Paper Sea Tigers

by brightonsauce

April 6th I have to stand up, read my old story at a book launch, remember pauses on the page, and such.  I also need a couple of back-up writes in case one needs to perform ‘writer style.’  

Early draft there was way much more story in this [new] piece.  As things stand I might carry it off, a short write, with eyes and rhythm – [on the night].  [or just forget about it & move on.] Once I gets the bedroom to myself I shall narrate in flip-flops, underpants, maybe turn the whole thing to poetry, a dozen drafts away, I reckon…rather dense, and putridly pur…pur…purposeful.  ‘Sense’ optional.

ONE WEEK LATER{Plough through almost ‘senseless’ opening – is okay afterwards ;0}


Water rolled westaways, the herring mop creased our bows, and  higher still,  amidships, great barrels of ocean thundered into  faces.  Sheets of ice crossed the stern, ice flung by Neptune smashed, daggers of the assassin-maids.  Such ice as this threatened to destroy a puny masthead. [I think so] And

AND Crouched low down, [ffs]crouched upon the vessel’s [wooden] boards I gripped a hard tiller..  The  dozen convicts [lashed] at my feet stared into water, or to wind, or turned, urged me on in a [great] endeavour.  Their words came too almost to, [almost] the sounds of shadows, intermittent  AS shadows through hurricane gusts of a night time’s storm:

‘Steady Maddy, steady,’

‘Crest ahead!’

‘We love you, Matthew,’

they cried, my eleven desperate fellows.  Were we but dying men crammed into a Mirror dinghy?

At least

as brothers we had evaded Falmouth harbour authorities, liberated a dinghy, and seaborne hugged high cliffs.  At Eastbourne we screamed through eddies and sworls of water, water that smashed gigantic beach boulders like pumpkins [maybe].  Then ocean receded and [tide] pushed us, miraculously onwards.  Now only the British navy patrolled against our endeavour, bully boats bossed seaways by reputation.  Radar swept these seas,[;] yet my astral chart was set steady against their digital set squares, our ambition to sail on through English Channel straits, and surely steer, if by my imagination only, and be out, out of it,  out to the Bay of Biscay, toward seas of freedom that heaved, beckoned in mystery.  [that, euch]

A nightmare of breeze, a hanky-fist consumed [in] our sail [thank you]….the sail strained, and punched drunk [nice twice] our mast finally splintered,  burgee  [little flag at the top]touched water [still she[vessel] held steady]

‘Port side’ I cried and the vessel [boat] resumed her even keel, the natural ballast of my convicts reassured.  I saw courage of meat in their features…

Which nation would shelter condemned men in our new fugitive status?  Capitals of the world reeled through my sodden mind.  Mountain state Bhutan appealed in her geography, arid plains of Kyrgyzstan soothed as sand …North Korea [already welcomed a million starving people,  Republic of Sealand provided passports at any price, they said. Any one of these locations would serve as a resting point, my ultimate destination as an outlaw of the state was certainly southern, the southern hemisphere, Broughton, Snares Island, Auckland Island, South Sandwich Islands, or a more discrete habitation of the derelict whaling station Grytviken?  South Georgia had been my dream location, bones of a new nation where scrap metal languished amidst a beautiful vista of penguins, enough [metal] on South Georgia to finance lifetimes in a secure scrap metal dealership.  I knew it, ‘Business, Buenos Ares,’ I chuckled in Spanish eyes.  For, for hours I had  languished in solitary confinement, in my gaol cell, atlas of the world open-paged upon my bucket, its twin purpose now revealed to me.  I chewed this fact,  and our vessel mounted a high growler.  Eddystone lighthouse twinkled and disappeared, or perhaps the Pole Star shone?  Always this same issue of directional confusion. I prayed for fog, or a simple denial of service virus, infection upon GCHQ, Dartmouth.

This was no Pole Star, nor providence, it was a Royal Navy flash bang.  Flash bang, flash bang bang went the flash bang, bang bang, bang bang blasted  a bushmaster cannon, and she rattled teeth, spat from darkness a discriminate relay of molten bullets.  I heard the woosh of a  4.5 inch naval gun, felt the graze of  spearfish torpedo whistle past into marina waters.  [Finally,]  and my mouth glowered, wide in admiration of the enemy’s tenacity, I gloried at the beauty of the Tomahawk rocket.

A new groan split night-time.  Was it the Eddystone, was it the Mange Tout [lighthouse] at Beachy Head, or was it each and every one of those foghorns?  How they moaned in unison, saluted MY sailors of the darkness.  We had escaped the clutches of the British Empire, mmeh, meh, ffneh tbc