned, following his eyes. A beautiful young woman standing about five foot two or three, shoulder length straight sun-bleached streaked chestnut hair, pushed from one side of her delicately freckled face, stood on the lowest cement step down from the door, hesitantly searching the shadowy faces of the debauched and lonely, until she spotted the whiskered face of my companion. I stood as she embraced him, John not sure exactly what to do with his arms.

art: Shipwrecked
by TheFoxAndTheRaven


Blogger Kathe W. said...

wow that is quite the story!

3/03/2013 2:37 PM  
Blogger Berowne said...

If ever anyone needed a lifesaver... :-)

3/03/2013 2:57 PM  
Blogger Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done indeeed.....thanks for sharing all your words

3/04/2013 11:22 PM  
Blogger ~T~ said...

What an adventure! I could hear the pirate's footfall, too. Great characters!

3/07/2013 1:11 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Oh! That last line...

3/07/2013 2:24 PM  

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