Storm in the Atmosphere
Spheres of myriad colors collided on a forest green surface.
“Well well,” peeped the pirate. She’d said the same thing when Lucy had washed over the railing of her ship in the previous night’s storm.
Lucy’s kind had their own version of this game. Send shells skirting through coral to find resting places in crevices.
Lucy’s fin had tangled in the ropes. Then one of Captain Meranda’s crew had closed his arms around her. It wasn’t quite how she’d envisioned meeting her first human male. The wind roared and the waves soared. She thought she saw Trola peek out of a passing wave, but none of her kind could save her from the wooden vessel.
When the storm passed and the ship found calmer waters, Meranda pulled Lucy from the grip of the deck hands. Lucy was glad to be away from their awful breath and crude comments.
“Need help moving?” said Meranda, tipping her Captain’s cap and warding the men away with her stare. Lucy’s fin was of little use, flapping about the wooden planks. The men laughed. How their voices, so long imagined as song in her head, erupted like sharp-toothed eels from coral shadows.
“That fin was designed for swimming,” said Meranda. “I’m the Captain, but you already guessed that.”
“I’m far from home,” said Lucy, pushing herself up by her arms, tucking her fin underneath herself for balance. She looked about her. The sky was calm blue like Trola’s eyes. And Meranda’s. Lucy wondered at the clothing wrapping her lean figure, the black pants, the dashing vest. She imagined herself in them. Past Meranda’s tied brown hair rose a strut of land. “Where do you think the storm took us?”
“Shark’s Fin,” said Meranda. “We’ll settle in its harbor. If my nose is right, there’s another storm brewing yet tonight. The Cloud Witch is always stirring her cauldron this time of year.”
They’d anchored. The men pulled down the sails. The cook whipped a meal. Meranda’s first mate and her choice deckhands ate in the Captain’s room. Meranda had fixed Lucy up with a cloth shirt and a tie for her hair. They’d lifted her onto a seat. They ate and talked of the storm and what needed done if they were to intercept the trade winds again. Supplies were low.
After, Meranda had invited Lucy into her private quarters where they’d begun this game of pool.
“A fine take from the last ship we ambushed,” said Meranda proudly.
Notes after reading:
Will Lucy help them find something?
Does she want to go home?
What are they looking for?
Where do you hear those stories? From the sea turtles, mainly. Of course, the sea turtles. On their currents.