Sub Marine Consciousness

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Short Stories



November 4th 03:15:

I was on the top deck of an old ferry with rough, dark green seas whopping up around me, pitching the rusted hulk like it was a gothic fairground ride. The metal door, encrusted with the memories of a thousand storms banged shut behind me, a portion of the salted and cracked hinge catching deep in my coat and drawing a little blood.   

Out on deck, squinting my eyes against the tendrils of the storm and licking the brine from my stubble, I could see in the darkness the neon lights away to stern. I stumbled across the decking, holding the guardrail a little tighter than necessary, in part with fear and part with excitement.

I reached the gaming area and joined them huddled under the maiden head where the croupiers were dealing with the cards, the drunkards and occasional crash of the folksail. Even with the choppy lean of the boat this casino was taking care of business, and I was feeling lucky, knowing that only the occasional sea spray would slow the ball as it travelled round the roulette wheel before landing in my number.

I jostle to find a seat at one of the electronic roulette machines fixed under the overhang of the lifeboats. I wipe the water off my bank note and slide it into the slimy hole. Within a few spins I’m winning and press the collect button, but all it pays out are seedless grapes and blackberries. I carefully collect them, scared they’ll crush as I cradle them in the lip of my life-preserver. I take them to the casino counter and push them under the grill to the waiting female cashier who just laughs at me saying of course she can’t give me money for fruit.

Disgusted, I go to the bar with my last £20 and order up a beer. As I drain the glass and turn to leave I check my remaining bank roll to find that the £10 and £5 bills given as change are just bad photocopies made on strengthened rolling papers, fooling no-one. I ask the barman what’s up with that, but he just looks at me like I’m insane. It seems pointless to argue any further.

I turn to leave, resigned to making my way back below deck through the rusted door when I see a black leather wallet on the floor stuffed with more of these same fake bank bills. I feel morally within my rights to steal it and take this counterfeit currency up to the casino counter and try to pass them off as genuine. Sure enough the woman gives me a load of chips and off I go again to the tables to try and win my passage out of here, as the biting oceanic storm strengthens around me…


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