by Laura Howe
“Captain, have you ever… encountered… anything like this?” Ryan failed to keep the nervous screech out of his voice as the research boat lurched again.
“A duck?-Ow!” A book clocked Ryan in the back of his head.
“I’ve seen stranger.” The captain stared across the bow and slowly turned the wheel.
“Than this?” Ryan tightened his slippery grip on a steel railing in the pilothouse.
“Nothin’ to worry about, ’cept them books you forgot to secure.”
“We’re 30 stories in the air being carried by a glistening giant with a trident and you’re worried about books?”
“He’s made out of water, so technically, scientist, we’re still in the water. We just happen to be on a swell in the shape of his hand. Peel off that rail and take a look for yourself.”
“Not a chance.”
“Then duck.” Ryan dodged another flying book.
“Ya just need to find your sea legs. Look here.” While the boat swayed from side to side, the captain deftly walked about the cabin and secured Ryan’s books. “It’s all about learning the cadence of the sea. See? If ya hum me a tune, I’ll dance ya a jig.”
“Nah, I’d rather have you back at the helm.”
The captain chuckled, “I ain’t steering this boat, that fella with the stingray eyes is. He can be a little ornery sometimes, but Neptune’s never steered me wrong.”
“Then why were you turning the wheel?”
“I like to pretend.”