Short Story: The Wind Talker Sets Sail


by Ralph Greco Jr. *

I gazed at the diaphanous veiny sails undulating from port to starboard, and feeling as I had these past three months, set in these shallows, we were like some primordial bird come to die off the coast of Oregon, But we were alive! And gone we would be when our wing-sails engorged to a full bladder, our saltwater lungs wholly converted to their lite power, and our stomachs extracted the requisite salt needed to begin the renewing process of creating the base of our protein food store.

In the past three years, attention had crested and trudged, blessed (if I may use that word), and cursed as we had been with our particular brand of notoriety. After all this time, I’d have guessed the reporters and other onlookers would have long left the beach, but they are as much there today as they have been all along, and some will even follow for a time in their boats, I know.

 “All in, sir,” my first-mate Angela reported, sticking her head around my open doorway. 

I didn’t mind her reminding me of our readiness; she was doing so more to assure herself. Putting out with no port on our itinerary, for a journey of undetermined time, not to mention our lives depending on the heretofore unrealized technology of this first-ever ocean-going bioship. It was something I know we all initially considered or was it highly feared. Although we were all nervous, come tomorrow, I sensed everything would proceed with a flawless effort. 

The Wind Talker could not fail.

“You alright…Jack?” Angela asked, coming entirely into my stateroom but hesitating when speaking my first name aloud. I smiled, as much letting the willowy redhead know she was as welcome in as she was in being so familiar. 

We do indeed go back a long way. 

“Sorry, usually I can tell what you’re thinking.”

“If you find out, tell me, ok?” I said and smiled even wider. 

As all of us on board, Angela is one of the children with no past, and even when you share what we all share, it is not so readily apparent what any one of us might be thinking from one minute to the next. I know, in this regard, we are pretty much like anybody else. 

At least in this regard…

“I don’t know…” I turned to her. “…why it’s taken me so long to realize this. But I can’t help but think that we truly are the modern equivalent of the biblical Noah’s interpretation of God’s advice, and it’s now lodged up our funky ass. Perhaps it’s mythology after all.”   

“All paid for by the corporation of Noah’s supernatural shipmate.”

“That this being-of-a-ship is the second most infamous arc ever made, well, let’s just say our clothes will stay nice and pressed for a long time with the irony of who made her.”

My friend and first mate laughed again with me and sat into one of the only two chairs in my stateroom. The sound of our laughter against the low groan of the Wind Talker’s breathing made a sweet match, and I made a mental note to order up more laughter on board.

I stood and managed a quick squeeze to the round-faced woman’s right shoulder. Holding on to Angela as she brought her hand up to cover mine, I watched the sun tip its chin to the horizon. Years, miles, but mostly hundreds of horrific memories away from the day I was ushered out the side door of St. Barnabas’ rectory for the first of a summer of Father Rament’s ‘attentions,’ I am still amiable to the possibility of a new day. 

Nature, science, secrets revealed, and an incredible home built by those who had thrust us out of our lives, looking past Haystack rock and out to the rough Pacific, I was as aware as anyone that the sea can hold an infinite amount – of tears for an infinite amount of time.

All of us aboard this miracle-of-a-ship are hoping to release the former in the hope of finding the latter.

*Ralph Greco, Jr is a professional writer of fiction, blogs, reviews, SEO web copy, interviews, poetry and songs. He lives in the wilds of suburban New Jersey on the east coast of the US.