The Storied Sea

by | Feb 24, 2021

At Port Estillyen’s Port House, a manifest is kept of mysterious and unexplainable sightings that occur from time to time upon the Storied Sea. With no predictable pattern, the sightings belong to the realm of wonderment that persists in the Estillyen mist.
The following example is drawn from Presence, the Play and features an exchange onboard the Estillyen Ferry between the character of Melchizedek and a ferry steward named Jimmy. Melchizedek prompts Jimmy to give a few examples of stories that have entered the Port House manifest.
Melchizedek asks Jimmy, “These stories—can you offer a few examples?”
Jimmy replies, “Well, let me think. I only go with them that’s put in the manifest—you know, verified, on the record. Tuxedo Tom comes to mind. As the manifest records, there have been more than a dozen sightings of ole Tuxedo Tom playing his cello for the sea.”
“You don’t say,” said Melchizedek.
“The details are pretty much the same. A man, all alone, is seated in the middle of a wooden lifeboat, or some sort of smallish vessel. He is perfectly dressed in a tuxedo, playing his cello for the sea. Those who’ve heard him say the tune is very haunting but lovely, as if Tuxedo Tom is trying to calm the waves. You know, sometimes this Storied Sea kicks up a bit of a fuss.”
“Carry on—another tale would be fine,” said Melchizedek.
“Okay, now topping the list is the Skeleton Ship. As the story goes, suddenly out of the mist, this massive sailing ship appears. But the ship is just a frame, just the beams of the ship. It has no cladding or planks on its hull. Yet the ship sails atop the waves without sails, but the ship’s rigging is still intact.
“Then there’s the part I don’t believe, even though it is documented in the manifest. About half of them sightings list a cat as occupying the crow’s nest. I don’t mean lying down, curled up. I’m saying a cat standing up like a person, looking out at the sea. You know, come to think of it, maybe those sightings that don’t see the cat are when the cat’s curled up asleep . . .”

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