Thursday, 22 February 2018
Shipbilging - Flash Fiction
The shattered jeroboam’s frothy white squirt against the hull’s continental steel. A dwarfed, ignominious marker of diminished imperial puissance. An overdue premature ejaculation, since there aren’t yet engines fitted into the hulking hollow husk. The remaining shard of the cable-hung bottle, bobbing against the receding keel, as if fumbling to pinion the hasp of a broach.
The metallic monolith slithers down wooden logs into the river. Honouring the glacial pace of retooling, unionised fidelity to the ribs of the antediluvian steel womb it was pressed from. Larger scale male encomium to the frugality of the household mangle. Jagged, homespun industrial Victoriana, in an incipient age of laser torches and robot arms.
As the vessel breasts the water, kissed not by the Asti-Spume-Mante, rather buffed with the stowaway blood of journeymen workers. Siemens’ seamen involuntarily press-ganged between the metal rollers. Riveters’ skin inadvertently welded into the plates of the ship. Caulked snug to seal seaworthiness with worthless toiling lives. Enfolded like ectopic embryos, immured behind birthing canal alloys. The figurehead prow of old, moving aft. Skeletons and calcified limbs disinterred when the ship is broken down for scrap years hence. Blood dried the same colour as rust.