Imperturbable Calm

“I’ll get Mr. Cameron! He can help.” Partly moved from prostrate to upright so quickly she never heard the Captain croak, “No, wait.”

Partly sprinted around the galley to the pilothouse ladder. A series of four pops and four clangs rang out below deck. The Marcail pitched sharply to a dive as she grabbed a rung with one hand. The deck underfoot became a hill and the ladder overhead an impossible set of monkey bars. For a moment she hung by one hand on the ladder parallel to the Marcail’s deck sharing Captain Munro’s fate, but she caught her toe on the railing next to her. Once she stood to get a second hand on the ladder rung, she also got a better footing on the rail.

Mr. Cameron cursed in the pilothouse above her. She was sure it was one of the few times in his life he’d done so. It was meaningful and brief.

Partly looked down past her feet and past the bow of the Marcail to the trees below. They weren’t coming up—rather they weren’t going down. The Marcail maintained it’s altitude and direction, but it did so bow down and stern up. Then Captain Munro pendulumed into view. Good, Partly thought, she’s still there.

“Mr. Cameron!”

“Just a moment, please,” he replied gently. She heard him grunt and despite clinging to the edge of the ship felt a little embarrassed interrupting his efforts.

“Miss Partly?” Partly manuevered around to see Mr. Cameron had appeared at the doorway at the end of the ladder in what was now the ceiling above her. “I’m going to need your help.”

“The Captain needs you. She’s…” Mr. Cameron put up a hand and stalled Partly’s words.

“Is Captain Munro on this boat?”

“Yes, but…” He slightly moved his palm-out hand. She stopped speaking again.

“Is Captain Munro alive?”

“Yes,” Partly said. Mr. Cameron’s steady voice and imperturbable calm warmed a part of her she hadn’t realized had gone cold. She removed one hand from the rung and brushed the grit and chilled sweat on her shorts.

“The Captain and I have drilled for this, so bobbing the Marcail is unexpected but not unplanned. Take a deep breath, please.”

369 words on day 809