The Captain

The Captain thought my story of the Odd Man, as I dubbed it, was incredibly fascinating and he was entirely caught up in it. He laughed when I said that I tripped, and he laughed when I told him of the shopman again. I didn’t laugh with him. When he caught my look of annoyance he asked why I wasn’t flattered by it, and I told him that I am a man and thus should not be delicate. He smiled a secret smile and told me that once we left for his home I would think otherwise. I had only seen one of his kind, and that was him. Attractive as all get out, everyone loved to just look at him. I didn’t know why. I understand that he’s feminine, I understand that all our crew is hardened men with tremendous muscles and unshaved faces, except me apparently, and I understand that beauty is a rare thing when sailing. I don’t understand why they think he’s attractive past that. I think he’s simply odd. He looks like he got his hands on a case of green dye and dyed everything on his body. Green hair, long of course, pale green skin that was disgusting when sweaty, and yet people admired him.

He hasn’t a great personality, he’s a controlling, manipulative man who has no purpose in life but to make people miserable. Nobody shares this idea with me. Then again, they don’t have to be with him for months at sea. He teases people but never is actually attracted to them, I’ve never seen him with a woman, and I’ve never seen him with a man, so I figured he was just not psychically attracted to anyone. He’s told me that he liked one person, and I can’t remember if it was a man or woman, for the personality they had but then that they were ugly and he would never go for them. I told him it wasn’t looks that mattered but love was the important thing. He looked at me oddly and shook his head and said, no kid, you don’t know the half of it. I left after that and didn’t speak to him for a long while.

I had been thinking of going to the library to read up on his race, but the Captain would never let me off duty and had me do preposterous things such as wax the railing and clean his shoes when he had two specific people to do exactly that. I finally got an off moment when the Captain announced he was going to the market to see if he could find this Odd Man I had told him about. I told him, no, you can’t do that. He asked why and I said because he didn’t know what he looked like. He just said he would ask all the men if a delicate young sailor had run into them. I wasn’t amused and told him I hoped he wouldn’t come back and that someone kidnapped him and sold him to the slave trade. He just smiled again and walked off to go find the market again.

I sighed in relief and went to get dressed in more suitable clothes than the rags I was currently wearing and, after that, made my way to the docks to try and find a library. I walked and walked and perhaps was walking in circles, until I found the library. It was a large thing and I wondered why I hadn’t seen it earlier. I shook it off as the fogs fault and walked in.

It smelled of cinnamon candles and wild roses, two scents I wouldn’t think would go well together but mingled nicely in the dim light. There were many tables with candles on them, and behind that long rows of bookcases. There were two large double doors on either side and, judging by the few letters I could see in the candle light, they led to the history section and the race and culture section. I thought that this was very convenient and made my way to the doors that led to the books on races. It occurred to me that, were there so many races that there should be an entire section devoted to them? Of course, all of the cultures would take up a large amount of space also, so that was probably why it was there. Easier for me, either way.

It took a moment of staring at the door to realize that it had no handle, and that it seemed there was no way to open it. Perplexed, I made my way to the front desk where you could check out books. There was a kind looking old man behind the table and he looked up and smiled at me when I approached. I asked him how I could get into the race and culture section, for it had no handle. He chuckled, slowly got out of his seat and lead me back there again. He made a big show of pushing the door open, and bowed low and said, after you. I blushed and said I was sorry to bother him like this, and he said it was fine because he was bored anyway.

We walked into the room which had a lilac incense burning and he asked me what I was looking for. I replied by telling him I was looking for a book on a green elf like race. His eyes lit up and he told me, that they are his favorite subject, and he’d be happy to tell me everything about them. He walked over to a large red bookcase at the back of the room and said, this case has everything about them, and I can help you study them if you like? I told him that would be wonderful and that I am glad to have help. He asked me what I wanted to know first, and I told him I would like anything. He nodded and eased out a large tome from the book case and gestured to a beautifully carved table. We sat and he pushed the book over to me and told me to find a section I was most interested in. I flipped through the index until I found one that said ‘Personality, Anatomy, and Practices’ I turned to the chapter and was immediately greeted with a lovely illustration of a creature, presumably male, with long wavy green hair and pale green skin. He was near a crystal clear pond and had butterfly’s in his hair and flowers were very much everywhere on his person. It looked like a portrait, but not a stiffly posed one. I turned it around to show the kind man and he said that the man in the picture was named Silyphis, and at the time he was the only one educated in our language. I told him that he was a very lovely person. He agreed and told me that he was even more so in person. I was shocked. Had he met him? I asked him this and he told me that yes, and they were still friends even now. I mused that he must be very much older now, and the kind man quickly told me I was wrong. He said that, somehow, they don’t age very much beyond getting taller occasionally. I told him that was odd. He laughed and said that, yes it was.

He asked me, finally, why I wanted to know about this specific race, or if I was just a curious sort of person. I told him that I wanted to know because my Captain is one. He told me that he would love to meet him, and I said that maybe he could. It was only then when I realized time must have passed because the candle at the table had melted all the way down to the saucer it was placed on. I said that I must be going now and he mourned that we couldn’t spend more time together. I told him that I would come back tomorrow maybe, and I could try to bring the Captain. He was very pleased with that and told me he would be very happy even if he only saw me. I said goodbye to him and hurried back to the Mary. Luckily for me, the sailors told me the Captain had come back once already and said that he was going to be back later that night. I didn’t dare wonder why.

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