Friday, November 30, 2012


Many of the haiku written on this blog are collected from obscure places: time machines, internal memory banks of robot soldiers, ships found floating in the outskirts of uninhabited star systems, etc... others I've written myself. Fortunately, I've led a life so-far which has enabled me to either hear these stories and haiku from well-traveled men, or given me the particular opportunities to obtain them myself directly from their exotic origins.

The following few posts will not be haiku proper, but it will eventually become clear as to why they've been posted, over time, when the entire story emerges. They are the continuing stories of a man whom I came to know quite well, a man named James Barlowe Massimo, who captained a sailing ship named "The Pyroclastic Flow" on which I sailed for some time. How I came to find myself a sailor pirating the waters of the South Pacific is an intensely complicated tale.

However, the question of how Captain Massimo came to know and become involved with Doctor Benjamin Redstone, a time traveler from one of Saturn's moons, is perhaps even more complicated. First, we will begin with the Good Captain Massimo's death:


I arrived home from Grenada only moments ago. I was there attending the wake of a very fine man... one of the finest men I ever knew in fact... one Captain James Barlowe Massimo (of the Massimo's of Rome who could coincidentally trace their lineage to Quintus Fabius Maximus born in 280 BC, making them the single oldest noble family in all of Europe).

James was the Captain of a moderately sized, but nigh unsinkable sailing ship called "The Pyroclastic Flow"... a sturdy sloop built in the 1960s on which both he and I had a great many adventures.

I recall quite vividly once in the early 1990s when I was but a young man, we were arrested in the South Pacific for the quite serious crime of piracy on the high seas... as we had commandeered a New Zealander's ship which was at that time bound for some destination in the vicinity of Micronesia... we proceeded to relieve the ship's hold of it's cargo of opium poppies... along with the not-insignificant amount of pocket money of the entire ships crew as well. A point of interest... the opium plant grows quite legally in New Zealand due in no small part to it's nation's trade with the large medical corporations of the United States.

Nevertheless, after passing New Caledonia, very near to our port of safety in the far south Solomon Islands, we ran afoul of an Australian naval boat. She fired upon us to our starboard as a warning and, with no other choice, we allowed them to board us. We were greeted by a trio of slim and vaguely effeminate Naval boys: quite officious, though beardless and smartly dressed with buttons ashine. The young Captain called himself Wallingham, a name which I remarked matched his queer manner... after saying this, they handled me roughly, threatened to shoot Prince Lupus, our ship's mascot dog, if he continued to bark, and then proceeded to begin the search of the ship, giving us notice we were to be held on suspicion of piracy.

With a hull full of ill-gotten poppies and a large chest of Chinamen's jade from an earlier transaction that week... the Captain and I were both naturally quite ill-at-ease... given the full knowledge that piracy at the time was a capital offense. We fully suspected to be hanged that day or within the month at the port of Cairns, or perhaps worse, dumped into the waters to be sunk to the bottom of the Coral sea unceremoniously.

And yet, with our deaths in sight, the good Captain Massimo... being a man of great strength that he was, broke free of his binds, loose'd mine as well and mounted a battle with the three young naval pups. Without much effort on our parts, the three went overboard, and so as to be sure they didn't meet their deaths, Captain Massimo threw several planks into the waters as well, for them to float upon... which I'm sure is more than they'd have done for us. Last I heard of them, they survived to tell the tale, but were so shamed being taken 2-to-3 (and Naval men against us ratty rogues, no less) as to never mention it freely again.

Once back in charge of our vessel, we immediately set sail for South America, stopping several times for the necessities: once in Tonga, once in the Cook Islands, once in Tahiti, and once on Easter Island. In each of these small islands, I have now at least one offspring with a native girl... a fact of which I am not MOST proud...nor am I shameful of it, as the women there are quite beautiful and I couldn't but resist their charms... excepting for my "wife" on Easter Island, as she weighed more than Captain Massimo himself (who was a large man), and if I am to be frank, was nearly as "pretty" as the Captain as well. Though I have no regrets, as the girls were scarce on that island and choices were few.

Once arriving in South America, we set about selling the Chinamen's jade we had acquired, which fetched us much needed moneys, the bulk of which with we bought goods for our next journey. Although this is a story for perhaps another time. I shall tell it when I feel it needed said.

1 comment:

  1. I think next, I'll tell the tale of Captain Massimo, the Jain Temple Monks, the 6 Bangladeshi raiders, and the most bizarre and amazing feats that occurred at the British Consulate?
    I swear if I had not been at the Consulate that day, not a man alive could convince me of what happened there.