The Place of Safety

Place: a particular position.

Safety: the condition of being protected from danger.


“Give me some fucking sunshine! I need some fucking sunshine!”

“Fuck the sun, wind is what we need,” staring at the flat sails.

“Listen, we have supplies, we’re not going to fucking starve, but I might just go a bit fucking mental if this fog doesn’t lift.”

“Some of the crew already consider you a bit mental, sir.”

The captain laughed. “That’s as maybe, but doesn’t mean I can’t get worse.”

Now the quartermaster laughed. “Right you are, sir.”

“So are we anywhere nearer fixing the engine?”


The captain turned to him, doubt written across his face. “Absolutely? You mean absolutely not, right?”

“You know the prop is fucked, we’ve bent the shaft, the gearbox is gone. We just don’t have anything to substitute as spares.”

“Right. So we do need the wind.”

“Only if we want to go anywhere other than with the current.”

The captain smiled. “There are worse places to go.”

“True,” the quartermaster nodded.

“The course still holding?”

“Same as before, aye.”

“And the crew are okay with it?”

“So far.”

“Good,” staring out at the white, the fine spray coating his face. “I don’t know.”

The quartermaster cocked his head. “Don’t know what?”

The captain shook his head. “Sometimes I wonder if we should even be fighting the elements, using our technology, this,” gesticulating at the boat around them, “this marvel. Maybe we should be riding along on a log, some tree stump, simply letting the sea take us where it may. Perhaps fighting it is unnatural.”

“I’ve actually wondered that myself, after a few beers. But then it’s natural to want to fight it, isn’t it? To fight, generally. Some primal instinct.”

“Yes,” nodding, “that’s true. But… which do you suppose is more true? The instinct of the sea, to guide us, to take us where it thinks we should go, or our instinct, and that of our ancestors, to fight against it?”

“Um,” considering the question for a moment, “fucked if I know.”

The captain laughed again. “That’s what I thought.”




© JR Bryden, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from JR Bryden is strictly prohibited.




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