Morris’s first thought had been to grab one of the lines and go down with it. He probably could have caught hold if he’d been the kind of person for whom nobility was habit. But before his first thought was his first instinct and his first instinct was to hesitate. Dove only late enough to watch the ship’s tendrils scrape into the black. With that, the storm had taken them all.
That is the central inevitability of captain-hood: a captain lives for the storm. He steers toward the Kraken. Even the best, most practical mercantile transport will let the beeswax wedge a little loose in one ear as he glides past a siren cove. Morris was no different. He’d flirted with the edge of a whirlpool and now he treads water just off a fatal smattering of slick rocks.
He hopes he will become a metaphor. He already has an idea for a piece of fiction about lovers who risk it all to feel the spindrift on their faces, only to have the relationship torn to driftwood in an eddy of their own making. Maybe she is married? And he, the guy, survives the fray, but to what end? Had he only been in it for the chaos, this guy?
Morris thinks of Michael and chokes up salt. He hopes they will play with the word relationship.
And after all that, after all the excitement and drama, how does it end? With this man treading water of course. Metaphorically speaking. He would end up alone and placid in some cottage on the shore, maybe working a postal job, longing to again reach those heights. But this guy, he must learn! That Icarus cannot use his wings once melted!
Icarus. That is exactly the kind of metaphor Morris will be. Again his hands scrape across the sea-slimed rocks. They will say, Foolhardy Morris, too headstrong, the Engineer of His Own Demise.
And they will say he went down with his ship.
Miden Wood writes, illustrates and laughs a lot in Chicago, IL. Her work has been published in Nashville Review, and can be found at http://whocutsyourjib.com.