With one hand clutching the rudder, a girl with bubblegum pink hair manned the sails of The Astrium. The salty sea spray stung her bare back. The rope she'd paid fifty-eight sea urchins for cut into her hand; droplets of red stained her ship's deck. Her shaggy dog sniffed her wound in concern.
The gales were getting harder to control, forcing her to knot the ropes. Sucking her hand, the girl dipped her foot into the water, enjoying the cool liquid running over it. She smiled to herself, teeth dyed with blood, longing to dive inside and feel the seaweed tickle her ribs, her thighs.
Her dog yelped, skittering backwards. While he was drinking from the ocean, a fat goldfish had taken its chance to bite the dog's cracked nose. The girl plucked the fish out of the water by its tail, scolded it, and swallowed it whole.
"C'mon, boy!" she yelled, hoisting the injured dog to its feet, "We've got a job to do!"
She dried her hands on his matted fur, wishing that she could be covered in warm fur instead of squishy brown skin. Readjusting her hold, she untied the ropes and heaved. She braced herself against the strong wind that was towing her to the sinking whirlpool in the water. "I'll beat you!" she screamed, tightening her grip.
Her sailing sextant spun across the deck as the ship's bow lifted in the air. Its sun-bleached sails bulged and strained under the force of the wind. And then—the boat lifted, leaving a stream of algae painted water dripping beneath it. The boat gained altitude, sailing higher into the black storm. The girl adjusted the ropes, her hair frosted with clouds, until the wind rushing against her bony hips and small breasts forced her to sit. She pulled her dog close for warmth.
The girl laid back against the ship, tired from her daily chore. She would let it fly itself for a while—it always knew how to calm the storm.
"Make it summer," she whispered into the hull, patting the knots. A bolt of lightning tickled her toes, lulling her to sleep.