Partly Cloudy Sky

You can’t tell but I’ve switched to a blue font to write this in. The freshness of the green I raved a month ago wore off a week ago.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m forcing the Termius thread, so I’m going to lay off that for a bit. As soon as I capture this non sequitur…

“Ye dinnae have a name?” Munro asked.

“I didn’t know I didn’t have one till you offered yours. Am I supposed to?”

“Yer Mum and Dad should have given ye one. Ye sure ye just dinnae remember it?”

She shook her head, looked confused, then nodded instead. “I’m not sure I don’t have one to remember.” I’m not even sure I have a Mom and Dad she thought.

“Mr. Cameron!” The rail of a man edged his face out the door of the cabin. His gaze fell on the no-name girl.

“I wasn’t listening in Ma’am.” He didn’t turn his eyes from the girl.

“Nae? Ye cannae do nothing but eavesdrop on this wee boat. When was the last time ye ran into someone with no name?”

“Two, maybe, three years after The Skip. Nine, ten, or so years ago. There was plenty there for a while.”

“I’m glad I dinnae have ye doing the navigating on this boat. Fourteen years past, Mr. Cameron,” Munro’s voice drifted, “Fourteen years past.”

Mr. Cameron shrugged.

“Lassie, I cannae have ye on The Maker’s Marcail without a name. S’bad luck. Pick one now.”

The significance of a name rolled over her like a Gulf Coast wave raising her body off the cool sand and pushing her to the warm beach. She couldn’t swim against it; couldn’t deny its force. The girl looked first to Captain Munro and then to Mr. Cameron. She didn’t expect them to give her a name or tell her how to find one, but they were there and they were easy to look at before doing anything else. Below her lay miles of junked planes and broken ships. Derricks and masts with wind-milling blades poked up alongside smoke vents and half-built chimneys. The uninspiring metal sargasso didn’t reach to the horizons but it may as well have. Mountains lay to the West, but only high enough to know what they were, not high enough to know what they were like or to give her a name.

The girl leaned out on the rail to look overhead. Ragged, but-no-rain-yet clouds clustered in chatty groups beneath higher dry-brush strokes of white. The scatter of purple and gray and white on blue appeared to mean something.

“OK, I have a name. Do I tell you?”

“Ye dinnae have to tell us to stave off the bad luck, but I’d rather nae have to call ye “ye” or “lassie” for the rest of this trip.” She smiled.

“Call me, Cloudy Sky.”

Captain Munro leaned out and looked up, but not before the girl glimpsed a frown. “That’s nae a cloudy sky, lassie. That’s a partly cloudy sky.”

The girl looked to Mr. Cameron. A grin split his softly wrinkled old face.

“OK, I’ll be, Partly Cloudy Sky then!”

“And fer short? Cloud? Cloudy? Sky?”

The girl sounded the names in her head. “Call me ‘Partly’ for short.”

508 words on day 556