Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 3: Territory Maps (part c)


Everyday people who come walking by when you're out there boating can look a little bit odd sometimes. Not in a weird or creepy way, but they do seem somewhat unsubstantial if you look at them closely. If they're out of sync with the Territory you tend to be able to see right through them. Other times people are solid as bricks, they're so much in sync that their form is thick and their shape fits right in with everything else that you see. Joggers bob by like a school of fish. Kids on bikes are seals. Panhandlers fish so they ask you for bait. Hookers are mermaids out looking for sailors to lure to their rock with their siren song.

Once when I was sailing along a guy staggered out of a neighbourhood bar and planted himself in front of our bow as he bellowed back to some friends still inside the bar. Didn't see us but we sure saw him, he looked just like a walrus you see. He actually was so we did a quick jibe and threw him a fish as we sailed on by on a different tack. We were glad he was there. He was right up on top of a boat-bashing rock that was posing itself as a mailbox in the everyday world. The mist that night was heavy and thick, it often is around neighbourhood bars. Could've smashed the boat if he hadn't been a walrus right then, making his walrus noise. So you see how it is. Whatever comes by and whatever happens when you're out there boating, just see what it is in a Territory way and you'll know the best thing to do.

Ah, here's Francis; she's brought us some food. Pie. I like pie. She doesn't make pie very often you know, you picked a good day to turn up here all right. Look at those berries, from Silent Bear Island, you can tell by their colour and size. Notice there's one slice missing from the pie? Has to do with the Lost Expedition - Francis, she's big on them. Nobody knows where they got to or why, but the way they say it, whenever the Lost Expedition meets they sit in a circle made up of twelve seats, one of which is always empty. That's why the pie has an empty slice. Don't know how she bakes it that way, but when Francis cooks pie you can always be sure to get a lot more than you bargained for. Dig right in, it tastes even better than it looks I bet.

Hmmm, yeah. Told you it did. So listen, have you got the idea of the Territory maps yet? Necessary things if you want to boat in the Territory. We got a whole lot on that wall over there and there's more stored away in that old sea chest on the floor underneath. Whenever one of the boaters in here finds someplace new, some island or port or an ocean or two they put the map of it up on that wall so everyone else can go there too. Other guys boating that way can add what they notice themselves, so after a while the map gets pretty reliable. Stories about it circulate as more and more boaters go and see what's there and what's not. The stories that stick get logged in that book on that table beside the map storage chest. Gotta whole lot of maps inside that chest, some of them passingly strange. You finish your pie and I'll go get one out to show you how they are. Be right back.

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