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Fish Stocks Limited

Ambrosius was just about to splutter “no” when it hit him. It wasn't how you'd
imagine ecstasy to be – it was subtle, gentle, soft; not overwhelming or excessive.
Suddenly all the burning in Ambrosius' lungs was forgotten and replaced with a
floating happiness.
“I feel very schmerrr...”
“Har har, 'tis the fisherman's friend. Say, you been a landlubber all y'life?”
“Yes,” was all Ambrosius could muster.
“Then let me guess. You're filled with an overwhelming, head-staving urge to flee
from this damnable solidity we call the ground?”
“Yes,” said Ambrosius.
“You want to leave all your troubles behind, to take a cutlass to your memories, to
have no past?”
“Yes,” said Ambrosius.
“You want comradeship, adventure, danger?”
“Yes,” said Ambrosius.
“You want to taste the misty air and see the world from the top-gallant?”
“Yes,” said Ambrosius, smiling an inane smile.
“You want, m'hearty, to be like me?”
“Yes.” Ambrosius' eyes lacked focus.
“Then hold out y'left hand.”
Ambrosius held out his hand. He was lost in his dreamy haze as Fishmael pulled
out his cutlass. It didn't hurt as the old mistdog drew the keen blade over his hand.
From his pocket Fishmael produced a shrieker bird quill and piece of paper, the latter
of which he unfolded and flattened out on the table. He wetted the nib of the quill on
Ambrosius' bloody palm and passed him the pen, which Ambrosius held dumbly in
his right hand.
“Make y'mark, m'lad.”
Unthinkingly, Ambrosius scrawled his signature drunkenly on the bottom of the
list.
“Thar,” bellowed Fishmael. “'Tis done!”
****
Chapter 22 – All At Mist
The room seemed to sway disconcertingly as Ambrosius awoke. An intense dull
pain pealed in his head and a sharp, stinging pain in his left hand. He held his palm in
front of his bleary eyes and saw the gash, and as he did so last night's memories
flooded back to him. The room took another pitch and he unceremoniously sat up and
vomited to one side. It was at this point that he realised that it was not actually in a
normal bed, but a hammock. Groaning softly, Ambrosius wiped his mouth and looked
about him. He was in a ill- lit room with small, round port-holes for windows and
hammocks strung up on either side. Nobody else was about. Ambrosius made a
concerted effort to swallow his sickness and stood up. The room was definitely
swaying. With faltering steps he tottered unsteadily to the door and opened it. There
was a ladder in front of him, which led to an open hatch through which the sky was
visible. Seeing no other means of egress, he climbed up the ladder and was greeted by
a cool breeze on his face.
 
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