Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

The most beautiful things I’d ever heard entered through the ducts in the corners of my eyes and wound my mind in threads of sweat-tinged rapture:

“I am so alone. Please, Captain of captains, please pass the order so that my withered hope will not be wasted as again it dares to grasp at distant stars”, the siren soughed. “I feel you, as your broken thoughts paint my flailing fingers into your eyes and you marvel at how much they seem just as lovely as hers?”

“Helm, steady on a course…”, I mouthed and the string of coordinates that then wept from my lips tasted of tiny whimpers and freshly crushed marrow. “… Rosamunde?”

“I savour, as you suck upon my song and ponder your love’s dear dead skin”, she’d said. “Do you recall, do you remember just how she so hated that name?”

I heard the thrum throb of her words and at once it was as if I too were trapped and marooned at her side. My mouth became dry and my eyes wet and I braced down and into her prayer.

“Listen, as I plead that the bow of your mighty transporter does cleave these thin mustard clouds that stretch to mask the taunt of my jail-house warden — the vile grin of the terracotta moon.”

“I don’t know… I don’t know if I can find you…”

“I know, I know you’ll not fail me as you have failed before. I know you’ll surely lift me from this wicked storm-licked hell”, her words now a ramping whispered scream. “You will and I will lay atop you and my gentle weight will press the demons from your flesh. And, I beg you to believe this true, it will be as if she were here — softly undulating against your threadbare soul once and forever more.”

The new ruin of my vessel contorts beneath me. Splintered aluminium bawling into the maw of the alien sea cavern lair and my captain’s ruse unravels. I am revealed and the sea it picks at my pores and I am consumed by the excruciating pleasure that flows from the swelling gash at my cheek.

The canvas that once so tightly bound and hid my sex whips and I think of the pennants that centuries ago furled and cracked atop plundered masts.

I too am stolen.
I too have taken that which is not mine to take.
I too am a lie, swaddled and lost in a lie.

“My Captain of Captains, you came for me and, although you are now so hopelessly ensnared, know that I will not judge nor tell of your many deceits. We are so unbearably lonely, are we not? I’ll let you do to me as she once allowed. I mind not in the least how much it hurts. My love, I may not now look as she but wait, I will change over time. You’ll see, until not even her dear Ma could tell us apart. We can be together. You can get her back — piece by little old piece.”

Squinting into the acid salt mist, I momentarily ponder whether my death has already come. That, in fact, I’ve already taken my leave of this insanely rusted coil.

“A demise so very much deserved.”

The ruined deck beneath tilts and the punch of the brawling surge reminds me of my truth as vicious foam fists lay into me again and again and again.

“Rosamunde…”, I think that I say. “There, do you see? The vile lure that enticed me here upon notes of soothing silk lie. “

Do not listen to the bitch.
Listen, instead, to the muffled click of the bones that now stir in the belly of the moribund hold.

“…my Captain.”

She lays naked upon pillows stuffed with faggots of gossamer hair and toys with necklaces of tiny strung teeth. She looks nothing like her and fantastical gem-studded marionettes spill with rings and other small things from the delicate little chest at her side.

I know well these most morbid of trinkets. Bounty acquired with such violence. The young fetch the most coin, you see? And the waves again surge and the deck again screams or perhaps it is something else. Maybe it’s the huddled, de-fanged and shaven caged things crushing beneath folding walls that call out from the deep down below.

I peer again into the haze but the nymph, she is no more. And I know full well, she never once was. A smile and I laugh at how so very completely detailed my delusions had to be so that I might draw myself here. To paint myself so perfectly into this end.

“Rosamunde, I despised you… how dare you love one such as I?”, but as the water wall rears and I succumb to its fall and drift into my ever dimming slave traders fate — all I can think of is she.