Grizzled harpoon-wielding sailor who can tell you stories you won't believe.


“We had a good run, Nemo. Longer than the right to ask for it.” said an old sailor. He adjusted his cap and pulled a match box out of his coat pocket.

His face was white moustached and large. The hair around his lip pipe-smoke yellow from years of sentiment. He smelled bitter. There was blood and black oil all over him.

Captain Nemo shifted his weight and stared silently without answer, as the old sailor had seen again and again and knew he’d see now. A long moment passed and the captain turned to face him. Sea-wind shoved Nemo’s short dark hair around like it owned him.

The old sailor studied his pipe. Then stared long and hard at Nemo.

“Say it.” Nemo said.


“Because I need to hear it from you before the Nautilus wrecks us.”

The old sailor shifted his own weight and annoyance briefly flashed across his face. Brief because he soon remembered who he was speaking to and adjusted accordingly. I’m getting weak, he thought. Old. Bleeding out. Didn’t matter. It’d be over soon. He cleared his throat.

“I do not blame you for what happened. And what is about to. When you found me I was a shell, like Hansel’s palace was. I had nothing. I thought nothing but drink and women. I was going to die, and should have that night. Instead I lived another 30 years. Lived more than most. Like I said, I had a good a run. We had a good run.” he nodded slowly, and tapped tobacco into his pipe.

Nemo watched, expressionless.

“You have no regrets? Not one, Heinrich?”

“Only that I didn’t harpoon the fuckers first, burn their bodies, and laugh over their ashes.”
Heinrich winked before he lit and pulled from his rough wood pipe like a parade. Nemo nodded approvingly and maybe even smiled. They both turned.

“See you, Nemo.”

The Nautilus exploded.



Unnatural History DeLansing Barbaryan