SS Edmund Fitzgerald

Rogues

Chapter 2/? - SS Edmund Fitzgerald

[Please note: this is a current and active WIP. Eventual Will/Hannibal.]

Hannibal doesn’t want him to help with lunch, and he would probably feel less shaky sitting down, but he can stir a damn pot. He can stand by the stove and warm his hands and concentrate on little else.

Every time Will blinks, he is looking up at the totem and icy wind off the water slices at the back of his neck. He finches at the feeling of thick blood flecking his face. But Hannibal stations himself next to Will, thin-slicing things and busily chopping, mashing, mixing… juicing. Whatever else. He explains the steps and Will can’t hang on to the timeline or the words. He takes up the wooden spoon and stirs the noodles in their bubbling water. He puts it down and lets the rhythm of Dr. Lecter’s speech wash over him.

The pot is warming and the body near his is warming and the knowledge that he can stand here and make himself at least minimally useful, even when he feels weak and broken, is warming, too.

Hannibal slices a tomato, fresh and glistening, salts it with a dash and hands it to him.

This isn’t Will’s idea of a tasty snack, but Hannibal is saying something about appreciating pure things for what they are. Fruit of the vine. Salt of the earth.

Will changes his focus to the taste, consistency, burst of flavor, texture. He appreciates this, thin skinned, wet, and red, for exactly what it is.

Hannibal smiles at him. He points to the pot.
Will gives it a stir.

Lunch is deceptively simple for how much work Hannibal puts into it. Sauces from scratch, sausage he says he hunted all around town for, far and wide, vegetables lightly cooked so they can be appreciated near enough to their natural state.

Every plate is beautiful. A composed gift for the eye and the palate. Water and then coffee. A quiet meal while Will mourns his missing hours and learns to accept the control he has just decided to hand to Hannibal.

It’s hard to accept a vulnerability as it sits, naked and exposed between them like this.

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November 10, 1975:  The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.  Launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on the Great Lakes, and remains the largest to have sunk there.

Gordon Lightfoot made it the subject of his 1976 hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” after reading an article, “The Cruelest Month”, in the November 24, 1975, issue of Newsweek. The sinking led to changes in Great Lakes shipping regulations and practices that included mandatory survival suits, depth finders, positioning systems, increased freeboard, and more frequent inspection of vessels. (wikipedia)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Edmund_Fitzgerald

Photo: Edmund Fitzgerald, 1971 (Wikimedia Commons)

youtube

On 10 Nov. 1975, the largest ship on the Great Lakes, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank.

The ship left Superior, WI on the afternoon of 9 November and was heading toward a steel mill near Detroit, MI, when it was caught in a severe storm the next day, with near-hurricane force winds and waves of 35 feet.

Shortly after 7 pm, the ship sank about 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay (near Sault Ste. Marie, MI). No distress signals were sent, and all 29 crew members were lost.

Gordon Lightfoot read about the disaster in the 24 Nov. 1975 issue of Newsweek magazine and was inspired to write a song based on the events. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” was released a year later on 20 Nov. 1976.

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We are almost upon the dreadful day that marks the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, and the unfortunate loss of its 29 crew members. Christened and launched in June of 1958, her maiden voyage was on September 24th of the same year. Also known as The Mighty Fitz and the Pride of the American Flag, she served for 17 years. With a length of 729 feet and a beam (width) of 75 feet, she is the largest ship to sink in the Great Lakes. Her registry number was US 277437, and she was tragically taken out of service on November 10th, 1975.

I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be on board that ship on that fateful day.