It was no distress broadcast that saved us. In the end it was a forged map and some boat songs brought us home.

In the giants’ nest someone figured out the math in the hymnals, how prayer is incantation, and the way the sextant seeks the stars. Sums were worked, equations were fashioned, paper was folded specifically. We sang our shanties from the scattered coasts of the Isles of Brides to familiar orchards on familiar cliffs. They stamped our passports when we landed.

By then the figurehead was drunken, but the paper ship had held. Between us, a roll of quarters, a bottle of beer, two lemons, and a dog dressed in motley. Some documents (authentic), bills of lading made for an empty hold, and a book of verse written along the way.

The book and the dog were claimed at customs.  We ate the lemons on deck and passed around the sweating beer bottle. It would be days before we got our land legs back.

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