Tale Of The Sea Muse (cont.)
“Abram. Abram Wolf.” I stood with my back to the ocean, casting my shadow over her so she wouldn’t have to squint, or cover those gorgeous blue eyes when she looked up at me.
She squinted anyway, “THE Abram Wolf? Captain of the Sea Muse?”
“Aye. Some would call me Captain,” slowly, everything- eyes, seasoned natural curls, sculpted features, accent, smile – about her was penetrating my every thought, “And you would be?”
“Erin Bryant.” She began rifling through her sketch book, suddenly stopping to show me a particular drawing.
It was a rendering of the Muse as she was moored at the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
I turned and looked down at the tiny ships in port— at least they appeared tiny from the table top of the plateau —an then I turned back to her, “You must have the eyes of an osprey to have been able to sketch the Muse with such detail.”
An impish gleam lit up her eyes as a match grin played across her face, “Not quite, but they are good. I drew her this morning- waited on the docks until after you and your passengers left.”
As each second passed on that grass carpeted tabletop- as each breath of hers passed by me on that pleasantly warm day- as every syllable sang into the slight breeze- I was drawn ever closer to her, without moving an inch. I thought she may have been a Siren, but I didn’t care. In fact, I found myself fighting the temptation to scoop her up and kiss her like she had never been kissed before…like I have never kissed before.
And she was puzzling me with the penciling of the Sea Muse, “Why her? There must be dozens of interesting hulls at those docks.”
“But only one of the sparkling gems of the ocean belongs to you- the legendary Abram Wolf.” She stood up, dropping her sketch book to the thick grass and took one step closer to me. “I traveled a great distance to draw her, and hopefully meet you.”
I felt sweat build on my brow as I kept a grip on the gentleman trying to run away.
I laughed nervously, “Me? A legend? Not in the least, Miss Bryant.”
“Please call me Erin. And back in my homeland, you are as big a hero as Achilles,” One more step closer- I felt a growl from deep inside my soul, “There’s not a boy in my country who hasn’t built the Sea Muse in their backyard. Not a child has missed a dream where they stood next to you, helping to fight off all those pirates.”
“All those Pirates?!?” One run-in with salty demons and I am a national hero in some land I have never been near, I thought to myself. Sure, I came out on top, but I did as much running as I did fighting. And if it weren’t for a prong of Neptune’s Trident- in the form of a stark raving mad narwhal cow repeatedly ramming that ship -I might not have bested those twenty pirates and their ship.
“Hundreds! Some say as many as twenty ships,” her eyes grew wide as she recounted the tale, now only inches away and looking up at me- as I kept a tenuous grip of the gentleman’s shoelace -with excitement in her voice, “ And the way you stepped off the Muse, onto the backs of blue whales in that pod, to run down every ship with the fury of Thor— absolutely, you are a legend.”
“What’s so funny, Captain Wolf?” She stepped back a half a step as her eyebrow cocked, “Are the tales inaccurate?”
“They’re close,” I smiled, “There was only one narwhal- not a pod of blue whales.”
She giggled, then suddenly a very womanish look came over her as she stepped back into me. Looking up she nearly whispered, “Forget the childhood fantasies. Do you know how many women in my country have turned their petticoats inside out because of your, “ her eyes slid shut then slowly slid open in a full blown ice blue blaze, “Poetry? You could walk from one end of my country to the other and find yourself in the bed of a different woman every night.”
“Where is this magic kingdom, again?” A half loaded, sarcastic smile sat firmly on my face.
Erin grabbed the lapels of my jacket, pulled herself up to me, and just before what would be lightening filled kiss, “Never mind that, all you need is one woman’s bed”
My hands instinctively went to her hips— the gentleman left the scene as the beast began to rage —when a passing shadow, accompanied by the familiar whirring sound of electric motors, was suddenly cast over us. The shadow could only belong to Sammy Valeneuva’s small airship.
I withdrew and silently cursed Valeneuva for his imperfect timing. He made a small fortune as a tour guide- using his blimp to ferry tourists up to the volcano. And he made a habit of being a nuisance all other times.
“Erin buried her face in my chest and uttered,”There’s my ride.”
Holding her at arm’s length, “Your ride?”
“Yeah, I hired him as a taxi for a few days.”
I knew how much Sammy Valenueva charged for a trip in his solar powered machine. I whistled, “a wealthy one, are you?”
“I am better off than some. But, mostly I wanted to get a bird’s eye view of the Canaries- and of course…” she reached down and grabbed her artist’s pad again, flipped through it and produced another sketch. It was of the Muse at sea, from above, behind, and to the left. The port was in the distance.
“And I just assumed Sammy was giving another clueless tourist one of his ‘Ocean Breeze ‘ tours.”
Sammy landed his craft and ambled over to us. The short, round Spaniard’s handlebar mustache bounced as he laughed, “Abram Wolf- here I thought you only came up here to meditate. I can think of plenty of places better than this desolate patch of dirt to try and pick up pretty women.”
Before I could escalate the situation, Erin took my hand and tugged me towards the craft, “Come ride with me, Abram. We’ll take in the volcano before I have Mr. Valenueva drop me off where I am staying.”
I held my ground, but kept a firm grip of her hand. Spinning her back into me, “I will walk back down, Erin Bryant. There are many fresh inspirations running wild in my mind- a new poem is sitting there, demanding to be fed.”
On her toes, Erin kissed my cheek, then whispered wetly in my ear before she nipped my earlobe, “Meet me at the Crab’s Claw tonight. I think you will be in for a bit of a surprise.”
The Claw- one of the roughest, but most popular dives in Santa Cruz. What on earth would she be doing there? “Are you sure? Do you know the well deserved reputation?”
Back on her feet, but still gripping my arms, she chuckled, “Yes I do. I have been there every night for the past week.”
She let go and headed towards the airship, just before she boarded, Erin yelled back, “I’ll see you there.”
Sammy Valenueva looked at me with a crooked smile and said before left for his craft, “Maybe I’ll let her on in the true story of how you beat the pirates.”
“Save your breath, you featherless loon- even a blowhard like you finds a time or two where breathing is overwhelmed by guilt.”
Valenueva’s fist clenched slightly, his face turned a shade of red, but he said nothing.
I stood on that plateau and watched as the Canary Song took off and disappeared around the volcano before I began my trek back towards the port. The entire walks was marked by wild, electric thoughts about Erin Bryant. How could a few moments with one woman rock my soul at its very foundation?
I was hoping to find out. I was screaming internally to find out.