I stood in front of the sink in the ship's small kitchen, wearing a pair of yellow rubber gloves, a soapy plate in my hands and feeling very sick indeed.
The oniony smell wafting through from the kitchens was truly disgusting, and I'd had to endure it for the past hour and a half. Still around forty-five minutes left to go. Could I last that long? I highly doubted it.
I'd arrived at the port that morning, lookin distinctly cleaner than I had done the previous night. I had never appreciated a shower more than I did then. Three day's worth of mud was not the easiest thing to wash off and I had no wish to repeat the process any day soon. The captain, Downley I think his name was, had looked me up and down, raised an eyebrow and grunted appraisingly. Then he'd told a member of the crew to lead me to the kitchens to start my work.Apparently Ben had said my name was Mike. I laughed at the irony.
Mike washing dishes? I think not.
The ship had set off around half an hour later, bound for a trading port on the mainland. I'd been sent to wash the dishes that the crew had used for breakfast that morning.
Omlettes and greasy sausages. Lovely combination.
Ben had been right about the captain though, he was fair and understanding. He'd even let me up on deck a couple of times when the smell of the cooking had gotten too much for me.
So here I was, on my fortieth plate of the day, soap bubbles stinging my eyes, the smell of bad cooking clinging to my nostrils, sailing towards the claws of my sadistic family. Probably never to return.
And, on top of all of that, I was seasick.