The Captain

In Fiction on October 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

The Captain

The captain cleared the tangled cords from his eyes and swung them over his shoulder like lengths of filthy rope. He turned into the wind and felt the vessel pitch to starboard.

“Damn ballast,” he muttered. The crew had been careless with the cargo again.

He had a mind to take these landlubbers out to sea – orders be damned! – and leave ‘em stranded on some salty rock, but that just wouldn’t do; they had a schedule to keep.

One came up now, greener than seaweed, and nearly swooned.

“Hey mister,” he said. “Can you stop the bus? I think I’m gonna hurl.”

This is my response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt. Usually I’d say “hosted, as always, by Madison Woods” — but as of this week “as always” no longer applies; Madison is moving on, and leaving the Fictioneers in the capable hands of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

A big thank you to Madison for hosting for all this time, and for all the hard work that goes along with it! (Thanks also to Ron Pruitt for providing a photo so apt for a departure).

The Captain was originally going to be a character in my Real Life Characters series, but he just never made it in. However, if you’re interested, I think some of those stories flew under the radar — especially Albino Black Cowboy and The Mirror Lady — and I’d love it if you’d check those out and let me know what you think.

Hit me with your comments and criticism for this story, however, just below. Happy weekend everyone!

  1. Hi Brian,
    Liked your salty Captain and his gruff internal dialog. Your story realized the commonality of all travel; it just the vehicle that varies. Ron

  2. Amusing fantasy, Brian, I can definitely get an idea what your poor driver goes through with all these people on board. I just loved the description!

  3. I have to say I am a big fan of the word hurl it ranks up there with spew. Nice and graphic…Well done. You are talented writer and it shows each and every week.


  4. I think the American ‘hurl’ and ‘barf’ are so much more evocative than ‘puke’ or ‘spew’. And I loved your character and his day-dreaming. Nice one.

    • In my opinion ‘Spew’ is a great word….”Barf” doesn’t show enough action but sounds similar to the actual noise of vomiting… It’s a pretty good one. ‘Puke’ sounds more like a color to me and doesn’t create the forcefulness or splattering image in my mind like ‘spew’ and ‘hurl’ do. Well we agree on ‘hurl’.LOL… what a conversation!


      • I do like ‘spew,’ but for some reason it just reminds me of grunge teenagers from the 90s. Let’s not forget ‘ralph’ though, because that one’s up there too

      • AHHHH Yes…. ‘Ralph’ Vomit with a name.

    • Thanks, Sandra glad you liked it — ha, I spent more than a little time figuring out just word to use, so I’m happy you approved

  5. Love your choice and use of words here. Well done

  6. Hurl. Definitely hurl. I love a twisted ending and a psychotic bus driver fits the bill.

  7. I love your driver’s sense of imagination, probably making things more interesting for him, but obviously not for everyone else.

  8. Brian,
    I have tried a few times to read Albino Black Cowboy, but the link doesn’t seem to work. Problem could be on my end, but you might want to check it. Ron

  9. I wondered where this was going… Good One!

  10. Brian, I love your Captain character. I’m glad I’m not on his bus.Oh no! at the end…great writing.

  11. Nothing like a salty seaman at the helm of a landlubbing bus. Good imaginative take on the prompt.

  12. was waiting to see how that was going to connect. it did. well done.

  13. I love the fantasy world the captain lives in 🙂 it’s been a great ride and I don’t think I got seasick even once! Great story Brian.

  14. Well, I guess the word “hurl” is a better choice than what I was thinking of. What macho man would say “lose my cookies.” Hemingway? Naw…..!!! Enjoyed this. Unique take.

  15. Dear Brian,
    Well I’m not going to regurgitate the whole barfing thread of upchucking. A good story, Brian. The captain definitely had his “happy spot.” An enjoyable ride in its own write. Thanks for the welcome.

  16. Kinda like traveling with my daughter. Loved it!

  17. Dear Brian,

    As a former Captain I get to use the title and as one, let me say that your title was perfect and your story second to none.



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