Mark Cugini

Aprile del 1524

We had been anchored off the isthmus’s coast for three weeks but today there is reason to celebrate: we finally located the sound this afternoon and I can assure you that my men were gleeful. I think we have discovered a gateway to The New World! Antoine--normally so stoic, so even-keeled--even put his arm around my shoulders and beckoned towards the coast, grinning like he was holding his first born. Although I was less willing to express this publicly, I share this jovial mood with my men, even more so after the violent and insufferable storms demolished our other ships and sunk them to the bottom of the ocean.

The gateway is nestled between two rolling hills of green pasture. You will be pleased to hear that each mountain seems so barely inhabited, and I assume they are still full of minerals and botany unique to this region. So much potential, your majesty! and I doubt the Indians have the wherewithal (or intellectual resources) to notice. To think that we are the first Europeans to stumble across this marvel.

The Indians, again they paddled thirty or so of their small boats towards us--as was to be expected, what with our previous documentation of their welcoming nature. I must admit, though, that these particular tribesmen appear to be of a different nature, seeming almost more cheerful than the ones that were indigenous to Arcadia. I must assume from their gay expressions that they would be welcoming had we set anchor near their coast.

But I regret to inform you, my majesty, that this is about the most I can report of this discovery, since a most unfortunate series of events has befallen us: the very moment we were about to throw down our grabbling hooks, a terrible and sudden burst of wind shook our vessel. We tried desperately to maintain stability and hold our position, but the elements were proving too difficult a task, forcing us to raise mast and leave that marina almost as immediately as we had entered it.

I was not content leaving the Angoulême Harbor so suddenly (which we named for you, Majesty, because this is a land full of the same superfluous potential that has been in Spain since your sovereignty began), for it appears to be a land of such great commodity. I will not rest easily until I can step foot on its soil, until I experience the great pleasantness of the Indies and reap her benefits for myself.

-G.V. de La Dauphine, buque insignia: par ordre de sa majesté Franqois

Mark Cugini never been tooken out. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Stymie, Device, and Petrichor Machine, among others. He is working towards his MFA in Creative Writing at American University. The managing editor of Big Lucks, he lives, teaches and eats eggs in Washington, DC.

No comments:

Post a Comment