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Goingunder

The boat was rocking violently. We’d only been out to sea for a week and the storm had taken everyone by surprise. Already two men had been swept into the dark, turbulent ocean, their cries barely heard above the crashing waves. There was no hope for them. I doubted that they would survive the night, if they are still alive at all. The captain stood at the wheel, grimly determined to keep the boat on course; shouting at crew men to pull in the sails. The rain pelted the deck, making it slick and the work hard. Their muscles visibly strained against the strength of the wind, the ropes whipping through their tightly clenched hands. Thunder crashed overhead, always followed closely behind by bright blinding flashes of lighting. The main deck was awashed in ordered chaos, controlled panic and desperation. I watched all this passively from the captain’s quarters, through the large glass doors, a luxury on this kind of ship. I was surprised that they hadn’t been cracked yet from the debris in wind; it was only a matter of time. I cared very little if the ship capsized, sank or went of course. It mattered none. Either way I would end up dead, it was not something that I could, nor wanted to fight. I had been sentenced, and I accepted that sentence with grace.
The captain came through the cabin doors sopping wet and flustered. He cast around for something, but couldn’t seem to lay eyes on it.

“You, girl,” the captain had never called me by name, though he knew it, so I never dined to call him by his, “where is it?” I raised an eyebrow at this question. The question was so loaded in ambiguity that he couldn’t possibly expect me to answer him, now could he?
The captain stepped toward me, something that he didn’t like to do. He had cleared this cabin out and bunked with his men rather than occupy the same space as me. This suited me quite fine. “Where is it?” he asked again, his voice rising. I smiled. Don’t get me wrong the captain was an imposing man. He stood at about six feet, broad shoulders, long arms, and large muscles to go with them. His face was weathered from too many days in the sun, rain and wind, his beard right now a matted watery clump that clung to his face, so different than the well groomed look that he had any other day. His eyes, which pierced out from under his bushy, dark hair were a clear glass blue, and his voice was low, loud, and rumbling. Yet he instilled no fear into me. He could not, nor would not touch me. And that was enough to find him in no way threatening.
Far to the contrary, this hulking, beast of a man was afraid of me, and made no move to come closer than two of his arm lengths. This was a feat in itself. He had never even come into the cabin before this, preferring to send in his first mate when something needed to be fetched out of the cabin, or if food needed to be delivered. He treated me with the same caution one might give a crouching lion, and it was most entertaining. I was bound to the wall by fetters that clamped to tightly around my ankles, and my hands were bound to ones that attached to each other, and to my feet. It would be almost impossible for me to stand, and if I could, which I had yet to try, it would undoubtedly be uncomfortable. I had been reduced to crawling around the cabin, most of which I could not reach, for the chains on my feet only gave me less than a foot of length to work with.
The captain twisted his hands and glared around the cabin once more, before giving up his search and returning to the onslaught that was happening out side. He did not however close the cabin doors. Wind and rain began to whip through the cabin, and within minutes I was chilled and soaked. The best course of action seemed to be sleep, and so that’s what I did. Curling up in a ball, my back facing the door to take the brunt of the rain, I let myself fall into the oblivion.



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