Monday, May 8, 2017

Difficultatibus Affici

     Holding his suspenders in a light grip, Captain Decker stood on the stairwell outside the pilot house. From his vantage point, he could see down the river and up the embankment which led to the little shotgun cabin that was their port of call. Not that there was anything to see, dusk having faded to twilight. He stared up the shadowy embankment to the invisible treeline. Any time now, one of his crew would pop out, a lone torch. Who? he wondered. Doesn’t matter, he mused, soon as they’re onboard, we set sail. Waiting wasn’t the problem. Sailors know Waiting intimately. No. The riptide in his gut longed desperately to be rolling out into the Sovereign Sea where overgrown river banks would be distant memories. Storm coming, he shuddered. Taking the giant cigar out of his mouth, the captain stared at the embers a moment, and then tossed back his hand to knock the ash into the wind.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Incunabula Doctrinae

     After minutes of pacing between Preston’s desk and the door, the novice cook thought she’d lose her mind. Sitting down in the chair next to the couch where the Messenger lay sprawled, the young woman took time to really observe her unconscious charge. The Messenger’s wavy blond hair covered half of her sickly face which currently matched her pale tunic and contrasted sharply with her partially unbuttoned black jerkin. On the ground next to the couch lay a dingy old knapsack, its seams stretched, a couple unraveled. What is in that thing? the girl wondered. She reached toward the bag, then stopped herself, you can’t. That’s the Messenger’s. Sitting back in the rickety chair, she could barely hear it creak with the noise from the kitchen. How can she sleep through all that? At that last thought the cook leaned over again, flipped up the top of the bag, and stared at the contents. Of course she has a shit ton of notebooks, the cook chuckled. First, she glanced from the door to the Messenger. Then, after holding her breath for a count of three, she repeated the action. When she couldn’t stand it any more, she knelt down before the bag and gave the middle notebook a solid tug which caused her to rock back. Inhaling, she pushed herself off the ground, weaved, and then eased into the chair. Flipping open to a random page, the nosy little cook read: