A Dismal Sheen

He led me blindfolded onto the quay. “I know you bought a boat, Seth.”

“Humor me,” he said. We walked across the dock, the boards tilting and bouncing. “Ok. You can take it off now.”

He stood on the bow of a gleaming sailboat, grinning all over his face like the boy I’d married. “Ta-da!”

He gave me a tour of the cabin, showed me the charts of the trip he’d planned for us.

“But you don’t know the first thing about sailing,” I said.

“I’ve been taking lessons. We’ll be fine.” He put on a skipper’s cap. “Dashing, no?”


Friday Fictioneers


With sloping masts and dipping prow, 
As who pursued with yell and blow 
Still treads the shadow of his foe, 
And forward bends his head, 
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast, 
And southward aye we fled. 
And now there came both mist and snow, 
And it grew wondrous cold: 
And ice, mast-high, came floating by, 
As green as emerald. 
And through the drifts the snowy clifts 
Did send a dismal sheen: 
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken— 
The ice was all between.

-From Coldridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner