Peter Justin Newall – Runner-Up, 2016 Fiction Contest

The Chinese General

The first couple of days back on land after a voyage were always difficult for Krysanov.   He had never suffered from seasickness, even when he was a student at the Marine Academy, and the instructors sent the boys out to sea in bad weather to weed out those who couldn’t take it.  The old training ships flopped around in the waves like dying fish, and quite a few of his fellow-students turned green and lay on the deck moaning.  But the first night out, Krysanov happily wolfed down a couple of extra portions of chicken that others couldn’t face.  And since then, in nearly twenty years in the merchant marine, he had not once felt ill at sea, even in the worst weathers.

But every time he returned from a trip, the first forty-eight hours after docking were unpleasant.  His ears rang and he felt di