One thing is amiss. My spiritual center is smashed. My guilt weighs, my spirit, my inner... well Ay'ym just a shell. I go through the motions but I'm not really in the moment. Internally Ay'ym dazed. Sleeping Dog at the helm is a comfort. The crew anxious, they must wonder why Roxanne stays below. I must stop this pacing. To clear the fog that has invaded me I grip the rail, hard. I'll anchor here and review the facts of me, take an inventory, know thy self, the wise men say.
'Tis certain Ay'ym a man of the sea and the only thing I have not done is drown in it. I love most of its' moods, the ships that sail and the men that sails them. My duty, since boyhood has been to rescue and revenge my family wot adopted me after my true mother was burned at the stake. From her I learnt the herbs of healing, and a curiosity for all there is to know which led, in time, to a yearning for books. 'Twas me mums' mixture that I peddle as "Potter's Potency Potion." (Perhaps I needed some now?) 'Twas from books I learnt the manufacture of gunpowder and then established the manufactory at Port Royal. 'Twas from books I learnt of the alchemists quests for immortality and the elaboration of base metals into gold. But firstly an' forever 'tis 'living the life', the free life of pirating, in spite of the gallows shadow, that was truly me. Yet Ay'd retained a quality of mercy, a soft spot fer the innocent, for I never attacked immIgrant ships and hadn't I freed numerous Africans, and had I not winced at the gratuitous excesses of other pirate captains?
Here be the rub. There is a second me, a second, with a restless desire welling up within. Self created, with the assistance of Sleeping Dog, the vampire me. Have you ever had a tooth-ache? Or worn braces? Or bin punched inna nose? My fangs are still forming, aching my jaws. Look at me, is my nose different? Do nostrils flare? My teeth seem to be connecting to the swelling membranes up me nose, and Ay'yv pain betwixt me eyes, then around and into the back of me head. These fangs seem retractable but they salivate, like a dog. Soon, I knew, they would find throats!
And mind ya there's a turd me, outside meself . Watching me every move. Wot sees me now at the taffrail, brooding. Wot accompanies me on this illusory ocean in which the years pass by and flow away. Wot beams at the success of my hexperiment- IMMORTALITY!
The wind freshens . Tendrils of fog whisper away. The ship responds as if spurred. "Land Ho," from the masthead. Roxanne enters clapping her hands, rousing the hands to a roll-call., perhaps the last. Happy as puppies they are. The joking, smutty names, the lascivious marching down their ranks, and the salacious innuendoes, the descriptions of outright attacks, all invented, test their self control. They guffaw, slapping shoulders, even hug each other with glee. Morale? Coagulas' crew is high on it! He raises the spy-glass and sees the familiar configuration. "Port Royal dead ahead." He murmurs to Sleeping Dog who smiles.
The IMMORTALITY quest referred to here, Tim, Sleeping Dog, and especially Bess,(remember her?) the barmaid, will be fully developed when LETTER to GARCIA is revised after Port Royal Story is concluded.