“Bugger off! Of course she’s got a name.” The fist I thought would punch me square in the chest swings down to the gunwale and opens to a caress. “Come over here, lass.”
The captain or pilot—I don’t know which—beckons largely, so my eyes follow the hands up to the face. Until now I’d been careful to stay clear of the eyes, but not this time. My body stayed put, but my soul drew closer. This happens occasionally; this time I knew it would.
“Bloody Hell.” I broke the moment by turning my head forward. Below us lay the carcasses of broke ships and rusting sargasso. I was now bound to another human.
“Come over here, lass.” The hand patted a golden-gate red post like nothing had passed. I steadied myself for the off-balanced sway of the small ship but none came. No slosh, no swing, no sag, no dip. “She’s static at anchor.”
Strong hands gripped my shoulders and turned me around. I couldn’t see everything but I could see enough. A patchwork of metal welded together from flotsam like a boy-made tree house stuttered before me.
The pieces were well picked for shape and size and utility, but, in every other aspect, they were incongruous. A flash white bulkhead pocked with bullet holes stood next to a mustard yellow door. Marine blue paint dried where it dripped from something above. A fiberglass roof made from half an amusement park whale and clashing blue tarpaulins ended abruptly at the red again wheelhouse. Atop that two jet engines mounted with vent pipes, a ladder, and bumper stickers—round and rectangular—exhaled black smoke like a whisper.
The deck I stood on warped down at all the fringes. Rain water would drain well from that concave hump of boards. It had to have been vertical in its original orientation on whatever building or bridge or dam it had been salvaged from. The rails, which might have protected a quarter of the edges, were made of household plumbing. The J-bend mounted just outside a weathered green door proved it.
“This,” arms spread expansively, “this, is The Maker’s Marcail.”
361 words on day 552