Later That Afternoon

by Clyde on 8, April 2013

“Where are you taking us?”

“On a course due east. Or possibly due west. Compass is broken. You take a look at the sun and in ten minutes I’ll tell you for certain.”

After a half hour, Ocelot declared we had arrived and cut the engines.

“Right here is the perfect waters for octopus. You just watch and toss me the line when I come up. We’ll have octopus stew with wild fennel tonight.”

Ocelot dispersed the contents of his rucksack on the deck and picked out the pieces of his snorkel gear. He was a consummate diver and taught snorkeling at the Resort from time-to-time.

Long ago he dreamed of scuba, but when he panicked in the middle of a lesson, ripping off the face mask of another student and pushing off from her chest with his feet to get to the surface, the instructor effectively blacklisted him. After that snorkel was his only choice.

I watched him plunge into the water. He took a few enormous breaths and disappeared beneath the surface.

A minute went by and then two. Finally he shot up like a missile, panting. Removing his mask and snorkel he yelled “Switch on the depth finder.”

I went into the cabin. The whole place was stained the color of nicotine with tarry smoke residue that had glued legions of gnats and flies to the walls and surfaces.

I located the depth finder and turned it on. It blinked some non-sensical characters and then numbers started to display. After a moment it settled on 6000. I didn’t know what the units were, but unless they were pinheads, Ocelot was certainly not going to find his octopus here.

“Past the Continental Shelf. That’s ok. We turn around and head back just a bit. Must have crept over it from the current pushing us.”

So that’s what we did. We turned back, this time with the depth finder engaged. In ten minutes we were in 40 feet of water and Ocelot declared that this was the spot and he would try once more. And so I watched his ritual and saw him again disappear beneath the azure sea.

On deck, deprived of the rush of air you have when the boat is moving, the intense sun had begun to cook off a thick brew of fumes from the boat’s varnished surfaces. It was an chemical scent that was easily recognized.

When you visit the island hardware store to purchase something like varnish or paint thinner or ‘fire-starter,’ the clerk will scamper through the congested aisles, pushing back hoses that dangle like serpents from the uppermost shelves, sweeping aside armfuls of aluminum downspout to heave his way through a swinging door leading to a mysterious back room where he performed various alchemical arts. Moments later he would bustle back to the counter and write out a receipt in pencil. ‘Paint Thinnerr,’ double-underlined in an officious manner. Then he would hand you a plastic antifreeze jug with the words ‘paint thinnerr’ written in marker.

‘What’s this? I’d ask.

‘That is your paint thinner. Paint thinner is what you asked for. This is what you use to cut paint. If you have some other purpose in mind you have to tell me. You can’t just tell me you want paint thinner if in your mind you have some other purpose you are planning. Do you understand?’

The underlying problem with the hardware store concoctions wasn’t that they were unsuitable for whatever purpose you had in mind. In fact, they were typically quite effective.

No, the main problem was that the base, the starting point, the vehicle for all these potions, was ladled from a black 55 gallon drum of spent solvents from a methamphetamine lab. Captain Dusty bought it at sea, brought the drums back, and fed the local economy a steady diet of waste solvent that it used as the blood supply for its industrial processes.

So on a hot day like today, the fumes of ether and meth would rise from the wooden rails of the boat and circle your head like flying demonic spirits, and pretty quickly you would be on the verge of losing any meaningful touch with reality.

And that was the state I had reached when Ocelot bobbed back to the surface.

This time he shouted, urgently, “Throw me the line quick. There is a slight problem.”

“I saw her, the most lovely octopus that ever swam this ocean, and as I reached to snatch her away, my hand missed and I caught a dart from a snail. Now the pain is creeping up my arm, like a metal wire in my veins.”

Out here, if a creature had spines, darts, warts, if it was brightly colored or even if it just looked at you in a funny googly-eyed manner, you could be certain it was poisonous. And if it was poisonous you could be certain it carried a threat of lethality. You might outpace the toxin if you reached medical help before the pain stung you in the heart, but many victims were not so fortunate.

I fought off the effects of the vapors and did the best I could to comply with Ocelot’s instructions, sensing in his voice an unspeakable dread that made me queasy on top of the sea-sickness I was now experiencing.

As I hauled Ocelot aboard, the faintest veil of fog began to creep in. The wind shifted and the water turned choppy. The sun began to fade ominously.

Ocelot collapsed on a bench.

Share

{ 2046 comments… read them below or add one }

Web Design June 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Hello there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this website.

yeezy boost June 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

I wanted to put you this very little observation to be able to give thanks yet again for your personal pretty methods you have documented on this page. It is really unbelievably generous with people like you to grant easily exactly what most of us could have made available as an e-book to help with making some dough for themselves, most notably since you could possibly have done it in the event you wanted. These tips likewise acted to be a great way to know that other people have a similar fervor just as my very own to learn a whole lot more with regard to this matter. I know there are thousands of more enjoyable instances ahead for people who go through your blog.

nike air max June 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm

niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on.

try this out June 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm

I simply want to mention I’m new to blogging and site-building and absolutely liked your web blog. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You certainly have impressive well written articles. Kudos for sharing your web page.

web Design June 22, 2017 at 5:47 pm

I¡¦ve recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

Education and Training June 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Appreciate it for helping out, wonderful info .

putlocker.is June 22, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Many thanks for sharing this very good post. Very interesting ideas! (as always, btw)

1Click DVD Copy 5 cheap price June 22, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on fiction. Regards

Travel and Leisure June 22, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Mitchell June 22, 2017 at 8:23 pm

Hello, this weekend is pleasant for me, because this moment i am reading this wonderful informative piece of writing here at my
residence.

strong antioxidant June 22, 2017 at 9:17 pm

I truly appreciate this post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

source June 22, 2017 at 11:29 pm

Excellent web site you have here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing
like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you!
Take care!!

0546 sohbetleri June 22, 2017 at 11:58 pm

Just discovered this site thru Yahoo, what a pleasant shock!

Legal Resources June 23, 2017 at 12:48 am

I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks!

edwina June 23, 2017 at 2:41 am

Really enjoyed this blog article.Much thanks again. Cool.

source June 23, 2017 at 3:04 am

Superb, what a website it is! This web site provides useful data to us, keep it up.

this article June 23, 2017 at 5:06 am

Exceedingly stimulating information you have said, thanks for posting.

سریال شهرزاد June 23, 2017 at 5:23 am

This blog is obviously educating and also factual. I have discovered helluva useful stuff out of this blog. I ad love to go back every once in a while. Cheers!

Visit Us June 23, 2017 at 5:40 am

It’s actually mostly unthinkable to encounter well-qualified women and men on this content, yet somehow you look like you comprehend whatever you’re revealing! With Thanks

Business Service June 23, 2017 at 7:34 am

Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Fantastic. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

دانلود June 23, 2017 at 10:44 am

Thanks for one as marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it,

Legal Resources June 23, 2017 at 10:52 am

magnificent issues altogether, you just won a new reader. What might you recommend about your submit that you just made some days ago? Any positive?

pirate kings hack game killer June 23, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I’m impressed you should think of something like that

unlimited coins in clash of clans ios June 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm

I thank you humbly for sharing your wisdom JJWY

free chips for myvegas slots June 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm

A perfect reply! Thanks for taking the trouble.

how to get free coins on ultimate team ps3 June 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm

That’s way more clever than I was expecting. Thanks!

haikyuu sub indo June 23, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Thanks for the article.Much thanks again. Cool.

Web Design June 23, 2017 at 5:20 pm

I dugg some of you post as I thought they were very helpful very helpful

how to get free coins mineplex 2015 June 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Whoever wrote this, you know how to make a good article.

what ethnicity is dj khaled June 23, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Thanks again for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

Miguel June 23, 2017 at 7:29 pm

My partner and I stumbled over here different website and thought I
should check things out. I like what I see so
i am just following you. Look forward to looking into your web page
for a second time.

Music and Audio June 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Hello my friend! I wish to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with approximately all important infos. I would like to peer more posts like this.

Weight June 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

art cafe estate June 23, 2017 at 9:21 pm

I went over this internet site and I conceive you have a lot of excellent information, saved to my bookmarks (:.

all wheel drive cars June 23, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Piece of writing writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with after that you can write
if not it is complicated to write.

Legal Resources June 23, 2017 at 11:15 pm

Merely wanna state that this is invaluable , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

nonton resident Evil sub indo June 24, 2017 at 12:04 am

long time watcher and I just thought IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžd drop by and say hi there there for your really initially time.

plumbing Augusta GA June 24, 2017 at 2:49 am

This blog is definitely entertaining and factual. I have picked up a bunch of interesting advices out of this blog. I ad love to come back again and again. Thanks a bunch!

Computer Service June 24, 2017 at 3:09 am

Hi, Neat post. There is a problem along with your site in web explorer, might test this¡K IE nonetheless is the market chief and a huge element of other folks will pass over your great writing because of this problem.

پنجره دوجداره June 24, 2017 at 5:33 am

You have made some really good points there. I looked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

elegantbabyshowerinvitations.com June 24, 2017 at 5:34 am

What you are is a question only you can answer.

Education and Training June 24, 2017 at 7:20 am

I precisely had to thank you very much all over again. I’m not certain the things I could possibly have sorted out without the entire suggestions shown by you over such field. Completely was a very difficult concern in my position, but witnessing the very professional approach you dealt with that forced me to weep with gladness. I’m just grateful for the guidance and thus have high hopes you are aware of a powerful job you are always undertaking training the rest thru your site. More than likely you have never come across all of us.

Education and Training June 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

F*ckin’ awesome things here. I am very satisfied to look your post. Thanks so much and i am looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

Pier 70 Partners June 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Lovely just what I was looking for. Thanks to the author for taking his clock time on this one.

620 Jones June 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Most often since i look for a blog Document realize that the vast majority of blog pages happen to be amateurish. Not so,We can honestly claim for which you writen is definitely great and then your webpage rock solid.

I Need Money June 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

Leave a Comment

Previous post: