Wharf Rat

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artymon I\/
LEP Commander
Posts: 2520
Joined: Thu 9th Feb 2012
Location: Beyond time and space

Wharf Rat

Post by artymon I\/ » Mon 20th Feb 2023

She at the end of the wharf, her legs dangling over the edge.
Despite the numerous warnings of sharks in the area, or perhaps even in spite of, she wasn’t the only one tempting fate in such a manner; out on the water, a pair of men sat in a vessel not much larger than the door Rose had sought refuge on.
Personally, she thought they were optimistic if they hoped to actually catch anything.
Anything that was too small or fast for the sharks to chomp on likely would be too smart to be fooled by the dangling offer of hooked death baited before them.
Everything came with a price.
Including the bottle in her hand.
And she had actually bought the bottle, make no mistake.
In another time and world, her tongue would and had afforded her many a bottle through either silver words or services.
As she took pull of the bottle (approximately two thirds of the way depleted) she mused here was another price: while the rum would ease the pain and grant her blissful buzzy indifference, this would pass and she’d be left with a hangover.
And at the rate the sun was baking and dehydrating her, it was sure to be a particularly nasty one.
But what else could be done?
Another bottle would get her intoxicated again and eradicate the hangover in another bloom of cheery drunkenness.
But she’d no more money on her person.
Maybe she’d get to use her tongue after all.
In another time and place, the thought alone would have made her sick.
Likely violently so, spewing entrails into the sea below, surely scaring off all sealife, even the sharks.
Here, she merely licks her lips, testing to see if her tongue feels like sandpaper.
Wouldn’t be very pleasurable for the recipient, would it?
Not that she entirely gave a rat’s end.
But perhaps for the pride principle.
“Thought I might find you here.”
The voice was from nowhere so suddenly that she nearly fell straight into the big drink.
Her recovery was quick enough.
“Go away.”
A vain request, but at least she could say she tried before resorting to murder.
Unperturbed by the less than enthusiastic greeting, the interloper went on.
“Look, I’m sure it must be absolutely delightful to sit here in a drunken stupor, but I’m afraid we’ve got work to do.” There was a brief – extraordinarily so brief it near hardly constituted as such save for the smallest intake of air and consideration. “I know you’re just going to tell me to sod off, but you know I’m right.”
“If you know to sod off, then you don’t need me to tell you.”
Another pull and now the rum was looking at one quarter remaining.
The interloper sighed deeply.
Evidently, this was about the expected reception, but that certainly didn’t mean she was going to make it any the easier.
“Just…go,” she ordered. “Go.”
Another sigh.
This one felt pitied.
“Call me when it’s on fire,” she called after, tempted to hurl the bottle.
But why waste it?
Satisfied, she settled back, casting her gaze back out at the open ocean.
Invariably, her eyes fell back on the determined fishermen, vainly re-setting and tossing their lines back out to sea.
Or was she just bitter?
Bitter, depressed, down and out.
Oh and drunk, can’t forget drunk.
Raising the bottle, her lips pressed against the rim when one of the fisherman began hollering.
Water rippled rapidly around the tiny vessel and his partner steadied him as the fisherman fought with the other end of the line.
The water grew white and frothy and – incredibly – a creature burst from the blue depths.
Fascinated, she watched as they wrestled the monster of a fish aboard and secured it.
As soon as it had begun, it ended and she realized the bottle was still to her lips.
Drawing it back, she frowned at the brown liquor, as though it had been telling her lies. That couldn’t be though, could it?
There was no greater pleasure than to have a belly full of rum.
To be free.
If not on a ship at sea, then at least in the ocean of her own mind.
But that was no true escape, was it?
Nor would it bring back any of what had been taken from her.
She turned, looking to where the interloper had disappeared to.
To be fair, that wouldn’t bring it back either.
But it might help her sleep better.
Or wake up without a hangover at least.
Abruptly, she upturned the rum bottle, watching the precious fluid rejoin its distant cousin, or perhaps, as the ocean is the source of All, perhaps it’s more of a distant grandparent.
She rose, vaguely aware the empty bottle remained in her hand.
She wasn’t sure whose just yet, but it had someone’s face written on it for her to smash against.
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