Morphing Ships, Lost Clothes, and a Hapless Jerk

I am on a ship anchored just off-shore somewhere in Europe, through a porthole I can see the colorful houses of a coastal town.

I’m waiting for my brother to arrive, he has been traveling and is joining me me onboard this vessel. Night falls before he arrives. He comes on board carrying only a small black bag, he says that’s all he has, and all he needs.

As we walk back toward my cabin the ship changes, it begins to feel more like a floating town. There are open walkways between sections of the structure, and many of the walls have fallen away, leaving it open to the water below. This doesn’t seem alarming.

We arrive at my cabin, which is now open to outside, the hull is gone and there is a walkway or a beam about 6 feet out, paralleling my cabin. My brother chucks his bag toward a chair that is near the open area. He misses the chair and his bag falls to the water, about 30′ below. He says everything he owns is in the bag, but he doesn’t seem distressed. We wander through the vessel for some time, but his belongings are on my mind. Eventually we get back to the cabin, it’s now daylight. My brother is not really a water guy, he doesn’t swim to my knowledge. Nor do I with any sort of competence, but I convince him I should at least go take a look for his belongings. Somehow I arrive on the beam that is adjacent to my cabin. I look down at the turquoise water below and jump.

I’m wading though waist deep water on beautiful sand. There are metal structures all around, materials moving about through the water, cloth, bags, machinery, and there are people everywhere.  I see my brother’s bag drift by and I grab it. I feel it’s weight, it has several items in it. I put it over my shoulder, and find myself back in the cabin.

My brother is disinterested in the contents of the bag, and says what he really needs are the clothes that were in there, that still seem to be missing.

I jump from the beam again, but find myself walking on a metal walkway through low doorways. I pass through a doorway into the vestibule of what seems like a pub. There is an older man there with his wife. He notices me walk in starts making obnoxious comments, telling my all the off-color things he plans to do to me. His wife doesn’t take it well, grabs him and hauls him out of the pub area, past me, and onto the walk way.

I proceed into the poorly lit space and ask a few people if they have seen any clothes floating around in the water. I collect no useful information.

I leave the way I came in, along the walkway. As I exit the vestibule I see the old man that was mouthing off.  He is hanging from a metal beam by a rope that is tied around his chest.  His legs are missing, they look like they have been removed with some force at the waist. He’s still unpleasant, but much less threatening. As I stand and observe him with curiosity, he is mumbling away about getting his legs out of the rope, and is grotesquely trying to twist around his torso, as if to free it from the rope. I find it fascinating that he hasn’t noticed he could just use his hands and arms to free himself.

I wake up.

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