Short Stories

Short Stories #18

The eighteenth story in my collection of thirty, When I Am Not Writing Poetry, is ‘Cargo’ – another tale of the sea, drawn from my time in the merchant navy. I still have in my possession the cargo plan with its macabre stowage. But a tale of a haunted ship? I don’t believe that I ever sailed on one!

The Third Officer was busy making copies of the cargo plan. It was the Second Officer’s job to decide where everything went, but as a part of his preparation for the time when it would be his task, he had been helping and this final, more mundane job had become his. He was slightly in awe of the cargo officer’s job as there were so many aspects to be considered when you decided where to load so many tons of bagged salt (the bottom of number 5 hold) or 19 unpacked —that is not travelling in boxes—cars (on top of everything else in the lower hold of number 3 hatch). There was the stability of the ship to consider of course so as each logistical decision was made there were frequent recalculations to make because cargo could be loaded in several ports—this trip only two—for discharge at any number of ports…

‘Cargo’ can be found in When I Am Not Writing Poetry – available here or on Amazon.

By Chris

Poet and writer: I have travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, worked on the farm where I now live, and re-invented myself as an information scientist. Born in Sussex, I moved to Swansea and have lived in the same farm cottage in mid-Wales for almost 50 years.

I have two collections of poems in print, Mostly Welsh and the recent Book of the Spirit. Although initially entirely focussed on poetry, my writing has branched into short stories and my first full length work of fiction, The Dark Trilogy and the collection of short stories - When I Am Not Writing Poetry - are also available.

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