Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Story of Evan Shunt

Since childhood, engraved on her heart, was the knowledge that the sea was her destiny. It called to her like a silver tongue, waves, salty and insistent, the backdrop to her life.
Eva grew up in Gdansk, surrounded by ships and seafarers inside, outside, around the town, the gruff male voices, shouting, swearing and beguiling. Her biggest obstacle was her femaleness, because although she could always disguise the budding breasts what to do with the inside of the heart’s cave, that secret place that she could not alter?
As she matured, Eva set her plan in motion. She would become a boy and suppress the vortex of any feminine or maternal desires so she could gain the freedom of the seas.
Eva’s parents, beaten down by the privations of war and sullied by politics, had fled into the comfort of their secret Catholic faith, and their love for one another.
Eva, knowing that faith for her was like the damp, cold smell of stone angels, slipped away from home. Dressed like the man she wanted to be, she signed up as Able Seaman Shunt.
Knowing that her parents would hardly even notice her absence, never mind register her as a missing person, Eva, inside the locked prison of her own choosing, swung happily in a hammock, miles below deck.
She became he, from Eva Shuntski to Evan Shunt, destined for far away lands, he quietly played his tiny childhood harmonica and knew that he would never miss the windowpane of home.

The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule
22 January 2015

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