Our old friend Colin Leslie Beadon was once a sailor – and so is fully qualified to tell some tales. How much is fact, how much is wishful thinking? That’s something we’ll leave for Colin to explain in the comment section.
Meanwhile, we bring you…
Captain Giovanni’s daughter
by Colin Leslie Beadon
Down around the south Atlantic the huge albatross stay with me day and night, floating like huge ghostly shadows. The seas are full of groups of penguins and seals, and porpoise jump along in thousands, and the ocean breathes, like the breathing of the very earth, and the ship rises and falls, slowly, on the Earth’s huge bosom.
Into all this stepped Anna, the captain’s vixen-haired daughter, tanned, deep gold like I am, except her tan came from her race. I was on the bridge wing the first time I saw her. She stepped into the wheelhouse, and ignored me. I saw her, flaxen hair to her waist, talking to the second mate. Even then I could see she was attractive, and she knew it and knew how to twist a man’s guts with her firm enticingly potent form, a form that eats away at youth and makes youth toss and turn in his bunk. She was about my own age, I was sure, maybe a year younger. This was the first we had seen of her, perhaps she had taken a few days to get over seasickness, some people take longer than others on big liners with their slow sluggish motion.
Yet she did not ignore me later. I was out on the port wing, and she came out and spoke to me. Her eyes were a strange wolf grey, the wind played with her hair, her small strong hands gripped the spray dodger so she could pull herself high enough on tiptoe to look over the top. She asked me about the crow’s nest up on the foremast, and what the view was like from up there. And I told her it was where I would be if the weather was clear, as you could see a lot further out to sea.
I felt, right away she knew I liked her company. I would get those long melting looks that seemed to search my soul from her dimpled round face, the high Latin cheek bones, her more than perfect skin, the full supreme lips and starlet Italian nose. She was an alive sculpture off the walls of a Roman amphitheatre, her body nubile, potent, painfully desirable. Continue reading