The Glorious Return of the Mayflower

Ready the manhole and take a shower, it’s time for the pilgrims to arrive! Yes, the Mayflower is returning and they haven’t had time to bake the cake. Dust off the Bible and re-polish the dinner table, the ship’s arriving in the port! Down comes the ladder and up the men leap, up into the arms of their expecting wives. How was the ocean journey? Oh, rough, rough. The first mate came down with a terrible sickness. The sails were ripped in the strong winds. But that doesn’t matter. I’m home now. I’ve come to raise my family with you. We will have a son, and I will call him Tom Jr. What’s that? Yeah, I’m a little hungry, but if you haven’t got anything ready I can wait a few more hours. Small houses have been built in this area, and they are surrounded by a short, yet effective, wooden wall. A gull flies off with a fish from the hull of a small fishing vessel anchored in the shallow waters of the harbour, only twenty feet from shore. A fisherman curses and throws a small shot-put at the thieving albatross which competently misses. This sportsman’s rock flies above the impenetrable wooden wall and into the village. Christopher Jones opens his journal and makes the final entry from this last leg of the trip. He is still wearing a very funny captain’s hat that he bought a few years ago from a trading post because it makes him feel important when he writes. The confidence really shines through in his work. The Return of the Mayflower! What gold, what jewels must line that crusty traveler? A young man sniggers at the thought. The first mate awakes on unfamiliar shores drenched in vomit. Even though the ground is now stable, his stomach still rocks. Is this the house he built so many years ago? He pulls himself out of bed to the medicine cabinet. Still stocked. Yes, these pills will do. He downs one after the other. The bottle drops to the floor. He doesn’t bother to look in the mirror. The gull reaches the nest where her young wait for the fish. They lap it up rather quickly, but the youngest can’t swallow the bones. This was a bad choice to feed ones so young. Mother gull has learnt a valuable lesson. The local doctor readies his bag and walks into the village proper, when out of the fantastic yonder comes sailing a shot-put! (Of all things!) It careens off of the side of the general store and falls promptly onto his left boot. Shrieks! He yells. Two guardsmen come running, making a judgment call before assessing the situation. My word, a cannonball! We’re under attack! Guard one runs to his home to search for the white flag (did he stuff it under his bed?) while guard two goes to assume his post. Steak, the steak is finally brought out onto the table a few hours later. The weary seaman has his head on his arms. He has waited so long for this meal and now he is asleep. The wife goes into the pantry where she removes a bag of flour. The cake is finally being prepared, but why? Is the Sr. not sleeping? He won’t even eat his steak, let alone a cake! Why this incessant cooking? The fisherman draws in his nets. They are empty. What did he expect from fishing while anchored so close to the shore? He won’t be going home tonight, he has no home. A lousy wife took everything he had ten years ago. He married too early. She did not share his love of fish, she preferred steak. But all that didn’t matter now; the ship was his home and the ship will be his home. Mother gull tucks her babies under her wing. Christopher Jones runs out of ink. Hopefully the stores are still open. He leaves his chair, his pants now moist from sitting so long in one place. The scent is one of evening air; pleasant yet heavy. Smells like someone is baking a cake. A few blocks down he enters the general store and buys a bottle of ink. That comes to one dollar thirty five cents. The youngest gull falls asleep. Would you like a bag for that? Yes, please. The ink is wrapped in brown paper and carried once more into the night. The first mate decides the mayor should be notified of the yellow ladybug that has entered the water supply. He stumbles past the bathroom and out into the yard in only his knickers. He opens his yard-gate. Christopher Jones does not even notice the first mate who has seductively (and quite accidentally) placed a pair of female laundry over his head, for he is copiously enraged at the rising cost of ink. Ding! The cake is ready. No candles are placed on the cake (for none are needed). The second guardsman pulls the lever as the whirring cogs of the gate mechanism spring to life. He slumps back in his chair with a sigh of relief. A slice is cut and placed on the kitchen table. The wife heads into the bedroom with the rest of the cake and places it down beside the bed. Somebody else is in the room with utensils. The first mate reaches the village fountain and cools his head in the water. He gasps (creating bubbles). There it was! The yellow lady-bug! As his head breaks the surface, he staggers dizzily. Are the town walls shrinking? The sea gull takes flight, she is off to find something softer for her children to eat tomorrow. The brown paper bag is opened and the ink is removed. Christopher Jones gets back to his writing. The fisherman dons his nightcap. He will get to bed early. The wife lies down on the bed. The Occupant gets to work. The White Flag is raised above the town. Tom wakes up and begins to eat cake, forgoing the steak in a mad passion. He dropped a bit in his lap. Pretty good cake, with some creamy icing. The sailor finishes brushing his teeth and gets to bed early as promised. The first mate makes a mad dash for what we know to be the closing city gate and heroically bursts forth from the town like a baby from its mother! The wife is in great pain. Something is emerging! There are now three people in the room. Tom Sr. is asleep again. We won’t wake him until morning. The Occupant cleans up and tiptoes by Tom Sr., yet his limp creates a noise akin to a donkey licking a washboard. He closes the door on his way out. Back in his own territory, he puts a tenser-bandage on his swollen foot. He will have a hard time getting to bed. The eldest of the baby gull falls asleep, unaware his mother has left for the night. Tom Sr. is already asleep. Christopher Jones puts down the quill in disgust. He is a captain, not a journalist!

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One thought on “The Glorious Return of the Mayflower

  1. There is some vim and vigor in this early work of Adam Vincent Tyler’s. The bustle of 17th century life is all about this piece – it seems everything is happening at once! Good thing it isn’t any longer, because that block of text is already almost unreadable. Let’s hope nothing like this gets written for another few hundred years.

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