The Pirate and the Oyster, or How Orlando Got Bashy, MonRecipient: escriboPairing:
OB/IM/EW (DM implied)Rating:
AU. Inspired by this picture
from the upcoming Treasure Island
. Elijah is a patois spewing surf urchin. A few translations are at the end of the story.Notes:
Thank you, Dani, for giving me such a huge choice of characters to select from. And yet I still managed to come up with a trio that wasn't on your list. Happy reading nonetheless, and happy, happy holidays!Post-reveal Notes:
Many, many thanks to betas tweedle_
for inspiration, great grammar, a plot bunny and a nautical refresher. Disclaimer: This is a non-profit, non-commercial work of fiction using the names and likenesses of real individuals. This fictional story is not intended to imply that the events actually occurred, or that the attitudes or behaviors described are engaged in or condoned by the real persons whose names are used without permission.
As the seasons change, the world tilts differently. By mid-January, dawn now breaks behind the hill rather than slightly to the left of it. As a result, Elijah sometimes misses the sunrise, which is unfortunate because he quite likes it and also because he quite needs it, since it is the only alarm clock he has here in his little island paradise. Paradise
might be a subjective term for most people observing Elijah's world, especially those who regard 'things' as being important. For starters, there's the plywood shack on cement blocks about two feet off the ground, corrugated tin and thatch contributing to the roof, the first to keep the rain and bugs from falling down, the second to muffle the sound of the skies when they open. And open they do.
Then there are the glassless windows covered with box cutter-fashioned metal screening and thumb tacked into place. There's one on every wall save one, and it's good that there are, for they allow much needed cross drafts, being that the island is this
close to the equator.
Furthermore, there is the jury-rigged indoor plumbing, which consists solely of a rust-stained porcelain sink for the washing of dishes and other items, including armpits and teeth. If one needs a toilet, it's a trip out the thwackety screen door and up the path to the tilted outhouse, or a walk around back for a piss in the bushes, neither of which are much fun during mosquito season. If one needs a shower, there's a rain barrel, an overhead perforated bucket, and a pull-rope along the outside wall. Notice the absence of a shower curtain.
There's the decided lack of furniture which roughly equals the decided lack of floor space, the total being one room which holds a mattress, two old mismatched arm chairs, a crate that serves as a rolling table, and an old refrigerator and stove, circa 1954. Above all of this, clothed in a faded Chinese lantern, hangs a single electrical bulb, not the curly energy-efficient kind either, but one that sucks up electrical power which comes courtesy of the barely-legal feed being run down the hill out back from the main line up on the road.
In keeping with the new millennium, there is a deck for Elijah's iPod so that his frequent guests might also listen to the music that is always playing somewhere between Elijah's ears. No need to bogart the great global songbook.
It hasn't been mentioned that the shack two feet off the ground is actually two feet off fine white sand, shaded beneath tall swaying palm trees at exactly the point where the floor of a Caribbean rain forest meets a quiet beach. Nor that Elijah owns the twenty-six foot water taxi – christened Booty Call -- anchored in the shallows less than thirty feet away. These are riches to be sure, but they are nothing compared to the fact that Elijah is young and healthy and zealously positive about all things that govern his life. It seems that Elijah – known locally and affectionately as Elijahmon or Woodmon and by tourists as the freaky dude with the wicked herb and awesome tunes – delights in a universe filled with friends and strangers alike. He is busy from sun up to sundown, ear buds growing out his beaded and painted head, with music always on his lips and a doobie or dozen always in his pocket.
So, paradise it is, objectively and subjectively, if you are Elijah.
If you are Orlando, paradise is somewhere else. On this morning, anyway.
At exactly the same moment that Elijah realizes he has slept late and crawls out of bed (planting a kiss upon a naked and slumbering Dom-foot that his lips pass along the way), Orlando tosses for the zillionth time in his ocean-borne berth exactly one nautical mile away. The night has been humid and hot, which means the generator that powers the air conditioning below deck has been running non-stop all night right on the other side of the bulkhead. As a result, Orlando has been left rather pissy of humour and lacking of sleep.
He truly needs to look at the big picture. First of all, unlike the majority of humankind within a fifty mile radius of him, he has air conditioning about which to curse and complain. Secondly, here he is, near the peak of his physical perfection, all of twenty-six years and being kept in a way most young men of his age are not accustomed to being kept by an endlessly appreciative older suitor whose white-haired, whiskered visage snores irritatingly and comfortably right beside him. This ardent admirer, whose name is Ian, is very generous in all things having to do with Orlando, including this small mid-winter holiday drifting at anchor aboard an impressively expensive one hundred foot Oyster yacht off one of the Windward Islands. From outward appearances – especially for those who value the material world -- this is pretty close to the stuff of which paradise is made.
Ian's snoring throttles up a few notches before he sighs and harrumphs, not unkindly. "For God's sake, Orlando, either get up or lay still. It's impossible to get a wink with you pitching about."
Ian gets it, he really does. Orlando is young and beautiful and bored, whereas he is not. He knows how difficult it is to drop such an angel of loveliness into the Caribbean without expecting the smell of the islands to beckon like a siren, calling Orlando ashore for discovery and adventure and vigorous youth. After all, Orlando is Ian's siren, and Ian is wise enough to know that one can never ignore or corral a siren. So he sleepily says to Orlando, "When the crew goes ashore this morning, I want you to go with them. Give your land legs a stretch and have a look about."
For all his restless boredom, Orlando is not without thoughtfulness or knowing which side of his bed gets buttered. He rolls towards Ian, and in one fluid motion is up and crouching over him on all fours. "I think not," he smiles, dipping down in a much improved demeanour now that he's not being ignored, mouthing the greying mat of Ian's chest. "I will frolic in the sea like a merman come to tempt you, and snooze naked by your side so that I might catch up on the sleep I have missed. And later on, when your eyes need a rest from all the reading you'll have done, we will sip rum punch and make love al fresco
for all the gulls and para sailors to see." Ah well,
Ian thinks as Orlando's head descends. I did try.
By eleven in the morning, Ian and Orlando are topside in their deck whites. Well, Ian is topside in his deck whites. The only whites anywhere near Orlando is the blanket-sized deck mattress on which he is lying at the boat's stern, tousled curls resting on folded arms as he lazes in the morning sun. Ian has made sure Orlando is suitably greased in all the places that need greasing and is keeping an eye on the clock to ensure that Orlando doesn't scuttle their holiday by burning his backside beyond repair. The crew, save the cook who is down in his quarters, have left for the day, taking the RIB ashore for a session of provisioning, repair and relaxation. They are due back for sundowners, when everyone will have dinner and drinks.
The yacht is big enough that the ocean's movement is no more than a gentle yawn. It is as it rocks thusly that both Ian and Orlando become aware only at the very last moment of the sound of a boat's motor beside their hull and below their line of sight.
"Oy!" a voice hails from below the guardrail. After a moment of silence, it repeats but this time with a refrain: "Oy mon! Any mon be needin' a taxi, mon?"
"Make it go away," Orlando moans into his biceps without moving. He's fed up with all the panhandling and hustling that have harassed him wherever he's turned this holiday.
"I know you trine to be hidin' but I seen your white ass from across de ocean blue!"
Orlando opens one eye, the one not mashed into his arm, as Ian looks at him above the rim of his sunglasses, raised eyebrows and a bemused expression in place.
"Bloody cheek," Orlando growls, and he sits abruptly, eyes ablaze and scowl in place. He'll tell this rude bugger just where he can stick his water taxi, mon. His head pops up above the gunwale. "You!" he shouts.
And promptly freezes, wide-eyed.
Staring up at him, idly smoking a reefer whose size equals a small barge, is a slight rasta-haired young man, his blue eyes smoked in kohl, one ear bud inserted and the other dangling against a garishly tie-dyed tee where it disgorges a tinny syncopated reggae beat. Feathers bedizen his beaded dreads like fishing flies, and circling his eyes to resemble the photo negative of a badly drawn raccoon are splotchy white circles, obviously finger painted. His bearded and beaded chin bobs up and down to the rhythm, and he turns to blow a thick ribbon of smoke into the wind before sliding his squint sideways at Orlando, his deeply tanned face cracking a white gap-toothed smile.
"Hey, Mista Prittee."
Orlando sputters for a brief instance, then decides it best he close his mouth and slink back out of sight.
"Ian!" he whispers urgently. "There's a crazy person...right...there!"
Ian marks his book carefully and closes it. Something about Mohammed and the mountain comes to mind and he shifts around on the bench so that he might be able to crawl up and see for himself who has come to visit.
"Don't encourage him!" Orlando hisses, pulling at Ian's shirt and drawing the edge of his towel over his waist. "Should I call for help? He might be a pirate! He might have a gun!"
Ian shifts creakily along the leather cushion and pushes up against the divan back, arms braced.
What he sees might certainly be a pirate, if pirates were tricked out by Cirque de Soleil.
"Good morning," Ian calls out. "Can I help you?"
"You be needin' to a go a-shore, mon?" Elijah calls back. "My rate be good, an' I offer refreshmens." He extends the reefer towards Ian.
Ian smiles back. "Generous, thank you, but no."
Elijah is leaning against the canopy upright, a foot on the passenger seat mid-boat, hand thigh-tapping to the beat of his iPod. To Ian's seasoned eye, the young man is ridiculously beautiful beneath all the Jamaican tackle. Ian makes a quick but thorough visual sweep, not failing to notice that the baggy, garish tee can't quite hide the frayed powder blue jean shorts, the brief cut of which Ian probably last saw on a Village Person, which in turn can't quite conceal the edge of an innocent but nearly liberated left testicle. Ian suspects that this young man is completely beyond caring about such matters, if he's aware of them at all.
"So mebbe sight-seeing?" Elijah suggests.
Merriment bubbles in Ian at the irony of the offer. "Actually, we've decided to stay on board for the day," he instead replies, "but I must thank you nonetheless."
"Stop talking to him!" Orlando whispers from somewhere around Ian's hip.
"Ple-zhur," Elijah nods. "How 'bout mebbe I show you some pretty island tings, like dis?" Elijah waves his wrist, upon which dance several beaded and braided bracelets, "or dis?" and he lifts his bare foot, the one indirectly attached to the peeping testicle, which peeps out a little more as a result. A dainty coral and nacre anklet prettily reflects colour from the late morning sun.
"What is your name?" Ian calls out.
"Oh, don't do that," Orlando whines.
"Well, Elijah," Ian calls. "How about you tie up and come aboard, show us what you've got in your bag of trinkets?"
"Bad," Orlando mutters, reaching for his trunks. "Bad. Where's your cell phone, Ian? Do you think 911 works in this latitude?"
Ian settles back into the bench. "Don't be such a kill joy," he tells Orlando. "Go help that young man aboard. He will be an interesting diversion."
By the time Orlando appears at the guardrail, Elijah has already tossed a couple of fenders over the side to keep from marking the Oyster's hull and slung his loot bag across his chest. He throws Orlando the bow line which Orlando fastens to a cleat, then grabs the stern line himself and, barefooted, monkeys up on board. He fixes the rope tightly and turns, thrusting a fist at Orlando.
Orlando shrinks back, eyes fixed on the threatening hand.
"Aright!" Elijah laughs joyfully. In a flash, he grabs Orlando's reluctant hand and closes his fingers over it to make a matching fist, which he then puts through all kinds of rapid tapping contortions and thumb rubs while he chants, "peace love, bredda, peace love."
Orlando pulls his hand free. "Whatever, mon
," he shrugs and turns to flop down beside Ian on the padded divan, but not before making a face only Ian can see, showing in no uncertain terms exactly how wrong he thinks this whole turn of events is.
"So Elijah," Ian says, motioning for Elijah to sit across from them, "my name is Ian, and this cheerful creature is Orlando."
Elijah clasps his hands together and bows. "Namasté, Ian Orlando. Welcome to de islands."
Ian passes Elijah a bottle of water. "Please, if you would. Show us what goodies you have in your bag."
Orlando suffers a pained smile in feigned interest.
Elijah grins in reply because the universe is a beautiful place, and he digs into his oversize satchel, retrieving a ziplocked baggie filled with a pretzel knot of braided and beaded bracelets. He fingers the gnarl one-handed, sorting expertly until he snags a limply beaded leather thong with shells and disks threaded throughout the cording. "Beauty," he says, extracting it, and he scrambles to kneel before Ian, taking his wrist and tying the bracelet loosely. He turns Ian's wrist this way and that to catch the sun, fingering the various beads and disks. "Wha' choo tink?" he asks Ian.
"Very nice," Ian comments, repositioning his reading glasses for his own inspection. "Do you make these, Elijah?"
"No no, Livvy-loo and de ladies make dem." He turns to Orlando. "You be wantin' any ting, Orlando, to make you more beauty-ful dan you is a'ready?"
"I'm good," Orlando smiles with a morsel of sincerity now that his ego has been favourably fondled.
Elijah reaches around and grabs his satchel. "I got jus' da ting," he says, digging in deep, and before Orlando can do more than pull back a few inches and flap his hands ineffectually, Elijah has one knee on the bench between his thighs and is ruffling through Orlando's curls, weaving and pinning the thread of several vibrant beaded yellow feathers above Orlando's left temple.
Orlando's normal response to personal space invasions would be to hurl an expletive and push back. But therein lies the problem.
Elijah's fingers in his hair might be a threat, but Elijah's gentle caress and attentive concentration are not. Elijah's pot-laden breath could conceivably be offensive, but the over-riding scent of coconut and vanilla most certainly is not. Elijah's bloodshot eyes scream warning!;
Elijah's sapphire-bordered sea-blue irises say otherwise. As for the leg parked beside his knee, firm and friendly testicle abutting nonchalantly against his bare thigh, Orlando can't rightly figure out if it's friend or foe. It certainly feels friendly. And so he's frozen while Elijah smooths and sorts his curls around the feather work before stepping back to say, "Ianna-mon, is dat not beauty-ful on Orlando?"
"Very," Ian agrees, watching Orlando watch Elijah watch Orlando.
Elijah settles himself on the banquette across from them once more, one arm along the seat back, bare legs spread wide in unconcerned display. "So," he says, motioning loosely in their direction, "you two be chi-chi?"
"Yes," Ian says, "no," Orlando answers at the same time, Orlando because he has no idea what Elijah is talking about and Ian because he does. They turn to look at each other. "Gay," Ian interprets.
"Sweet," Elijah smiles, reaching under his tee and into his shorts pocket. "Bredda love is a beauty-ful ting."
"Elijah," Orlando says to change the subject and just to be testy, "why do you speak like that, with that accent? You don't strike me as being a born and bred Jamaican."
Elijah removes an old Player's loose leaf tin from his pocket, along with a lighter. "Would you prefer I speak like this, something more in keeping with where I'm actually from?" he asks, the words and tones virtually smelling of an Iowan corn field.
"Of perhaps you'd feel more at home if I we conversed in this manner," Elijah adds, the soft cadence of Orlando's own Home County English accenting the air.
"Bravo!" Ian laughs, clapping his hands.
Elijah wiggles the lid from the tin, revealing two neatly stacked rows of fatly rolled spliffs. "I jus' like ta be de monkey in da zoo, playing for de tourists. It's an easy ting, mon." He lifts a joint free and wets it liberally between his lips before striking the lighter. The sweet smell of cannabis hangs over the back of the boat. "You mine?" he asks after the fact on a lungful.
Ian waves him off while Orlando straps on his best judgmental face, nostrils nonetheless twitching.
Elijah reverses the joint in his mouth and gets up, crossing to Ian in an easy glide, where he bends over him, one hand on the back of the divan, the other tilting Ian's chin upwards. His lips briefly brush Ian's as he starts to shotgun, not heavily, just a ghosting stream that Ian sucks up, shock and adjustment cooperating nicely along his features. Ian pulls back, lungs full, blinking and nodding curtly, and Elijah straightens, delicately removing the joint to take a drag. He shifts towards Orlando and inserts the joint between his lips again, reversed.
Orlando's hands go up. "Not needed, man."
Elijah places one foot on the cushion seat next to Orlando's hip and curls forward, a hand wrapping loosely around Orlando's nape at the same moment that Orlando's hands press his chest to stop him. Before Orlando can configure his synapses so that they might lodge a serious complaint at this second most unwelcomed ambush, Elijah has closed in, angling his nose out of the way so that it brushes Orlando's face, which has somehow tilted to fit, lips parting to accept at the very minimum the complimentary ganja on offer. He can feel the points of Elijah's rolled and beaded beard tickling beneath his tilted chin, and it would be annoying except that he's being distracted by the grades of blue in Elijah's unfocused right eye that is one inch from his own.
Eventually Elijah pulls back, both pairs of eyes locked on each other, and Orlando's hands fall away in slow motion.
With little white contrails in their wake.
"Whoa," Orlando says. Fuck, but that's spectacular weed.
Elijah grins down at him, taking another drag before passing the spliff back to Ian. He manages to get both knees up onto the cushion so the he's kneeling between the two of them, who have, either consciously or not, shifted over to make room.
"You know, you got nice hair, Orlando," Elijah says, fingering a few curls behind Orlando's ear. Orlando flinches before realizing that anyone whose face has slid against his can't really be the enemy, and he smiles because it tickles.
"Doan he, Ian?" Elijah says.
"Mmm," Ian agrees, careful not to exhale.
"So soft," Elijah says, entertained for a moment at how several curls spring around his fingers. "Mebbe you let me bead a lickle?"
"No," Orlando smiles.
"Yes!" Ian exhales. "Oh, just a little, fleur
Elijah plucks the joint out of Ian's distracted fingers and hands it to Orlando. "Hol' dis while I get my bead bag, mon."
Orlando is exhaling a stream upwards, considering whether a smoke stack might be just as efficient as a wind sock in aviation applications when Elijah returns, depositing another opened ziplock baggie on Ian's lap. "You pick dem, Ianna. I know you has got de eye for beauty-ful tings."
Elijah finishes the joint Orlando passes him and starts to braid three long curls behind Orlando's left ear, threading a blue amber bead that Ian gives him. He finishes it with a tiny hair elastic and starts a new braid next to it.
"You know, I be a battyman too, bro," Elijah says, concentrating on his handiwork. Orlando looks sideways at him, puzzled.
"Gay," Ian interprets.
"Do you have someone special?" Orlando asks.
"Oh yeah," Elijah laughs. "My man Dom. Big wood he got, mon. He keep me happy."
Ian snickers. "You know what they say, Elijah. It's not the size of the boat, but the motion of the ocean."
"Too true, Ianna! He be da champion grindsmon."
Orlando is intent on inspecting Elijah's hair, now that he is able to see the fat wooly braids up close. He raises his hand and fingers one. "Would you be able to do this to my hair?"
"Wha', dread it?"
"Sure, bu' why? Yours be so nice like dis."
"But how do you do this?"
"Beese wax." Elijah fingers one of his beard rolls. "Den you roll it. And doan wash it."
Orlando looks at him, horrified.
"I jus' shittin' you, mon," Elijah laughs. "You can wash it once a mont'."
"We need music!" Ian cries out suddenly, eyes a little wild.
Both Orlando and Elijah stop and stare at him.
"Dat can be," Elijah says. "Here." He lifts his ear buds from around his neck, cleaning each on the tail of his tshirt. He inserts one in Orlando's near ear, the other in Ian's so that they can share, and then slides a finger across the iPod's flat screen until he finds what he's looking for. "Everymon know dis," he says, setting the volume somewhere between the take off of a Ram jet and that of a Saturn rocket.
"III...SHOOT...THE...SHERRRRIFFFFFFF," Ian wails, and Orlando rests his head against the divan back, heavy-lidded and grinning, watching Elijah as he resumes his braiding and beading.
"CAN YOU PAINT MY EYES?" Orlando yells a few moments later, head bobbing to the beat which doesn't seem to bother Elijah whose head is bobbing in tandem. Orlando really likes the black sooty look, and Elijah laughs, nodding, and fires up another joint, which he passes to Ian.
"Let me get my pain' box."
Elijah pantomimes dipping a paintbrush onto a finger palette.
"IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DON'T HAVE IN THERE?"
Elijah shakes his head and grins. He pulls a small cookie tin out of his bag and removes the lid, revealing several artist grade brushes and small bottles of coloured powder that he uncaps and mixes on the inside lid with a few drops of water from his bottle.
Both Orlando and Ian watch intently while the music bleeds into their brains. Elijah removes the forgotten joint from Ian's fingers, sucks back a lungful, and passes it to Orlando. He takes the lid and a finely tapered paint brush and kneels on the divan, straddling Orlando so that he can study his face.
Orlando lifts the bud out of his ear. "I want black eyes."
"I be giving you a black eye, doan you worray. Firs', you gonna get a petal because Ianna loves 'is fleur
." He plucks a clip from one of his dreads, one with a root or bird claw or something attached to it, and pins Orlando's curls back from his forehead. Then he dips into the yellow corner of the tin lid and paints a line of tiny dots from above Orlando's left eye, across the bridge of his nose and down onto his right cheek. He dips next into the blue paint, returning to the start of the line so that he can make the first dot the centre of a blue-petaled flower.
Ian removes his ear bud. "You'll have to do that to me as well, Elijah," he says, admiring the work.
"You be getting' a special one, Ianna," Elijah smiles at him.
By the time Elijah has finished with Orlando, several blue and yellow hash marks have been added to his chin, his cheeks and the tip of his nose, and his eyes have been outlined with a fine kohl pencil. Elijah unclips his sunglasses from the neck of his tee and holds them up as a mirror. "Fucking awesome," Orlando grins.
Elijah unfolds out of Orlando's lap, setting the lid and brush on the deck so that he can stand and stretch. He peels his tshirt over his head, revealing a bare and wiry back and chest tanned to a nut brown. "It be getting' too hot for wa'drobe," he declares, quaffing the rest of his water.
Both Ian and Orlando sit forward and stare, feet on the floor, arms resting on their knees. Orlando is fixated on Elijah's chest, while Ian is wondering how the soft blue denim manages to even contain Elijah.
"Wha?" Elijah asks, looking at them, then looking down at himself. "Oh ya, mon."
"Is that a tattoo?" Orlando asks.
Elijah drops his tshirt to the deck, and gingerly strokes the black and red abstract that starts from a small point on his sternum and spreads, licking like flames up onto his left shoulder and wrapping around to his back.
"Nah, mon. Dom and me got to paintin' las' night. He got de notion dat I mus' wear dis ting. Some Maori shit, he say."
," Orlando rhapsodizes. "I want one."
"Sure, mon," Elijah says. "Hey, check dis." He unzips his shorts and strips off, kicking them aside so that he can thrust his pubis forward.
Orlando sits back abruptly, and after a moment of silence, emphatically stabs one finger at Elijah's groin. "Gotta fucking have that," he announces, case closed.
Ian's thinking roughly the same thing, just not about the Haida totem imagery that Elijah is currently showcasing on his penis. Talk about embracing the cultures of the Pacific rim.
"Not a pro-blem," Elijah announces. "I got de black paint."
Orlando is up and stripped before Elijah has finished his sentence.
"Well, I suppose it's hardly right for me to be the only one dressed, especially with all this paint around," Ian decides, looking down at his whites. He shucks his shoes, linen trousers and shirt, and relaxes back upon the divan in his hat and white cotton briefs. Orlando reclines between his spread legs and towels off whatever excess tanning lotion remains.
"Any ting special?" Elijah asks, placing his paints nearby.
"You choose," Ian and Orlando reply at the same time.
After furnishing Ian and Orlando with yet another joint, Elijah slides between Orlando's splayed legs, letting one rest atop his thigh. "Aright, den," he declares, looking down at Orlando's slumbering cock. "Time to make buddy all prittee."
Orlando nearly eats his top lip stifling the sound that flies up his throat when Elijah scoops up his cock with one hand, thumbing the glans to stretch his painting surface.
Elijah tilts his head this way and that, making a careful study of how best to start. Finally he picks up a medium bristle brush, dips into the black paint and applies a series of outlines about mid-shaft.
"Oh fuck," Orlando gasps. The tongue-like swabs of the tapered sable brush feel like little puppy licks on his skin, ticklish and sensual at the same time. "Elijah...," he starts nervously, trying to sit up.
"Doan you worray, Orlando. A chubby aktully help wit' de painting. Make it all smooth-like."
"He does seem to have a point," Ian agrees, eyes riveted upon Elijah's small nimble nail-bitten fingers enveloping the girth of his heart's desire. "Perhaps it's just a matter of mind over matter, my pet."
"I don't think so," Orlando says rather urgently. "Is this going to take long?"
Elijah's eyes flash up from under his brows, a wicked grin in place. "Wai' till you feel da brush on your a-noose."
Ian nearly falls off the bench, he's laughing so hard.
Shortly before 5:30 that afternoon, the RIB pulls alongside the Oyster. The crew appear to have been productive on their day ashore, and they set to unloading their purchases, carrying their bags and boxes past the now empty al fresco lounge, through the open cockpit and down into the quarters. The captain figures Ian and Orlando have retired to their cabin, although the cook isn't sure, so he returns up top for a walkabout. It's while he's moving past the wheel room that he sees through the wind screen the tip of Ian's white sun fedora atop his slumbering head on the foredeck, so he circles outside to check.
He is just aft of the mast when he stops. Before him, zonked out on his back in the afternoon sun, lies Orlando, naked to the heavens, his head a riot of beads and feathers and shells and paint. Several painted hibiscus flowers cap his shoulder and cascade down onto his chest and biceps in a riot of purples and reds. Two red circles circumnavigate his nipples, the tips of which are dotted in yellow like the stamens of a blossom. His face looks reposed, even happy; his genitals look happy too, girdled as they are in aboriginal symbols.
Beside him lies an equally soporific Ian, naked except for the hat shielding his eyes, the loafers on his feet, and the feathers and coquina shells woven into his wispy white pubic hair. A daisy is painted where his navel should be and two matching daisies adorn each of his bollocks. Running the length of his cock is a garland of painted blue and yellow forget-me-nots.
"Oh, Christ," the captain sighs, and Ian blearily opens one bloodshot eye in his general direction. "You let Elijah on board, didn't you."
bashy: cool, awesome
wood, buddy: penis
grinder, grindsman: someonewho is good in bed
jerry-rigged: to macguyver something
sundowners: social drinking time after work, at sunset.