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The Bay of Lost Souls

By Mark Gagnon and Hannah Gray

By Mark GagnonPublished 9 months ago 5 min read
7
Photo by Hannah Gray

17th June 1829

It was a stormy evening out at sea. Gigantic waves relentlessly crashed into the side of the sturdy wooden ship. All Amy could hear was the long loud rumble of thunder and the panicked shouts from the crew as they tried to keep the sails steady. She had left her crowded cabin below deck for a better understanding of what was happening. Amy was born with a natural curiosity. Her mother said she was too curious for her own good.

The fifteen-year-old had boarded the HMS Bountiful in Portsmouth, England, for her trip to America. Her aunt and uncle had made the journey five years earlier and now owned a small business in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was agreed that Amy would have a brighter future if she went to live with them. Her only interest was visiting the New World.

The sea relentlessly pounded the ship, pitching it from port to starboard. All the passengers and most of the crew were suffering from seasickness. Only Amy and three of the deckhands were immune. One of the three men was tall with weathered, leathery skin and an unkempt black and gray beard. He was fearsome to look at and normally Amy would avoid a person who looked like him, but not this time. The sailor wore a chain around his neck with a gold and diamond medallion swinging freely from side to side. It had an intricate design etched into it.

Amy pondered what the medallion was and where it had come from. She gathered up her courage, and braving the angry storm, approached the peculiar man.

“Good evening, sir, my name’s Amy. I couldn’t help noticing your medallion. Would you mind telling me what it is?”

No answer came from the man, just heavy breathing as he struggled to lash items to the deck. Once again, Amy asked her question, but still, he did not respond. Amy asked herself, ‘Why won’t he answer me? Is there a secret connected to the medallion?’

Later that stormy evening, Amy was sitting underneath a mossy, slimy, slippery stairway, writing in her journal about the strange man. From out of nowhere, she heard the captain shout, “TAKEN BACK!” Amy panicked, wondering what that meant. She stayed under the steps for another ten minutes, trying to figure out what the captain had really meant. She was still focused on the medallion and how it came into the sailor’s possession.

Curiosity overriding common sense, she got up and wandered about the ship. Exploring a ship that was being violently tossed about by a raging storm was no easy feat, but she was determined to gather more information. Loud voices from behind a closed door caught her attention. Cautiously, Amy crept closer, as the voices grew louder. Cracks in the wood planks that formed the cabin walls allowed her to peek into the room.

The captain and the wizened sailor were in the midst of a heated argument. Amy realized that what she heard wasn’t ‘taken back’, but ‘throw it back’. She listened intently as the argument raged on.

“I will never give this medallion up. I’m the last survivor of the crew that raided Davy Jones Locker. My mates all died recovering this and I won’t give it up.”

“I don’t care what happened in the past. I’m your captain now and I’m ordering you to toss it overboard. We’ll all perish in the storm if you don’t.”

“You may all drown, but I won’t.” The sailor said as he raised the medallion over his head. “This is my protector!”

Suddenly, a blinding flash of light shattered the cabin window and entered the captain’s quarters. A lightning bolt struck the medallion, disintegrating the sailor. It ricocheted around the room, setting everything ablaze. Amy knew that soon the entire ship would be engulfed in fire, so she needed to act fast. As the captain raced out of his cabin, clothes on fire, Amy crawled in and snatched the medallion. She was crawling back out of the cabin with the medallion clutched tightly in one hand when she felt a burning pain. The medallion was still hot from the lightning strike. She placed the pendant around her neck and continued crawling, hoping she would make it to safety.

She was almost to the exit when a powerful gust of wind slammed the cabin door closed. Amy tried with all her strength to open it, but the door was jammed shut. Her teenage brain was panicking, wondering if she would make it. She scanned the burning room, looking for a tool to pry the door open. That’s when she spied the window that had been destroyed by the lightning bolt. It looked just large enough for her to fit through. Amy crouched down and raced toward the window.

Two things happened before she reached the window. For no apparent reason, the medallion started glowing. She wondered what was going on. A massive wave caused the ship to list to one side. Amy heard a loud scraping noise, followed by a splash. She leaned out of the open window, gathering her courage for what was to come when miraculously, a lifeboat floated into sight. The scraping sound must have been the lifeboat breaking free from its lashings and sliding into the water. Amy stared at the medallion and realized that this gold disc had the power to save her.

With no time to spare, she climbed through the window and leaped for the lifeboat. Amy landed with a thud, but except for a few bruises, was unhurt. She was happy to have escaped the burning ship, but scared something could still go wrong at any moment. A massive gust of wind formed and blew the ship and her tiny boat towards a point of land in the distance.

It took some time, but the sea finally deposited Amy’s boat on the pebble-strewn beach. She stood on shaky legs surveying her surroundings and spotted a group of people approaching. Remains of the smoldering ship lay in ruins on the rocks. Amy was the only survivor. The young girl knew she was lucky to be alive, but desperately missed her parents.

A beam of sunlight pierced the thinning clouds and landed directly on the medallion hanging from Amy’s neck. She removed it and held it at arm’s length to better inspect the gold disc. From high in the sky, an osprey swooped down and snatched it from her hand. Amy watched as the bird headed out to sea with its prize. Once over the water, the osprey released the medallion, and it fell back into the sea. Amy knew everything was now back where it belonged.

Horror
7

About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.

I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  4. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (5)

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  • Donna Fox (HKB)4 months ago

    As I started re-reading this it all came rushing back to me! This was such a great refresher and I can totally see why Jason dug this one up for my challenge! Once again, great work Mark!

  • JBaz4 months ago

    Wow, this tale was told with such descriptive writing skills. I was hooked from the opening right until the end. I could feel myself in that storm on that ship. Really nice

  • Donna Fox (HKB)9 months ago

    This was intense, mystical and captivating! I loved your descriptive language, how precise it was with out taking away from the story! The ending was a surprise but perfectly done! I enjoyed this read a lot, great work Mark!

  • Tina D'Angelo9 months ago

    "Later that stormy evening, Amy was sitting underneath a mossy, slimy, slippery stairway," I can feel it, Mark. I can smell it and I can see it. You are a powerful wordsmith and you need to fill in Amy's gaps!! ASAP. There is a novel in here, my boy!

  • Oooo, this was such a compelling story! I never expected the sailor to be hit by the lightning! Amy was so lucky to have gotten her hands on that medallion!

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