Author's note: Hi folks, Happy Halloween. Before we get started I wanted to let you know that though it is Halloween themed, this is very much a Loving wives tale. There is a very slutty wife who cheats on her husband and runs off with his money leaving him broken hearted. So this story does belong in LW. This one is just a bit more serious than the one I wrote for Halloween last year (Boo) so be prepared. I want to thank both mikothe baby and AlleyKat86 for their efforts in making this story readable. Without them there'd probably be a comma after every other word. SS06
The crisp fall breeze brought a fresh smell to the water as Isaac Turner walked along the deck. He looked over the rail as the ship coasted along down the Detroit River. There was a chill in the air and he thought about going below deck to get a jacket but decided to check on the youngster first.
He looked down the length of the over 700 foot long freighter and tried to locate his charge. Before he caught sight of Jimmy he saw something else that brought a smile to his lips. There on the shore of Belle Isle, the gem in the center of the river between Detroit, Michigan, USA and Windsor, Ontario, Canada, he saw them. There was a group of small children, all waving as hard as they could at the ship as she passed. The group of smiling small faces brought a smile to Isaac's weather beaten visage as he watched them. He knew at that moment in time every one of those kids wanted to be on the ship.
By tomorrow their thoughts would be back to music, monsters and video games, but for that one brief moment as the ship passed by, it was their total focus.
That was the great thing about children. Isaac knew from experience because he had two of his own. They put their hearts into everything they did. If only adults could do the same.
"Hey, Ike, who ya wavin' at?" asked Jimmy from behind Isaac.
"Just a bunch of kids there on the shore," said Isaac.
"Why bother?" asked Jimmy.
"I probably made their day, just by being polite," said Isaac. "Besides that, what goes around comes around. You never know, one of those kids might grow up to become our next shipmate or our next owner. I always try to treat people the way I'd want to be treated. Shitty things that you do tend to come back at you. Good things tend to come back too."
Jimmy nodded his head and shivered at the breeze. It was definitely chilly out today. Even for late October in Michigan. But at least there was no snow. Michigan was a state that had the full complement of four seasons.
The state's weather was also subject to abrupt and violent changes. There was an old saying in Michigan, "If you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes and it'll change."
The ship they were both working as deck hands on was called the Bill Maitland. Its company ID and shipping number was DQS1. She was 729 feet long, 75 feet wide and 38 feet tall. The ship carried iron ore to ports in Michigan and Wisconsin. At that moment, in fact, she had almost 26,000 tons of pellets in her belly that would soon be made into cars and trucks.
"Shit it's cold out here," snapped Jimmy. This was his third trip on the ship and he was getting used to it. He sometimes liked to show off his knowledge of things about the ship, so the old timers didn't still treat him like he was green.
"If I didn't know better, I'd swear the wit..." the rest of Jimmy's words were cut off so quickly by Isaac clamping his large hand over the young man's mouth that it felt to Jimmy like he had eaten the rest of sentence.
"Shut the fuck up, boy," sneered Isaac angrily. "You NEVER mention HER, anywhere near the lakes. You especially do not say it around October and November. Do you understand me?" Isaac was looking so intently into Jimmy's eyes that Jimmy felt fear.
Jimmy knew that Isaac was big enough and strong enough to snap him in half without a thought. But Isaac was also the kindest and most gentle man that Jimmy had ever met. It took something miraculous or very serious to raise his friend's ire. Jimmy nodded his head to let Isaac know that he understood him totally.
Jimmy had known that sailors or mariners, as they were now called, because very few ships actually sailed these days, were a very superstitious lot. Those superstitions seemed to be magnified on the great lakes. But with all of the advances in technology and modern equipment, Jimmy didn't expect anyone to truly believe in all of those old tales.
Maybe it was just the generation gap rearing its head again. Ike at fifty some odd years and Jimmy at twenty four had more than a generation of differences between them.
They had nearly no shared life experiences to bring them together. In fact, the only thing that made them friends was the fact that they were both deck hands on the DQS1. Other than that their lives were nothing alike.
Where Jimmy met a new woman in every port they hit, his friend Isaac had been married to the same woman, Tina, for longer than Jimmy had been alive. Their relationship was often tumultuous and there'd been many occasions where Jimmy had to calm Ike down. Almost everyone on the ship knew about Ike and his wife's continuing battles. That was one of the reasons that Jimmy didn't see himself trying to settle down until he gave up the sea. It was simply too hard trying to keep a relationship stable when you'd be away for weeks at a time. Ike claimed they stayed together because they loved each other. But Jimmy, after listening to the couple's nearly constant battles often wondered, what love had to do with it.
Ike also still maintained a lot of the superstitious practices that had long been a part of sailing lore. Jimmy on the other hand wasn't religious or superstitious. He didn't believe in anything he couldn't see, feel, or taste. Even most of the things that he could hear, could be explained scientifically. One of his favorite shows, that he watched whenever he could on the internet, Ghost Hunters, showed that a lot of the things that people thought were supernatural in origin, were actually very easily explained.
So Jimmy just laughed inwardly at his friend's abject fear of Jimmy mentioning the Witch. The Witch," thought Jimmy. "The Witch, the Witch, the Witch. Fuck the Witch," said Jimmy, very quietly under his breath, as Isaac walked away.
Though Jimmy's nearly silent words were too quiet to be heard by human ears, they still echoed through the river's water and became a part of it. By being a part of the river they were a part of Lake Huron that it fed into. Jimmy's words were carried through the St. Mary's River and the Soo Locks into Lake Superior.
Lake Superior, by surface area, is the world's largest freshwater lake. Both Longfellow and Gordon Lightfoot wrote about Gitche Gumee which means "big water". Whatever you call it, Lake Superior is big and scary. The depths of the lake contain areas where the water is below freezing most times of the year. Local superstitions tended to say that the lake and its sister lakes were all living entities with spirits and personalities.
There were all kinds of legends revolving around the lakes and their abilities. In Jimmy's case, the problem wasn't with the spirit of the 10,000 year old lake. It was with something far younger but at the same time far older.
Deep near the center of the lake, in one of the coldest parts of the lake, the area that was so cold it was called the lake's ice water mansions, the ripples of Jimmy's words caressed a body. Just the touch of the word laden water was enough. A being stirred and eyes of an eerily icy blue opened. A thin arm waved and the wind along the top of the lake whipped up, creating a whirlpool that knifed deeply into the lake.
The rapidly circulating current was not un-noticed by superior herself. In a voice as deep and watery as the ocean, Superior spoke, "Return to you slumber, little sister. It is not quite your time."
The wind howled back to the lake in answer, even as the whirlpool cleared a path for the body to the surface of the water. "Something calls to me. And I must answer."
The force of the wind increased, until the body, emaciated yet bloated by the water broke the surface and floated suspended above the surface of the water. Thunder cracked and lightning struck the water. The winds whipped up to gale force in a very tight arc around the body. The suction and friction from the winds drew all of the water out of the body. The lake water had acted as a preservative, keeping the body fresh.
As the body dried out the wind entered it. The body became the residence for the consciousness of the wind. In a way that was very strange, the body became the wind's vessel. It allowed the wind to interact with beings and entities on the mortal plane while still tethered to the ethereal plane on which she and her cousins, the spirits of the lakes, existed.
The wind and the lakes could always affect people, places and things on both planes, but had no knowledge of the results, nor any motivation for their actions on this one. Her sister, Superior, often sank ships and killed many without realizing it.
The body, whose consciousness was now that of the wind, smiled thinking about it. She shook her head vigorously. So hard, in fact, that if she'd still been human, her neck would have shattered. Her eyes glowed with unnatural fire and purpose. She still had thoughts in her head that belonged to the original consciousness that this body had housed. That human had been dead for over 30 years as humans counted time. She wondered why the human's thoughts, memories and feelings sometimes still plagued her.
.... There is more of this story ...