Monday, June 10, 2013

A Boat with a Wide Bottom

So, how do you know it's Greek and how do you know what it says?"  Petey demanded.

"Oh, my Dad made me learn Greek.  Said I'd need  it.  But I did it so I could say—'It's all Greek to me'—and people would think I didn't know stuff... when I did know.  Knowing stuff other people don't know is a big advantage," Omega said.

"That's sneaky.  What's up with this bowl with all those Greek letters on it?"  John-John questioned.

"It's unnerving to find a bowl with our names, letters actually, on it.  It's not an old bowl, it's a new bowl.  See how shiny the glaze is.  But the letters have little differences from the way we make them.  They are made an old-fashioned way."

The wind picked up and blew sand.  The island grasses blew toward the East.

"We don't know where we are, and we don't even know when we are,"  Tim muttered.

"I know where we need to be, and when we need to be there," Omega said.  "Now and There."

"We need to cross that sea,  and we need to take the bowl with us.  We need to go East.  If we go West, we'll hit wide open sea for hundreds of miles: If we go East, it's likely we will tangle with Rome, with Athens, and, maybe, Jerusalem—long before I was born," Omega said.  "But we'll be on land, and we can cope with that."

"I can make a boat," Petey said.  "We've got willows, we've got trees, we've got rocks we can sharpen into knives.  My dad was a fisherman, he had to make his own boats and his own nets.  I  helped.  I know how."

And so Petey went to work.  He whacked apart trees, he harvested willows, he wove together sails from long, green tendrils and sharp-ended leaves.  He built a platform, wide and shallow, with low-slung benches and handholds, he gave it a unique shape, more than of a dolphin that could slice through the water.  He built in holds for water and fruit, which he could find on the island, and crafted the 3 immense green sails so the boat could be steered, loaded materials used for repairs.  It had an eerie, organic feel to it, cast an odd shadow.  It sea-worthy, sturdy, more than the sum of its parts.

They were going to need it to be.  A summer storm was brewing, coming in from the East.

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