Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Davy Jones’ Locker THE SEAMAN AND HIS DIARY Flash Fiction

The Davy Jones’ Locker  

Dear Reader : For a change, here is some flash fiction, a story I wrote for a flash fiction competition long ago. 


A freak accident. A ghastly death. A gruesome sight.

The young seaman fell off the ship’s towering main mast, his body somersaulting, tossed around by superstructures and bulkheads, till it lay mangled on the deck, neck broken, skull smashed.

At sunset we consigned him to The Davy Jones’ Locker at the bottom of the sea to Rest in Peace. RIP.

I rummaged through the sailor’s belongings and found his journal, a diary he wrote daily. I read his diary.

It is extraordinary how close you can be to a man and how little you can know about him.

I knew he was married but I had never realized how deeply he loved his wife.

I sealed the dead seaman’s belongings in a kitbag. Yes, I packed all his belongings, everything, except his diary.

This diary I would hand over personally to his wife, and try my best to alleviate her distress, the next time we berthed at Mumbai.

I owed it to dead seaman, and to his widow, for it was I who had sent him up the main mast to repair the light, while the ship was rolling and pitching in the treacherous North Atlantic.

The moment we berthed in Mumbai harbour, at the first available opportunity, I went ashore to make the condolence call on the bereaved widow.

My shipmates waited for me on board when I went to make the condolence call.

The moment I returned they all asked me anxiously, “What happened? You found the place?”

“Yes. I found the house and paid our condolences to the bereaved wife.”

Suddenly they all started speaking together, “His wife… widowed so young…poor thing…so unlucky…such a pity…so sad…tell us…tell us…how has she taken it… what was she doing?”

“She was in bed,” I said.

“In bed? Oh My God…she’s still bedridden with grief…?”

“She’s not bedridden with grief,” I said.

“What?” they all exclaimed in chorus, and then a cacophony of voices, “lying ill in bed for three months…what happened…accident…fracture…heart attack…stroke…depression…shock…”

“Please! Please!” I interrupted loudly raising my finger, “She is not ill, she has not had an accident, heart attack, stroke, nothing, she is not in distress, she has not taken it badly at all. In fact she has taken it rather well. She wasn’t alone in bed when I suddenly reached her house early in the morning – she was in bed with someone else.”

“What? Impossible…tell us…what happened…tell us…”

“What is there to tell?” I said, “I went to the address written in his diary, but she’s shifted to a swanky apartment in Malabar Hill…”

“She must have bought it with the insurance money…” someone piped up.

“I rang the doorbell. She opened the door, dressed in a flimsy nightie. I told her who I was, " I said. 

"Then what happened?" they all asked together, curious.

She invited me in, when suddenly a man’s voice called her from inside the bedroom, ‘hey sweetie pie, what are you doing out there? Come back to bed fast, I’m getting cold’ and she said to him, ‘someone has come ... a shipmate...’ and the man inside shouted back to her, ‘just tell him to get lost, tell him to vamoose, just tell him to disappear...’ 

So I bid her good bye...and came back right here...”I said.

“Bloody hell…two-timing bitch…maybe the seaman knew all about it…maybe he didn’t fall off the mast accidentally...maybe he intentionally jumped off…poor guy…his diary…did you give it to her?”

“No. I threw his diary into the sea, into The Davy Jones’ Locker. To join him down there at the bottom of the sea. May they both Rest in Peace, the seaman and his diary. RIP.”  

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Dear Reader - if you liked this story, I am sure you will love the stories in my book COCKTAIL - a collection of 27 stories about relationships.

Relationships are like cocktails. Every relationship is a unique labyrinthine melange of emotions, shaken and stirred, and, like each cocktail, has a distinctive flavour and taste. The twenty-seven stories in this collection explore fascinating aspects of modern day relationships: love, romance, sex, betrayal, marriage, parenting and even pet parenting. You will relish reading these riveting cocktails of intermingling emotions narrated in a temptingly engaging style, and once you start reading you will find this delicious “cocktail” unputdownable till the very end.

To get your copy of COCKTAIL please click the link below:


VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. His delicious foodie blogs have been compiled in a book "Appetite for a Stroll". A collection of his short stories about relationships titled COCKTAIL has been published and Vikram is currently busy writing his first novel and with his teaching and training assignments. Vikram lives in Pune with his family and his muse – his pet DobermanX girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog :  
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1 comment:

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