The Nemophile (9) 

The Nemophile (9)

continued from HERE

The sailors lowered their sails. The ship managed the rest of the long voyage into the harbour by means of a motorised force that was hidden from view. Its noise was gutturally similar to half-articulate human speech. Complete with glottal stops. Feemy watched great flagons of thick black fluid being fed into various openings in the deck, as imputed fuel. Taking him - by means of crudely engineered mechanisms of motive force as lubricated by the flesh of those who worked in the bowels of the ship - from one mist of memory to another. He remembered the stuff he used to sell from his meatcart, liquidised black-pudding, similar to the fuel in consistency, in look and, possibly, feel, if not edibility.

Feemy had only met the Captain the day before, but by that reckoning, based on memory of duration, the meeting must have been before the voyage started. Or, even, whilst it was still being planned.

The Captain told him that it may be Victorian in London, but the rest of the world would likely never to have heard of the Queen who had given the era its name.

The Captain was the tallest member of the crew but surely that feature wasn't the only qualification for his position in the ranks of navigation. Yet he was the only one who could reach the handle of the door to the wheel room.

As they eye-balled each other over the dinner table in the Captain's quarters, the conversation became flippant and casual, rather than the earlier seriousness concerning latitudes, sextants and galley-slaves.

"Where we're going they speak a language called Weirdtongue," the Captain said, nibbling on some slimy provender Feemy himself had contributed to the ship's victuals. Fishily slimy, despite being cow meat.

"Oh? Do they have people to translate? I thought they spoke Chinese where we were going," said Feemy.

"We changed tack halfway through the voyage. The cargo was moved halfway across the world so that we could pick it up to return it."

Feemy looked quizzical. Little Chelly would have enjoyed this small talk. Ludicrous as some of it was.

Feemy missed his small customers in the City streets around St Paul's and wondered how he had reached this particular pass in life. A drug-runner was never a job he was ambitious about as a boy. He'd rather have been a train-driver. He scratched his head. Not only was the conversation hitting double-notes of misfired music in the meaning, so were his own thoughts.

"Can you speak Weirdtongue?"

The Captain shook his head up and down and then from side to side, as if the very question was in a language he didn't understand.



Return to Main Page


Add Comment

Search This Site

Syndicate this blog site

Powered by BlogEasy

Free Blog Hosting