Fiction logo

Storm

by Wanderer 9 months ago in Adventure
Report Story

The endless blue

Cold pierces the steel hull, like icy fingers probing through every crevice and nook. No man finds comfort, no man finds relief. Stale bodies huddle together and shiver, clinging to each other and the surrounding cold environment. The hull groans with each wave beating its full power against it. This thin shell of man made steel is all that stands between the wide eyed men and the full force of nature.

The ship sailing at full speed launching itself off the crests of waves, its shape designed to cut through Poesidons greatest waves like a heated blade through flesh. The seasoned men stand, braced and ready on the upper decks in defiance of the storm, some wild eyed and laughing, breaths soaked with rum and skin wrinkled from the sun and stained with ink from ports unknown. These men have no country anymore, they belong to the sea. It is a belonging that is in constant flux, at one moment a sunny day and a light breeze giving a new meaning to beauty, the next moment is one of abject terror and monstrous waves seeking to pull brave souls to the depths, to a tomb no one will ever visit

Death in the ocean is never peaceful. One would hope to be struck by falling debris and silenced quickly, rather then float in the elements with the torture of the mind relenting in its horror at the hopelessness of ones situation. Other options include being relentlessly dragged under the sea then pushed to the surface struggling for breath only to be cruelly pulled down again, this is repeated until finally the lungs give out, or ravaged by the denizens that call the ocean home

The ocean resembles a great undulating plain with the swells throwing the ship violently to its sides. The men inside this steel can are thrown with it, those that fail at an adequate grip on a nearby pole or table are thrown into bulkheads and hatchways, spilling blood and breaking bone. For thousands of miles the sea is empty save for this small vessel that dares to test the fortitude of the ancient sea gods. Each man knows full well that if the ship were to sink, if any of them where to fall into the sea, that no one is coming to save them, no one could come to save them. The sun sets and still there is no respite from the storm, in fact the wind has picked up and howls like a demon across the open decks. Doors that have been blown open now act as a reeve that gives the air a deafening whistle that makes communication outside impossible. Every man is wet, water soaking through cloth and skin, dampening their very souls. Water seeps through the pipes and joints as the bulkhead buckles under the stress of constant battering. The orders are given to repair the ship, long pieces of wood are pulled out from the holds to brace the bent inwards steel, watches are placed on these braces to ensure no movement causes them to slip and the hull to crack further, the newest sailors are placed on this watch, boys facing a half broken quarter inch thick steel wall, and oblivion waits for them on the other side.

The helmsman wrestles with the wheel, staying on course is no longer a concern and now the only endeavour is to survive, to steer into the smaller waves and not allow the larger ones to hit the ship side on, less it be capsized and rolled over and over again like a child's toy. And up top the older men hold firm, they know there is no way out of this cold and freezing hell except to go through it. Like all great trials there is no easy route, no safer option, one must see the void and walk towards it. The great and violent emptiness is what surrounds them and they must honour their choices and face this existential foe with grim determination.

The morning sun slowly peaks its face over the horizon, bathing the ship in a warming light, the storm has relented but still shows a bitter attitude to the mortals that wandered carelessly into his domain. The men begin to move again from their posts with bones creaking like ice being defrosted in the sun. Each man feeling a sense of relief and amusement at having lived through one of the most terrifying forces of nature. Keen eyes look again to the horizon and scan for any sign of calming sea, looking for a safe heading out of danger. The ocean relenting more, as if he where pleased with the ship and its crew of demented souls and their valiant efforts. He recedes and calls of his mountainous waves and angry winds and and bids farewell to the sailors who in turn show their gratitude by singing songs. The sea goes quiet and the men set to repairing their home, placing doors back in frames and covering holes in the deck and hull. Water has flooded much of the living spaces so no sleeping will be done by these wrecks of men until a long chain of them has bailed the water out, bucket by bucket.

The sea remains calm now, the men sprawl out and rest on the upper decks like a boxer who has bested a foe and lays triumphantly on the canvas floor of the ring. Everyman has a story from the storm, those that were nearly thrown overboard and those that barely dodged a flying door. The young boys slap each other on the back and act as if they have won a great battle and vanquished an enemy, but the older men know better. Out there over the horizon, beyond the power of natural given sight, stalk great leviathans searching for lonely ships to devour and for men to sow the ocean floor with. Before man, storms criss-crossed the face of its eternal partner the sea, and long after man has gone, storms will still rage like violent lovers over the sea.

Adventure

About the author

Wanderer

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.