Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Number One Under Heaven (57)

The engine of the dilapidated launch was complaining loudly as they rounded the last promontory on the final stretch of their voyage. The Morning Glory was now in full view although still some distance off, while the Captain began preparations for rafting up to her by instructing the crew to throw a set of fenders over the port side. Sophie sat glumly on deck, looking down at her feet while kicking them, purposelessly. She was awfully hungry, but still refused to eat. The only interaction she would permit, in fact, was with the kindest crewmember: the one who had encouraged her to drink water, all through her longest night.

But despite her anxiety, the plucky seven-year-old still found it possible to marvel at the incredible rock formations that stuck out of the sea everywhere, like canine teeth. The shroud of morning mist served only to add to the panorama’s mystique, so that it felt at times as if they were punting through some prehistoric lake. Lulled by the hypnotic throbbing of the worn out engine she was, on occasion, able to banish the seriousness of her predicament from her mind and transport herself instead to some magical fantasy world. A world where some miracle would happen, ending in her rescue. And they all lived happy ever aft–

Suddenly, it began dawning on her that they were approaching another, much larger vessel: all white and shiny, it looked very swanky indeed to the impressionable youngster. Perhaps it was owned by a Prince. And in a sense it was: but his heart, sadly, was black, and he lived in darkness. Having no idea what was planned for her, Sophie’s spirits soared as they edged closer and closer to the Glory. It seemed that her dreams would come true, after all. That God was answering her prayers. Mummy, she mouthed, silently. I’m going to see my Mummy again.

Plums was waiting on deck as the grimy launch finally drew alongside, collecting up Sophie from the outstretched arms of the sole crewmember she allowed near her. But while she now felt a surge of elation at her apparent change in fortune, the man who had cared for her during the ten-hour voyage from Qinzhou Marina looked downcast as the launch then chugged noisily away. Looking glumly over his shoulder as the Glory receded into the distance, a tear could perhaps be detected in the corner of his eye.

“They knee-capped me, those men,” Sophie comically erred. “Well, all except for one. He was nice.” She ran around excitedly on the polished deck, while Plums tried to usher her through to the main saloon. “Thanks for rescuing me,” she eventually concluded, a solemn look on her face. Bazza’s loyal manservant got a lump in his throat on hearing this, wavering for what was one of the very few times since his boss had begun preying on the young and innocent. “Yay! This place is cool!” squealed Sophie, surveying the Glory’s luxuriously appointed interior. “When’s my Mummy coming?”

It was easy for Sophie to settle quickly into her quarters. Bazza had instructed Plums to stow ‘the merchandise’, as he described her, in the VIP cabin, which constituted a fabulous twin room suite, complete with its own Jacuzzi. “I love it here!” she shrieked, delighted. And compared with the conditions she had been forced to endure in the very recent past, her new surroundings were indeed quite fabulous. She had yet to meet Bazza, spent force of the pop world, and when she did she would be too young to recognise him for the former chart-topper he genuinely was.

Within the confines of the yacht’s even more lavish Owner’s Suite, the faded pop-reggae crossover king was meanwhile pruning himself, if a little nervously. The children he had previously abused were generally unable to communicate with him. But this one would be different, he knew, and it unnerved him, ever so slightly. Would he be able to go through with what he planned, after all?

“What d’you fancy for lunch, sweet’eart?” Plums was, by now, asking back in the VIP cabin. “You must be really ’ungry after that awful long journey. ’Ow about macarwoni cheese?” “I love macaroni cheese!” the young girl enthusiastically replied. “Yay! I love this place! Is it a great big ship?” Responding with nothing more than a wan smile, Plums withdrew to the galley, where he spent a good deal of time each day, preparing food. It was also the place where he did most of his thinking. Ordinarily, on an occasion such as this, he would be relaxed in the comfort that his temperamental boss had secured the services of another new underage sex slave. For it usually meant that the atmosphere aboard the Glory would remain harmonious for a few days, until Bazza became bored and tetchy again. But today the generally imperturbable cockney queen was harbouring doubts. Grave ones.

posted by Kirk at 12:51 am  

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