Login   Sign Up 


Typhoon Warning

by rmol1950 

Posted: 21 June 2008
Word Count: 1033
Summary: Here is me entry for the weeks challenge. This actually happened and the characters are all real although not necessarily involved in this particular event. The language is pretty much authentic. I have wanted to write it as a story for a long time but can never make it work. Candid critiques would be much appreciated.

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

Captain Finn Ibsen was worried. He leaned his six foot three bulk over a chart of the South China Sea, nervously tugging at his beard as he studied a typhoon warning.

‘Hollywood. Do you know why they call me Typhoon Ibsen?’

‘Er, I imagine its because you don’t like Typhoons, Captain’, replied Hollywood.

‘It’s because I’m shit scared of typhoons. And it’s also because I have a filthy quick temper. The first reason, young Hollywood, you should be glad of. The second reason you won’t like at all.’

‘Er, yes Sir. I mean no Sir.’

‘Go and get the Chief Mate, Hollywood. Now.’

The short, plump softly spoken Chief Mate arrived. He was terrified of Ibsen.

‘Mr Mate’, said Ibsen, ‘I want to be clear of the islands and in open ocean with plenty of sea room before this storm becomes a problem, so call the crew. We’re sailing in an hour.’

‘They’re all in the bar at the end of the jetty Sir.’

‘Well send somebody to get them, and quick. I’ll leave without them if I have to. Send Hollywood. He’s standing around doing bugger all.’ Ibsen indicated the Navigation Cadet who had already started testing the bridge equipment ready for sailing.

‘I’d rather not send a young lad to a brothel Sir.’

‘Don’t make me laugh. That little bastard has been in every whorehouse in the Philipines telling the girls he’s still a virgin. He’s had more free nooky this year than I’ve had cold beers. All you need to worry about is getting him out of the place again. Hollywood’, he bellowed, ‘get your pretty little arse down to that bar and order those bastards aboard ship or I’ll sail without them. And come straight back.’

‘Yes Sir.’ Hollywood headed for the gangway, pausing to pull up one long white sock, smiling in ruefull anticipation of the jibes from the crew and girls when he appeared at the bar in his white tropical uniform.

The Blue Lagoon was a mud hut with a corrugated iron roof, set in tropical vegetation close to the beach. Inside were a bar and several small rooms where the girls entertained clients. Outside purple bougainville and coloured lights covered a patio area of tables and chairs. At night, smelling of jasmine, serenaded by crickets and calypso, it could be magical, and all the girls were beautiful. In daylight it was scruffy and hot and smelled of stale beer. And some of the girls were definitely not beautiful.

The Bosun and five of the deck crew were sitting around a drink laden table, each with a girl on their lap. They had been in the bar since the previous afternoon.

The Bosun shouted, ‘How much credit have I got left Mama’.

A round middle aged woman with a laughing face full of gold teeth came to the bar door. ‘Enough for one more round drinks or one girl. You better buy drinks. You don’t can manage another girl.’ The girls all giggled loudly. The Bosun stroked the thigh of a very pretty girl wearing an eye patch. ‘Sorry Maria but its gonna have to be the drinks. She’s right.’

He paused, about to sip his rum and cola, ‘Well look what’s arrived. Our very own movie star Cadet Officer. And in full uniform.’

‘Hollwooooood’, the girls chorussed. ‘You come say bye bye?’

‘Er. No. Well, yes actually. We’re leaving. Bosun, the Captain says to return aboard at once. We’re sailing in an hour.’

‘Well actually’, said the Bosun, ‘I reckon I’ve changed my mind about that round of drinks.’ He nuzzled Maria’s neck. ‘Tell old Typhoon I’ll be coming shortly.’ He paused and laughed out loud. ‘And I’ll be aboard shortly after that.’

‘Bosun, I’ve been told to order you back aboard immediately.’

‘Bloody hell. One day he’s asking me to teach him how to splice a wire rope and the next thing he’s ordering me about. Bugger off, Hollywood. I’ll be back soon enough. Sit down and have a drink for chrissakes.’

‘Can’t. Got to get back. You had better too.’ Hollywood left wondering what exactly to say to the Captain.

Typhoon Ibsen was leaning over the bridge wing watching Hollywood approach, and becoming more irritated with every second. ‘Where the fuck are they?’ he bellowed before Hollywood even reached the gangway.

‘Er, the Bosun said he would be coming shortly, Sir.’

‘Don’t tell me, Hollywood. And he’ll be back aboard shortly after that. Right?’

‘Er, yes Sir.’

‘Stop saying er with every fucking sentence Hollywood. Get back there and tell those bastards I’ll tie them up by their bollocks if they are not back here in 10 minutes. That goes for you too Hollywood. Now start running.’

The Bosun was in a back room with One Eyed Maria when Hollywood returned breathlessly to the Tropicana. He tapped on the wall and called through the curtained doorway.

‘Bugger off Hollywood. Have some consideration for the sensibilities of this young lady will you. I refuse to leave until she has been fullfilled.’

‘The Captain said he would tie you up by your bollocks if you weren’t back in 10 minutes. He’s pretty mad.’

There followed frenzied activity and much giggling before the Bosun’s head appeared through the curtain. ‘Tie me up will he? I’d better get moving then. Eh Hollywood?’

Ten minutes later a furious Typhoon Ibsen, who had decided to sort the problem himself, met the Bosun and deck crew on the jetty jogging back to the ship.

‘Sorry we’re late Captain, it took me a while to find everybody’, said the Bosun.

‘Bullshit’, said Ibsen, ‘see me in my office after we sail. And where the hell is Hollywood?’

‘He was a bit tied up with One Eyed Maria, Captain, but he said he would be along as soon as he could manage.’

Moments later the Bosun heard Ibsen’s bellow of rage from the other end of the jetty, followed by a roar of laughter.

Hollywood was spreadeagled and naked, tied to One Eyed Maria’s bed and gagged with a long white sock.

‘Hollywood’, Ibsen said, ‘ you might be useless little bugger at times but I have to admit your entertainment value.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Nella at 19:43 on 21 June 2008  Report this post
Hi Richard,
The story caught my attention and kept me reading the flow is good and the characters well-drawn, the atmosphere authentic. I' m not quite sure what to think about the ending. I' m wondering if Ibsen' s last line is in keeping with his threat at the beginning, i.e. that Hollywood won' t like the "second reason". I was expecting him to make good on the threat, but instead he laughs at HOllywood. Does that fit?
I also wondered how it addresses the challenge, except for the fact that there are three characters. But is something said three times? Or have I got the challenge mixed up in my mind?

One little nit pick:
you might be useless little bugger
"a useless..."


Prospero at 08:29 on 22 June 2008  Report this post
A interesting story, Richard, but somehow lacking focus because there seems to be too much detail in some areas and not enough detail in others. I feel I need to know more about the relationship between the Captain, the Chief mate, who, rather confusingly, becomes the Bosun, and Hollywood. The Captain and the Mate clearly understand one another very well and Hollywood is simply the hapless go-between. So perhaps something of the Captain and the Mate having ' runs ashore while Hollywood was still on the tit' , for example.



Inspiration at 14:47 on 22 June 2008  Report this post
A promising story, with some great ' funny' bits.

I too felt the main character needed a little more fleshing out. You have something worth doing this for, Richard. Just home in on the missing details.

Thanks for sharing,


Forbes at 17:12 on 23 June 2008  Report this post
A good story - perhaps not a flash but a short? It amused me.



To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .