Indria is inwardly settled, the pickled dimples in her cheeks feather-kissed by a whimsical breeze, her pink smile touched by thankfulness for her life; the honesty of the sun; the waves birthing and dying on the prow of the ship.
She imagines the wind personified as a jolly fat Mawangi man laughing with great gulps and puffs of air, the ship coasting on his sweet/salty breath, the waves rocking the boat to the rhythm of his rolling belly.
Indria gives thanks for the sparkling sea, the silver rainbows of flying fish darting in and out of the churning froth, the grave and sombre albatross that rests briefly on the rail near her elbow, bobbing its head like a censuring finger, cawing long and low and seeming to say ‘now be good, be good now……………’
Indria hands the albatross a fish from her bucket and he is on his way.
She cleans her fishing equipment and scales the remainder of the brace of fish and heads below deck. Soon Indria’s sunshine is smothered by dank feverish shadows that huddle in corners and mop their brows. Down here the ship transforms into a floating coffin, the flames in the wall torches fluttering with seasickness, spewing greasy smoke in involuntary spasms.
The scullery offers what comfort it can, overwhelmed by the robust aromas of various salted meats, earthy root vegetables, dried herbs. Indria nods as she hands the bucket of fresh fish to the head cook. Thankfully the crew are able to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables whenever in port, and tonight they would feast on fried fish in lemon and garlic. She then heads over to the water barrel and whispers the incantation for creating pure water.
Later, when the food would be ready to serve Indria would return, at the cook’s request, and perform the daily ritual of thanks to Gozreh, backed up by a very practical cantrip of water and food purification.
Dinner over, finally in her cot, she cast Light and continued her latest letter to her parents.Life was good.