Ghost-Pepper Honey

Ghost-Pepper Honey

By Jackie Leavitt

Seaward. I’ve begun to think of her as an evil four-year-old who will gleefully throw everything on the ground, when given the opportunity. I think everything should be in its special spot in the galley. She thinks everything belongs on the floor.

The temper tantrums can be minor, like her slyly sliding a bowl of chili down the counter to collide with a cutting board, sending the contents spilling. But they can be reflective of a full-scale gale, with books and fruits and plates and coffee flying in all directions, weightless for long seconds, like a vengeful tornado.

What a brat.

I run around after her, cleaning up her mess, and try vainly to anticipate her next violent move. But I’m left afterward with aching legs and a morose look upon my face, while she is as spry as ever.

Only I can see this vindictive side to Seaward. To everyone else, they are blinded by her bright white hull and nimbleness as she cuts through the waves and wind. Just as I begin to resent her, like a sun cresting from the clouds, she calms down in front of other people, an angel, and tries to lull me as surly as the waves rock us at night.

But I can see past her first layer, underneath, where her smile has a malicious mischievousness, like honey, mixed with a ghost-pepper bite.