(...These all came from a series of dreams.)
'Being the Journal of Mid-Shipman Jamie Pip. Royal Navy Cadet.
HMS Foretina, May 12th, 1903
I stood "Bow Watch" from quarter noon till sundown. Observed, and reported a French steamer on the starboard horizon. Post noon a Spanish "Man 'o War" Ironclad crossed us heading east then turned true north.
Twin rainbows sighted 12 degrees to port. A great storm has skirted us.
Most enchanting at dusk a pod of dolphins rode our bow break. How graceful they glided as they sang.
HMS Foretina, May 14th 1903
17 degrees N/NW of the Isle San Isabella de Angelica.
It is a full Moon this night, and the North Star is 'a port. Orion with his three sisters drifts in the sky at our windward.
The Foretina sings.
At night she sings. From her rigging's sails boards comes music. Her timbers groan her bow a soft choir, and oh how cleanly she cleaves the sea.
The ships bell chimes as a call to prayer.
HMS Foretina May 17th, 1903
A new lad came aboard by launch from the port of Isabella. His name Aliabad Wellington. He is kindly in disposition, and comely in appearance. A "Black 'a Moor" he is, and poetic in his speech.
I shall be so forward as to befriend him. Perhaps he will smile upon me if I gift him my slim though precious volume of Sufi poems, and prayers.
The 21st of May 1903,
9 leagues E/NE of Saint George's Atoll.
The gales have caught up with us! We twist within her sharp teeth! The Captain has ordered we sail into the wind. Waves lash the decks The sea looms over us. Fish rain down as "Manna".
Cook says, "...if we ain't pulled to the bottom we'll eat well!
So fearful yet beautiful is this.
The sky a blur of color. Arcs of lightning dance on every horizon. The masts ignited by "Saint Elmo's Fire!"
The bow digs deep yet rises again the rigging makes her strange music. The good "Foretina" yaws hard to port then starboard then again bowing even more deeply.
The eyes of the younger Cadets are wide with terror yet wonder too. So it was for a night, and a day.
Fading...drifting as sand in a wind...
A dream,...all a dream,.....the ship the storm Aliabad faded.
I'm reading a book. One made of linen. It's pages it's leaves flutter. It speaks to me this linen book. Telling not only the written story within, but how it came to be.
How it was cut stitched. How the words were so slowly, and carefully threaded in place.
This book of cloth told me of it's inner life. About the lives, and ways of all the books like her.
Then like the..."Foretina" gone.
I enter another world in mid-sentence.
Friends. Three women friends of which I am one. In dreams you live whole lives in moments. I entered a world with life long friends about me.
I yearned to tell the 'secret' my great, and terrible secret. What for them was a lifetime was for me a moments fancy as I lay asleep in another world.
We sat, and laughed at the folly of the world. A world I was about to leave. Leave, and forget. This world, and my 'momentary' friends will vanish.
Leaving not even dust.
I awaken with the fragments of lives on the tip of my tongue. Fragments which as the moments pass melt away to nothing.
(...Dreams, and visions wondrous, and horrifying. I based my former on air career on them much of my writing, and not a little of my life. Sometimes they are 'just' dreams. Then sometimes they are more. Knowing which from which is the journey.)