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 the devil and the deep blue sea [18+], a tentacled sailor circus for lar
 Posted: Jul 11 2017, 02:45 PM

number one dad
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Joined: 25-February 11

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“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”

― Werner Herzog

Eight bells find Jack testing the unsteady earth beneath his feet and the port of Carriden sinking into dusk - first rose, then purple, then finally blue and apple-green between nimbus clouds fattening with monsoon rain. The sea is warm and still, glowing faintly where it laps at the docks and the red hulls of the tugs and fishing scows, and one by one, the electric lamps flick on and light the windows of the little red-brick rowhouses along the harbour and the thin spires of the cathedral beyond. Even the restless Bellerophon settles for the night, the men sharing languid cigarettes along her stark white gunwales, the bosun's voice now a sullen murmur as the last of the ship's provisions are hauled up and stowed away.

And it is his, all his; this glittering sea and the massive white gleaming cutter sitting on it like a sleeping bird, the tropical sky sprawled out from horizon to horizon. Jack is twenty-seven and barely a breath away from command and the immensity of it all staggers him - the lieutenant commander's bars on his shoulders are weeks old now, but in home waters they only ever seemed ceremonial; they are real to him now, looking out at this ship, his ship, shining under the light of foreign constellations. One good tour and then his own command -- maybe the Bellerophon herself – He straightens his hat and grins into the dark like a madman, heart swelling in his chest.

Up on the cobbles, a group of junior officers prepares for the night’s troublemaking in their crisp service whites.

"Velasco! Where the fuck are you?”

Jack catches up with them in a few bounding strides and careens headlong into the mass of them. A lean, bright-eyed young man with a boyish grin and dark, wavy hair kept as vainly long as regulation allow, his sun-browned arms drape expansively over their shoulders.

“What,” he laughs, feet still catching on the earth, “were you going to leave without me?”


Trouble takes them up through the Bowhead and out of the Cloak and Dagger, down cobble streets no one knows the name of and into establishments of increasingly ill repute, until the hand of luck collects them all and brings them home to roost like raucous seagulls at some sedate alehouse by the shore. Mulaney nearly knocks over the carved bowsprit by the door when he stumbles in and Kartick’s half-open shirt reveals a new mermaid on it in a state of similar undress, and Jack’s black-brimmed hat sits askew on the head of some local girl whose name he can’t quite recall but who danced an enthusiastic quickstep with him at some point all the same.

Mulaney, pouring out a line of some foul-smelling local spirit, is running out of toasts:

"To wives and sweethearts! May they never fucking meet."
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