Posts : 54
Join date : 2015-01-11
Location : UK
|Subject: The Humble Fisherman Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:23 pm|| |
[[ This is an open thread - stop by and stay a while :'D ]]Three years had passed since Agnar had first been thrown ashore in this strange, hot world of demons dressed as his fellow men, and three years had been plentiful time with which to improve his English, work aboard one or two vessels before finally gathering together his own and a small draft of other likeminded individuals. The life of flippant murder wasn’t the life for everyone in the West-Indies as much as the outside world would have believed, and even if it was, unless the men enjoyed eating nought but the flesh of their brethren then they needed other sources of sustenance.
True, that often came in the form of bread and rum, but with cattle meat hard to acquire in trying times those devils and ghouls on their monstrous brigs turned to the fishermen and such for the sake of their already addled health.
For Agnar it had been an easy transition, his whole life having been dedicated in some capacity to the sea and her ways. Serving aboard previous ships had quickly seen his easy-going if not occasionally brash self, rise to esteemed positions; his ability to feel the temperament of that most tempestuous of mistress’s as if he had a finger upon her ancient, titanic pulse. Most of the men around him had travelled to this ‘new world’ to chance their hand in a game against fate, faith and lady luck herself, coming from old professions that were as detached from the sea as one could get. Teachers, failed businessmen, labourers, they were all here in some quantity and often outnumbered the amount who had put time in before the mast. They whined and complained about the sting of sea spray where Agnar thought nought of it but the vicious kiss of a ferocious and wild woman and occasionally the helmsmen had been so indisposed with liquor that the Icelander had brought the old wooden tub into dock more than once. It was a thing for which he needed no thanks, the action itself was relished enough already.
But now he had suitably downgraded, sailing under his own order with a group of men he had come to call friends during this tumultuous period of upheaval. He was a fisherman once more, a provider, and whilst the ache for home and family hadn’t left him and he doubted it ever would, it helped soothe his injured spirit. He aimed to see them again, but the opportunities this place, this new world afforded him, were too rich to pass up. The notion of returning home, to the land of ice and fire, to Inga, a better, richer man for her sake, was the notion which kept him focused through those horrifically violent occasions.
It was all for her, even if some spiteful and contemptuous voice told him that was mere justification for his selfish ego as he lay in his cot at night. When that slithered about inside his head he turned over and listened to the outside world to block out the one within.
They eased into the rickety port of a small patch of land called ‘Crooked Island’ by the local population and all abounding, to shore up for a rest-stop on their route to the thieving populous of Nassau and then the Spanish of Havana. All men needed to eat and there was no bias in trade. Money talks after all.
Night fell like a welcome blanket over the part of the world that was hardly asleep.
“-you mean to say you haven’t married her yet?”
John, a bulky Scot with the look of a bulldog and a temper of one rabid, looked contemplative at the question from his cohort Jack, a thinner and handsome Englishman with a sly trickster’s face. The others, Nicholas, Baron, Victor, Alphonso, Marco, Jefé and Agnar sat around on the shore with groups of other merrymaking locals and their bonfires and small shanties whilst looking bemused into their cups. The question was timeless, Jonathan Breckenridge had managed to spawn a brood of seven with a woman back in Jamaica and yet seemed to have avoided placing a ring on one of those delicate fingers. Suffice to say, most of the men were still curious as to how he had managed to steer clear of that commitment.
“What makes you think she’d want ‘im?” Victor interrupted, taking his snout out his tankard but keeping his hand fixed upon the flank of the woman he had seduced into his lap with his words smoothly slicked with a slight French accent. The chuckles and snickers ensued at John’s expense, only to grow at the Scot’s defensive threat of having ‘gone to twat that frog mug if a woman hadn’t been hidin’ ‘im’
Nicholas, another Englishmen but of more northern origin, tore into some salted meat and spoke through his mouthful, “how many children is it now Johnny?” His smirk stayed fixed in anticipation of the answer as he chewed.
“Seven,” the reply was brusque, “I counted.”
“Is that because you haven’t given them names yet?” Came Marco’s amused venetian tones, “how do you tell them apart?”
John grumbled and traded a piece of meat for a gulp from his own tankard with Jefé, a wiry but rather intellectual Spaniard they only knew by his nickname who sat beside him on a crate now home to sand, seashells and the occasional crab rather than cargo. “I can’t. Just pretend don’t ye…” He faded into thought and then nodded to himself, “I like number six though. ‘e’s a good fighter.”
“That’s because he’s mine,” Agnar commented, awakening a swathe of dormant laughter as he drank from his own bottle past his easy-going smirk; sat upon his own crate. John grumbled again, thrust a stick into the fire and carted himself off with a disgruntled ‘I’m off fer a piss.”
The night passed this way, good humour, the occasional brawl which ended with bruised smirks rather than bruised brotherhoods, and plenty of ale and women.
When Agnar awoke the sun had progressed well into its midday position and he found himself in the familiar surroundings of a boat. The sails were drawn up and the sun bled in slanted rays past the mast which split it into two. He moved marginally and disturbed a bottle which he sent rolling off somewhere and managed to move with languid, sun-sapped muscles over to the side of the vessel which certainly wasn’t his own, 'Ægir' was further down the bay and was quite larger than this smaller craft.
His head swam with a vengeance and he hung over the bleached side of the shored boat as though putting himself out to dry. The night had been a merry one but now all he tasted was the bittersweet aftertaste of rum and the thick flavour of goat.
The Icelander resolved to move…
At some point…
The sun burned into his back with disapproval.
The sun could piss off.