|Photo by Bern Altman|
Van Buren tried to shove Sophie's baby madness into the back of his mind. Women were programmed to think that way. For many, babies came immediately after marriage. Dreams of being forced to sell the school and live on land played on endless loops in his mind at night. No matter the consequences, he found it difficult to keep his hands off Sophie's creamy skin.
Marlow paced the deck beside the helm, addressing the students as they prepared to disembark.
“Pay attention, lads. This is one of the most important parts of flying you'll ever learn. The landing. Watch closely as the captain sinks Ursula Ann II into her slip, easy as pie.”
The docks, not as well built as those in Brisbane, were narrower. Much harder to slip into with ease. Van Buren strong-armed the ship into one, wincing as the starboard side scraped along the dock. The whole structure shook with the impact.
“Well, even the most experienced man has a difficulty now and again,” Marlow stated. “Let's anchor her in, lads and then we've got to see about purchasing coal and a few more dry goods while we wait for passengers.”
Sophie sat on a crate, a bit paler than usual. Van Buren, embarrassed by the less than stellar landing, approached with his hat in hand.
“Ready to stand on land for a while, meisje?”
“I thought you knew what you're doing in one of these things!” she exclaimed.
“You question my abilities?” he asked, affronted.
“We nearly crashed.”
“We did no such thing. It was under control. The entire time.”
“I want down.”
Sighing, he offered his arm. “You are overreacting. One little bump.”
|Michal Zacharzewski, SXC|