The Captain in the Powder Room

Ahfl_icon Author: THX 0477 Dr. Tim's Neurotic Rules of Ficly Life [Disclaimer: This is not intended to be binding nor in any way an expectation of general members of Ficly, league members, family members or wearers of Member's Only jackets] ... Read Bio

“Welcom aboard, er…lieutenant,” came the greeting from near a lantern’s dim light. An appropriate piping accompanied the heavy boots’ tread onto the deck, little more than a whispered whistle against the rising wind.

“The captain?” queried the young officer.

“In the powder room, sir,” answered the same gruff voice.

“Right, thank y…what?”

“The powder room, sir,” was the polite reiteration before a harshly barked, “Oy, Thomas, hussle here, lad. Show the good lieutenant to the powder room, smartly now.”

A boy no more than ten appeared out of the darkness with a brisk salute, “If’n ye’ll follow me, sir.” A winding route took the boy and officer aft, down, forward, down, and aft again. The diminutive guide rapped on the heavy door and stood aside. He announced loudly as the door opened, “A lieutenant to see the cap’n!”

“Has he got papers?”

The boy looked at the officer who nodded at the boy who relayed the nod to the unseen figure inside.

“Hand ‘em in, and stand by. Cap’n is still counting.”

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Comments (5 so far!)

  1. Avatar inky blue

    Is it a lady? I hope it’s a lady. Or a transvestite. That’d be a twist :P

    In all seriousness, this is a wonderful sequel. I love the way the language has changed from Isla’s piece to this. Before, it was like looking at a painting lined in an elegant frame. Now we’ve stepped forward, into the painting, and it becomes all the more real.

  2. Avatar Isla

    I really liked this, and even though this could have gone either way, I like how you’ve taken my vision into a bygone era instead of something futuristic.


  3. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Counting what?
    I also found the idea of ‘papers’ and ‘powder room’ funny.. like the Cap’n needed toilet paper.. but I am in a silly frame of mind right now.
    This might be the pun you intended.

  4. Avatar JonB

    I like the ‘powder room’ double entendre, and, as usual with your pieces, the humour and colloquial dialogue really bring it to life. Plus I enjoyed the winding route into the depths of the vessel and the torturous chain of communication between boy, officer and captain.

    Could do with a couple of tweaks, perhaps eg the heavy boots’ trod – tread? And the young officer of the voice behind the glow sounds slightly awkward to my ear.

  5. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Thanks for the comments, and edits made per JonB’s sage advice.

    And in my head at least, the captain is counting and recounting the stores of ammunition, and yes pun very much intended for the powder room.

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