Meet Mike’s Sister Margie

The Merriweather Balloon Boat & Mobile Market burned from the Crows’ Crow’s Nest to what would have been the waterline had it been a seafaring craft and not a…balloon boat (and mobile market). But I’m getting ahead of myself with the hook and you’ll be wanting a little less medias in your res.

Gondola Mike Evercotts cinched the last of his boxed cargo into the main net and tossed it overboard to dangle below his dad-made skiff—

—OK, some things will be easier if I just come right out and tell you: Mike goes by “Evercotts” and not Mike or Gondola Mike. When he did briefly go by ‘Gondola Mike’ they stressed the second syllable not the first, thus: ‘gone-DOE-luh mike’. He gondoliered for maybe two weeks one summer and it stuck—except that no one ever calls him that to his face. Usually you’ll hear people introduce him as “Gondola Mike Evercotts [as I did above], but just to call him ‘Evercotts’.” As I’m doing now. Also, he’s got iron-black hair and is shorter than you’d like him to be but as tall as he needs.

Also, it’s best if you imagine me narrating in something like an Irish accent—not a brogue though. Later my narrative accent—again,you should imagine—will drift into anything applicable from the western parts of Europe, Morocco, and once Italian…Italy. You know what I mean. However, for the ease of your reading I’ll be typing it all out in American English. I’ll just let you know which to imagine when we get there. For now, the Irish…

Oh, and just so you know, I can’t tell the difference between Irish and Scottish either, so it’s OK that you imagined that instead.

Evercotts cinched the last of his boxed cargo into the troller net and tossed it overboard to dangle below his dad-made skiff just aft of the green and blue pectoral sails. He wasn’t fond of this design in general or this boat—The Marmalade—in particular but he had to uphold the family image, and the wings-on-a-downstroke look of this skiff was a classic for The Evercotts Boatery. It was stable and suited for cargo; it wasn’t swift. Above, he gave the mainball a punch and it bounced back solidly, but he swung open the brass limned bezel of the pressure guage and gently strummed the needle anyway. The rapier-like needle shivered to a standstill at 21 goms. Patches and seams and stitches quilted The Marmalade’s mainball leaving it just a bit leaky; an extra gom would keep her from sinking between home and The Merriweather as long as Martin had reckoned rightly. Evercotts boarded the boat and checked the remainder of his rigging before casting off and engaging the puffer.

“Muh-ike! Muh-ike! Micheal?” He cut the puffer at the sound of his sister calling him. Margie ran down the grassy slope of the estate to the little-kid dock. She was hugging a pink and purple duffel.

333 words on day 894