SOME FLASH by MATTHEW PRITT

SAIL NORTH!


Sail north! Sail north!

I follow the path my ancestors set before me, traveling long distances in an armada. Through each village we descend upon, we fatten our coffers, leaving with riches untold. For my part, I, ever I, keep pointed due north. The menacing dragon head at the front promises ruin to all who gaze upon its sneering face. I rock on waves, undulating, front to back, stern to aft, aft to stern.

I am a descendent of explorers, and still I have outdone them all, traveling further in my years than any of my forebears, ever north.

Ever north. Sail north!

And yet, I fear that I am somehow diminished. I have no need for star charts. My navigation is done by satellite. No briny seawater has besmirched my hull. My distances are not measured in nautical miles and my armada sails on land, contending not with whirlpools or sea serpents, but with road construction in rural Ohio. Does that make me less than my fathers?

Still, wind fills my sails, ever north, ever north. Axes, horned helmets, spears, and seal skin coats adorn my sign. I dream of my ancestors as I rock, stern to aft, aft to stern, watching as my fellow Vikings plunder this village through rigged odds, underinflated balloons, and fishing wire strung between the bottles of the ring toss.

And I face ever north, ever north, so that the children I carry never have the sun directly in their eyes.

Sail north! Sail north!

 

Matthew Pritt is the author of The Supes, published by Future House Publishing. His work has also appeared in Star*Line Magazine, The Bear Creek Gazette, and Field Notes From a Nightmare from Dread Stone Press. He has five cats and you can see pictures of them on Twitter @MatthewTPritt.